Scott Kilpatrick //
MPI-SWS & Saarland University

PhD under Derek Dreyer (defended October 2019)
Foundations of Programming Group, PLV @ MPI-SWS
Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS), Saarbrücken
» 2014 Graduate Student Representative (el Presidente), MPI-SWS
» 2015 Founder/leader of Strategy & Communication group, Max Planck PhDnet



As of Summer 2016 I am a software engineer working in New York City. I obtained my PhD from Saarland Univrsity in October 2019.

My research career focused on language design — specifically, in the intersection of module systems and type systems witnessed by functional programming languages. I'm interested in (dependent) type theory, constructive logic, proof engineering, and, generally, principled approaches to practical problems.

Primarily I've designed Backpack, a richer module system for Haskell, along with my advisor Derek Dreyer and Simon Peyton Jones (Microsoft Research) and Simon Marlow (Facebook). For more information, check the Backpack web page. From 2015 to 2016 I collaborated with Edward Yang (Stanford), Simon PJ, and Derek on actually implementing the Backpack design into real-world GHC Haskell! (Actually, twisting and contorting Backpack's semantics to make it even more realistic to implement is a major part of the challenge.) Edward is the hero who led that gigantic effort, which is why you can use Backpack today.

In 2010 we had a "Type Systems for Modules" seminar. Check the course web page for useful reading and commentary. And in the past I organized MPI-SWS's "Programming Languages, Etc. Reading Group" (PLERG) whose schedule and reading list can be found here.

Before MPI-SWS I was an intern at Sun Labs working on the Fortress programming language. I did my masters and bachelors at the University of Texas at Austin.


  • Non-Reformist Reform for Haskell Modularity. PhD thesis, Saarland University. (pending final edits)
  • Backpack: Retrofitting Haskell with Interfaces. Scott Kilpatrick, Derek Dreyer, Simon Peyton Jones, and Simon Marlow. POPL 2014. (web page, abstract, paper pdf, draft appendix pdf, talk slides pdf)
  • Type Checking Modular Multiple Dispatch with Parametric Polymorphism and Multiple Inheritance. Eric Allen, Justin Hilburn, Scott Kilpatrick, Victor Luchangco, Sukyoung Ryu, David Chase, and Guy L. Steele Jr. OOPSLA 2011. (abstract, pdf)
  • Ad Hoc: Overloading and Language Design. Scott Kilpatrick. Master's thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 2010. (abstract, pdf)