John Aycock

Chief Assistant Bagel Operator
Graduate Student
Department of Computer Science
University of Victoria

Engineering Lab Wing A330

Looking for...


What people are saying about John

"He's sure taking his bloody time to graduate."

-- John's wife

"The man has a mind like a teal strap."

-- the drunk by the 7-11

"He's insulting on so many levels that it's hard to know where to begin condemning him."

-- John's best friend

"Stop making up quotes. I never said that."

-- John's wife again


It turns out that the English language isn't sufficiently rich to describe my life, so I've added a few helpful words and phrases:

Involuntary Tourism.

Something you don't want to hear while flying at 30,000 feet: "We're having some problems with the tail engine." Involuntary tourism is what happens when your plane gets diverted to a different city and/or country than you were supposed to go to.

Card Key Shuffle.

Some labs in UVic's Engineering Lab Wing are accessed via electronic card keys, which you wave past a sensor that's beside the door. The Card Key Shuffle is a curious dance performed by people trying to get the sensor to detect their key card without actually taking it out of their backpack, hip pouch, wallet, &c. It is characterized by pelvic thrusting, backpack lobbing, and other contortions which suggest that the dancer is trying to become intimate with the door frame.


What happens during an installation of Windows, especially when you've upgraded some hardware and Windows is trying in vain to figure out what's going on.

Bathroom Safari.

The quest to find an unoccupied washroom stall in UVic's Engineering Lab Wing. On a bad day, this requires covering most of the distance of three floors, often ending up in a different building entirely.

Academic Strip-Mining.

When a single good idea is drawn out over a vast series of publications. I may be doing this myself one day, so I decline to commit to this being a good or a bad thing :-)


My research topic is:
Verifiable Object-oriented Mathematical Inference Technique for Reverse-Engineered, Portable, Elegant Approaches To Equation-based Distributive Layered Y-combinators
My only regret is that the acronym needs some work.

(Just kidding. I'm doing compiler research.)


  • J. Aycock, N. Horspool, J. Janousek, and B. Melichar. Even Faster Generalized LR Parsing. Acta Informatica, to appear.
  • J. Aycock and N. Horspool. Schrödinger's Token. Software -- Practice & Experience 31, 8 (2001), pp. 803-814.
  • J. Aycock and N. Horspool. Directly-Executable Earley Parsing. CC 2001 -- 10th International Conference on Compiler Construction (LNCS 2027), Springer-Verlag, 2001, pp. 229-243.
  • J. Aycock and N. Horspool. Simple Generation of Static Single-Assignment Form. CC 2000 -- 9th International Conference on Compiler Construction (LNCS 1781), Springer-Verlag, 2000, pp. 110-124.
  • R. N. Horspool and J. Aycock. Analysis of Equation Structure Using Least Cost Parsing. IWPT 2000 (6th International Workshop on Parsing Technologies), poster, pp. 307-308.
  • J. Aycock. Aggressive Type Inference. Proceedings of the 8th International Python Conference, 2000, pp. 11-20.
  • J. Aycock and M. Levy. An Architecture for Easy Web Page Updating. ACM Crossroads 6.2 (Winter 1999), pp. 15-18.
  • J. Aycock and N. Horspool. Faster Generalized LR Parsing. CC '99 -- 8th International Conference on Compiler Construction (LNCS 1575), Springer-Verlag, 1999, pp. 32-46.
  • J. Aycock. Compiling Little Languages in Python. Proceedings of the 7th International Python Conference, 1998, pp. 69-77.
  • J. Aycock. Converting Python Virtual Machine Code to C. Proceedings of the 7th International Python Conference, 1998, pp. 43-50.

And from prehistory..

Subliminal message






What I do

My wife's description of what I do at work... she seems to have captured the high points.
while (1)
        research (something not related to thesis)
        write paper
        goto conference/workshop
        avoid thesis
This way to the previous version of this page...