Software Engineering Pioneers Symposium*

The First 25 Years -- The Next 25 Years: On Doing Work of Lasting Value

Sunday, May 4, 1:30pm

*Funds to support the Pioneers Symposium have been graciously provided by SUN Microsystems and the National Science Foundation.

The Pioneers Symposium will explore the question "What does it take to do Sofware Engineering research of enduring value?" Of the many works published in Sofware Engineering over the past 25 years, relatively few of them remain important today. Those few works that continue to be worth reading have met the test of time, demonstrating lasting value to both researchers and practitioners in the field.

The Pioneers' Symposium will provide a forum in which Software Engineering's next generation has the opportunity to to learn from some of the field's preeminent contributors what it takes to recognize and to do work that exhibits this kind of lasting value. The Symposium is primarily targeted to graduate students and new faculty beginning their research or careers. The speakers and attendees will explore what is needed to do research that will have lasting value or, as David Parnas has put it, "research that will still be relevant 25 years from now". E.g., What distinguishes such work? What does a researcher need to know and do to produce such work?

The invited speakers are intellectual pioneers, distinguished not just for their seminal work, but for blazing trails that others have continued to find worthwhile to follow. In particular:

The Pioneer's Symposium will be held on Sunday afternoon, May 4, beginning at 1:30pm. Following the talks, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the seminar's topic both as a group and individually with the speakers in a reception to follow.

Grants from the Symposium's sponsors have provided some funds to support travel and attendance of students or others who might otherwise have difficulty attending. Please enquire with the the Symposium's organizers.

Skating to Where the Puck is Going

Prof. Barry Boehm,TRW Professor of Software Engineering, Computer Science Department
Director, University of Southern California Center for Software Engineering.

Wayne Gretzky found that he became a better hockey player by skating not to where the puck was or is, but to where it is going. I've found that doing software engineering work of lasting value also works better if you invest some effort looking into where the field is going. In this talk, I'll elaborate on some techniques for doing this, and summarize some likely future trends in software engineering. I'll illustrate these with examples, primarily from empirical software studies, software economics, and software engineering as a value-producing activity.

Barry Boehm is TRW Professor of Software Engineering, Computer Science Department, USC Director, USC Center for Software Engineering Dr. Barry Boehm served within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) as director of the DARPA Information Science and Technology Office and as director of the DDR&E Software and Computer Technology Office. He worked at TRW, culminating as chief scientist of the Defense Systems Group, and at the Rand Corporation, culminating as head of the Information Sciences Department. He entered the software field as a programmer-analyst at General Dynamics in 1955.

His current research interests include software process modeling, software requirements engineering, software architectures, software metrics and cost models, software engineering environments, and value-based software engineering. His contributions to the field include the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO), the Spiral Model of the software process, and the Theory W (win-win) approach to software management and requirements determination. He is a Fellow of the ACM, AIAA, IEEE, and INCOSE, and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Empiricism in Software Engineering

Prof. Victor R. Basili, University of Maryland, Department of Computer Science, Executive Director, Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering - Maryland

Although most scientific and engineering disciplines view empiricism as a basic aspect of their discipline, that view has not been the tradition in software engineering. There is not the same symbiotic relationship between theory and empirical study, each feeding the other for the evolution of the discipline. This talk will provide some discussion of the role of empirical study can and should play in software engineering and discuss the evolution of empirical methods and their application over time. It will also offer a vision of what the future might be. Examples will be taken from my personal experience.

Dr. Victor Basili is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Center - Maryland, and one of the founders and principals in the Software Engineering Laboratory (SEL) at NASA/GSFC. He works on measuring, evaluating, and improving the software development process and product. He is a recipient of a 1989 NASA Group Achievement Award, a 1990 NASA/GSFC Productivity Improvement and Quality Enhancement Award, the 1997 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics and Computer Science by the Washington Academy of Sciences, and the 2000 Outstanding Research Award from ACM SIGSOFT. Dr. Basili has authored over 150 journal and refereed conference papers, has served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE TSE, and as Program Chair and General Chair of the 6th and 15th ICSE, respectively. He is co-editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Empirical Software Engineering, published by Kluwer. He is an IEEE and ACM Fellow.

Being General and Being Specific

Dr. Michael Jackson (not the singer), Software Development Consultancy and Research

One dimension of thought about software development method is the level of generality. It is possible to think about development in a way that abstracts from the specifics of particular problems and aims at results of general validity. It is also possible to focus your thinking on particular problems and their characteristics. In this talk I will briefly describe how my approach to this dimension of software research has changed over the past forty years or more.

Michael Jackson has worked in software since 1961. His program design method was adopted as a standard by the UK government. In the past 15 years he has worked as an independent consultant and researcher in the UK, the US and many other countries. He worked for 13 years as a part-time researcher at Bell Labs, later AT&T Research, and holds a patent on an abstract architecture for telecommunication systems. He has written four books about computer software development, and has held a number of visiting posts at universities in the UK. He is currently a visiting Research Professor at the Open University and a visiting Fellow at the University of Newcastle, and is active in research projects on both sides of the Atlantic.

Having the Courage Not to Follow the Crowd

Prof. Nancy Leveson, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Instutite of Technology, Cambridge, MA

There are many paths to having impact in software engineering, and each may be relevant for different types of people. I will talk about the path that was appropropriate for me.

Nancy Leveson is Professor of Aerospace Software Engineering in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Dept. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She also has a joint appointment with the Engineering Systems Division. Previously she was Boeing Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington and before that in the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Irvine.

She has served as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, and served for many years as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Computing Research Association. She is a fellow of the ACM and received the ACM 1999 Allen Newell Award for "establishing the foundations of software safety" and the 1995 AIAA Information Systems Award for "developing the field of software safety and for promoting responsible software and system engineering practices where life and property are at stake." She serves on lots of advisory committees, including the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel. Dr. Leveson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), author of a large number of papers and a book, "Safeware: System Safety and Computers," and co-founder of a company called Safety Engineering Corp.


Prof David L. Parnas,

David's statement to be provided.

David Parnas -- biography to come.

For further information, please contact:

Stuart R Faulk                                                Lawrence Votta
Computer and Information Science                 Distinguished Engineer
University of Oregon                                      Sun Microsystems Inc.