Leif Singer has just joined the CHISEL Group as a postdoc. Leif earned his PhD in Computer Science from Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany, where he just moved from with his wife and son.
CHISEL members Laura, Carlos, and Elena participated in the Windward Code Wars (check out photo 5!): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-thielen/the-9-best-computer-scien_b_3034171.html?utm_hp_ref=tw
Congrats to CHISEL on the following recently accepted papers!
Strategies for Avoiding Text Fixture Smells during Software Evolution
Michaela Greiler, Andy Zaidman, Arie van Deursen and Margaret-Anne Storey
Fixing the ‘out of sight out of mind’ problem – One Year of Mood Based Microblogging in a Distributed Software Team
Kevin Dullemond, Ben Van Gameren, Arie van Deursen and Margaret-Anne Storey
A Study of Innovation Diffusion Through Link Sharing on Stack Overflow
Carlos Gomez, Brendan Cleary and Leif Singer
Analyzing the Friendliness of Exchanges in an Online Software Developer Community
Brendan Cleary, Margaret-Anne Storey, Carlos Gomez, Leif Singer and Christoph Treude
Building Test Suites in Social Coding Sites by Leveraging Drive-By Commits
Raphael Pham, Leif Singer and Kurt Schneider
35th International Conference on Software Engineering, NIER Track, 2013
Congrats to CHISEL alumni Christoph and Lars, as well as CHISEL collaborator Chris Parnin for winning the StackOverflow data visualization contest! https://www.kaggle.com/c/predict-closed-questions-on-stack-overflow/details/winners
This post begins a series where each CHISEL Group member blogs about their insights and experiences. This will occur on the 1st and 15th of each month, and I (Cassandra) am the first!
I am extremely lucky. I work for an engaging, successful, fun professor, and her group of fabulous students and fellows. And I get paid to do it. After 16 years in Information Technology, much of that spent with start-up companies, it’s a refreshing change — and a culture shock.
When I started here in January 2011, one of the biggest surprises was the disconnect between the research occurring in our building and the products and services coming out of the IT industry. Large, established companies such as Microsoft and IBM are highly invested in academia, as can be seen with Microsoft Research and the IBM Centers for Advanced Studies. But you don’t really hear much from the smaller tech companies. So, where do they get their ideas? Is everything created on a whim?
I read a great comment from one of our alumni, Jorge Aranda, who spent time with local tech companies trying to find solutions to some of their process problems: “Many programmers continue to act as if a couple of pints and a quotation from some self-appointed guru constitute “proof” that one programming language is better than another.”
I thought about that for a minute and had to admit it was true. I spent many an evening (or lunch) drinking beers and talking about how we were going to revolutionize things. Many a failed product was created on the back of a bar napkin, and many a success, too.
While it’s not as lucrative as in years past, IT companies can have some of their “research” paid for by the good ol’ government through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program. However, I’ve helped prepare these reports and it doesn’t take much for a project to qualify as “research”.
At certain times in my career, researchers asked to work with us, spent many weeks sitting in an office or interviewing people, but the results of their work never reached us (that I could see). They also rarely approached us and asked “what problems are you experiencing” or “can I just sit and watch to see if I can pin-point a problem and then help you solve it”. (Unlike Jorge!)
Just as I was thinking about these things, members of my group were on the same wave length, wondering why academia can’t get uptake from industry. At ICSE 2011, a panel of academics (including CHISEL members) and industry experts presented “What industry wants from research”. You can find the slides from this panel here and here.
A few opinions and stats that came out of this panel really stand out for me:
- Fundamental research questions haven’t changed
- Research isn’t scalable
- Research is dated and biased toward large organizations/projects
- Industry is not willing to change practices for small gains that (they perceive to) come out of academia
- Qualitative results are anecdotal
- Less than 20% of the ICSE2011 attendees (over 1000 in attendance) came from industry
You can read a great summary of the panel here.
So, how do we rid ourselves of this disconnect? How does industry involve academia more, and vice versa?
The University of Victoria has a thriving co-op program. I think “co-op” is important for helping students build needed skills that they don’t normally get in their university education, but also for forging relationships. Many of the start-ups I’ve encountered have dev teams whose visionaries include recent Computer Science or Software Engineering grads. But rarely did they include people who did graduate work and could help bridge the gap between research and industry.
Also, back to the beer: if this is the way to get a relationship started, perhaps academia needs to have a couple pints with these programmers. ;)
We’re looking for a co-op developer for the January-April 2013 term.
I am pleased to announce that Carlos Gomez has arrived in Canada and joined the CHISEL Group. Carlos holds a degree in Systems Engineering from Icesi University in Colombia, and is just starting his Masters program at the University of Victoria.
Carlos loves to cook, paint, play the piano, play guitar, photography and sculpture. He emigrated to Canada with his wife (a graduate student studying with Dr. Hausi Muller and the RIGI Group) and his twelve year old son, José Manuel, who has a strong interest in biology and video games. Recently, José Manuel developed a taste for software development and has been working with Scratch. (Will he join CHISEL in a few years?)
Bio-Mixer is a web-based environment that supports the flexible exploration of biomedical ontologies. The concepts in the ontologies and their mappings can be explored in different views such as graph views, lists and timeline views. Drag-and-drop interaction can be used to show items and collections in different views, to create filtered views and to synchronize selections. Bio-Mixer enhances drag and drop with a new drop target highlighting and preview approach to make working with multiple collections and views easy. Bio-Mixer also provides support for ontology annotation and workspace sharing between collaborators.
Primary researcher: Lars Grammel
Partners: National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO)
We are interdisciplinary researchers with diverse backgrounds based in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Victoria. Our offices are located in the Engineering/Computer Science building.
Our research interests include:
- cognitive support and technology diffusion
- human computer interaction
- human and social implications of technology use
- interface design
- knowledge engineering
- software engineering
- technology and pedagogy
Our primary objective is to develop tools that support people in performing complex cognitive tasks. Our projects benefit from the collaborative approach taken within our group and with other researchers. As a group, we operate by thinking creatively, exploiting our synergies, and applying innovative research techniques.
We frequently work with several other groups in the department: