Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Alexander L. Wolf, University of Lugano, Switzerland and University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
Title: "Is Security Engineering Really Just Good Software Engineering?"
Abstract: These days, if you say that you are doing research in the area of computer security you instantly receive attention. Sadly, the same cannot be said of software engineering. But are the two areas really so different? Both seem to be concerned with issues that range from the finely technical to the broadly social and that force us to make difficult tradeoffs among cost, performance, quality, and usability. Both seem to require that we conduct our research in an interdisciplinary context. In the end we realize that fully solving the security problem for ever larger and more complex systems is as intractable as fully solving the traditional software engineering problem.
In this talk I will attempt to relate the challenges of security engineering and software engineering, and will argue that security engineering is more of a software engineering problem than many people would like to admit.
Speaker bio: Alexander L. Wolf is a Professor in the Faculty of Informatics at the University of Lugano, Switzerland, and in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA. Prior to this he was a Member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Dr. Wolf is the director of the Computer and Communications Security Center and a faculty affiliate of the Science and Technology Policy Research Center at the University of Colorado.
His research interests are in the discovery of principles and development of technologies to support the engineering of large, complex software systems. He has published papers in a variety of areas, including software architecture, software process, and configuration management, and most recently in the areas of security, survivability, dynamic reconfiguration, and content-based networking. Dr. Wolf is currently Chair of the ACM SIGSOFT. He serves on the executive committee of the Impact Project and the editorial board of ACM TOSEM. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Wednesday, November 3, 2004
Joe Marks, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, www.merl.com.
Title: The Usability Problem for Home Appliances: Engineers Caused It, Engineers Can Fix It!
Abstract: Ordinary people already have great difficulty using the advanced features of digitally enabled household appliances, and the problem grows worse with time as more customization and programming features are added. This usability problem cannot be solved using the tiny displays and limited control buttons typically found on such devices. In this talk I will describe a new type of collaborative interface in which the appliance actively helps the user, especially with complex features that are only used occasionally. This interface provides a consistent and pervasive mechanism for answering the who-what-where-when-why-how questions that often cause users to consult a manual, call a help line, or simply give up. A crucial aspect of the interface architecture is the use of home networking to share a physically large and computationally powerful display among multiple appliances.
Why is this a relevant talk for a software-engineering conference? A contributing factor to the usability crisis is the dominance of engineers in product design at many companies. The development of more-usable devices requires a broader conception of engineering that includes interaction design, artificial intelligence, and human factors at a minimum. I will describe how these disciplines can complement traditional electrical and software engineering in the context of attempting to solve a commercially significant real-world problem.
Research credits: Chuck Rich, Candy Sidner, Neal Lesh, Andy Garland, Shane Booth.
Speaker bio: Joe Marks grew up in Dublin, Ireland, before emigrating to the U.S. to attend college. He holds three degrees from Harvard University. His areas of interest include computer graphics, human-computer interaction, and artificial intelligence. He has worked previously at Bolt Beranek and Newman and at Digital's Cambridge Research Laboratory. He is currently the Director of MERL Research. He is the recent past chair of ACM SIGART, the papers chair for SIGGRAPH 2004, and the papers co-chair for Eurographics 2005.
Thursday, November 4, 2004
Nancy Leveson, MIT, SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award 2004 winner
Title: "Making Embedded Software Reuse Practical and Safe"
Abstract: Reuse of application software in embedded systems has been limited and, in some cases, has led to accidents. In this talk, I will describe the problems and an approach to making reuse practical and safe in this domain.
Speaker bio: Nancy Leveson is a Professor in the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Dept. and also a Professor in the MIT Engineering Systems Division. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Prof. Leveson conducts research on the topics of system safety, software safety, software and system engineering and human-computer interaction. She has served as Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. In 1999, she received the ACM Allen Newell Award and in 1995 the 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 is author of a book, "Safeware: System Safety and Computers" published by Addison-Wesley.