Spotlight

I had the honor of chairing the ACM Conference on Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH/OOPSLA) this year.  That means that I was like a Producer, and got to do all the work behind the scenes to make the conference come to life.  After a year and a half of “programming,” I pressed “run” on October 21.  It’s a little crazy if you believe in agile.  A whole year and a half of designing and “programming,” with no testing whatsoever, no small chunks, just a long process of envisioning, estimating, guessing, coordinating, signing contracts, making decisions; then we unleash the event over 5 days with almost 600 people and hope for the best!

Whereas many view software system complexity, immensity, and dynamism as formidable difficulties, ISR Professor James A. Jones views these traits with excitement.  “Software is a living artifact — constantly changing — full of complexities and intricacies that are fascinating to imagine” says Jones.  He puts such imagination to work through his research, which assists developers in understanding how programs are behaving — both correctly and incorrectly — for performing maintenance tasks and for finding and fixing bugs.

In March 2011, Christoph Dorn from the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) in Austria joined ISR as a post-doctoral visiting researcher.  Dorn completed his Ph.D. on Adaptation Techniques in large-scale Service-oriented Systems in 2009 and continued as a post-doctoral researcher at the Distributed Systems Group (TU Wien).

ISR continued its tradition of participating in the Ground System Architectures Workshop (GSAW), which is sponsored by The Aerospace Corporation – one of ISR’s long-time supporters.  GSAW has been held in cooperation with ISR since 2003. GSAW 2011 was held February 28-March 3 in Los Angeles. 

During the past decade, USC Professor and ISR Faculty Associate, Nenad Medvidović has been looking at the role software engineering plays—and should play—in the emerging, related fields of grid computing and, more recently, cloud computing.  Medvidović’s recent collaborative work with Yuriy Brun, his former Ph.D. student and currently an NSF CRA Postdoctoral Computing Innovation Fellow at the University of Washington, has focused on providing security and privacy guarantees to users of inherently insecure clouds.  In this effort, which grew out of a collaborative research project with Director Richard N.

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