ISR Forum: Where Research meets the Real World

Ph.D. student Bart Knijnenburg presents poster on personalization and privacy at Forum Open House

ISR held its eleventh Research Forum on May 16th. The goal of the event is to foster interaction between industry and ISR researchers, and encourage research collaborations amongst all. ISR’s banner event, the 2014 Forum attracted over a hundred attendees from sixteen companies, two law firms, and nine universities.

The morning portion of the program featured seven faculty presentations on topics including: architectural styles and open software ecosystems; using games to support formal verification; diagnosing software problems through automated cause-and-effect sequence analysis; coordination in distributed software development; personalized privacy defaults; attention focus and mood in workplace online activity; and game-based learning in the classroom. ISR faculty presenters were drawn from UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The always popular open house was held over lunch and featured posters, demonstrations, and visits to research labs. The open house provides an ideal opportunity for attendees to interact with researchers one-on-one and learn about projects firsthand.

Panel imageThe afternoon opened with a very engaging keynote by Prof. Pamela Samuelson, UC Berkeley, on “The Patentability of Software Revisited.” (See Spring/Summer 2014 Message from the Director.) A spirited panel on “Protecting Software as Intellectual Property: The Many Faces of Software Patents” followed, which turned out to be the resounding hit of the day. The panel featured four panelists: keynote Pamela Samuelson; UCI Law Professor Dan Burk; Allan Z. Litovsky, a litigator, IP attorney, and partner at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth; and ISR Prof. Nenad Medvidović, USC. ISR Director Richard N. Taylor served as panel moderator. Medvidović observed that “one noticeable aspect of the panel discussion that emerged quickly was the difference in the perspectives brought forth by the three ‘constituencies’ represented in the room: (1) legal professionals with extensive expertise in patent law who are also familiar with software development; (2) academics with primary expertise in software engineering who have also been exposed to patent litigation; and (3) software engineering researchers and practitioners who are trying to understand how and to what extent patent law may pertain to them and their work.” Feedback on the panel, and the 2014 Forum overall, was exceptionally enthusiastic!

For more information on the Forum, including videos of the talks and presenters’ slides, visit:

This article appeared in ISR Connector issue: