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Projects Active in 2015

Literature about design suggests that a variety of alternatives leads to a higher quality final design. When software designers, either individually or together, are designing in front of the whiteboard, they rarely explore different solution alternatives. How can we help designers to explore more design alternatives for software problems? To achieve this, we are working on a process to facilitate designers to collaborate and produce high quality software designs while considering more solution alternatives.

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April 2015

Spacetime is a framework for developing time-stepped, multi-worker applications based on the tuplespace model. Workers compute within spacetimed frames -- a fixed portion of the shared data during a fixed period of time. The locally modified data may be pushed back to the shared store at the end of each step.

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January 2015

This project describes and documents observational results that arise from the playtesting­-based evaluation of twenty-­six computer games focused on science learning or scientific research. We refer to this little studied genre of computer games as science learning games (SLGs). Our goal was to begin to identify a new set of criteria, play mechanics, and play experiences that give rise to play­-based learning experiences in the realm of different scientific topics.

Project Dates: 
October 2014

Given the availability of large-scale source-code repositories, there have been a large number of applications for clone detection. Unfortunately, despite a decade of active research, there is a marked lack in clone detectors that scale to large software repositories. In particular for detecting near-miss clones where significant editing activities may take place in the cloned code.

Project Dates: 
January 2014

Bitcoin is a digital currency and payment platform that has been the source of much media attention. The currency is not backed by a government like most conventional currencies but is part of a democratic and dencentralized movement. Bitcoin transactions are pseudo-anonymous in a similar way to cash money. Why do people use this currency? How do their political values align with their usage of bitcoin? Furthermore, how does the community regulate itself in the absence of a formal hierarchical structure? Lastly, how do anonymous users form communities?

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October 2013

Scientists are always working to determine which articles are interesting to them, timely, and relevant to their research. If working in an unfamiliar research area, searching for papers becomes even more difficult. By allowing users to vote on the prominence of links, social news sites like Slashdot, Digg, and reddit.com have addressed the issue of surfacing new and interesting content from across the internet. Moreover, they provide opportunities to provide context and comment on the content.

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October 2013

The broad goal of this project is to understand how to combine sustainability knowledge with information and communication technology (ICT) in creating sustainable communities. The Transition Movement is a global social experiment aiming to promote sustainable living and build ecological resilience in the near future at local levels. The Transition movement began in 2005 in Totnes, UK, a market town in South Devon. Today there are about 1000 registered Transition towns in 34 countries.

Project Dates: 
April 2013

When a live site is down or time is of the essence, software teams mobilize to fix bugs as fast as possible. How might such important bugs be fixed more quickly? One answer is through crowdsourcing, where ad-hoc participants are each given small, self-contained microtasks that are then aggregated into an overall solution. To explore this idea, we are currently designing new techniques and tools for crowd debugging.

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Project Dates: 
January 2013

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