ISR Distinguished Speaker

Harold Ossher

Research Staff Member
“Smart Flexible Office Modeling Tools”
Friday, February 25, 2011 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm

Refreshments and networking at 1:30pm

Faculty Host: 

Email RSVP required to Joanna Kerner by Tuesday, February 22.

Donald Bren Hall (building #314), room 6011

No cost to attend.


Click here for directions and parking information.


Users like the free-form user experience of office tools — the ability to write or draw whatever they wish in whatever order they wish. Users also like the structural (often called "semantic") support of modeling tools, such as consistency management, domain-specific assistance and enforcement of standards. Why should users have to choose between them? In this talk, I will explore the problem of blending the advantages of both into a single tool: a smart office / flexible modeling tool. Since there is considerable tension between the requirements — in fact, they appear to be contradictory — there are significant research challenges, many of them at the boundary between Human-Computer Interaction and Software Engineering. I will describe and demonstrate how we have begun to address these challenges in the Business Insight Toolkit (BITKit), a prototype tool for business architects engaged in the early stages of requirements engineering. Based on our experience with BITKit, I will propose a conceptual architecture for smart office / flexible modeling tools, and highlight remaining research challenges.

About the Speaker: 

Harold Ossher has been a researcher at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center since 1986. His research interests include modularity and separation of concerns, software development tools and environments, project landscapes and software aesthetics. He is one of the originators of subject-oriented programming, multi-dimensional separation of concerns and Hyper/J. He worked on agile requirements engineering in the early days of IBM Rational's Jazz project, and has served as liaison between the Jazz team and the research community since its inception. His current research focus is flexible modeling tools, in the context of the Business Insight Toolkit (BITKit), a prototype tool for business analysts.

Ossher received Bachelors and Masters degrees from Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University. He is one of the founders of the Aspect-Oriented Software Development community. He served as general chair of the first AOSD conference in 2002 and is chair of the Modularity Visions track at AOSD 2011. He chaired the AOSD Steering Committee from 2005 to 2007, and was co-editor-in-chief of Springer's Transactions on Aspect-Oriented Software Development from 2007 to 2010. He was a co-author of the OOPLSA '93 paper "Subject-oriented programming (a critique of pure objects)," which was awarded A Most Influential 1986-1996 OOPSLA Paper award in 2006, and of the ICSE '99 paper "N degrees of separation: Multi-dimensional separation of concerns," which received ICSE's Most Influential Paper Award in 2009. He was named an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2009.