ISR Distinguished Speaker

Judith Bishop

Director of Computer Science
“Open Source Software and Industry: Exploring the Reality”
Friday, February 5, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Faculty Host: 
Donald Bren Hall (building #314), room 6011

No cost to attend.


Click here for directions and parking information.


Open Source Software (OSS) is a movement that the IT industry has subscribed to with great success over many years. The benefits for an IT company are both tangible and intangible. Adopting code that is already a standard is the easy part. Contributing to and initiating new software requires sustained commitment and upfront scrutiny of the return on investment. After relinquishing financial income from sales, the intangible benefit has to be maximized – making the company look good and drawing in top talent. Both of these are a challenge. On the technical side, major software companies experience an added level of complexity in OSS involvement in that the software might not match the platforms they build. Virtual machines and browsers can come to the rescue, with varying degrees of efficiency loss. Finally, for some disciplines such as accountancy and auto manufacture, OSS is regarded as far too risky to contemplate. In this talk we shall survey this landscape, present statistics and examples, explore the challenges, and make some predictions as to where the most exciting industry OSS developments will launch in the future.

About the Speaker: 

Judith Bishop is Director of Computer Science in Microsoft Research Connections, based in Redmond, USA. Her research expertise is in programming languages and distributed systems, with a strong practical bias and interest in compilers and design patterns. She has 100 research publications and has written or edited 15 books on programming languages that are available in six languages and read worldwide. She has presented many keynotes and tutorials and serves frequently on international editorial, programme committees, review boards, and award panels. She joins a team of research managers in her role to create strong links between Microsoft’s research groups and universities globally, through encouraging projects, supporting conferences and engaging directly in research. Her goal and passion is to clearly demonstrate the effectiveness and applicability of open technologies to computer science research and teaching today.

After completing her degrees at Rhodes and Natal in South Africa, Judith received her PhD from the University of Southampton, UK, on the relationship of languages to computer architecture. Then followed a distinguished career in academia, most recently as a professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She has had visiting professor positions in the UK, Germany, Canada, Italy and the USA. 

In 2014, Judith was elected an ACM Distinguished Educator. She has received numerous other awards including the IFIP Outstanding Service Award in 2009 and the IFIP Silver Core Award 2006 for service to the worldwide computer science community, the Computer Society Fellowship Award in 2008, the South African DTI Award for Distinguished Woman Scientist of the Year for Innovation 2005, and the Rhodes University Distinguished Alumna Award in 2011. She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and the Royal Society of South Africa.