ISR Distinguished Speaker

Victor R. Basili

Fraunhofer Center
Computer Science Department
“The Role of Empirical Study in Software Engineering”
Friday, February 24, 2006 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Faculty Host: 

Email RSVP required to Nancy Myers at by Monday, February 20.

University Club (UClub) Library

No cost to attend.


Click here for directions and parking information.


Although most scientific and engineering disciplines view empiricism as a basic aspect of their discipline, that view has not been the tradition in software engineering. There should be a symbiotic relationship between the development of theories and empirical studies that test and evolve that theory. This talk discusses the role of empirical study in the understanding and improvement of the software product and process. It offers a personal, historical perspective of the use of empiricism through a series of example applications that demonstrate the various roles that empiricism can play. The examples are taken from the author's own experience and include the use empirical study to improve an organization's product quality and productivity in the Software Engineering Laboratory at NASA/Goddard and to evaluate and evolve the effectiveness of various software technologies for use in improving the dependability of software. It also suggests research directions for empirical study in software engineering.

About the Speaker: 

Dr. Victor R. Basili is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas and honorary degrees from the Universities of Sannio (Italy) and Kaiserslautern (Germany). He was Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Center - Maryland and a founder and principal of the Software Engineering Laboratory (SEL) at NASA/GSFC. He works on measuring, evaluating, and improving the software development process and product via mechanisms for observing and evolving knowledge through empirical research, e.g., the Goal/Question /Metric Approach, The Quality Improvement Paradigm, the Experience Factory. He is a recipient several awards including a NASA Group Achievement Award, a NASA/GSFC Productivity Improvement and Quality Enhancement Award, the 1997 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Mathematics and Computer Science by the Washington Academy of Sciences, the 2000 Outstanding Research Award from ACM SIGSOFT and the 2003 Harlan Mills Award from the IEEE Computer Society. Dr. Basili has authored over 200 papers, served as Editor-in-Chief of several journals (IEEE TSE, Journal of Empirical Software Engineering) and program chair and general chair of several conferences (ICSE). He is an IEEE and ACM Fellow.