Margaret Burnett

“Womenomics” and Gender-Inclusive Software: What Software Engineers Need to Know

burnett-1000pxMargaret Burnett is an OSU Distinguished Professor at Oregon State University. She began her career in industry, where she was the first woman software developer ever hired at Procter & Gamble Ivorydale. A few degrees and start-ups later, she joined academia, with a research focus on people who are engaged in some form of software development. She was the principal architect of the Forms/3 and FAR visual programming languages, and co-founded the area of end-user software engineering, which aims to improve software for computer users that are not trained in programming. She pioneered the use of information foraging theory in the domain of software debugging, and leads the team that created GenderMag, a software inspection process that uncovers gender inclusiveness issues in software from spreadsheets to programming environments.

Burnett is an ACM Distinguished Scientist and a member of the ACM CHI Academy. She currently serves on three editorial boards including that of IEEE’s Transactions on Software Engineering, and has served in over 50 conference organization and program committee roles. She is also on the Academic Alliance Advisory Board of the National Center for Women in IT (NCWIT).

James Herbsleb

Building a Theory of Coordination: Why and How

Jim-hands-cr170James Herbsleb is a Professor in the Institute for Software Research in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he serves as Director of the PhD program in Societal Computing. His research interests lie primarily in the intersection of software engineering, computer-supported cooperative work, and socio-technical systems, focusing on such areas as geographically distributed development teams and large-scale open source development. He holds a PhD in psychology, and an MS in computer science. His research has won several awards at ICSE, including the Most Influential Paper award in 2010, Honorable Mention for Most Influential Paper award in 2011, and ACM Distinguished Paper Award in 2011. Other awards include an ACM Distinguished Paper award for ESEM 2008 and a Best Paper Award for CSCW 2006. He was recently awarded the SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award in 2016, and previously the Alan Newell Award for Research Excellence in 2014. For no apparent reason, he also holds a Juris Doctor degree and is a member of the Michigan Bar Association. For about two decades, he has worked with assorted colleagues and minions to try to understand the complex and dynamic relationship between human collaboration and the software that humans design and use. On his optimistic days, he feels he has made a bit of progress.

Daniel Jackson & Mandana Vaziri

Correct or usable? The Limits of Traditional Verification

Since our work on verification sixteen years ago, our views of the role of verification, and the centrality of correctness, have evolved. In our presentation, we’ll talk about some of our concerns about the limitations of this kind of technology, including: usability as a key factor; the unknowable properties of the environment; and the inadequacy of specifications as a means of capturing users’ desires. We’ll describe two approaches we’re currently working on to mitigate these concerns — (1) moving to higher level abstractions with correctness by construction and (2) focusing on the conceptual structure of applications — and will argue that, combined with traditional verification tools, these offer the possibility of applications that are both usable and correct.


Daniel Jackson is Professor of Computer Science at MIT, a MacVicar teaching fellow, and an Associate Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he leads the Software Design Group.  He is the lead designer of the Alloy modelling language, and author of “Software Abstractions: Logic, Language, and Analysis” (MIT Press; second ed. 2012). He was chair of the National Academies’ study “Software for Dependable Systems: Sufficient Evidence?” (2007). His research currently focuses on a new approach to software design, on new programming paradigms, and on cybersecurity.



Mandana Vaziri is a Research Staff Member at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center. She has worked on different projects in the area of Programming Languages and Software Engineering, most notably data-centric synchronization (Atomic Sets), the IDE for IBM’s X10 language (X10DT), and a spreadsheet interface for IBM’s Stream Processing Language (ActiveSheets). She holds a PhD from MIT working with Daniel Jackson on analyzing imperative code with a SAT solver.