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CS Colloquium: Leon Osterweil (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Start Date: 1/22/2015Start Time: 3:30 PM
End Date: 1/22/2015End Time: 4:30 PM
Event Description:
Reasoning about Precisely Defined Processes

ABSTRACT: Processes are pervasive in very diverse fields of endeavor, including government, engineering, management, healthcare, scientific investigation and education. In most of these fields, however, the importance of processes is underappreciated, and processes that are often critical to the success of activities in these fields are poorly understood. As a consequence, these processes are not-uncommonly performed poorly, often leading to inefficiencies, errors and sometimes even death. This talk suggests that a suitably clear, precise and powerful executable process definition language and process analysis tools can make important contributions in all of these domains by supporting continuous process improvement.  The Little-JIL process definition language is presented as an example of such a process definition language, and the use of various analyzers is presented to show how these analyzers can identify process defects and support process improvement. The talk then provides examples from such domains as healthcare and elections. The application of the FLAVERS finite state analyzer is presented to show how violations of correct process event sequencing can be identified or shown to be impossible. The application of Fault Tree Analysis is presented to show how single points of failure and vulnerabilities to attack can be identified. The use of discrete event simulation to study resource allocation in support of process execution will also be presented as time permits. These examples are used to demonstrate desirable features of process definition languages and suggest directions for future software definition and analysis research.

BIO: Leon J. Osterweil  is a professor in the School of Computer Science, co-director of the Laboratory for Advanced Software Engineering Research (LASER), and founding co-director of the Electronic Enterprise Institute, all at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he also served as Dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics from 2001-2005. Previously he had been a professor in, and chair of, computer science departments at both the University of California Irvine, and the University of Colorado Boulder. He was the founding director of the Irvine Research Unit in Software (IRUS) and the Southern California SPIN. Professor Osterweil has also been a Visiting Professor at the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) in Kanazawa, Japan.

Professor Osterweil was awarded the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award for Lifetime Excellence in Research in 2003, the ACM SIGSOFT Influential Educator Award in 2010, and the ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Service Award in 2014. His 1987 paper, “Software Processes are Software Too,” is one of the the most-frequently cited papers of the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) series, and was selected as the most influential paper of ICSE 9, awarded as a 10-year retrospective. Prof. Osterweil is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. He has been a member of the editorial boards of such journals as ACM Transactions on Software Engineering Methods (TOSEM), IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE), Automated Software Engineering, the International Journal of Software and Informatics, IEEE Software, and Software Process Improvement and Practice. Prof. Osterweil has served as the program committee chair or general chair for many conferences and workshops, most notably as program chair for the 16th International Conference on Software Engineering, and general chair of the 28th International Conference on Software Engineering, and the Sixth ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE). He has consulted for such organizations as IBM, Bell Laboratories, SAIC, MCC, TRW, and the Software Engineering Institute’s Process Program Advisory Board.  

Dr. Osterweil’s research focuses on languages for the clear and precise definition of processes. Currently his work is concentrated on the development of the Little-JIL process definition language, and its application to defining processes, and identifying defects, in such domains as healthcare, software development, elections, labor-management disputes and scientific data processing.
Location Information:
Main Campus - Engineering Classroom Wing  (View Map)
1111 Engineering DR
Boulder, CO
Room: 265
Contact Information:
Name: Bor-Yuh Evan Chang
This event is open to
  • Everyone
  • Of note:
    Event is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served.

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