Challenge Papers

Cristina Videira Lopes


Crista Lopes is Associate Professor in the School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. She is one of the co-inventors of AOP (Aspect Oriented Programming). Her software engineering research work has always been driven by the development of physical-virtual systems. She made contributions to Ubiquitous Computing research with her work on lightweight software acoustic modems that can be played and decoded in small portable devices such as cell phones. Recently, she has been working on applications of virtual worlds for real-world urban planning. She is a core contributor to the OpenSimulator project, a server-side virtual world platform. She is the recipient of several NSF grants, including a prestigious CAREER Award.

Title: The Massification of Systems Modeling and Simulation with Virtual Worlds
Abstract: General-purpose virtual world platforms such as Second Life are having a surprising effect in the old practice of systems modeling and simulation: its massification and webification. A visit to any virtual place in Second Life -like worlds shows sophisticated virtual constructions with non-trivial dynamic behavior that have been set up by ordinary people who neither used professional 3D modeling and simulation tools, nor consider themselves as programmers. Many of those virtual constructions are imaginary systems that could not survive the laws of physics. However, more and more people are experimenting with these virtual worlds to model, simulate and visualize real-world systems, for a number of purposes: historical reconstruction, rich 3D interfaces to physical equipment control, urban planning, and scientific visualizations are just a few. In this talk I will give an overview of all this experimentation, and will analyze the ways by which it improves the state-of-the-art professional tools. I will also present the software engineering challenges that this practice brings to the table.


Marian Petre


Marian Petre is a Professor of Computing and Director of the Centre for Research in Computing at the Open Unversity in the UK. She is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder and was previously an Advanced Research Fellow of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Prof. Petre is interested in expertise in software design. Her interdisciplinary research draws on cognitive theory and qualitative research methods to explicate expert engineering design behaviour and reasoning. Her research is grounded in empirical studies of actual professional practice in industry and has investigated software design from a number of different perspectives, including: cognitive dimensions of notations, programming paradigms, graphical and textual notations, software visualisation, disciplines of innovation, and how designers learn effective strategies. Prof. Petre received her PhD in Computer Science from University College London, and her BA in Psycholinguistics from Swarthmore College.

Title: Insights from Expert Software Design Practice
Abstract: Software is a designed artifact. In other design disciplines, such as architecture, there is a well-established tradition of design studies which inform not only the discipline itself but also tool design, processes, and collaborative work. The 'challenge' of this talk is to consider software from such a 'design studies' perspective. This talk will present a series of observations from empirical studies of expert software designers, and will draw on examples from actual professional practice. It will consider what experts' mental imagery, software visualisations, and sketches suggest about software design thinking. It will also discuss some of the deliberate practices experts use to promote innovation. Finally, it will open discussion on the tensions between observed software design practices and received methodology in software engineering.


Marco Brambilla


Marco Brambilla is professor of Software Engineering at Politecnico di Milano. He graduated cum laude in 2001 and got his Ph.D. in 2004. He collaborated in several industrial projects with Acer, Cisco System (San José, CA), WebRatio, and others. He has a wide teaching experience in Software Engineering, Databases, Computer Science and Web Engineering. In 2004, he was visiting researcher at UCSD (University of California, San Diego). His research interests include Web modeling methodologies, Web design patterns, conceptual design of data-intensive Web applications, workflow-based Web applications, service oriented applications, Semantic Web application modeling, MDD/MDA, Web architectures for embedded and HMI systems, simplified interfaces for disabled people, formal verification of properties of Internet application through linear-time temporal logic, study of new models and interfaces for deploying MVC Web applications, MDA modeling of workflow constraints and transformations between models, study of advanced interfaces for rich internet applications. He participated in several European and national research projects, including Pharos, SeCo, Cooper, ESA MyHMI, WebSI, MetalC, W3I3. He is involved as committee member in serveral conferences and contributes as reviewer to a number of scientific journals. He is reviewer of EU projects in the 7th framework programme.

Title: Engineering Search Computing Applications: Vision and Challenges
Abstract: Search computing is a novel discipline whose goal is to answer complex, multi-domain queries. Such queries typically require combining in their results domain knowledge extracted from multiple Web resources; therefore, conventional crawling and indexing techniques, which look at individual Web pages, are not adequate for them. This talk will sketch the main characteristics of search computing and highlight how various classical computer science disciplines - including software engineering, Web engineering, service-oriented architectures, data management, and human-computing interaction - are challenged by the search computing approach.