Seminar: Beyond Boundaries in One Lab

Event Date: 
Fri, 2017-10-27 11:15 - 12:15

Location: 2150 Torgersen Hall


Beyond Boundaries is a new strategic vision that defines how Virginia Tech will meet the fundamental challenges facing higher education. Underlying this vision is crossing the traditional disciplinary boundaries and engaging in diverse research activities that integrate dissimilar perspectives, techniques, and tools. One model for engaging in such research activities are interdisciplinary research teams, in which individual researchers focus exclusively on their respective areas of expertise. In Software Innovations Lab, we follow a different model, realizing the vision of Beyond Boundaries within the confines of a single lab. In the last several years, I have been leading research projects that focus on three distinct but interrelated areas of inquiry: Systems End of Software Engineering, CS Education, and Music Informatics. In this talk, I will argue that it is feasible and useful for individual researchers to embrace diverse research interests, while still adhering to the highest standards of excellence. As a specific example, I will highlight my new CS Education project that aspires to improve software quality by focusing on how we teach introductory computing. In particular, this project addresses the issue of software quality in the context of block-based programming, an extraordinarily successful pedagogical tool for learning the fundamentals of computing. As it turns out, addressing the issue of software quality in this domain calls for a synergistic effort from computing educators and software engineering researchers alike. To make inroads into improving software quality will require innovating both in the realms of computing curricula and state-of-the-art software infrastructure.



Eli Tilevich is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Computer Science and the College of Engineering Faculty Fellow at Virginia Tech. Tilevich's research interests lie in the System's end of Software Engineering (mobile/IoT computing, cloud/edge computing, middleware, software refactoring, energy efficiency, and privacy), CS Education, and Music Informatics. He has published over 80 refereed research papers on these subjects. His research awards include a Microsoft Research Software Engineering Innovation Foundation Award and an IBM Faculty Award. Tilevich holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. At Virginia Tech, Tilevich leads the Software Innovations lab. The lab's research projects have been supported by major US government funding agencies and private industry. Tilevich is also a professionally trained classical clarinetist, with experience in orchestral, chamber, and solo performances.