My educational and research interests are in software engineering, with a particular focus in software evolution: understanding why software is so hard and expensive to change, and in turn reducing those difficulties and costs. These interests come from my firm belief that the ability to change software—that is, the "softness" of software—is where its true power resides.
I try to work directly or indirectly on questions like: Can we effectively identify and close the gap between Fred Brooks' notion of incidental (accidental) and essential complexity? How much should it cost to develop, test, and evolve software? Can we design analyses that combine the best properties of both static and dynamic approaches?
I joined UW CSE in 1984, now serving as Professor and Bradley Chair and previously as department chair (2001-06). I am the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering (June 2012-June 2013). I received an Sc.B. from Brown University (1977) and a Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University (1984). I've spent sabbaticals at IBM's Haifa Research Lab, Osaka University the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and most recently at Lund University. Our sabbatical travelogues receive more hits than my publications.
I received an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (1988), was named an ACM Fellow (1998) and an IEEE Fellow (2008), received the University of Washington Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award (2000), received the ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Service Award (2007),and the AMC SIGSOFT Influential Educator Award (2012).
I am Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (2007-2012), general chair of the upcoming 2013 International Conference on Software Engineering (CFP), and a member of the board of the CRA.
Phone: (206) 685-3798