Saturday, July 28, 2007

We're Getting Ready . . .

I know it seems like it's the middle of summer to you, but I'm busy getting ready for school to start! I can't wait until the students return - it's always more fun when they are here.

I've finished with freshmen orientation. Though they didn't heckle me like last year's group, I heard some good questions and everyone seemed enthused (many of you saw Professor Briggs as he covered for me while I was out of town - my thanks to him!). Your schedules are almost complete and you should be receiving them soon. Remember - read early!

I have a new innovation to try this year: a Google department calendar. It's title is "Shippensburg University Computer Science Department" and you should be able to search for it and view it from your google calendar (if you need a google account, let me know - I can hook you up!). So far, it doesn't have much, but when you all get back and we set times for programming team, ACM, the research discussion group, and everything else, it'll fill up fast. I'm hoping this will keep everyone aware of the variety of things that are going on. Let me know if you can't see it . . .

If you have any other ideas for things we should try in the fall, let me know!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

We got a CRA-W Research Grant!

Our Software Engineering Huddle has some big news: two students and I just received a research grant from the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research! The program that is providing the funding is their Collaborative Research
Experience for Undergraduates in Computer Science and Engineering
and we are very proud to have been selected.

The team consists of Sarah Joseph (a junior CS major), Logan Kennedy (a sophomore CS major) and me. The grant provides the students with a stipend for their work. We will be investigating how tools can help agile software development practices be adopted by large or distributed teams. We will develop a number of desktop widgets to disseminate information like build status and metrics like unit test passing rates. We will publish these widgets through the open source community to gather information on their usefulness. In addition, we will be investigating intra-team communication strategies used in agile teams in order to design tools to help large teams match the communication strategies of small teams.

We'll be publishing our progress on a web site, but that isn't up yet. When it is, I'll let you know so you can see the cool things we do.