software testing

CS Table POSTPONED: Software Failures

In one of the early spring CS Tables, we will have a (hopefully) fun discussion focused on software failures. As an example, consider this particular famous Windows blue screen. Regardless of whether or not you are able to attend, please send suggestions to me by email before noon on Monday, December 17th. We will have a projector, so please share relevant images or videos if you find any.

Computer science table (CS Table) is a weekly meeting of Grinnell College community members (students, faculty, staff, etc.) interested in discussing topics related to computing and computer science. CS Table meets Tuesdays from 12:00–12:50pm in JRC 224C (inside the Marketplace). Contact the CS faculty for the weekly reading. Students on meal plans, faculty, and staff are expected to cover the cost of their meals. Visitors to the College and students not on meal plans can charge their meals to the department (sign in at the Marketplace front desk).

Thursday Extra 10/18/18: Moving Software Testing Outside of the Box - An Expedition Beyond its Walls

Thursday, October 18, 2018
4:15 p.m. in Science 3821
Refreshments at 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Science 3817)

Myra B. Cohen, Lanh and Oanh Nguyen Endowed Chair of Software Engineering at Iowa State University, presents this Thursday Extra.

Software testing researchers have developed many sophisticated techniques to model and test complex and highly configurable systems. These techniques need to be automated and scalable to work on modern software applications, which has led researchers to use bio-inspired approaches that mimic nature, such as evolutionary algorithms. While this research continues to advance the state of the art in software testing, there is a bigger opportunity to leverage what has been learned outside of the boundaries of software testing.

Cohen will discuss some of her research on software testing and then show how they have used techniques built for software testing on living systems. Her recent work flips the nature-inspired paradigm for assurance and prediction of both natural and synthetically engineered biological organisms.

Thursday Extra: Configuration-dependent faults and feature locality

On October 13, Brady Garvin from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln will present a talk in the Thursday Extra series:

Developers are increasingly building large software in the form of highly configurable systems, systems with features that can be toggled on and off. The major risk for highly configurable systems is that some bugs, called configuration-dependent faults, only cause failures when certain features are combined, being invisible otherwise. My talk will first discuss the techniques we currently have to combat configuration-dependent faults and show that they all exploit a common idea, which we term feature locality. I will then present some newly discovered forms of feature locality and explain how they are helping us better prevent, find, mitigate, and repair configuration-dependent faults.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). Mr. Garvin's talk, "Configuration-dependent faults and feature locality," will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Thursday Extra: "Testing at Microsoft"

At 4:15 on Thursday, December 2, in Noyce 3821, Jordan Shkolnick 2011 will describe her internship experience from last summer:

I will discuss my summer internship as a Software Development Engineer in Test with Microsoft Office. I will discuss the work I did during this internship and present an overview of Microsoft Internships, including the application process and the three job roles.

Refreshments will be served at 4:15 p.m. in the Computer Science Commons (Noyce 3817). The talk, Testing at Microsoft, will follow at 4:30 p.m. in Noyce 3821. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Friday Extra: "Combinatorics, heuristic search, and software testing"

At noon on Friday, April 30, in Noyce 3821, Myra Cohen of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln will speak on the role of combinatorics in the design of test suites for software:

Software systems today are magnitudes of order larger and more complex than their recent ancestors. Instead of building single systems, we now build families of systems. User interfaces are graphical and programs event-driven. The software/hardware interfaces we once kept distinct have become blurred. Developing reliable and affordable software presents an increasing number of challenges. As glitches in these large-scale systems continue to make newspaper headlines, developing reliable and affordable software presents an increasing number of challenges.

In this talk we examine advances in software testing that focus on the difficulty caused by one simple but ubiquitous concept -- system configurability. Configurable systems include software such as web browsers and office applications, families of products customized by businesses for different market segments, and systems that dynamically reconfigure themselves on the fly. We show how theory from combinatorial mathematics, combined with heuristic search algorithms, can help us to test these systems more efficiently and effectively.

Pizza and soda will be served shortly before noon. Professor Cohen's talk, Combinatorics, heuristic search, and software testing: Theory meets practice, will begin promptly thereafter. Everyone is welcome to attend!

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