News Release 

LaToza creating platform for conducting software engineering user studies

George Mason University

Thomas LaToza, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Volgenau School of Engineering, is set to begin a project aimed at creating a community research infrastructure for conducting software engineering user studies.

As part of this work, LaToza and his collaborators will work with members of the programming language and systems engineering communities to gather requirements and interest in a platform for online software engineering user studies.

The researchers will examine responses from a survey of members of those communities and conduct interviews to understand in detail the barriers researchers encounter and the benefits a community infrastructure might afford. They will hold a workshop to facilitate the exchange of best practices for conducting programming studies online as well as understanding how a common community infrastructure can support this process. They will also conduct a working group to explore the design of the infrastructure in detail with researchers experienced in conducting user studies. Finally, they will support a summative survey of researchers to assess the ability of the proposed infrastructure to support the studies researchers conduct.

LaToza and his collaborators expect that, if successful, their proposed infrastructure will increase the quality of software engineering tools and techniques. These improved tools and techniques will better support software engineers, enabling them to be more productive and effective in their work.

LaToza will receive $27,293 from the National Science Foundation for this project. Funding will begin in September 2020 and will end in late February 2022.

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