Emily Gibson Hill to Give Talk on Intuitive Program Comprehension Tools

Emily Gibson Hill from the University of Delaware will give a talk on applying natural-language analysis to understanding large software systems.

Developing Natural Language-based Software Analyses & Tools to Expedite Software Maintenance

Friday, December 4, 11:15 a.m.
Parmly 405
Pizza lunch to follow

Abstract:  Today’s software is large and complex, with systems consisting of millions of lines of code. New developers to a software project face significant challenges in locating code related to their maintenance tasks of fixing bugs or adding new features. Developers can simply be handed a bug and told to fix it–even when they have no idea where to begin.

We can significantly reduce the cost of software maintenance by reducing the time and effort to find and understand code. In this talk, I will outline the challenges in finding and understanding code in a large software project as well as present some software engineering tools that can help. Specifically, I will present techniques that leverage the textual information from comments and identifiers as well as program structure to create intuitive software engineering and program comprehension tools.

Bio: Emily Hill is a PhD candidate at the University of Delaware in Computer and Information Sciences. While an undergraduate at a liberal arts college, Emily researched information retrieval systems, which influenced her thesis topic. Her interdisciplinary thesis focuses on developing natural language processing and information retrieval techniques to improve software engineering tools. Emily spends much of her research time analyzing the natural language clues developers
leave behind in identifiers and comments. Outside of research, Emily enjoys singing opera, fantasy football, and reading.