Software is a part of almost everything we do — from using the toaster to visiting the ATM to driving home from work. It makes our lives easier but software "bugs" cause frustration, delays, even security risks.
For more than two decades, Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has been working to stop the bugs before they're introduced and to prevent security risks from becoming even bigger problems.
This year, the SEI will celebrate its 25th anniversary as a federally funded research and development center.
"The SEI is a leader in understanding and providing solutions for computer and network security, in software architecture and a leader in software acquisition. Its influence extends across many aspects of society and around the world. We are proud to have SEI as part of our university and I congratulate all who have worked so hard to get to this important anniversary," said Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University.
The SEI has reason to celebrate its quarter century of leadership, excellence and growth. Through research performed for the Department of Defense, the SEI has been involved in researching advances in software product lines and software architecture, and the establishing CERT, the world's best known network and computer security program.
With the anniversary theme of "Driving the Future of Complex Systems," the SEI is prepared to perform cutting-edge research that will continue to transform the way software is developed.
"The SEI has led the way in so many different facets of software engineering that have made a dramatic impact in our world today," said Paul D. Nielsen, CEO and director of the SEI. "Our core purpose is to improve the state of the art in software engineering and to transition this work to the community. Our work has enabled organizations worldwide to develop more reliable, more secure, and more dependable software."
Nielson says the SEI's work is just getting started.
"Software is everywhere. It is not limited to just computers and military weapon systems. It is part of our everyday life in automobiles, phones, kitchen appliances, and airplanes. But, as technology rapidly changes, the development and use of software is ever changing and growing exponentially. We cannot afford to rest on our past accomplishments, but rather we must look to the future to see how we might be able to resolve challenges in complex systems."
In coming years, the SEI will focus on the cyber environment and related technologies to enable organizations worldwide to address cyber intelligence, workforce development, acquisition excellence for software-reliant systems, and flexible systems capabilities.
Current research that will have long-term benefits includes looking at how economic theory and game theory play into the development of software systems. The SEI is also creating a concept lab that will explore how social networking technology and software engineering technology need to be designed and operated. The SEI is continuing to lead the way in computer forensics, insider threat and secure coding research. In addition, the SEI best practices in process improvement and performance management continue to be implemented by global organizations.
"We may be 25 years old, but we are only just beginning," said Nielsen. "This is an exciting time to be part of today's technological advances. We look forward to the next 25 years and providing organizations the research, skills, and tools they need to build better, faster, more reliable and more secure software."