Carnegie Mellon University

Travis Breaux

Travis Breaux

Associate Professor (with tenure), Engineering and Public Policy

Institute for Software Research
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • Carnegie Mellon 2010-
  • Institute for Defense Analyses 2009 - 2010

Travis D. Breaux is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Public Policy, appointed in the Institute for Software Research of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Breaux's research program searches for new methods and tools for developing correct software specifications and ensuring that software systems conform to those specifications in a transparent, reliable and trustworthy manner. This includes demonstrating compliance with U.S. and international accessibility, privacy and security laws, policies and standards. Dr. Breaux is the Director of the Requirements Engineering Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Breaux has several publications in ACM and IEEE-sponsored journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Breaux is a member of the ACM SIGSOFT, IEEE Computer Society and USACM Public Policy Committee. 

Prior to coming to the Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Breaux received the Doctorate of Philosophy in Computer Science from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 2009. Dr. Breaux also holds Baccalaureate degrees in Computer and Information Science from the University of Oregon and in Anthropology from the University of Houston. He has conducted research at the Institute for Defense Analyses, the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Laboratory, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) at Purdue University. In 2000, Dr. Breaux served as a volunteer in the United States Peace Corps in Mongolia, before transitioning from anthropology to computer science.

Dr. Breaux is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the agency's most prestigious award for junior faculty.


  • Ph.D. (Computer Science), 2009, North Carolina State University
  • B.S. (Computer Science), 2004, University of Oregon
  • B.A. (Anthropology), 1999, University of Houston


Dr. Breaux's research interests concern how to develop trustworthy computer systems that conform to policies, laws and regulations. These interests converge at a complex intersection of natural language analysis, formal methods to model and reason about policies, and experimental methods to assess the limits of human ability when interpreting and expressing themselves in various notations for expressing software requirements. His research has been applied in the domains of accessibility, privacy and security.


  1. Travis D. Breaux, Ashwini Rao. "Formal Analysis of Privacy Requirements Specifications for Multi-Tier Applications," (Nominated for Best Paper21st IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'13), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul. 2013.
  2. David G. Gordon, Travis D. Breaux. "Reconciling Multi-Jurisdictional Requirements: A Case Study in Requirements Water Marking," (Nominated for Best PaperIEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'12),Chicago, Illinois, pp. 91-100, Sep. 2012.
  3. Travis D. Breaux, David L. Baumer. Legally “Reasonable” Security Requirements: A 10-year FTC Retrospective. Computers and Security, 30(4):178-193, 2011
  4. Travis D. Breaux, Annie I. Antón. "Analyzing Regulatory Rules for Privacy and Security Requirements." IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Special Issue on Software Engineering for Secure Systems (IEEE TSE), 34(1):5-20, January/February 2008

Courses Taught

  • 08-605 Engineering Privacy in Software, Spring 2014
  • 17-652 Methods: Decideing What to Design, Fall 2011, 2012, 2013
  • 19-608 Privacy Policy, Law and Technology, Spring 2012

Students Supervised

  • David Gordon Ph.D. Student in Engineering and Public Policy (EPP). Mr. Gordon is an NSF IGERT Fellow in the Center for Usable Privacy and Security (CUPS). His interests include information technology regulatory compliance, socio-technical systems, and technology in education.


Jamie Presken, (412) 268-4915