Carnegie Mellon University
May 02, 2011

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's Shaw and Garlan Honored For Pioneering Research in Software Architecture

Contact: Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

Mary ShawPITTSBURGH—Mary Shaw and David Garlan, faculty members who led Carnegie Mellon University to prominence in the field of software architecture, have been named co-recipients of the Outstanding Research Award for 2011 presented by the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Software Engineering (SIGSOFT).

Shaw, the Alan J. Perlis Professor of computer science, and Garlan, professor of computer science and director of software engineering professional programs in the School of Computer Science, were recognized by SIGSOFT for their "significant and lasting software engineering research contributions through the development and promotion of software architecture."

The award will be presented May 27 at the International Conference on Software Engineering in Honolulu. They will present a lecture on their work at the joint European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering conference in Szeged, Hungary, this September.

Software architecture refers to the large-scale structure of software systems, including the software elements of the system, the relations among those elements and the principles and guidelines governing the system's design and evolution. In the late 1980s, as the size of software systems scaled up and the importance of architecture became more evident, researchers in Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) began the systematic study of software architectures that eventually led to an established research community and a community of practice.

David Garlan"The term 'software architecture' was first used in the late 1960s, but its significance didn't become clear until almost 20 years later, when David and Mary asserted that architecture could be addressed using systematic approaches," said William Scherlis, director of CMU's Institute for Software Research. "Their work and that of their colleagues here at Carnegie Mellon has since led to engineering methods for architectural modeling, analysis and identification of architecture-level patterns, the use of which has now become standard in the engineering of larger scale software systems."

Carnegie Mellon researchers are among the most cited in the field of computer architecture and a Shaw and Garlan are authors of one of the field's leading textbooks, "Software Architecture: Perspectives on an Emerging Discipline." Three papers authored or co-authored by Garlan or Shaw were selected by the editors of IEEE Software in 2009 among 35 "Top Picks" for their great impact.

In 2005, the Reengineering Forum awarded the Stevens Award and Citation to Shaw and Garlan "to recognize outstanding contributions to the literature or practice of methods for software and systems development."

Shaw, a faculty member in the Institute for Software Research, Computer Science Department and Human-Computer Interaction Institute, joined the faculty after earning her Ph.D. in computer science at Carnegie Mellon in 1972. She was SEI chief scientist from 1984 to 1987, associate dean for professional education from 1992 to 1999, and co-director of the Sloan Software Industry Center from 2001 to 2006.

Garlan, a faculty member in the Institute for Software Research and the Computer Science Department, received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon in 1987 and worked as a software architect in industry between 1987 and 1990. He joined the CMU faculty in 1990 and became director of professional programs in software engineering in 2004.


Pictured above are Mary Shaw and David Garlan, faculty members in the School of Computer Science.