CSE Speaker Series – Dr. Stephanie Forrest

On Friday, April 1, from 11:00-12:00 in Cramer 221, Dr. Stephanie Forrest from UNM will give a talk on The Biology of Software.


Title: The Biology of Software

Abstract: Biological design principles can potentially change the way we
study, engineer, maintain, and develop large dynamic software systems.
For example, computer programmers like to think of software as the
product of intelligent design, carefully crafted to meet well-specified
goals.  In reality, large software systems evolve inadvertently through
the actions of many individual programmers, often leading to
unanticipated consequences.  Because software is subject to constraints
similar to those faced by evolving biological systems, we have much to
gain by viewing software through the lens of biology.

The talk will highlight recent research applying the mechanisms of
evolution quite directly to the problem of repairing software bugs,
including security vulnerabilities.  It will describe an automated
method for repairing errors in off-the-shelf, legacy programs without
formal specifications, program annotations, or special coding practices.

Bio: Stephanie Forrest is a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Professor Forrest received the Ph.D. in Computer and Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan. Before joining UNM she worked for Teknowledge Inc. and was a Director’s Fellow at the Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Professor Forrest is a member of the External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute and Co-chair of its Science Board. She also served as SFI’s Interim Vice President 1999-2000. She spent 2013-2014 as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Dept. of State.

Professor Forrest directs the Adaptive Computation Laboratory at UNM, where she studies adaptive systems, including genetic algorithms, computational immunology, biological modeling, automated software repair, and computer security. She is also a member of the Program in Interdisciplinary Biological & Biomedical Science (PIBBS) and the Center for Evolutionary and Theoretical Immunology (CETI).

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