Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lero Talk: Margaret-Anne Storey

Anne, Daniel and Gabriela attended today a Lero talk by Dr. Margaret-Anne Storey - associate professor of computer science at the University of Victoria, Canada.

She was one of the organisers of last year's CSCW workshop Supporting the Social Side of Large-Scale Software Development
in which Anders had the chance to participate. Unfortunately, Anders couldn't be here today, being engaged in his fieldwork in Dublin.

The title of today's talk was “Turning Source Code Comments into Waypoints for Source Code Navigation”.

Reading her bio I noticed the similarity between her work and ours - her research goal is "to understand how technology can help people explore, understand and share complex information and knowledge".

The presentation based on 2 phases of her research - materialised in two papers (and presented in reverse order)

I was really impressed hearing her confession that they built the tool first and then checked if there was a real need for it or not (not many researchers tend to talk about their errors openly!).

Peggy told the audience a nice story about sailing inspiring research and providing the term "waypoints". It happens pretty often that researchers get ideas from their personal lives and bring them into their research work...but these connections are not made explicit very often. It gave a very nice human touch to the talk!

She also shed a light on the large Eclipse community and different repositories available to the researcher. During the talk, a study by Anne Ying was mentioned : Source code that talks - the speaker emphasizing how dangerous is for a researcher to draw conclusions from data mining only.