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U-M prof plays key role in $10M computer programming project

A University of Michigan professor is a member of a 18-person team that is developing software focused on streamlining software development and debugging as part of a $10 million National Science Foundation project.

The Expeditions in Computer Augmented Program Engineering project, commonly known as ExCAPE, is working to make computer programming faster, easier and more intuitive. The team of professors and industry experts from across the country are leveraging recent advances in computer science and control engineering to accelerate the software development process and get these tools out to everyday computer programmers.

"I think it will be gradual," says Stéphane Lafortune, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan who is a member of ExCAPE. "This is a five-year program and our goal is to put tools out there at the end of the five years." He adds these tools will be more problem specific tool as opposed to one single comprehensive tool.

Lafortune is focused on automating the software-debugging process, which is often complicated, time-consuming and expensive. Lafortune is the co-creator of Gadara, a controller that that can anticipate and prevent situations that might cause software deadlocks. Deadlocks freeze the machine when different parts of a program get caught in an endless cycle of waiting for one another as they access shared data.

Source: Stéphane Lafortune, a computer science professor at the University of Michigan
Writer: Jon Zemke

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