The National Science Foundation has selected Lance Fiondella, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, for a $452,454 CAREER Award to support his research into software testing.
The prestigious five-year grant recognizes early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.
Fiondella works with students and colleagues to model complex software testing intended to reveal design flaws and security vulnerabilities. He conducts collaborative research with NASA and the U.S. Navy.
"Modern software is subject to multiple stages of test and integration. Successive stages of testing incorporate additional code and functionality which typically introduces more flaws," explained Fiondella. "The big-picture challenge is to develop statistical models to objectively assess the effectiveness of alternative testing procedures and ensure their completeness."
Software failures have resulted in the loss of scientific payloads in space missions and the failure of missile systems and critical infrastructure.
Security and reliability will become even more crucial as software can be programmed to make decisions on behalf of users in systems such as driverless cars and the autopilot function of airplanes.