NSF Grant Awarded to Robinson College to Improve Software Development Processes

ATLANTA – The department of computer information systems at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business has been awarded a $326,606 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to improve software development processes.

The grant will be used to develop insights into new methodologies in large-scale software design projects such as ones that facilitate mobile connections, transactions and social media and utilize location technology.

William Robinson, an associate professor of computer information systems, is the recipient of this multi-year NSF grant. His research focuses on uncovering explanations and principles about how software requirements for information systems evolve and how they are managed across project contexts. He will use the award to describe project design workflows and practices to determine how different forms of artifact and process distribution affect requirements, engineering goals and project outcome.

Open-source software, a low-cost development resource for many mobile platforms and applications, continues to deliver high-quality, valued software applications across the business spectrum, from large enterprise applications to consumer-centric mobile applications. “Many open-source projects have been very successful, both in terms of quality and timeliness,” Robinson said. “The process steps by which developers produce software differ from standard development, particularly in how developers communicate and maintain project requirements.”

Robinson’s project will combine web archeology with developer interviews to better understand the best practices of open-source. As a result, all developers (open-source and traditional) will be better equipped to produce better software. “Given the pervasive nature of software, this means the results will increase the productivity and safety of our society,” said Robinson.

“The deliverables from software projects remain a key success factor for companies seeking to enhance their efficiencies and effectiveness,” said Ephraim McLean, chair of the department of computer information systems. “Bill has received several NSF grants for his technology-focused work in the area of requirements engineering. He is one of our technical professors who blends the needs of business with the realities of fast-paced software development,” said McLean.

To learn more about the J. Mack Robinson College of Business and the department of computer information systems please visit www.robinson.gsu.edu.

Sept. 24, 2012