Thesis Defense: A Symbolic Approach towards Constraint Based Software Verification

Hello ACM!

It’s that time of the year again: we are all invited to attend the following Master’s thesis defense this Friday. More information below!

I’d like to invite all CS faculty, graduate students, and staff to Shubhra Datta’s Master’s thesis defense, this Friday, September 9, at 9 a.m. in the CS conference Room (CS 221).

An abstract of her thesis is provided below. The complete document can be found at



Verification and validation (V&V) are two components of the software engineering process that are critical to achieve reliability that can account for up to 50% of the cost of software development [20]. Numerous techniques ranging from formal proofs to testing methods exist to verify whether programs conform to their specifications. Recently, constraint programming techniques for V&V have emerged [15,20]: they use the idea of proof by contradiction. They typically aim at proving that the code is inconsistent with the negation of the specification, which means that the software conforms to its specifications. Although the framework seems straightforward, the number of generated constraints can be high and the solving process tedious.

In this work, we propose ideas for improvement based on symbolic manipulation of the constraints to be solved. Our approach differs from the current approach in its way to determine the compliance of the code with respect to its specification. Instead of using numeric solvers, we designed symbolic techniques to check compliance between the code and its specification.

We analyzed how much practical the approach is if the program is correct and if the program is incorrect: can we make the verification process faster by applying our rules? CPBPV: a Constraint-Programming Framework for Bounded Program Verification [21], the work done by H. Collavizza,  M. Rueher, and P. Hentenryck is the inspiration for our work.

We established that our approach is feasible, and our experimental results prove that our proposed method is a promising addition to the existing framework to eliminate some of the basic challenges associated with constraint-based software verification.

Thesis Committee:
Dr. Martine Ceberio (Chair),
Dr. Vladik Kreinovich, and
Dr. Virgilio Gonzalez

HP Positions

Hello world,

Take a look at this opportunity brought to us by Jose Esquivel and HP!

Hello my dear friends,

HP is hiring again!! We are having a Job Fair on September 8th,9th, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and September 10 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m at the Bassett Center Workforce Solutions. This Workforce Solutions is located at 6101 Gateway West, Suite 605. We need to fill more than 100 positions for different program units, all in El Paso. Positions include Application Software Development Level II, III and IV, Application Software Project Managers, General Programming Experience Level II and III and Information Testing Level II, III and IV. Each vary in qualifications, but all require a Bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field or experience. In addition to the education, skills and experience assessment HP conducts drug and background investigation screenings on candidates.

Interested applicants should register in then attend the hiring fair list above. Resumes will be required. Applicants will be pre-screened at the entrance of the hiring fair. Please tell anyone that you think would be interested in working for a great company here in El Paso.

Thank you,
Jose E Esquivel
Service Information Developer
El Paso Application Management Services
Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services

Business Phone: +1.915.872.7274
7777 Market Center Avenue
El Paso, TX 79912

Jean Bartik, Software Pioneer, Dies at 86

Ever find it hard to remember how things (technologically speaking) were when we were young(er)?

I found myself yesterday with my younger sister, being amazed because she had never seen, and of course never used a typewriter.

So every now and then it’s nice to look back, and remember, and thank all those who have played an important role to get the rest of us started in this great field.

Jean Jennings Bartik, one of the first computer programmers and a pioneering forerunner in a technology that came to be known as software, died on March 23 at a nursing home in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. She was 86.

Ms. Bartik was the last surviving member of the group of women who programmed the Eniac, or Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, which is credited as the first all-electronic digital computer.

On behalf of the ACM at UTEP, we thank her for her pioneering work, and we praise her for being one of the first brave women who ventured into what we now call software engineering.

You can find more about her and other pioneers at the New York Times site:

Career Focus: Software Engineer

Every once in a while we like to see our suffering justified, filled with a ray of hope, with a pinch of motivation as to what awaits us in the real world. Here is a fragment of a really interesting article from the IEEE, telling you the what, why and how of software engineering. Also, remember that the UTEP CS department now offers a M.S. in Software Engineering!

“Software engineering was recently dubbed the best job of 2011 by career site Career Cast, and magazines like Forbes and Fortunehave also extolled the virtues and importance of the field.

So why are these employees so valuable? Look no further than the often-citedStandish Group “Chaos” reports, which most recently (2009) found that only 32% of software projects are, in their terms, “successful.” The Standish report found that 44% of software projects were “challenged,” usually involving cost over-runs and late delivery, and a full 24% of projects failed. Since companies often can’t afford these costly delays or failures, engineers who operate by a set of standard development principles, such as those defined in the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK), can help keep costs down and products flowing out the door.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of employed software engineers has grown more than 25 percent in the past decade, from 745,000 in 2001 to 1,206,000 in 2010. The earning potential for software engineers is also strong, with both computer systems and applications software engineers averaging more than $90,000 in annual wages in 2009, according to BLS data.”

f you want to learn more, read the full article at


Imagine Cup 2011

During the Fall 2010 semester, the ACM helped coordinate the creation and organization of several groups competing in the Imagine Cup. Here are some of the details. [Edit: At this time, the competition is on to round 2, if you’d like to participate, keep your eyes open for next year!]

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