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UT Dallas SE PhD Alumni, Dr. Oscar Chaparro, Earns the 2020 David Daniel Thesis Award

UT Dallas Software Engineering Ph.D. Alumni, Dr. Oscar Chaparro, was named one of two students to earn this year’s David Daniel Thesis Award. The award is supported by an endowment established in 2006 by Dr. David Daniel, president emeritus of UT Dallas, and former deputy chancellor of the UT System. The award recognizes an exceptional doctoral student each year in the Jonsson School and the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Dr. Chaparro was one of two students to receive this award. This year’s recipients were Oscar Javier Chaparro Arenas PhD’19 in software engineering and Afshan Nawas MS’15, PhD’19 in molecular and cell biology. Dr. Andrian Marcus was Chaparro’s research mentor, and Dr. Nikki Delk was Nawas’ mentor.

Dr. Oscar Chaparro completed his Ph.D. during the summer of 2019 while under the supervision of Dr. Andi Marcus. Dr. Oscar Chapparo joined the Computer Science Department at the College of William and Mary last fall as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. Dr. Chaparro’s research interests include software maintenance and evolution, program comprehension, code refactoring, code quality, and developer’s productivity. The goal of his research is to improve the quality of bug report information and leveraging this information for better bug triaging and resolution.

In his dissertation titled “Automated Analysis of Bug Descriptions to Support Bug Reporting and Resolution,” Dr. Chaparro proposed automated techniques to identify, verify, and leverage the observed behavior, the expected behavior, and the steps to reproduce from bug descriptions, consequently leading to generating automated feedback to reporters about problems in their bug descriptions. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance the accuracy of bug resolution tasks. Specifically, he proposed techniques and presented empirical results regarding (A) discovering discourse patterns used by reporters to describe bugs, (B) automatically detecting missing information in bug descriptions, (C) automatically assessing the quality of the steps to reproduce provided in such descriptions, and (D) combining bug descriptions and query reformulation to improve automated bug localization and duplicate bug report detection.

While working towards his Ph.D., Dr. Chapparo had various papers published in multiple conferences and journals, including the ACM Joint Meeting on the Foundations of Software Engineering, IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering, and IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution. His published papers have received numerous awards, including the ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished paper award for the paper titled “Assessing the Quality of the Steps to Reproduce in Bug Reports,” which was co-authored by Drs. Andrian Marcus, Vincent Ng, Carlos Bernal-Cárdenas, Jing Lu, Kevin Moran, Massimiliano Di Penta, and Denys Poshyvanyk, and the IEEE TCSE Distinguished Paper Award for his work on the paper titled “Using Observed Behavior to Reformulate Queries during Text Retrieval-based Bug Localization” which was co-authored by Drs. Andrian Marcus and Juan Manuel Florez.


The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 3,315 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,110 master’s students, 165 Ph.D. students,  52 tenure-track faculty members, and 44 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2019. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.