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Teaser’16 Holds Its First Annual Conference at the UT Dallas Computer Science Department

This past May marked the inaugural TEASER (TExAs Software Engineering Research) Doctoral Symposium, which took place on campus at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas. Drs. Andrian MarcusLingming Zhang, both UT Dallas CS Professors, as well as UT Dallas Software Engineering PhD graduate, Laura Moreno, organized the first TEASER Doctoral Symposium.

The TEASER (TExAs Software Engineering Research) Doctoral Symposium is an annual meeting where software engineering (SE) researchers from the DFW Metroplex (and beyond) meet to discuss and work on various diverse Software Engineering topics. The mission of the TEASER Doctoral Symposium is to provide a supportive space in which PhD students can present and receive feedback on their research work, while at the same time giving both researchers and students a venue to get to know one another and network productively.

Twenty-two PhD students from seven different universities including UT Dallas, UT Arlington, University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Florida State University, Wichita State University, and The Software Institute at Nanjing University in China took part in the symposium.

The Symposium attracted fifteen faculty members from nine different universities including Washington State University, The University of North Texas, UT Dallas, Florida State University, Southern Methodist University (SMU), Wichita State University, UT Arlington, Iowa State University, The University College London in the United Kingdom, and the University of Lugano in Switzerland.

The daylong conference started with a warm welcome by UT Dallas CS Professor and one of the TEASER organizers, Dr. Lingming Zhang. The first half of the day was open to all PhD students, where various talks about life as a doctoral student and finding a career after obtaining a PhD were presented. Following Dr. Zhang’s opening remarks, Dr. Michele LanzaUniversity of Lugano in Switzerland faculty member, delivered a brief and intense introduction into doctoral studies. Subsequently, UT Dallas Software Engineering PhD graduate and one of the TEASER organizers, Laura Moreno, provided insight through her talk titled, “Getting a Job in Academia,” where she shared her experiences on interviewing for a tenure track position in academia. The morning session concluded with Drs. Sonia HaiducFlorida State University faculty member, Dr. Venera Arnoudova, Washington State University faculty member, presenting a talk entitled, ”Starting your Career as a New Faculty Member,” where they both discussed what is involved with starting a career in academics as a tenure track professor.

The afternoon session of the TEASER’16 Doctoral Symposium, which was geared towards only TEASER participants, started with Dr. Andrian Marcus, UT Dallas CS professor and one of the event organizers, welcoming participants to the TEASER’16 symposium. The afternoon offered participants a chance to learn about students’ current research projects through presentations, informal poster exhibits, and networking sessions. Student presentations included the following: Automatic Categorization of Software Libraries Using Bytecode, Making a Difference: An Overview of Humanitarian Free Open Source System, Process Mining with Token Carried Data, Do Class Data Dependencies Support the Prediction of Code Change Propagation, Goal-Oriented Analysis of Multiple Recommender Systems, the Reduction of Verbose Queries in Text Retrieval Based Software Maintenance, and Requirement Verification Using Formal Semantics.

“The faculty presentations and demo sessions were especially helpful for the students. The informal feedback we got from all of them at the end of the day was overwhelmingly positive. The students got priceless comments and advice from established professors in the area and their peers,” notes Dr. Lingming Zhang.

The TEASER Doctoral Symposium will continue again next year at the start of the New Year. When asked about plans for next year’s TEASER Symposium Dr. Andrian Marcus notes, “We plan to turn TEASER into a yearly event and, hopefully, involve other Texas software engineering groups from the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas State, etc. It is a matter of logistics do to so. For now, plans are in place to have the next TEASER in January 2017, hosted by the CS Department at the University of North Texas. This year we decided to have it just before the major Software Engineering Conference, the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) Conference, which was starting the day after TEASER in Austin, Texas.”

Dr. Lingming Zhang adds, “We are very happy with the first edition of TEASER. The main goal was met, which was to bring together the software engineering research groups from the DFW area.  We ended up to getting to know each other and each other’s work. The Icing on the cake was that we had a number of visitors from outside the area, which made the event even richer.”

Following the TEASER Symposium, many of the TEASER’16 participants attended the aforementioned 38th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) Conference in Austin, Texas. This conference is one of the premier conferences in software engineering sponsored by Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and IEEE Computer Science. The ICSE conference provides a forum for researchers, practitioners, and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, experiences, and concerns in the field of software engineering.


The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 1,600 bachelor’s-degree students, more than 1,100 master’s students, 160 PhD students, and 80 faculty members, as of Fall 2015. 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.

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