CSC News

June 28, 2007

Computer Science Department Launches Center for Open Software Engineering


NC State’s Department of Computer Science Launches the Center for Open Software Engineering

Raleigh, NC. – North Carolina is making a bold move towards establishing itself as the center of competency for the science of open source software engineering. 

COSE LogoNC State’s Department of Computer Science today announced the launch of its Center for Open Software Engineering (COSE, pronounced “cozy”) to study the engineering of open source software.  Open source software engineering is an area of information technology that already has radically altered the way we develop, market, and service software and the way the software industry collaborates in the 21st century.  Open source software products play a critical role in the nation’s economy and in supporting the nation’s infrastructure.  NC State is fortuitously situated in the midst of open source giants Red Hat and IBM and is poised to take a leadership position in open source software engineering.    

"The development and use of open source software is growing rapidly around the world," said Tom Rabon, Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Red Hat, Inc. and a member of the COSE Advisory Board.   “By creating the Center for Open Source Engineering, North Carolina State University is positioning itself to become one of the preeminent locations for open source competency.  We are pleased to support the creation of the center."

"The evolution and mainstreaming of open source software depends on continued examination and study by developers, researchers and students," said Bob Sutor, IBM's Vice President of Open Source and Standards. "As a longtime supporter of open standards and open source technologies, IBM commends NC State's efforts to drive innovation in this important area with its ambitious Center for Open Software Engineering."

The COSE will initiate a series of efforts designed to deepen the understanding of the technical aspects of open source software development, enhance the quality of open source software engineering education, and improve the exchange of information between researchers, educators, and open source practitioners in North Carolina and across the nation.    The first of these efforts will be the establishment of a series of invited talks by local and national leaders in the research, development and adoption of open source software.   The series will commence in the Fall 2007 semester and will be open to the public.

Other initiatives include:
•    The unification of a research group that studies open source software development comprehensively throughout the software development lifecycle, collaborating with open source practitioners;  
•    The development of freely-available educational resources related to open source software engineering;
•    The creation of a portal for research results related to open source software engineering; and
•    The creation of a web community where educators can collaborate on choosing open source software that may be suitable for enhancement by students in a class.  Educators can also contribute additional projects that might be more suitable for providing an open source experience for beginning students than those posted on popular sites, such as sourceforge.   

Located in state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities on Centennial Campus, the COSE will be directed by Dr. Laurie Williams, an associate professor in the Computer Science at NC State University.  Williams is a leading software engineering researcher, known for her work in agile software development, reliability, testing, and security, and is a former IBM employee.  Seven other faculty in the department will lead developments in research and teaching of open source software engineering.   Industrial partnerships have already been established with ABB, IBM, and Red Hat; representatives of these companies comprise the COSE advisory board.  The COSE is actively seeking additional industrial affiliates interested in the engineering and adoption of open source software.

"We are thrilled to start the Center for Open Software Engineering and are excited about the potential of establishing a center of competency around the technical aspects of open source software development and adoption.  We are fortunate to be able to collaborate with the giants in the domain," said Williams. "Open source software development is a case where the state-of-the-practice in industry is leading and research and education is lagging.  The long term vision of the center is to trump industry and lead the state-of-the-art research and education in open source software development. ”

For more information about the activities of the Center for Open Software Engineering, visit the center’s website or contact the center’s director, Dr. Laurie Williams.

COSE Website:

Dr. Laurie Williams

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