CHARLES WALLACE

Countries: 
Chile
Discipline: 
Computer Science
  • Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, College of Sciences and Arts
  • Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI
  • Lecturing and Research: International Collaboration on Software Engineering
  • Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • March - August 2010

Dr. Charles Wallace is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Michigan Technological University and is currently the Interim Chair of the Computer Science Department.  His research and teaching activities lie broadly in the area of software engineering; more specifically, he is interested in how humans can better understand the software they build and use.  This has led him to a wide variety of projects: applications of formal methods to problems in programming languages and parallel computing; pattern based approaches to effective communication in software teams; software usability and accessibility issues for underrepresented user constituencies.

Dr. Wallace's dissertation work concerned the use of "lightweight" formal methods, harnessing the analytical power of computers to enlighten software developers by identifying dark corners and hidden assumptions.  Later work has explored how humans can enlighten one another, through effective communication in software development.  Most recently, he has examined the obstacles that older and low-income people face in adopting digital technology.

Teaching and outreach are important complements to Dr. Wallace's research.  He was one of the founders of the successful B.S. degree program in Software Engineering at Michigan Tech, authoring the degree proposal and guiding its development ever since.  He has helped to lead a multi-institutional effort to build instruction on communication into software engineering curricula.  One outreach effort pairs Computer Science students with local elders in digital literacy tutoring sessions.  Another project brings instruction in programming to local middle and high school students.

Supported by a Fulbright grant, Dr. Wallace spent the first half of 2010 at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago, Chile.  He instituted a course in software testing that is still being taught today, and he established connections with software engineering faculty for future collaboration.  Through these connections, he was able to organize a summer school on software engineering in 2013, supported by the National Science Foundation's Pan American Advanced Studies Institute and the Microsoft Research LACCIR Virtual Institute.  Apart from these professional benefits, the Fulbright grant also gave Dr. Wallace and his family a great opportunity to learn and grow personally.