Carnegie Mellon University
December 16, 2019

Jim Herbsleb Will Lead CMU's Institute for Software Research

Byron Spice

PITTSBURGH—Martial Hebert, dean of Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science, has named Jim Herbsleb as the new director of its Institute for Software Research (ISR). A faculty member for 17 years, Herbsleb has served as the institute's interim director since August.

"Jim has a distinguished record of scholarly research in the area of collaboration in software engineering and has received many awards," Hebert said. "I look forward to working with him in his new position."

Hebert selected Herbsleb based on the recommendations of a search committee led by Mary Shaw, the A.J. Perlis Professor of Computer Science. Herbsleb succeeds Bill Scherlis, who began a leave earlier this year.

One of seven departments within the School of Computer Science, the ISR conducts research and offers educational programs in software engineering, societal computing, and privacy and security engineering. Its offerings include a variety of graduate degree programs as well as both on-campus and e-learning executive education programs.

Herbsleb, who holds degrees in computer science, psychology and law, is best known for his research on collaboration and coordination in large-scale software engineering projects. He also has worked to develop and test a theory of coordination that unites the technical and human aspects of software development.

He has addressed such topics as how development teams can function and collaborate even when they are geographically dispersed. He also has explored issues related to open-source development, both in individual projects and in large-scale ecosystems of interdependent projects.

Herbsleb was a member of the technical staff at CMU's Software Engineering Institute from 1994 to 1996, then became part of the software production research department at Bell Laboratories, where he initiated and led the Bell Labs Collaboratory project. He joined the ISR faculty in 2002, where he eventually headed the Ph.D. program in societal computing.

He received the 2016 Outstanding Research Award presented by the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Software Engineering (SIGSOFT). Other honors include SCS's 2013 Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence, the Most Influential Paper Award at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) in 2010, and a variety of distinguished paper and best paper awards at ICSE and other scientific conferences.

Herbsleb earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and economics at Monmouth College, a master's in computer science at the University of Michigan, and both a Ph.D. in cognitive social psychology and a J.D. in law and psychology at the University of Nebraska.