Carnegie Mellon University

Portrait of Jenna Wise standing in a clean and modern brightly lit hallwall wearing a pink blouse and leaning on a railing.

September 27, 2021

Wise Named 2021 Google PhD Fellow

By Josh Quicksall

Jenna Wise, a Software Engineering Ph.D. student in the Institute for Software Research, has been named a 2021 Google PhD Fellow in Programming Technology and Software Engineering. 

Founded in 2009, the  Google PhD Fellowship Program was created to recognize outstanding graduate students doing exceptional and innovative research in areas relevant to computer science and related fields. The select group represents some of the most promising young academics from across the globe.

Wise, a 4th year Ph.D. student, is interested in the design of usable programming languages and practical software verification. Her current research aims to develop a novel approach to gradual verification — a method of software analysis which allows software developers explicit control over the trade-offs between static and dynamic program verification along a spectrum by tuning the (im)precision of specifications.

Jenna is a fantastic student who understands both the mathematical and human sides of software engineering in a way that we rarely see, even at CMU” says Jonathan Aldrich, who serves as Wise’s Ph.D. advisor alongside ISR's Joshua Sunshine. “The Google Fellowship enables students like Jenna to take creative risks on research that could fundamentally change the way we construct software.  I think it's very symbolic that Google is supporting this effort, given the ways they are pushing the boundaries of software engineering with their global-scale services.”

And Google obviously agrees. In a statement on the 2021 recipients, representatives from the tech giant noted, “We have given these students unique fellowships to acknowledge their contributions to their areas of specialty and provide funding for their education and research. We look forward to working closely with them as they continue to become leaders in their respective fields.”

And for her part, Wise is humbled by the honor and similarly excited to get to work. “It is really exciting to be working with my Google Mentor to explore how my work can enhance different development workflows at Google” she notes. “This honor means so much to me, as it shows that industry professionals are just as excited about my work and vision for the future of software verification as I am.”