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International Conference Nominates Paper Co-Authored by Clarkson University Professor for Best Paper Award

A paper co-authored by Clarkson University Associate Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering Daqing Hou was nominated for the Best Paper Award at the 30th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME 2014).

Daqing HouThe conference was held earlier in the fall in Victoria, British Columbia. ICSME (formerly, the ICSM conference series) is a premier international venue for Software Maintenance and Evolution research.

ICSME 2014 has recognized Hou, along with University of Saskatchewan's Muhammad Asaduzzaman, Chanchal Roy and Kevin Schneider, for their paper CSCC: Simple, Efficient, Context Sensitive Code Completion. Out of 210 papers submitted for the conference, 40 were accepted for publication, and the program committee anonymously nominated six of those papers for the Best Paper Award.

The authors have now been invited to extend the ten-page conference paper and submit it to a journal, where they will have more space to elaborate on the work and receive a wider range of readers.

The research improves Code Completion, a technological feature that predicts and recommends the function a software developer is most likely to use next based on the context of what they have previously typed, as well as the history of how the function was used in the past.

"This paper and its nomination are particularly meaningful to us, as the paper extends a line of work initiated by Clarkson graduate student David Pletcher and me in 2009," Hou said. "I contributed to the nominated paper by framing it as Context-Sensitive Code Completion, devising its evaluation plan, as well as working out a significant portion of its presentation."

When the team from the University of Saskatchewan approached Hou last year about continuing Pletcher and his work, Hou shared his computer programs and other resources with them. The co-authors collaborated on how to best extend Code Completion on a broader scale and to improve programmer productivity.

"There are millions of software developers, the vast majority of whom use this code completion feature on a daily basis," Hou said. "Any potential improvement to this tool would impact anybody who programs."

As a researcher, Hou said his goal is to not only contribute to the literature, but also ultimately generate broader impacts. In this case, his prior research and resources enabled him to collaborate on a follow-up paper with another university. He said the recognition this paper has received is an indicator of the software engineering research opportunities and quality at Clarkson.

"This international paper shows the quality of our software engineering research," Hou said. "The fact that people want to talk to us and propose collaborations with us is very encouraging and satisfying."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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