Dr. Art Pyster Oversees Management of Software Engineering Curriculum Recommendations

Professional Societies ACM and ICEE to Manage Growing Influence of Systems Engineering in Software Engineering Education Programs


HOBOKEN, N.J. - Dr. Art Pyster of Stevens Institute of Technology and INCOSE’s Director for Academic Matters oversaw development of the Graduate Software Engineering 2009 (GSwE2009) guidelines. The two-year project included participation by more than 40 experts from academia, industry, government, and professional societies. Together with GSwE2009, the author team created two companion reports (also available at www.gswe2009.org ):Comparisons of GSwE2009 to Current Graduate Programs in Software Engineering and Frequently Asked Questions on Implementing GSwE2009.

These guidelines reflect software’s greater role in today’s systems and recognize the growing interdependence of software and systems engineering. They were developed to improve existing software engineering graduate programs from the viewpoints of universities, students, graduates, software builders, and software buyers. The guidelines are intended to increase enrollment in graduate software engineering programs by making the programs more valuable to potential students and employers.

“The new software engineering guidelines incorporate more systems engineering material, an area of particular strength for Stevens,” explained Dr. Art Pyster, Distinguished Research Professor and Deputy Executive Director of the Systems Engineering Research Center at Stevens. “We are uniquely positioned to implement these new guidelines to meet the changing needs of the software engineering workforce.”

ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) www.acm.org and the IEEE Computer Society www.computer.org will oversee the curriculum guidelines in universities that grant master’s degrees in that field. The professional societies’ oversight, with support from INCOSE (the International Council on Systems Engineering), will further the guidelines’ acceptance and adoption by graduate programs around the world.

“These recommendations reflect new understandings in how to build and maintain large software systems and how to educate the next generation of software engineers,” said John White, Executive Director and CEO of ACM. “They also illustrate the growing integration of systems and software engineering education, including how software engineering depends on systems engineering, and how software engineering education is influenced by specific technological domains such as telecommunications and defense systems.”

“GSwE2009 is an important part of evolving excellence in the software engineering field,” said Evan M. Butterfield, IEEE Computer Society Director of Products and Services. “Our volunteers and staff couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this relationship, and the opportunity to help ensure the integrity and consistent improvement of the profession.”

The guidelines will foster formation of new graduate programs in software engineering by providing guiding principles for curriculum content and advice on how to implement those guidelines. Published in late 2009, the guidelines are now part of the Computing Curricula series to be updated and maintained by ACM and the Computer Society. INCOSE’s key role integrating systems engineering into GSwE2009 will continue as the guidelines evolve.

Project funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Director, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E). Kristen Baldwin, now the Director of Systems Analysis in DDR&E, was the original GSwE2009 sponsor. “Our nation has a critical shortfall of mid- to upper-tier software engineers,” said Baldwin, who wants to aid the broad adoption of GSwE2009. “Setting the foundation and competencies for software engineering education is a key element of our human capital strategy."

To achieve their objective, the software engineering education experts used baselines of current software engineering master’s programs, public reviews to collect comments from the wider software engineering community, and participation of software engineering stakeholders from industry, government, and academia.

About Stevens Institute of Technology

Founded in 1870 and celebrating 140 Years of Innovation, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University TM , lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research.  The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management.

Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts.  Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,200 undergraduate and 3,700 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world.  Additional information may be obtained at www.stevens.edu and www.stevens.edu/press.