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January 19, 2010—This year, the
Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) will celebrate its
25th anniversary as a federally funded research and development center
(FFRDC). While the Institute celebrates its past accomplishments, it is
ready to tackle the new and upcoming technology challenges in software
and systems engineering. With the anniversary theme of Driving the Future of Complex Systems, the SEI is prepared to perform cutting-edge research that will continue to transform the way software is developed.
was late in 1984 that Carnegie Mellon University received word that it
had been awarded the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) contract for an
FFRDC focused on research to improve the practice of software
engineering as an emerging discipline. The contract established the SEI
as one of 10 FFRDCs sponsored by the DoD. In early 1985, the Institute
opened its doors.
To put perspective on what was happening in
the United States in 1985, the average U.S. household income was
$22,650, a movie ticket was $3.55, and a gallon of gas cost $1.09. On
TV, we were watching the Cosby Show, Cheers, MacGyver, and Hill Street Blues.
In technology, the first .com domain name, symbolics.com, was
registered by the Symbolics Corporation; Microsoft released the first
version of Windows, Windows 1.0; and compact discs were introduced to
The SEI has reason to celebrate its quarter
century of leadership, excellence, and growth. Through research
performed for the DoD, the SEI moved from its flagship methodology—the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)—to research advances in software product lines, software architecture, and the establishment of CERT,
the world’s best known network and computer security program. The SEI
has provided organizations worldwide with the knowledge, research,
tools and technologies to improve the way to develop software.
SEI is a leader in understanding and providing solutions for computer
and network security, in software architecture and a leader in software acquisition.
Its influence extends across many aspects of society and around the
world. We are proud to have SEI as part of our university and I
congratulate all who have worked so hard to get to this important
anniversary,” said Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon
Paul D. Nielsen, CEO and director of the SEI stated
that the SEI has a great heritage and reputation in the community. “The
SEI has led the way in so many different facets of software engineering
that have made a dramatic impact in our world today,” said Nielsen.
“Our core purpose is to improve the state of the art in software
engineering and to transition this work to the community. Our work has
enabled organizations worldwide to develop more reliable, more secure,
and more dependable software.”
But, Nielsen said, the SEI’s work
is just getting started. “Software is everywhere. It is not limited to
just computers and military weapon systems. It is part of our everyday
life in automobiles, phones, kitchen appliances, and airplanes. But, as
technology rapidly changes, the development and use of software is ever
changing and growing exponentially. We cannot afford to rest on our
past accomplishments, but rather we must look to the future to see how
we might be able to resolve challenges in complex systems.”
SEI has renewed its emphasis on research that will enable it to expand
its legacy of network and systems survivability. Evaluating research
against the current and future demands of the DoD, the SEI will focus
on the cyber environment and related technologies to enable
organizations worldwide to address cyber intelligence, workforce
development, acquisition excellence for software-reliant systems, and
flexible systems capabilities.
Current research that will have
long-term benefits includes looking at how economic theory and game
theory play into the development of software systems and the creation
of a concept lab that will explore how social networking technology and
software engineering technology need to be designed and operated. The
SEI is continuing to lead the way in computer forensics, insider threat and secure coding research. In addition, the SEI best practices in process improvement and performance management continue to be implemented by global organizations.
may be 25 years old, but we are only just beginning,” said Nielsen.
“This is an exciting time to be part of today’s technological advances.
We look forward to the next 25 years and providing organizations the
research, skills, and tools they need to build better, faster, more
reliable, and more secure software.”