Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

Staff Profile

Linda Northrop

Linda Northrop

Chief Scientist, Software Solutions Division, SEI Fellow

Key Responsibilities

Linda Northrop has more than 40 years of experience in the software development field as a practitioner, researcher, manager, consultant, and educator. She is currently Chief Scientist of the Software Solutions Division at the SEI, where she leads the technical agenda in architecture-centric engineering, software development and acquisition practices, measurement, software product lines, cyber-physical systems, advanced mobile systems, and ultra-large-scale systems. She led a cross-disciplinary research group on ultra-large-scale systems that resulted in the book Ultra-Large-Scale Systems:  The Software Challenge of the Future, which has motivated research at the SEI and around the world. Under her leadership, the SEI has developed software architecture and product line methods that are used worldwide, a series of five highly acclaimed books, and software architecture and software product line curricula that include 11 courses and 6 certificate programs.

Professional Background

Before joining the SEI, Northrop was associated with both the U.S. Air Force Academy and the State University of New York as a professor of computer science, and with both Eastman Kodak and IBM as a software engineer. She is a frequently invited speaker and has given keynotes at such conferences as the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), OOPSLA/SPLASH, and the International Conference on Globalized Software Engineering (ICGSE); industry conferences at such companies as Siemens, Bosch, Intuit, and Boeing; and distinguished lectures at such academic institutions as Oxford University, St. Andrews University, and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Northrop is coauthor of Software Product Lines: Practices and Patterns. She initiated the International Software Product Line Conference (SPLC), chaired both SPLC1 and SPLC2, and serves on the SPLC Steering Committee. She has served on countless conference and program committees and is currently on the Lero Advisory Board, the Advisory Board for the U.K. Large-Scale-Complex Information System Initiative, the SATURN Steering Committee, SPLC 2014 Program Committee, and the Chair of the ACM Distinguished Selection Committee.

She is an ACM Distinguished Member and an SEI Fellow. She is a recipient of the Carnegie Science Award of Excellence for Information Technology, the ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award, and the New York State Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

She completed her undergraduate education at LeMoyne College and her graduate education at the State University College of New York at Brockport, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the University of Rochester.

Publications (recent or significant)

Noted Presentations

  • “Trends and New Directions in Software Architecture,” Grace Hopper Conference 2014
  • “Does Scale Really Matter? – Ultra-Large-Scale Systems Seven Years after the Study,” ICSE 2013
  • Scale Changes Everything, 2006 ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications
  • “Common Pitfalls to Product Line Success,” OOP 2011 Conference in Munich, Germany
  • Let’s Teach Architecting High Quality Software, 19th Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training (CSEET 2006)
  • Software Product Lines: Reuse That Makes Business Sense, ICSE 2001 Keynote

Contact Linda Northrop