Computer Science Professor John C. Knight Honored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

February 09, 2007

Feb. 7, 2007 -- John C. Knight, professor of computer science at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, has received the 2006 Harlan D. Mills award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society.
The Harlan D. Mills award honors researchers and practitioners who have demonstrated long-standing, sustained and meaningful contributions to the theory and practice of the information sciences, with a focus on contributions to the practice of software engineering through the application of sound theory. Knight’s award citation reads: "For encouraging software researchers to focus on practical results as well as theory, and for critically analyzing their assumptions and evaluating their research claims."
Knight holds a bachelor’s in mathematics from the Imperial College of Science and Technology (London) and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Prior to joining the University of Virginia in 1981, he was with NASA’s Langley Research Center.
Knight’s research focuses on issues related to software and architectures in high-value systems — computing systems of extreme importance whose success and continual evolution have a significant impact on society, whether measured in terms of time, money or loss of life. Such systems include medical devices; avionics; weapons systems; critical infrastructures such as financial networks, transportation systems and power systems; and grid computing systems that increasingly play a strategically vital role in such diverse industries as finance, health care, pharmaceuticals and aerospace.

He is presently leading two research projects. The first is in the area of formal methods and involves development of industrial-strength formal techniques by working closely with industry. Specific research topics include tools for the development of formal specifications, experimental assessment of formal techniques with industrial research partners and the development of a comprehensive approach to the use of natural language in requirements analysis and formal specification.

The second research project involves developing techniques designed to enhance the survivability of critical networked infrastructure applications. Specific research topics include network architectures that facilitate survivability, the security of those architectures and the modeling of very large networks.

Knight is the author or co-author of more than 60 papers. He was the general chair of the 2000 International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering and he is the general chair of the 2007 International Conference on Software Engineering. He served as editor in chief of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering from January 2002 to December 2005 and he is a member of the editorial board of the Empirical Software Engineering Journal.
To learn more about Knight’s research visit his research group Web page: