Gursimran Singh Walia
Associate Professor of Computer Science
1320 Albrecht Boulevard; North Dakota State University
QBB Bldg. Room 258-A17; Fargo, ND 58102 
Office 701-231-8185; Fax 701-231-8255
HomeResearch ProjectsCourses TaughtPublicationsResume

"Integrating Software Engineering and Human Error Models"
This work integrates research from SE with research from psychology to develop a deeper understanding of the human errors that occur during the software development process and to develop techniques that detect and prevent those errors early in the software development life cycle.
  • Walia, G., and Carver, J. "Using Error Abstraction and Classification to Improve the Quality of Requirements: Conclusions from Family of Studies," International Journal of Empirical  Software Engineering (ESE), Volume 18, Issue 4, Pages 625-658, August 2013
My research interests lie in software engineering (SE), particularly software quality improvement and measurement, software inspections and software errors, and SE education. A brief overview of my research projects and sample publications are provided below
"Using the Capture Recapture to Measure Software Quality" 
I have performed several empirical studies to validate the use of the Capture-Recapture method (originally developed by biologists) to accurately estimate the defect count of software artifacts.
  •  Walia, G., Carver, J. "Using Capture-Recapture Models for Make Objective Post-Inspection Decisions" 24th IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering - ISSRE'2013, Industry Track. Pasadena, CA, USA. Best Industry Paper Award
Cognitive psychologists have used Learning Styles (LS) to understand their characteristic strength and preferences of individuals to acquire and process information. My research validated that the concept of LS can cross over to software engineering as a means of increasing the defect detection effectiveness of software inspection teams. 
  • Goswami, A.*, Walia, G. "An Empirical Study of the Effect of Learning Styles on the Faults found During the Software Inspection" 24th IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering - ISSRE'2013, Research Track. Pasadena, CA, USA. Best Research Paper Award
Funded Research Projects
NSF DUE-1225972 PI: Walia ($78,959) 
Effective Dates (8/15/2012 – 7/31/2015) 

Type 2 Collaborative Project: Integrating Testing into Advanced CS/IT Courses Supported by a Cyber Learning Environment. 

The goal of this work is to significantly increase the number of undergraduate students that are exposed to testing methodologies and use of testing tools in undergraduate courses 
Research Projects 
"Using the Learning Styles to Improve Defect Detection Effectiveness of Inspectors" 
NSF CCF- 1423279 PI: Walia ($180,242) 
Effective Dates (8/1/2014 – 7/31/2017) 

Integrating Software Engineering and Human Error Models to Improve Software Quality 

The goal of this work is to use insights from cognitive psychology research on human errors to develop and validate software quality improvement techniques 
NSF CBET - 1401507 Consultant: Walia 
Effective Dates - 07/15/2014 - 06/30/2019, 

GARDE: Design Projects to Enable Veteran Reintegration in an Educational System 

The project will develop customized solutions for North Dakota State University (NDSU) students (preferably veterans), faculty, and staff with disabilities. 

Social sensitivity (SS) is the personal ability to perceive and understand the feelings and viewpoints of others. Our goal is to bring attention that SS is an asset to teamwork. We have validated that SS is correlated with the effectiveness of processes involved in teamwork. Our results support that SS is highly correlated with team effectiveness. 
  • Bender, L.*, Walia, G., Kambhampaty, K.*, Nygard, K. E., and Nygard, T. E. "Social Sensitivity Correlations with the Effectiveness of Team Process Performance: An Empirical Study" Proceedings of the 8th ACM International Conference on Computing Educational Research. September 10-12, ICER 2012 Auckland, New Zealand.
"Social Sensitivity Correlation with Team Performance"
The goal of this work is to improve the state of SE education. The main focus of my work in this area has been to evaluate the use of different types of educational methods; and improve students’ outcomes at NDSU.  

WReSTT-CyLE – Web-based Repository of Software Testing Tutorials: A Cyberlearning Environment: The main goals of this project are to create new learning materials and develop faculty expertise to significantly increase the number of undergraduate students that are exposed to testing methodologies and use of testing tools in undergraduate courses with a programming component. A NSF Grant has been funded (FAR1225972) and supports the work of a PhD student. To date, three faculty workshops have been conducted on the project. During the past year, undergraduate students at NDSU improved their understanding of testing concepts, their knowledge of testing techniques, and their proficiency of the tool usage due to the exposure to the WReSTT-CyLE. 
  • Alomari, H., Kiper, J., and Walia, G. “Using Web-Based Repository of Testing Tutorials (WReSTT) with a Cyber Learning Environment to Improve Testing Knowledge of Computer Science Students”, 124th Annual ASEE Conference, June 25 - 28, 2017, Columbus, Ohio 

Pair Programming (PP) and Mental Models of ProgrammersA series of empirical studies at NDSU validated the positive impact of PP in introductory CS courses on student learning, student-teacher interaction, and retention among students. As a result, a set of guidelines (have been published) can be used by other CS educators to guide the effective implementation of PP in their classrooms. Another part of this research has developed and evaluated the student’s Mental Model-MM to gain insights into how CS students approach problem solving. This research evaluating the use of MM-based student pairs to increase student performance in introductory programming courses. 
  •  Radermacher, A.*, Walia, G. and Rummelt, R., “Assigning Student Programming Pairs Based on Their Mental Model,” Proceedings of the 43rd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education. February 29 – March 3, SIGCSE 2012: Teaching, Learning, and Collaborating. Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Social Sensitivity and Social Networking ToolsThrough empirical studies, my research has validated that Social Sensitivity and the use of Social Networking tools improved the student team project performance at NDSU. Social sensitivity is the personal ability to perceive and understand the feelings and viewpoints of others, and it is reliably measurable. The results support our hypothesis that the social sensitivity is highly correlated with team effectiveness. It suggests, therefore, that educators in computer-related disciplines, as well as computer professionals in the workforce, should take the concept of social sensitivity seriously as an aid or obstacle to team performance and the teamwork experience. 
  • Lacher, L., Walia, G., Fagerholm, F., Pagels, M., Nygard, E. K., Münch, J. "A Behavior Marker tool for measurement of the Non-Technical Skills of Software Professionals: An Empirical Investigation," Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering. July 6-8, SEKE 2015, Pittsburg, USA. p. 409-414

Missed Expectations: Where CS Students Fall Short in the Software IndustryMy recent research is focused on identifying and evaluating the Knowledge and Skill-Deficiencies among graduating CS students when first beginning a job in industry, but are expected to have by employers. Our published findings based on interviews with 23 managers and hiring personnel at different companies in the software development industry (USA and Europe) highlight the struggles that recent graduates face when first starting at those companies. Our publications provide detailed descriptions about these different areas along with recommendations for educators, industry managers, and recent graduates.
  • Radermacher, A.*, Walia, G., and Knudson, K. “Missed Expectations: Where CS Students Fall Short in the Software Industry,” Accepted to Appear in the Special Issue (entitled ‘Software Education Today’) of ‘CrossTalk – The Journal of Defense Software Engineers, January 2015. 

"Improving Software Engineering Education"
My research analyzes the costs and benefits of inspections vs. testing to decide on whether to schedule an inspection. I have also analyzed the effect of the team size on the decision of how to organize the inspections. Our results provide a detailed analysis of the number of inspectors required for varying levels of cost-effectiveness during inspections.
  • Mandala, N.*, Walia, G., Carver, J. and Nagappan, N. “Application of Kusumoto Cost-Metric to Evaluate the Cost Effectiveness of Software Inspections” Proceedings of the 6th ACM-IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering. Sep 19-20, ESEM 2012. Lund University, Sweden. pp. 221-230
"Improving the Cost-Effectiveness of Software Inspection Process" 
NSF DUE - 1525414 PI: Walia ($179,891)
Effective Dates - 8/1/2015 - 7/31/2019

Engaged Student Learning - Design and Development Level II: Using a Cyberlearning Environment to Improve Student Learning and Engagement in Software Courses  

This This project will assist colleges and universities in producing more well-qualified software developers through the use of a cyberlearning environment that builds on and extends WReSTT-CyLE (Web-Based Repository of Software Testing Tutorials), a cyberlearning environment for software testing