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Professor Mats Heimdahl (Univ. of Minnesota), Models

January 8, 2009
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

For the Minneapolis/St. Paul Regional Area

January 8th, 2008
5:30-8:00 p.m./>
at The University of Minnesota
5:30/> start for networking, 6:15/> start of meeting.

EE/CS Building
Room EE/CS 3-111 (Look for signs)

Minneapolis/>/>, MN


A map is available at
Check out the detailed map under the “close up” button.

This Month’s Meeting:

Program Manager: Chris Butzow

Topic: "The Future of Modeling In Software Development"

Speaker: Professor Mats Heimdahl - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota


Modeling has always been a central in software engineering. When our ancestors roamed the primordial programmer landscape, they were sketching dataflow bubbles on napkins in the cafeteria; they were modeling. Today, we have a plethora of modeling notations, tools, and techniques in common use in industry; for example, the Unified Modeling Language (use-cases, class diagrams, etc.), Entity Relationship Diagrams (ER), notations in Mathlab such as Simulink and Stateflow, and countless additional notations.

Given this abundance of modeling approaches and notations, what shall a poor software engineer do? Does modeling provide business value? How do we avoid wasting time and money building models and produce documentation that will never be used? The Agile Community seems to do fine without models, why should we bother? In this session we will discuss three issues of crucial importance to understand the current role of modeling, its benefits and drawbacks, and where we will be heading in the future:

1. Why we build models: There must always be a purpose behind every modeling effort.

2. What models can do for you: Modeling approaches and notations can provide widely different capabilities, where is the value?

3. What the future holds: Where will modeling be in 10 years? Is it worth getting involved now to be ready for the next thing?

The session will center on commonly used modeling notations and approaches such as UML, control models (Simulink/Stateflow), and business process modeling, connecting recent developments in standards bodies and research to prognosticate the future. 

Speaker Bio:

Professor Mats Heimdahl is a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota and specializes in software engineering. He is the director of the University of Minnesota Software Engineering Center (UMSEC).

His research group is conducting research in software engineering and is investigating methods and tools to help us develop software with predictable behavior free from critical defects. Research in this area spans all aspects of system development ranging from concept formation and requirements specification, through design and implementation, to testing and maintenance. Currently, they are investigating issues in automated software engineering techniques; how we can effectively leverage tool support to reduce cost, shorten cycle time, and improve software quality. Specifically, they focus on software requirements engineering, model-based software development, software validation, static verification, code generation from models, software verification, and software test automation.

Heimdahl is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's CAREER award, a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship and the McKnight Presidential Fellow award at the University of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota Award for Outstanding Contributions to Post-Baccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.

Mission/> Statement:

The Twin-SPIN software process improvement network (SPIN) is a regional organization established in January of 1996 as a forum for the free and open exchange of software process improvement experiences and ideas. Representatives from industry, government, academia, other professional organizations, and consultants are welcome to participate. Our mission is to help sustain commitment and enhance skills in the area of software process improvement through an active program of networking and mutual support. The organization strives to serve as a source of educational and experiential information for its members, other SPIN organizations, and the general community of software professionals.

Meetings are normally held on the 1st Thursday of each month from

5:45-8:00 p.m./> Twin-SPIN is a non-profit organization and is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Center for Software Engineering (UMSEC). See:

2008 Sponsors:


University/>/> of
Minnesota/>/>, Department of Computer Science and Engineering


University/>/> of
Center/>/> (UMSEC)

$600 Sponsors

General Dynamics – AIS

$500 Sponsors

Vital Images

$400 Sponsors

International Institute of Software Process

$200 Sponsors

Goodrich Aerospace
Open Systems International

$100 Sponsors

Integral Process Solutions
Quality Software Technologies