The Ross & Muriel Cheriton Faculty Fellowship supports the work of a full-time faculty member in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science whose research is in the general areas of computer systems and computer networking.
The title of Faculty Fellow recognizes a faculty member whose scholarly work is widely known and respected internationally, who is an accomplished teacher at all levels, and who has displayed a high level of commitment and dedication to her or his School of Computer Science, the Faculty of Mathematics, and the University.
Current Ross & Muriel Cheriton Faculty Fellow
Shane McIntosh, 2023–2026
Professor Shane McIntosh is a world leader in software release engineering, as well as a pioneering researcher in build systems, the complex software systems that form the bedrock upon which release engineering practices are built.
Build systems transform a configurable set of source code artifacts into concrete software products, identifying and resolving internal and external dependencies on other software artifacts. Professor McIntosh’s early work was the first to explore the challenges of designing, maintaining, and evolving modern software build systems systematically and empirically. This work spawned a research community that studies how these challenges manifest in different settings and devises solutions that address them.
Professor McIntosh is also a leader in the field of code review, the manual process in which team members critique the premise, structure, and content of the change sets. Studies from the late 1980s revealed that code reviewers found more bugs per hour than testing could, which resulted in widespread industry adoption of code reviews.
Professor McIntosh’s work challenges these results. His studies and analyses of modern code review practices revealed lax reviewer participation and low rates of reviewer–author communication. His work connects this practice of rubber stamping with negative symptoms of customer-perceived software quality. This work has galvanized the research community to conduct replication studies and to extend the analyses to other contexts, such as software changes and security vulnerabilities. Professor McIntosh’s follow-up work addresses weaknesses in modern code review processes through reviewer recommendation systems that analyze the business impacts of a software change and provide recommendations that favour allocating reviewing resources to the review of high-impact changes.
Awards and recognitions
Professor McIntosh completed his PhD in less than three years and he received both his School’s Distinguished PhD Thesis Award and the Academic Gold Medal of the Governor General of Canada.
During his doctoral studies, he was awarded an NSERC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. More recently, in recognition of his outstanding research contributions as a professor, he was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Software Build Automation, a position he vacated when he moved to Waterloo. Shortly after joining the Cheriton School of Computer Science, Professor McIntosh was one of eight researchers at Waterloo to receive a 2022 Ontario Early Researcher Award.
Professor McIntosh is a senior associate editor for the Journal of Systems and Software and has served as a program committee member for all the top conferences in software engineering — ICSE, FSE, ASE, OOPSLA, ESEM, ICSME, SANER, MSR. He serves as co-chair of Digital Learning for ACM SIGSOFT, and is responsible for inviting distinguished speakers and co-producing webinars for the international SIGSOFT community.
Professor McIntosh identifies and focuses on important open problems in ubiquitous software engineering practices and he formulates testable hypotheses. His high impact as a researcher comes from focusing on important problems, exploring them from unique and effective angles, and from being tenacious enough to develop deep expertise. Powerful evidence of his high-impact research is his ranking as one of the most active and impactful early-career software-engineering scholars.
Five of his former trainees now occupy tenured or tenure-track academic positions at universities in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. From an industrial perspective, several of the concepts, techniques, and prototype tools that he and his students have developed are in active use by software organizations that span the globe, among them Ubisoft, Shopify, and Dell EMC in Canada, Sony Mobile in Japan, and CQSE and Munich Re in Germany.
Professor McIntosh publishes research regularly in top journals and conference proceedings. He has published 14 papers in the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, the flagship journal in the field, and 15 papers in the proceedings of flagship conferences — the international conferences on Software Engineering, the Foundations of Software Engineering, and Automated Software Engineering. He has co-authored 49 other publications in other well-respected research venues, among them Empirical Software Engineering, and the Proceedings of the International Conferences on Software Maintenance and Evolution, Mining Software Repositories, and Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering.
He is among the most active and influential software engineering scholars in the world — the most active early career scholar in North America and the most influential early career scholar in North America. His work has attracted the attention of the international software engineering research community, being cited 5,900 times with an h-index of 37 according to Google Scholar as of June 2023.
Previous Ross & Muriel Cheriton Faculty Fellows
|Ross & Muriel Cheriton Faculty Fellow