Professor Mei Nagappan spends most of his time following digital footprints to see where they lead. “The goal of our research is to make the life of a software engineer slightly easier tomorrow than it is today,” he explained.
As an associate professor and current Ross & Muriel Cheriton Faculty Fellow at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Professor Nagappan guides and mentors a team of eight to ten students every semester in their mission to help software engineers build more effective, high-quality software. Under the umbrella of empirical software engineering, his team mines software repositories and measures the quality of the software using criteria like the number of new bugs it created and how difficult the bugs are to fix.
Professor Nagappan expresses gratitude for the intellectual freedom that gives him the green light to work with tech companies without hitting any bureaucratic roadblocks.
“Because of the University’s policy to give students and professors full ownership over their intellectual property, I can work with companies very easily, which is not the case in most academic institutions,” he affirmed. “Opportunity like this is rare.”