Professor and Director of Women in Computer Science

Research interests

photo of Professor Jo AtleeProfessor Atlee’s research interests are in software engineering with a particular focus on improving the quality of software. 

Much of her work focuses on modelling software in terms of its features and on detecting, resolving, and managing feature interactions — how to support the rapid development of new features / services / modular components that are oblivious of each other yet interoperate well. Applications include feature-rich systems, systems-of-systems, and Internet of Things.

Her group develops theories of composition, analyses to detect interactions, architectures to coordinate features and resolve interactions, and proof systems for interoperability.

Degrees and awards

BS (William & Mary), MS, PhD (Maryland)

SRI International Fellow (1999)

ACM Distinguished Scientist (2016)

Equity and Inclusivity Award (WICS), Waterloo Faculty Association (2018)

IEEE Technical Council on Software Engineering Distinguished Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Award (2020)

Industrial and sabbatical experience

Professor Atlee has worked with a number of industrial partners over the years, including Bell Northern Research (Nortel Networks), Mitel Networks, AT&T Labs, IBM Canada, and General Motors of Canada.

In 1999 she spent her sabbatical leave at SRI International in the Formal Methods Group. In 2005–06, she spent her sabbatical leave working on her textbook Software Engineering: Theory and Practice. She spent 2012–13 as Visiting Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and 2019–2020 as Visiting Professor at the University of British Columbia.

Representative publications

Shari Lawrence Pfleeger, Joanne M. Atlee: Software Engineering — Theory and Practice, 4th ed, Pearson Education 2009.

Bryan J. Muscedere, Robert Hackman, Davood Anbarnam, Joanne M. Atlee, Ian J. Davis, Michael W. Godfrey: “Detecting Feature-Interaction Symptoms in Automotive Software using Lightweight Analysis,” In the Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution and Reengineering (SANER), 2019, pp. 175–185.

Parsa Pourali, Joanne M. Atlee: “An Empirical Investigation to Understand the Difficulties and Challenges of Software Modellers When Using Modelling Tools,” in Proceedings of the 21th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MODELS), 2018, pp. 224–234.

Mohammad Hadi Zibaeenejad, Chi Zhang, Joanne M. Atlee: “Continuous Variable-Specific Resolutions of Feature Interactions,” in Proceedings of the Joint Meeting on Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), 2017, pp. 408–418.

Shoham Ben-David, Baruch Sterin, Joanne M. Atlee, Sandy Beidu: “Symbolic Model Checking of Product-Line Requirements Using SAT-Based Methods,” in Proceedings of the IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), 2015, pp. 189–199.

David Dietrich, Joanne M. Atlee: “A Mode-Based Pattern for Feature Requirements, and a Generic Feature Interface,” in Proceedings of the IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), 2013, pp. 82–91.

Pourya Shaker, Joanne M. Atlee, Shige Wang: “A Feature-Oriented Requirements Modelling Language,” in Proceedings of the IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), 2012, pp. 151–160.

University of Waterloo
Contact information: 

Profiles by type