Daniel M. Berry's Home Page

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Daniel M. Berry's Current Affiliation

University of Waterloo

Cheriton School of Computer Science

Contents of This Page

Research in Software Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Electronic Publishing
Handbook of ambiguities in requirements specifications and legal contracts
Education and brief biography
Full resume, on-line copies
Research and Publications Summary
Bibliography, including reprints and on-line copies
Lectures that I am willing to come and give
Teaching, courses that I have taught and that I am teaching
Reaching and finding me at work and at home
Thanksgiving turkey, why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving
NOW INVALID: Where to get GOOD, genuine New York bagels in Kitchener-Waterloo
Biblical commentary I have written
My contribution to The Annals of Improbable Research's Universal History Translation Project
My advice on how to avoid jet lag
My advice on how to finish your Ph.D.
Me in Full Academic Regalia at a PhD Defense in Europe
Caricatures that have been drawn of me
About my hearing and why I do not speak Hebrew
Directions to Haifa and the Technion
For old time's sake, my old .plan file

Research in Software Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Electronic Publishing

I conduct and supervise research in Software Engineering including the following topics:

Look at explanations, research and thesis topics, and goals.

As part of this research, I participate in one international organization:

My research is done as part of more than one laboratory at Waterloo:

To see URLs of research related Web sites:

I am on the editorial boards of:

I used to maintain the website of the RE (International Requirements Engineering Conference) series.

The current instantiation of this series:
27th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference, 23 -- 27 September 2019, Jeju Island, South Korea

Handbook of Ambiguities in Requirements Specifications and Legal Contracts

Two computer scientists (Erik Kamsties and I) and one lawyer--computer scientist (Mickey Krieger) have written ``From Contract Drafting to Software Specification: Linguistic Sources of Ambiguity, A Handbook''.

This handbook is intended to be a living document. We invite comments, additional examples, etc. from readers. If you wish to provide translations of the examples into equally ambiguous sentences in other languages, please contact me (just to make sure that someone else is not already doing it!). As we get these translations, we shall add them to the original document or make them available as separate documents or both!

Education and Brief Biography

Ph.D., Computer Science, Brown University, 1974
B.S., Mathematics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1969

A Brief Biography

Full resume

Full Resume in PDF form

Research and Publications Summary

Research Interests and Representative Publications


Published Papers (Hard-Copy Reprints Available for Some and On-Line Copies Available for Some)

Erik Kamsties and I have written a chapter titled ``Ambiguity in Requirements Specification'' in a book, edited by Julio Leite and Jorge Doorn, titled Perspectives on Software Requirements, published by Kluwer, with table of contents .


I give a number of socko lectures that are guaranteed to enliven an audience and to knock everyone's socks off. If you want me to give one of these and are willing to pay my travel expenses and a modest honorarium, send e-mail to me to make arrangements. See the abstracts of possible lectures to help choose one.

The three most popular these days are ``The Inevitable Pain of Software Development: Why There Is No Silver Bullet'', ``Formal Methods, the Very Idea, Some Thoughts'', and ``Requirements Engineering Lessons from House Building''. These are based on papers that I have written, which you can find by searching for the words ``The Inevitable Pain of Software Development'', ``Formal Methods, the Very Idea, Some Thoughts on Why They Work When They Work'', ``Creep'', and ``Adventures'' (there are several versions of the first two) in the bibliography.

One of my sets of slides have been made public, with my permission, by WeberDev.com. You might want to look at them. Better yet, you might want me to come to deliver these slides in person; they are so much better in person.

It has been said that I am very energetic during my lectures, that I move around a lot during my ``dance'' routine. At CMU's SEI, they were videotaping whole courses as I taught them. I was told that following my dancing around wore out several video camera servo mechanisms and that following my dancing with the camera was good training for televising hockey games with their fast moving pucks. You might wish to see three ``still'' photos of me giving a lecture at PUC in Rio de Janeiro, taken on 1 August 2003 by Leonardo Cunha. In the first, my hand and mouth are a blur, in the second, my arm is a blur, and in the third, I am in a rare quiescent state.



MATAM--Introduction to System Programming (Winter 1996)
Software Engineering Methods (Spring 1997)
Seminar: Electronic Publishing (Spring 1997)
Seminar: Requirements Engineering (Winter 1997)
Seminar: Full Year SE Lab: Requirements Engineering of WD-PIC (Winter 1997)


Software Abstraction and Specification (CS246) (Spring 2000)   ( Permanent Course Web Page)
Software Requirements and Specification (ECE451/CS445/CS645)
Software Requirements and Specification (SE463)
Social Implications of Computing (CS492/CS692)
Advanced Topics in Requirements Engineering (CS846)
Advanced Topics in Electronic Publishing (CS846)

Reaching Me

Work Address

Cheriton School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo,
200 University Ave. West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1

None: I do not hear well enough to hear on the phone; so faxing or e-mailing me is better)
fax: +1-519-888-4305 (or if that does not work, then try +1-519-746-5422)
e-mail address

My office is where?

My office is 3329 Davis Centre. This room is in the Computer Systems Group suite, which is on the third floor, just above the Cheriton School of Computer Science's main office on the second floor.

Home Address

11-522 Beechwood Drive
Waterloo, Ontario N2T 2G9

Directions to my house assuming that you are already in Waterloo

telefax: 1-519-885-7222
I do not hear well enought to hear on the phone. Therefore, even if I am at home, I do not answer the phone unless I am expecting your call at the time of the call. Regardless of what the answering machine says, do not leave a recorded message for me . Instead, send me a fax over the same line or send me e-mail


My hobbies are skiing, skating, swimming, Star Trek, cooking, and reading Mad Magazine, Annals of Improbable Research, and about Cosmology.

Thanksgiving Turkey

A scholarly paper on why North American folk eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day (PDF/Acrobat form)
A scholarly lecture on why North American folk eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day (PDF/Acrobat form)

An alternative explanation of the origins of the U.S. Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

A well-researched article about the many names of the turkey and why, in any place, it tended to be named as a bird from another place. It covers many of the same names that my article does. It does reveal something of which I was not aware, that the bird originated in Mexico. Wow, and not one place has named the bird ``Mexican Bird''. Also, in this article, the bird is eaten for Christmas. Enjoy!

NO LONGER VALID: Where to Get GOOD, Genuine New York Bagels in Kitchener-Waterloo

I am sad to report that the store mentioned below went out of business at the end of April 2015, after 35 years in business.

A letter to the local newspaper in October 2000 about the Best Bagel in Kitchener-Waterloo, Rise and Shine Bagels at 52 Bridgeport East, Waterloo, which is open Fridays and Saturdays 7:30am--2:00pm

A LiVEJOURNAL discussion on bagels in Kitchener-Waterloo.

An article by Jennifer Ormston in the 26 December 2007 issue of Waterloo Chronicle Business section on Rise and Shine Bagel. I agree with Brian's assessment that the bagels available in supermarkets and other stores are no replacement for his New York style bagels.

Biblical Commentary

I have written and published some biblical commentary, titled ``Understanding the Beginning of Genesis: Just How Many Beginnings Were There?'' in the Jewish Bible Quarterly 31:2, pp. 90--93 (2003). Unfortunately, the article is not available online. However, you can send e-mail to me for a reprint. A larger technical report (excuse the CS-ese) from which the published paper is derived is available in PDF/Acrobat form or in compressed PS form. The published paper covers up through the end of the section titled ``A Semantic Solution''.

The Annals of Improbable Research's Universal History Translation Project

My contribution to the The Annals of Improbable Research's Universal History Translation Project was to coordinate and participate in the translation of the The History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less into Hebrew. This job was tricky because in English, with rare exceptions, one of which (``Metals Injection'') is in this document, construct forms, e.g., ``hair cut'' use the singular form of the noun regardless of whether, e.g., all or only one hair is cut. In the Hebrew construct form, one must use a singular or plural noun as is required by the meaning. Thus, we had to clarify with Eric Schulman, the author of the English document, the intent of all of the construct forms, except for the exception mentioned above.

My Advice on How to Avoid Jet Lag

The anti-jet lag program that I follow, which is my modification of the Argonne National Labs Anti-Jet Lag Program

My Advice on How to Finish your Ph.D.

My famous lecture giving advice on how to finish that damn Ph.D. (PDF/Acrobat form)

If you want to invite me to give this talk, I will be happy to come. Here is an abstract for announcing it.

I have read two books that describe the kinds of thinking and the kinds of behaviors that I think are very helpful in someone who is seeking to earn a PhD.

  1. Why?: What Makes Us Curious by Mario Livio describes the kind of curiosity that helps find PhD topics. Actually, it describes the kind of curiosity that drives one to doing research which can very naturally and very easily be worthy of a PhD. Livio has other relevant books that are recommended at the same site.
  2. Failure: Why Science Is So Successful by Stuart Firestein describes an attitude about one's own incomplete knowledge and mistakes that is necessary to be able to not get discouraged when research leads to a dead end, as it often does.

You might wish to look also at the ``The Pragmatic PhD Blog'' maintained by Marian Petre, a co-author of the book The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research, by Gordon Rugg and Marian Petre. The site contains a number of illuminating blogs, including ``Destructive behaviours (to avoid)'', ``Navigating terminological confusion --- the case of case studies'', ``Walk-and-talk'', ``Good enough'', ``Awkward conversations'', ``Thrashing'', ``Tough love'', ``Regulations are tools'', etc.

You iight wish to look also at lecture slides by Dave Patterson advising on a research or academic career that is one follow-on to getting a Ph.D. The title is ``How to Have a Bad Career In Research/Academia''

You might wish to look also at lecture slides by Steve Easterbrook about how to write a Ph.D. dissertation. The title is ``How Theses Get Written: Some Cool Tips''

You might wish to look also at a whole collection of references to advice about doing research and related activities, gathered by Silvia Miksch. The titles are ``How to Do Research'', ``How to Write a Scientific Paper'', ``How to Present a Scientific Paper'', ``Tips on Organizing Conferences, Workshops, and Symposia'', ``How to Review'', ``Digitial Libaries'', ``Tips for Writing Correct English'', ``University Ranking'', and ``Additional Hints''.

You might wish to look also at a 1972 rejection letter from the Communications of the ACM for one of Ben Shneiderman's first submissions. Ben survived and went on to be one of the most famous and prolific researchers in HCI. The site gives some advice on dealing with such brutal rejection letters.

You might wish to look at the PhD Comics, by Jorge Cham, for a thorough, but comic exploration of the phenomemon of procrastination among graduate students, Ph.D. students in particular.

Matt Might has ``The Illustrated Guide to a Ph.D.'' that clearly explains in pictures exactly how much impact one Ph.D. has on all of human knowledge. This explanation should help any Ph.D. candidate understand the true scope of his or her work and thus to realistically judge the size of the work.

Here is an article that reviews what's involved in pursuing one's PhD (Thanks to Abby Murray for bringing this site to my attention).

Here is a website describing non-profit universities offering online doctorate programs. This website has no sponsored search or ranking. The main goal is to promote the gems and little known doctoral programs that can be completed online at the world-class non-profit academic institutions. (Thanks to Lukas Pech (lukas_pech@hotmail.com) for bringing this site to my attention.).

Me in Full Academic Regalia at a PhD Defense in Europe

This is I dressed in full academic regalia (I had to wear dress pants, dress shirt, shoes, and socks underneath.) asking the candidate a question during a PhD defense in Europe.

Caricatures that Have Been Drawn of Me

A caricature drawn of me in 1985 at Knott's Berry farm (where I was grown :-) ) in Beuna Park, California. I had told the caricaturist that I was a computer science professor at UCLA. He misspelled ``computer'' and mistakenly assumed that I wore a tie and a jacket at work, even though I assured him that the shorts and T-shirt I was wearing that hot summer day was my normal work attire at UCLA.

A caricature drawn of me in 2005 at the RE'05 banquet at the Musée des Arts Forains (Museum of Amusement Parks) in Paris, France. See what 20 years has done to me! Here are two   photos taken of me while the Parisian caricaturist was drawing me.

A caricature drawn by Pete Sawyer of me in 2017 at the RE at 40 Seminar held at the former Monastery at Kappel am Albis, Kloster, Switzerland. He drew it for the benefit of his daugher Gabriella, who had, like I, attended every IEEE RE conference during her lifetime. See what another 12 years has done to me!

This is an engraving of the 2005 RE'05 caricature on a beer mug produced and given to me by Jeremy Barbay as a very nice honorarium for the ``How to Finish that Damn Ph.D.'' talk that I gave in May 2017 at Universidad de Chile, in Santiago Chile. Thank you Jeremy for this and your hospitality!!!!

About My Hearing and Why I don't speak Hebrew

You can learn about my hearing and why I don't speak Hebrew regularly even though I immigrated to Israel in 1987 and occasionally do speak Hebrew.

Directions to Haifa and the Technion

To see links to maps showing how to get to Technion and Haifa from Ben Gurion Airport

For Old Time's Sake

If you want to look at the old .plan file, go ahead :-)

This page is constructed from recycled ideas and gifs stolen (treated as gifts to me :-)) from other Web pages!

The URL of this page is http://se.uwaterloo.ca/~dberry

Daniel M. Berry's Home Page / Computer Science Department / University of Waterloo / dberry B' uwaterloo NKUDA ca (anti-spam measure) / Revised 01 July 2003
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