Feb 14, 2018. | By: Sophie

Since I came to the Open House in March 2017, I found that CMU is a nerdy but cool space. People are smart and creative. As a result, my life at CMU has been full of funny anecdots. I wanted to share some of them that made me burst into laughter.

Feb 14, 2018.

My office mate brought the the issue of Valentine’s Day plan when she was working with her collaborator. She told us if you brought your laptop to the bookstore, they would clean it for free.

People celebrate Valentine’s Day with their valentines. Same here at CMU. However, CMU might have defined valentine slightly differently. It expanded the concept beyond human beings. Apart from your collaborators, people usually interact the most
with their valentines. If we count objects as well, one’s laptop is definitely the number 1 valentine.

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STRUDEL Reading Group Updates

Feb 11, 2018. | By: Sophie

Wednesday, Feburary 7, 2018

Shurui Zhou presented the paper Almost There: A Study on Quasi-Contributors in Open-Source Software Projects (Steinmarcher et al., ICSE 2018). It was interesting to learn that many people stopped making further contribution on GitHub after their first pull request was rejected. We also felt that there would be many future work worth pursuing. Thanks Shurui’s presentation as well as her snacks.

Since it was Alex’s meeting before he became a professor in Estonia, he also brought some pastries from Gates. We appreciated his intention of getting us fat. We will miss you.

By the way, I think Gates’ blueberry muffin is very nice, as well as banana & nuts in Scott. Nevertheless, no muffin compares to thos in Brown’s Blue Room or banana muffin at Corner Bakery Cafe.

Wednesday, Janurary 14, 2018

David Widder presented the paper Open Source barriers to entry, revisited: A tools perspective (Mendez et al. ICSE 2018). Professor Margaret Burnett’s team has been studying GitHub’s gender inclusive issues. Since men and women are biologically different statistically, tools should be designed to cater their different ways of thinking and engaging with software. I do not think software developing is an inheritly male dominated task. I believe that getting more women into software developing is a key to gender equality. Yes, I am a feminist.

Davis is very good at baking, but I think he should have given out his delicious brownies at the beginning of his presentation rather than at the end.

Thusday, December 5, 2017

Sophie Qiu presented the paper The influence of visual feedback and gender dynamics on performance, perception and communication strategies in CSCW (Koulouri et al. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 2017). This paper shows that while men are statistically better at navigation with help from visual signals, women can use verbal communication to compensate such weakness and achieve the same level of excellency in navitation tasks. GenderMag, which David Widder will present later, is in the same mindset that although men and women are statistically biologically different, well-designed tools can help both of them succeed.

Sophie did not know that green been pie could contain cream so she bought a lot of them. Luckily, she could bring them to Strudel meetings so that everyone can eat them and be merry.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bogdan Vasilescu presented the paper Code Coverage and Postrelease Defects: A Large-Scale Study on Open Source Projects (Kochhar et al. 2017). This paper shows that code coverage in testing has insignificant correlation with the number of bugs at the project level of a software. Then my question was: how much test would be sufficient if a large software project could never be bug-free?

I do not remember what snack we had during that meeting.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Shurui Zhou presented the paper Some from here, some from there: cross-project code reuse in GitHub (Gharehyazie et al., MSR 2017). This paper reminds me of two most popular ways of coding: Google-oriented coding and stackoverflow-oriented coding. It is expensive to write code from scratch, so understanding how code pieces are cloned across projects is useful.

I do not quite remember the snack but it might be Choco Pie brought by Shurui.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Alexander Nolte presented the paper Flash Organizations: Crowdsourcing Complex Work by Structuring Crowds As Organizations. It is a nice paper on how to more effectively form an software developing group. It was good to read some paper on HCI, which I was fascinated in but knew very little about.

Thanks for your cookies, Alex. I guess they came from La Prima Espresso in WEAN.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Alan Jaffe presented the paper Automatically Generating Commit Messages from Diffs Using Neural Machine Translation (Jiang et al., ASE 2017). It is an interesting application of the naturalness of code. I learned a lot about the idea of naturalness of code, as well as the fact that Alan is very good at baking pumpkin pies.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

No meeting this week. STRUDEL was away attending ASE in Urbana-Champaign, IL and visiting Fiona at the Cincinnati Zoo. #teamfiona

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

STRUDEL was proud to host Alexander Serebrenik from TU Eindhoven, who talked about his recent work on mining emotions from software engineering artifacts. We were all enjoying his talk as well as Sophie’s hazelnut wafel.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sophie presented the paper “Simultaneously Uncovering the Patterns of Brain Regions Involved in Different Story Reading Subprocesses” (Wehbe et al., PLoS ONE 2014). The researchers scanned participants brains while they were reading the ninth chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. They then trained a classifier that can distinguish which short passage the participants were reading based on the neural activity. The choice of this paper was to present group members another machine learning classifier that can process fMRI results. It was very nice and sweet that David made apple raisin strudels.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Marat presented the paper “Romantic partnerships and the dispersion of social ties: a network analysis of relationship status on facebook” (Backstrom et al, CSCW 2014). This paper proposed to use dispersion, which measures “the extent to which two people’s mutual friends are not themselves well-connected,” in addition to embeddedness, which measures the number of mutural friends, to predict if two Facebook users are in a romantic relationship. The accuracy of prediction increased significantly when using the dispersion metric. Somehow, my impression of the paper smells like homemade banana bread.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

David presented the paper “Automatically Diagnosing and Repairing Error Handling Bugs in C” (Tian and Ray, ESEC/FSE 2017). This paper presents how to identify different types of bugs and how to correct them in C/C++ code. Happy Mid-autumn festival and thanks Sophie for her mooncake!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Jeremy presented the paper “Decoding the representation of code in the brain: An fMRI study of code review and expertise” (Floyd et al, ICSE 2017). The researchers scanned participants’ brain while they were reviewing code or prose. The findings suggest that reading code differs from reading natural language, but less so for experts than for novices.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

We had our first reading group meeting today! To celebrate, Bogdan brought apple-cinnamon strudels for us. Nevertheless, these strudles were not as good as our discussion on the paper “Fairness Testing: Testing Software for Discrimination” (Galhotra et al, ESEC/FSE 2017) that Bogdan presented at the meeting.

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Paper presented at ASE 2017

Oct 31, 2017. | By: Bogdan

We were at ASE 2017 presenting the paper:

The Impact of Continuous Integration on Other Software Development Practices: A Large-Scale Empirical Study, with Yangyang Zhao, Alexander Serebrenik, Yuming Zhou, and Vladimir Filkov.

More details about the research here. PDF here. Slides here.

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Third place for Alan in the SRC!

Sep 8, 2017. | By: Bogdan

Congratulations to Alan who placed third in the ACM Student Research Competition at ESEC/FSE 2017 this year!

Check out his work on suggesting meaningful variable names for decompiled code.

More details about the research here.

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Paper accepted at SWAN 2017

Jul 4, 2017. | By: Bogdan

We just had a paper accepted at SWAN 2017!

Timezone and Time-of-Day Variance in GitHub Teams: An Empirical Method and Study, with Prem Devanbu, Pallavi Kudigrama, and Cindy Rubio-González from UC Davis.

One of the coolest parts of the paper is the novel use of circular statistics. Did you know that traditional summary statistics (like the mean) are invalid for circular variables like the clock and angles? Here’s an example of circular histograms showing when people made commits in two GitHub projects. Check out the preprint for more details.


Open source projects based in ecosystems like GitHub seamlessly allow distributed software development. Contributors to some GitHub projects may originate from many different timezones; in others they may all reside in just one timezone. How might this timezone dispersion (or concentration) affect the diurnal distribution of work activity in these projects? In commercial projects, there has been a desire to use top-down management and work allocation to exploit timezone dispersion of project teams, to engender a more round-the-clock work cycle. We focus on GitHub, and explore the relationship between timezone dispersion and work activity dispersion. We find that while time-of-day work activity dispersion is indeed associated strongly with timezone dispersion, it is equally (if not more strongly) affected by project team size.

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Paper accepted at ESEC/FSE 2017

Jun 2, 2017. | By: Bogdan

We just had a paper accepted at ESEC/FSE 2017!

Recovering Clear, Natural Identifiers from Obfuscated JavaScript Names, with Casey Casalnuovo and Prem Devanbu from UC Davis.

More details about the research here.

Try out our tool online.

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STRUDEL is hosting 3 REU students

May 29, 2017. | By: Bogdan

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of 3 students participating in the Carnegie Mellon 2017 Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Software Engineering:

  • Anita Brown, from Bryn Mawr College
  • Asher Trockman, from University of Evansville
  • Jacob Hoffman, from Carnegie Mellon

Looking forward to a productive summer!

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Our new logo is here

May 19, 2017. | By: Bogdan

Thanks to Josh Quicksall’s amazing talents, the STRUDEL lab has a new logo! Can you spot where Josh got his inspiration from?

STRUDEL (Image from:

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Our Pastry Shop

Wean Hall 5115, Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15213 USA