Programming Languages, Formal Methods, and Software Engineering

word cloud with programming-related wordsThe growing complexity and scale of software poses formidable challenges for reliability, security, performance, and productivity. Our faculty tackle these problems by developing innovative techniques in programming language design and semantics; techniques and tools for formal verification, software testing, and automated debugging; and models and verification techniques for embedded systems that interact with physical entities.

We are known for theoretical advances such as the Actor model of concurrencyrewriting logic and related semantic frameworks; concolic testing for automated test generation; automated logic reasoning; automated inference of specifications and invariants; and control-theoretic techniques for analyzing cyberphysical systems. We have also produced widely-used tools and techniques like the Maude rewriting engine; the LLVM compiler infrastructure; the Chisel optimization system for approximate computing; the first complete formalizations of C, Java, and Javascript; regression test suite reduction techniques; and educational tools based on automated test generation (CodeHunt;Pex4Fun) that have attracted over a million users.

CS Faculty and Their Research Interests

Vikram Adve software security, programming models for heterogeneous platforms 
Gul Agha models for concurrent computation; parallel and distributed algorithms 
Elsa Gunter software engineering, programming languages, formal methods 
Darko Marinov software engineering, reliability & testing, theorem proving, model checking, rich specification languages 
Jose Meseguer formal executable specification and verification, software architecture 
Sasa Misailovic program optimization systems, approximate computing techniques
David Padua program analysis, transformation, and optimization 
Madhusudan Parthasarathy formal methods, software verification, model checking, decidable logics 
Grigore Rosu software, design, semantics and implementation of programming specification languages 
Mahesh Viswanathan algorithmic verification of cyberphysical systems 
Tao Xie software engineering, software testing, program analysis, software analytics 

Affiliate Faculty

Sayan Mitra,
Electrical & Computer Engineering
formal methods, automated reasoning 

Adjunct Faculty

Danny Dig, EECS Department, Oregon State University software engineering, general and interactive program transformations 

Programming Languages, Formal Methods, and Software Engineering Research Efforts and Groups


Brett Daniel Software Engineering Seminar (cs591se), named in memory of Brett Daniel

Programming Languages, Formal Methods, and Software Engineering Research News

Dr. Daniel Jackson

Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Daniel Jackson

November 3, 2016   Dr. Daniel Jackson will discuss an evolving theory, based on the identification of concepts and purposes, to guide the design of software.
Professor Grigore Rosu

Rosu earns ASE Most Influential Paper award for work that helped launch runtime verification field

October 17, 2016   Rosu's 2001 paper bridged two seemingly different software engineering areas: testing and formal verification.
Meet the 2017 class of Siebel Scholars from CS @ ILLINOIS.

CS @ ILLINOIS Siebel Scholars Class of 2017

September 13, 2016   Meet the 2017 class of Siebel Scholars from CS @ ILLINOIS: Chamila Amithirigala, Spencer Gordon, Wenqi He, Dengfeng Li, and Vipul Venkataraman.
Associate Professor Tao Xie

Xie recognized as Microsoft Research Outstanding Collaborator

August 22, 2016   CS Associate Professor and Willett Faculty Scholar Tao Xie was recently honored with a Microsoft Research Outstanding Collaborator Award.
Dr. Milos Gligoric (PhD CS '15)

Milos Gligoric Receives ACM SIGSOFT Dissertation Award

July 20, 2016   Milos Gligoric (PhD CS ’15) is the 2016 recipient of the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award.