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

Mei-Chin Tsai (PhD CS '94)

Parents’ story, impact of Grainger Foundation match inspire Mei-Chin Tsai to provide major gift to fund scholarships

December 15, 2017   Mei-Chin Tsai’s parents pushed her to focus on education. But that push came with a greater sense of urgency than most.
Professors Marco Caccamo and Tao Xie have been named IEEE Fellows.

Caccamo, Xie named IEEE Fellows

December 14, 2017   Two CS @ ILLINOIS faculty have been honored by the world’s largest technical professional society.
A chassis from ILLIAC II is on display at the Spurlock Museum.

Spurlock exhibits details University of Illinois’ first 150 years, and CS @ ILLINOIS’ key role in them.

December 1, 2017   The Spurlock Museum exhibit, "Knowledge at Work," which includes CS @ ILLINOIS artifacts, runs through Dec. 21.
Dr. Alex Aiken

Distinguished Lecture Series: Dr. Alex Aiken

November 1, 2017   On November 6, Dr. Alex Aiken will present his research on parallel programming.

Top CS @ ILLINOIS Students Named 2018 Siebel Scholars

October 18, 2017   As a result of their outstanding academic record and leadership, five students will receive $35,000 during their final year of study.