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Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Gill Receives Distinguished Visiting Fellowship

Published on October 4th, 2013 by Michelle Ward

Andy Gill, an assistant professor in electrical engineering and computer science, has received a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA). He will give a series of lectures at five leading Scottish universities from Oct. 25–Nov. 6.

The SICSA Distinguished Visitor Fellowship offers support to outstanding researchers to lead workshops and seminars at affiliated institutions. By building a coalition of research universities across Scotland, SICSA has created one of the largest research clusters in informatics and computer science in Europe.

EECS Assistant Professor Andy Gill
EECS Assistant Professor Andy Gill

“What attracted us to working with Dr. Gill is that he is brilliant enough not only to develop ideas with us but also to get them out into the real world. This visit will lead to fundamental theoretical and practical progress in the area of domain specific languages where specialist programming languages are grown,” said Neil Ghani, a professor in computer and information sciences at the University of Strathclyde, who sponsored Dr. Gill’s fellowship application. 

In addition to his classes at Strathclyde, Dr. Gill will speak at the University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, University of Glasgow, and St. Andrews University. The talks and guest lectures are intended to help Scottish Ph.D. students and other researchers understand external research programs, as well as initiate future research collaborations.

Dr. Gill will discuss the technology he is developing to make it easier and cheaper to build highly secure and dependable software. The greater transparency and scrutiny will reduce dramatically the all-too-common bugs and glitches that occur in current software. A study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found that software defects cost the economy $60 billion annually and account for 80 percent of software development costs.

At KU’s Information and Telecommunication Technology Center (ITTC), Dr. Gill leads the Functional Programming Group, which develops easy-to- read, highly reliable software programs. The team’s biggest project is the federally funded Haskell Equational Reasoning Model-to-Implementation Tunnel (HERMIT). HERMIT improves software correctness by mathematically, or formally, analyzing each step of development.  Its precise documentation and continuous checks and balances make it much harder for errors to be introduced.