BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Patricia Johann was awarded a $510,823 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the logical foundations of computer science.
Johann, a professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Computer Science, said her work will enhance verification of computer software — ensuring the programs are correct, secure and reliable.
“Computer software can be tested 37 different ways, for example, but you might miss the 38th thing that goes wrong. You can never really test enough — whether you test it 37 different ways, or 37,000,” she said.
An alternative, Johann said, is to actually prove the program is correct. “Over time, logics that underlie computing have become able to encode more and more of their own properties. In such logics, a program that can be compiled and run is guaranteed to do what it is intended to do,” she said.
Johann is currently on research leave, working with the Logic and Semantics Group at Aarhus University in Denmark. There, she is researching and developing new models and logics for programming languages. Her work may be used by computer programmers to build software that can be automatically verified.
Since she joined App State’s faculty in 2013, Johann has secured more than $1.4 million in NSF grants to fund her research. Graduate students from App State as well as postdoctoral researchers have been supported by her grants.
What do you think?
Share your feedback on this story.
About the Department of Computer Science
Appalachian’s Department of Computer Science provides a rigorous, high-quality education that prepares students for the computing industry or graduate education. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, which is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, and a Master of Science degree in computer science. Learn more at https://compsci.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Appalachian State University is home to 17 academic departments, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. CAS aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. More than 6,400 student majors are enrolled in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing App State’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.