2017 SEI Year in Review
February 2018 • Annual Report
The SEI Year in Review highlights the work of the Software Engineering Institute undertaken from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017.
Software Engineering Institute
Message from the Director and CEO
Without question, our national defense and security organizations know the threats our nation faces from adversaries across all operational domains, including cyberspace. The Defense Science Board’s 2017 report on priorities (Seven Defense Priorities for the New Administration), for instance, spells out danger from enemy states, non-state actors, and others against U.S. armed forces and our information infrastructure.
Consequently, those organizations also are aware that software quality is more important than ever to mission success and sustaining information superiority. Our national defense and security organizations depend on complex, software-based technologies to identify threats, plan operations, conduct missions, arm warfighters, and train personnel. In addition, our weapon systems and the people who operate them are relying more and more on software-enabled autonomous systems.
Yet, in the Department of Defense (DoD) and elsewhere in the federal government, software development and sustainment organizations experience problems because of the sheer complexity of the software needed to deliver advanced capabilities and the resulting quality concerns manifested in rampant cost and vulnerability issues.
At the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute (CMU SEI), a DoD-sponsored federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), we develop software-based technologies to improve software quality by bending the software cost curve, reducing cyber risk by wringing out software defects before they can be exploited as vulnerabilities, and building cyber workforce readiness.
In addition, we seek to enable our sponsor and other government organizations to leap ahead technologically by realizing the potential of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems based on software that is resilient, assured, continually responsive to operational needs, and affordable.
More than ever, as it negotiates a technology landscape dominated by software’s strikingly expanding and deepening role as an edge in a dangerous world, the DoD—as well as the Defense Industrial Base, civil government, and industry—needs innovative technologies for software quality and security from its entire R&D network, especially CMU SEI.
Paul D. Nielsen
Director and CEO