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Annabelle Theobald

Professor Dr. Andreas Zeller receives a Most Influential Paper Award for the sixth time.

His research inspires the community

Professor Andreas Zeller's research has spurred important software engineering developments and manifested itself in many practical applications. In April, one of his papers will again be declared to be among the most significant of its time at the International Conference on Software Testing (ICST) - for a record-breaking sixth time.

Each year at the International Conference on Software Testing (ICST), a panel of experts presents the Most Influential Paper Award to the paper that has had the most impact on software engineering theory since its publication ten years ago, as well as the one with the most influence in practice. "This is one of the finest prizes you can get," says Andreas Zeller. As to why it is of special importance to the researchers, Founding Director & CEO Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Backes expresses: "A Most Influential Paper Award impressively shows that one's research has not only been able to generate enthusiasm for the moment but that the scientific community still regards the work as groundbreaking even after many years. For this reason, such an award is always a special highlight in the life of a researcher. The fact that Andreas Zeller is now being presented with a Most Influential Paper Award for the sixth (!) time is downright impressive."

This year, Zeller is being awarded for the paper published in 2011 titled "Assessing Oracle Quality with Checked Coverage". In their research on the quality of automated software testing, he and co-author David Schuler were guided by the question, "Who guards the guards?" explains Zeller. Developers often used test programs to verify that the software they developed runs without errors. How good the automated tests are and whether they really test the software comprehensively can only be said if it becomes comprehensible what exactly the test looked at, says Zeller. Zeller and Schuler measured which parts went into such a test and documented their work results in the paper.

Professor Dr. Andreas Zeller is faculty at CISPA and holds the Chair of Software Engineering at Saarland University. His research focuses on the development and analysis of complex software systems. His work has a far-reaching impact on everyday life. For example, the techniques developed in Zeller's research group are in use around the clock to secure web browsers such as Chrome, Edge, or Firefox or to identify strange Android apps at an early stage. In turn, Zeller's automatic debugging techniques save developers a lot of time when fixing software bugs.


The text was translated by: Oliver Schedler