2020 IEEE CS TCSE New Directions Award
Thomas Zimmermann, Microsoft Research
Ahmed Hassan, Queen’s University
Through their individual research and then their combined efforts, Dr. Zimmermann and Dr. Hassan helped establish the field of mining software repositories (MSR) and, later, a successful conference series with the same name. They recognized far back in the early 2000s that software repositories are a valuable source of data to help learn about software engineering processes and developed new innovative solutions for mining that data to improve developer productivity and software quality. Thanks to their efforts, the use of analytics and data science in software engineering has become popular and many researchers worldwide followed their direction. The work of Dr. Zimmermann and Dr. Hassan also affected software engineering practice, where practitioners learned from this research and applied it in their work to inform the development of engineering tools and processes. In summary, Dr. Zimmermann and Dr. Hassan moved software engineering into a new direction through their (1) technical contributions, (2) the creation of a highly successful conference series and community, and (3) their impact on practice over the past years.