Project scientist Emily Navarro and Associate Dean André van der Hoek have been recognized with the 2009 Premier Award for SimSE, a game-based educational software engineering simulation environment that allows students to practice “virtual” software engineering processes in a graphical, interactive and fun setting.
SimSE’s direct, graphical feedback enables students to learn the complex cause and effect relationships underlying software engineering processes. During the game, the student takes on the role of the project manager and directs engineers to perform typical process tasks.
SimSE helps bridge the gap between the conceptual knowledge about software engineering that is presented in lecture but that often times is not fully explored or practiced in assignments or projects.
SimSE includes a customizable modeling environment that allows instructors to create new scenarios, application domains, organizations and cultures. SimSE has been used worldwide and has been found to be an educationally effective tool that increases students’ understanding of software engineering process concepts.
Van der Hoek’s research focuses on understanding and advancing the role of design, coordination, and education in software engineering. He has authored and co-authored over 80 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications, and in 2006 was a recipient of an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award. He is a co-author of the 2005 Configuration Management Impact Report as well as the 2007 Futures of Software Engineering Report on Software Design and Architecture.