Faculty leave proposal Software as a component in safety critical systems

James Vallino

Faculty leave proposal.


Daily interactions with software are an unavoidable fact of modern life. Some of these interactions are explicit, such as, when you are working at a personal computer reading email, composing documents or finding information from the World Wide Web. In these situations most people would acknowledge that they are dealing with a piece of software. The predominant daily interactions with software are not as explicit however. With these interactions you do not have the perception that you are dealing with a "computer”. Rather you perceive that you are using another piece of equipment, such as, a microwave oven to heat your meal, the brake pedal in your car to bring it to a stop at the next intersection, or a pacemaker which generates an imperceptible pulse to keep your heart beating in normal sinus rhythm.