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Methodological Synergies in the Assessment

Formal Methods, the Very Idea, Some Thoughts

Daniel M. Berry

Computer Science Department
of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON, Canada


The talk defines formal methods (FMs) and describes economic issues involved in their application. From these considerations and the concepts implicit in ``No Silver Bullet'', it becomes clear that FMs are best applied during requirements engineering. A theory of why formal methods work when they work is offered and it is suggested that FMs help the most when the applier is most ignorant about the problem domain.

The talk should be controversial and fun!



Daniel M. Berry got his B.S. in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, USA in 1969 and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA in 1974. He was on the faculty of the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA from 1972 until 1987. He was in the Computer Science Faculty at the Technion, Haifa, Israel from 1987 until 1999. From 1990 until 1994, he worked for half of each year at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, where he was part of a group that built CMU's Master of Software Engineering program. During the 1998-1999 academic year, he visited the Computer Systems Group at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. In 1999, Berry moved to the School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Prof. Berry's current research interests are software engineering in general, and requirements engineering and electronic publishing in the specific.