Faculty Research Awards: Dr. Eric Rapos

Dr. Eric Rapos, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, recently received one of 24 faculty research awards*, which is given out by the Committee on Faculty Research (CFR) here at Miami University. Dr. Eric Rapos headshot

Along with graduate students, Dr. Rapos has focused his research on developing a tool to help students better understand model-driven software engineering. The current tools, Dr. Rapos said, are difficult to understand and not designed for teaching. 

Instead of just throwing students into the industry with a minimal breadth of skills, Dr. Rapos hopes this tool will help students prepare for industry work. 

“So it’s trying to make the learning curve less steep to allow for more people to get into this field, which is definitely an in-demand field right now,” he said. “It’s about getting proper education because it’s a tough skill.” 

The research team has been working for about two years, and hopes to be done with the technical portion of the project by next summer. This year, Dr. Rapos will add two new students to the team. 

Dr. Rapos plans to teach a course next spring using the old tools to get student feedback, then teach the same class the following year with the new tools. In the end, he wants to see how students feel about the new tools, whether they are helping them learn. 

Overall, the goal of the research is simple: getting more people to use model-driven software engineering. 

“It’s basically getting as many people using model-driven software engineering as possible,” Dr. Rapos said, “because in addition to being a great tool for teaching, it’s also a very lightweight, quick and easy tool to get into if you want to perform a very small software system that you can then connect to something larger… Widespread usage is the main practicality.” 

*Of the 24 recipients of the CFR awards, six are CEC faculty members. Each of the six faculty members received awards in all three of the categories: Summer Research Appointment (SRA), Research Graduate Assistantships (RGA), and Grant to Promote Research (GPR).

By Maggie Peña, CEC Reporter