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Andrew Thomas Walters is a PhD student at the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University, advised by Professor Panagiotos Manolios. Before coming to Northeastern, he earned his BS in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Andrew’s main field of research is Formal Methods, and he is interested in bringing the capabilities of formal verification to novice programmers not trained in formal methods, creating systems that allow them to understand more deeply how their code behaves.
- BS in Computer Science, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
- Hometown: Ashland, MA
- Field of Study: Computer Science
- PhD Advisors: Panagiotos Manolios
What are the specifics of your graduate education (thus far)?
I graduated from undergrad at WPI in May 2018, and I have yet to start my graduate education!
What are your research interests?
I’m interested in bringing the capabilities of formal verification to programmers without a background in formal methods, enabling even novice programmers to ensure that their programs behave as intended.
What’s one problem you’d like to solve with your research/work?
I think that a robust counterexample generation system would be a game-changer in terms of making it easier for programmers – especially novices – to understand their code.
A student could get a great deal of value out of writing down some property that they believe their program has, and then have the compiler either confirm that the property holds, or show them examples where it fails.
What aspect of what you do is most interesting?
I was always disappointed by the math and computer science courses that I took during my undergrad education that only focused on either theory or practice.
I enjoy being able to bring together theory (logic) and practice (the guts of formal verification system) in the work that I do.
What are your research or career goals, going forward?
I enjoyed working with students as a TA at WPI, and hope to continue working with students as I work through my PhD. I think I would enjoy being a teacher, though I certainly need more experience to be able to say for sure.
Where did you study for your undergraduate degree?
Worcester Polytechnic Institute. I had taken a summer course at WPI during high school, and I really liked the academic schedule (4 7-week quarters per year), the open manufacturing facilities, and the side projects that many other students work on.