AI and Software Engineering with Dr. Kessentini – The Oakland Post
Dr. Marouane Kessentini is the pProfessor and Acting Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and is part of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research (OUAI) at Oakland University. In addition to artificial intelligence, his research interests and courses revolve around software engineering.
Kessentini is set to receive the OU Researcher of the Year Award, which recognizes the OU faculty member who has won the most competitive grants during the fiscal year. He will also receive the Most Active Research Award, given to the faculty member who has obtained the most grants during the fiscal year.
“We are trying to improve the quality of software, which is used practically everywhere: in transport, health industries, etc.,” Kessentini said. “We strive to automatically detect errors in bots and software, making it easier to use and adapt. This is done automatically.
An example of their work is building an infrastructure that will help those in other fields or those with lower skill levels in software engineering.
“We’ve built a bot that will do an automated quality assessment of your code and give you advice,” he said. “It helps give an easier way for people who may not be computer programming experts, like those in the physics and biology science community, to create code.”
Kessentini has several students working with him in this research – many of whom are women in what has been considered a male-dominated field. He is very proud of their achievements in academia, research and industry.
“Last summer, they actually went to validate their tools built during the college year on a larger scale in industrial environments at companies like Ford,” Kessentini said. “This was facilitated by the National Science Foundation. We spend a lot of time in our lab trying to solve problems for our industrial partners.
Kessentini holds a master’s degree in artificial intelligence, but decided to “step out of his comfort zone” by working in software engineering. He believes the two go hand in hand.
His interest in this field was also inspired by many natural processes – such as transplants and the immune system – as well as the connection with industries.
“I use an approach called artificial immune system to determine what is good and normal software behavior, and I also have another contribution related to what is called code transplantation”, Kessentini said. “It’s similar to the concept of organ transplantation. The idea is to develop new code that integrates into existing software.
“I am also interested in providing scalable solutions in industry and building scientific foundations that can be used in practice,” he continued.
There are many exciting events and opportunities happening in IT at OU. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program is set to start soon at OU.
“Many industry partners are members, and our faculty and students will pitch ideas and see projects funded,” Kessentini said. “This is done in conjunction with two other universities: the University of Colorado at Boulder and Oregon State University. More than 15 professors and students are ready to present the research we carry out at the center.
Additionally, OU hosts a prestigious international software engineering research conference (SEA 2022) next week, October 10-14. Over 200 people will travel overseas to attend. There will be distinguished speakers from both academia and industries such as Facebook.