Guest Lecture at Charles Telfair Institute (DCDM Business School)

I was invited to deliver a guest lecture on “Experimentation in Computer Science and Software Engineering” at the Charles Telfair Institute (formerly DCDM Business School) to some BSc Computer Science level 3 students on Wednesday 16 May 2007. The guest lecture included the following discussions:

  • Nature of Computing
  • Why experiment?
  • Methods of expriementation
  • Computer Science Research and experimentation 
  • Issues and possible approaches


Several computer scientists and practitioners defend the lack of experimentation with a wide range of arguments. Some arguments suggest that experimentation may be inappropriate, too difficult, useless, and even harmful. In the guest lecture we have discussed several such arguments to illustrate the importance of experimentation for computer science.

In a random sample of all papers ACM published in 1993, the study found that of the papers with claims that would need empirical backup, 40% had none at all. In journals related to software, this fraction was 50%. The same study also analyzed a non-CS journal, Optical Engineering, and found that in this journal, the fraction of papers lacking quantitative evaluation was merely 15%. Relative to other sciences, the data shows that computer scientists validate a smaller percentage of their claims.

So there are evidence that we are not currently doing enough experiementation. Experimentation is central to the scientific process. Only experiments test theories. Only experiments can explore critical factors and bring new phenomena to light so theories can be formulated in the first place. Without experiments in the tradition of science, computer science is in danger of drying up and becoming an auxiliary discipline.

Download Lecture Slides experimentation-in-computer-science.ppt

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

Galileo Galilei

“A science is any discipline in which the fool of this generation can go beyond the point reached by the genius of the last generation.”

Max Gluckman


Explore posts in the same categories: Computing, Research, Teaching

6 Comments on “Guest Lecture at Charles Telfair Institute (DCDM Business School)”

  1. R.T Says:

    I was present in the class on that day. Great lecture from Mr Kavi Khedo – we all greatly appreciated. Hope you will be back again one day for another lecture 🙂

  2. Kavi Says:

    @ R.T
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Any feedback from others who attended the Guest Lecture??

  3. Fa Says:

    Very interesting and informative lecture. We all enjoyed.

  4. Alexwebmaster Says:

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  5. keshav dinajsing Says:

    i want to know the courses available at dcdm????for next year. and when they are taking students

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