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Christopher Fox
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia

Chris Fox started off as an undergraduate at Michigan State University studying mathematics, but got sidetracked into English literature, and then into philosophy. He ended up getting both BA and MA degrees in philosophy before becoming discouraged with the job market and switching to information science at Syracuse University. He graduated from Syracuse in 1982 with an MS in computer science and a Ph.D. in information studies.

Chris taught computer science for a few years at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, but thinking that industry might be more exciting, he took a job at Lockheed Dialog Information Services in Palo Alto, California. In 1985 he moved on to AT&T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. Although AT&T had been broken up a few years before, Bell Laboratories was still a vibrant and exciting place through the 1980s, and Chris had the opportunity to work as a software product designer, user interface designer, programmer, tester, lead developer, and quality consultant on projects of great diversity, including a statistical quality control program, a prototype expert system that used image classification to obtain input, a prototype personal workstation GUI, and a long-distance salesperson salary compensation system. Chris left Bell Labs for about a year in 1990 to become the technical lead in a start-up company that attempted to develop and market an electronic patent search and retrieval system, but returned to Bell Labs when the company failed. These industrial experiences emphasized the importance of practical problems in software development, and software engineering has been Chris's main research interest ever since.

Bell Labs had changed quite a bit by the end of the 1980s and Chris left for good in 1992 for a faculty position in the computer science department at James Madison University. At JMU Chris had the opportunity to help develop curricula and teach in a fledgling interdisciplinary science program, which he did for about six years, before devoting his attention more exclusively to computer science. During his time at JMU Chris has served as the computer science department's undergraduate coordinator, graduate coordinator, and head, and has taught courses in software engineering and the core areas of computer science. He also occasionally sits in on a philosophy course.

Chris has published articles and book on information retrieval and software engineering, and is currently writing a software design textbook. He is raising two daughters in a bilingual household with his wife Zsuzsa, a native of Hungary. Chris enjoys reading science fiction and nineteenth century British novels, especially those by Charles Dickens.


The Go programming language
Donovan A., Kernighan B., Addison-Wesley Professional, Old Tappan, NJ, 2016. 400 pp.  Type: Book (978-0-134190-44-0)

In 1978, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie published The C programming language [1], the first book about C and the definitive guide to the language for decades. Kernighan has now teamed up with Alan Donovan to write The Go ...


Executable specifications with Scrum: a practical guide to agile requirements discovery
Cardinal M., Addison-Wesley Professional, Indianapolis, IN, 2013. 192 pp.  Type: Book (978-0-321784-13-1)

Agile methods were invented to deal with changing requirements, and they treat requirements very differently than traditional software engineering methods. This book brings together various means of eliciting, stating, validating, and ...


SPARK: the proven approach to high integrity software
Barnes J., Altran Praxis, Bath, UK, 2012. 530 pp.  Type: Book (978-0-957290-50-1)

SPARK is a subset and extension of the Ada programming language, designed for developing and verifying highly reliable software. This book is a tutorial on SPARK 2005, the current but soon to be displaced version of the language....


Software modeling and design: UML, use cases, patterns, and software architectures
Gomaa H., Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, 2011. 592 pp.  Type: Book (978-0-521764-14-8)

With this book, Gomaa updates Designing concurrent, distributed, and real-time applications with UML [1], which was published more than 10 years ago. Both books present the collaborative object modeling and architectural design ...


Object-oriented analysis and design
Ramnath S., Dathan B., Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated, New York, NY, 2011. 450 pp.  Type: Book

Some areas of computer science, such as operating systems, programming languages, and database systems, have achieved solid consensus about their topics and (largely) their pedagogy; textbooks in these areas reflect this consensus. The...


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