fortiss scientist Parisa Elihadoost

Algorithm Champ

Parisa trains algorithms to use in the automatic programming of dependable software systems.

What do you do at fortiss?

I'm a research associate in the Software Dependability team. The focus of my research is program synthesis. This is the development of synthesis algorithms that automatically derive an executable and guaranteed error-free program from the specification of the desired program properties. That means software is automatically generated without a human having to write a single line of code. Computer programs created in this way should be guaranteed to be error-free. This is particularly important for safety-critical software such as that used in cars, aircraft or industrial robots. If such applications contain programming errors, lives can be endangered. Automatic program synthesis allows new systems to be developed much more efficiently than before. Moreover, the system does not have to be verified separately to ensure proper functionality. I also investigate which tools are needed to support the user in writing the correct system specification and how to achieve a more understandable result of the synthesis process.

How did you become aware of fortiss?

During my master's studies at the Technical University Munich I heard about fortiss through some of my fellow students who worked here as student temps. I then did my master's thesis at one of the TUM schools that is closely connected to fortiss.

What special success have you achieved over the past several months?

I defined the research topic for my PhD thesis. At first I thought more about machine learning or formal methods, but now I'm convinced that I should focus on the area of program synthesis and requirements engineering.

"I'm motivated by a passion for research and the hope that my results will be used in industry."

fortiss scientist Parisa Elihadoost

Why do you find programming exciting?

Programming is simply fun. It's like completing a puzzle by trying to solve small challenges over and over again.

What does the working environment at fortiss offer you? What are your colleagues like?

fortiss offers me a flexible environment for learning new tools and exploring new research areas. In addition, the institute has a young environment with competent colleagues who are willing to help each other, which makes the workplace less stressful.

„Programming is simply fun. It's like completing a puzzle by trying to solve small challenges over and over again.“

What motivates you in your job?

I'm motivated by a passion for research and the hope that my results will be used in industry. At fortiss the focus is on transferring research results to industry. This sustainable and practical structure is a great, motivational foundation for my work. In my research area of program synthesis, I'm motivated by the idea of automatic program generation.

As long as humans program manually, there will be software errors and risks. That's why I'm interested in automatic program synthesis. This dream of automatically generating code from user histories goes back to the early beginnings of programming and is something like the holy grail of computer science.

What advice can you give fortiss applicants?

fortiss gives every dedicated scientist the freedom to discover their specific field of research. The colleagues are just great. The interaction with them helps me to advance both professionally and personally every day.