David Piorkowski


I am a Human-Computer Interaction and Software Engineering researcher currently employed at IBM's Thomas J Watson Research Center. My current work is in the domain of Cognitive Computing and mainly focuses on various ways of improving conversational systems.

Before IBM, I graduated with a Computer Science Ph.D. from Oregon State University, advised by Dr. Margaret Burnett.

For my PhD, my research focused on information foraging theory (IFT) and its applicability to supporting programmers' debugging tasks. Information foraging theory explains and predicts how people seek information and how they make decisions based on the information they found. In this research, I applied IFT to the domain of programmers debugging program code. There were three main research foci: (1) to investigate how programmers look for information during debugging, (2) to develop predictive models of programmers' navigation, and (3) to build tools informed by these models to support developers' navigation needs.

My dissertation topic tied my research together by explaining how IFT can be used to unify various subdisciplines of software engineering research.

I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2008 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.S. in Computer Engineering.


  • Our paper, Foraging Goes Mobile: Foraging While Debugging on Mobile Devices was accepted to VL/HCC '17.