About Me

I am currently a research scientist employed at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center.

My research sits at the intersection of AI, Software Engineering and Human-Computer Interaction. I currently work on understanding how AI developers and teams work, investigating the barriers that they face, and developing solutions and tools to address those needs. Specifically, I am focusing on how to support information and communication needs between stakeholders throughout the software life cycle involving AI or machine learning. Previously, I researched challenges that developers incorporating AI libraries, frameworks and services into their software projects, and on developing novel ways to measure and evaluate conversational systems.

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

For my Ph.D., 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.

Recent News
  • Our paper, "How AI Developers Overcome Communication Challenges in a Multidisciplinary Team: A Case Study," was accepted to CSCW'21. This paper discussion communication challenges between stakeholders and data scientists using a lens of shared mental models. A preprint is available here.
  • Soya Park, our summer intern, got her paper, "Facilitating Knowledge Sharing from Domain Experts to Data Scientists for Building NLP Models," accepted to IUI'21. A preprint is available here.
  • Our workshop paper, "How Data Scientists Improve Generated Code Documentation in Jupyter Notebooks," was accepted to the HAI-GEN workshop at IUI'21.
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David Piorkowski, Ph.D.

  • Research Scientist at IBM
  • Works where HCI meets Software Engineering and AI
  • Currently working on FactSheets

This site was last updated Apr. 8, 2021

© 2014-2021 David Piorkowski, all rights reserved. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or sponsors.