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Chris Theisen

Theoretical scientist. By which I mean I'm theoretically a scientist.

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I’ve been a PhD student at North Carolina State University in Computer Science since August 2013. My research is focused in software security and software engineering, specifically developing attack surface metrics. My advisor is Laurie Williams and I’m a member of the Realsearch Group at NCSU. I received a BS in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati in 2010.

Before returning to academia for a graduate degree, I spent four years working in industry for both large corporations and as a freelance engineer/manager for startups. I have a wide variety of experience with a lot of different development environments, and I believe this perspective is important when attempting to do relevant research for today’s software engineers. Consulting projects have included improving software development processes for companies, spinning up development teams for new startups, and expert witness activity in North Carolina.

I received the 1st place award in the Student Research Competition (Graduate) at ESEC/FSE 2015 for my work on Risk-Based Attack Surface Approximation (RASA). I finished third in the ACM SRC Grand Finals and was recognized at the 2016 ACM Awards Banquet. I wrote a chapter about my work on RASA in Perspectives on Data Science for Software Engineering. My advisor and have run multiple instances of an online introductory software security course, based on the NCSU graduate security class (free of charge!). We hope to run it again in the near future.

I married my wonderful wife Kelly Theisen in 2010. I’m a massive Colorado Avalanche fan and hockey fan in general. If I wasn’t a PhD student or software engineer, I’d be doing something with advanced statistics in hockey, basketball, or any other sport.