Carnegie Mellon University

David Widder

David Widder

  • WEH 5119
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


I am a Software Engineering PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Software Research. I am advised by Bogdan Vasilescu as a proud member of the STRUDEL team.

I earned my BS in June of 2017 from the Robert D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon where I studied Computer and Information Science. I wrote my Undergraduate Thesis on the programming practices of scientific research programmers, and was advised by Professor Stephen Fickas.

I do research at the intersection of Software Engineering and Human Computer Interaction, with an aim to improve Computer Science Education. I was born in Tillamook, Oregon but grew up in Berlin, Germany and Singapore. Apart from my research interests, I enjoy painting, running and rowing.

I am always excited to meet new people and hear about new ideas and opportunities. Feel free to reach out!


I conduct research at the intersection of Software Engineering, Human Computer Interaction and Computing Education. I want to understand how people’s education and lived experience influences the way they write code, and I want to apply these insights to improve the state of Computer Science education. Much of my research has been conducted in collaboration with Professor Stephen Fickas at UO.


What are barriers to efficient ROS debugging? July 28, 2016

David Gray Widder, Josh Sunshine, Claire Le Goues

Poster presenting my research conducted at CMU’s REUSE 2016. I found directives in documentation for the Robot Operating System, created tasks based on these directives, and then had 12 participants complete these tasks 22 times while thinking aloud so that I could study the barriers they face while doing so.