Susan L. Graham, a computer science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, will speak on “Improving Software Productivity” today (Nov. 29) at 4 p.m., as part of the Dean’s Lecture Series at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The talk will be held in the Robert and Naida Lessin Forum in the Maxwell Dworkin Building, 33 Oxford St., Cambridge. The event is free and open to the public.

Society is increasingly dependent on the robustness, reliability, and evolvability of software systems. Graham, who is Pehong Chen Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will address why creating and maintaining high-quality software products is so difficult and how research holds promise for improving the situation.

Graham’s research goal is to create technology that makes the software development process more efficient and makes developers more productive. One of the earlier research interests of Graham and her colleagues includes compiler technology, debugging, and profiling. In their three major projects on interactive development technologies, the emphasis has always been on the importance of language-based support and on exploiting the advantages of persistent, interactive, and presentation-rich settings.

Graham serves on the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee and has served on President Clinton’s Committee for the National Medal of the Sciences. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, she is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Computing Machinery. She was recently elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers for a six-year term.

Graham earned an undergraduate degree from Radcliffe in 1964, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford in computer science.

The next lecture in the series features Shirley M. Caldwell Tilghman, president of Princeton University, on March 18; Jean Bethke Elshtain, professor of social and political ethics at the University of Chicago, on April 4, 2002; and Donna J. Haraway, professor of the history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, on April 24.

For more information on the series, contact the Office of the Dean at the Radcliffe Institute at (617) 496-3052 or visit