Dr. Williams received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Utah, her MBA from Duke University, and her BS in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University.   She worked for IBM for nine years in Raleigh, NC before returning to academia.

Dr. Williams conducts research in developing and adapting software development processes to help organizations meet their business goals.    Tailoring software processes for the accentuated pressures placed on eCommerce/start-up application development is of particular interest to Dr. Williams.  Most recently, her research has focused on the incorporation of pair-programming (a technique in which two programmers work together at one computer) into development processes.  Research results to date indicate that the incorporation of pair-programming reduces cycle time and improves software quality, among other benefits.  Further validation is underway.   

Dr. Williams’ research group is actively involved in developing software tools that can be used for training software engineers and for providing feedback on the effectiveness of their software process. 

Representative Publications

Williams, Laurie The Collaborative Software Process.  PhD Dissertation

Williams, Laurie, Kessler, Robert R.,  Experimenting with Industry's "Pair-Programming" Model in the Computer Science Classroom, Journal on Software Engineering Education, December 2000.

Williams, Laurie, Kessler, Robert R.,  Cunningham, Ward, and Jeffries, Ron, Strengthening the Case for Pair-Programming,  IEEE Software, July/Aug 2000. 

Williams, Laurie and Kessler, Robert R.,  All I Really Need to Know about Pair Programming I Learned In Kindergarten, Communications of the ACM, May 2000.

Cockburn, Alistair and Williams, Laurie. The Costs and Benefits of Pair Programming, eXtreme Programming and Flexible Processes in Software Engineering XP2000. 

Williams, Laurie and Kessler, Robert R.  The Effects of “Pair-Pressure” and “Pair-Learning” on Software Engineering Education.  Conference of Software Engineering Education and Training 2000.