Publications and Media

Measuring Digital Engineering Effectiveness for Embedded Computing Systems

Paper: [CMU SEI]

Slides: [Naval Postgraduate School]

The 2018 release of the DoD’s Digital Engineering (DE) strategy and the success of applying DE methods in the mechanical and electrical engineering domains motivate application of DE methods in other product development workflows, such as systems and/or software engineering. The expected benefits of this are improved communication and traceability with reduced rework and risk. Organizations have demonstrated advantages of DE methods many times over by using model-based design and analysis methods, such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis), to conduct detailed evaluations earlier in the process (i.e., shifting left).However, other domains such as embedded computing resources for cyber physical systems (CPS)have not yet effectively demonstrated how to incorporate relevant DE methods into their development workflows. Although there is broad support for SysML and there has been significant advancement in specific tools (e.g., MathWorks®, ANSYS®, and Dassault tool offerings) and standards like Modelica and AADL, the DE benefits to CPS engineering have not been broadly realized. In this paper, we will explore why CPS developers have been slow to embrace DE, how DE methods should be tailored to achieve their stakeholders' goals, and how to measure the effectiveness of DE-enabled workflows. 

Create and Analyze System Models Using Architecture Analysis and Design Language


ANSYS and Adventium Labs teamed up to demonstrate AADL-based analysis capabilities and their interoperability within ANSYS SCADE Architect. SCADE Architect provides a graphical modeling environment for AADL and Adventium Labs provides analysis tools driven by AADL’s standard semantics. SCADE Architect’s ability to process various system model languages enables engineers to create models that include components from disparate sources. Where those models describe embedded computing systems, SCADE Architect can bring the power of AADL analysis to bear, in this case using Adventium’s ARINC653 schedule analysis and generation tools.

People with Down Syndrome Remind Us What We Should Truly Value

Five years ago my niece Delaney was born. I started with the sentence, “Five years ago my niece Delaney was born.” Note the lack of caveats and clarifications in that sentence. Delaney has Down syndrome, but that fact is a footnote in the story of her birth, just as the chemical imbalance in my brain that requires anxiety medication is a footnote in mine.

Twin Cities Public Television's Almanac

I did an interview with TPT's David Gillette about Goodnight Server Room, watch it below or on TPT. My interview starts at about 20 minutes, and my son and I did a bonus feature at the end. 

AADL Annex for the FACE Technical Standard (Draft) 

Co-written with Dr. Robert Edman

This annex is intended to help component vendors and system integrators using the (Future Airborne Capability Environment) FACE Technical Standard. FACE Technical Standard Edition 3.0 1 provides a data modeling architecture but does not provide mechanisms for describing component behavior or timing properties. This document provides guidance for translating a FACE Standard Edition 3.0 Data Architecture XMI model into AADL so that behavior and timing properties can be added and analyzed.

Blockchain Podcast [2]

I participated in another podcast about the benefits and risks of blockchain.

Goodnight Server Room and Andamio Games

[Andamio Games]

Children’s book author T.D. Smith published “Goodnight Server Room” with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, which included an iOS App as a milestone incentive. The author is designing a companion mobile app, repurposing existing artwork and story content.  

The Blockchain Litmus Test

Bitcoin's underlying blockchain database is a novel approach to recordkeeping that has the potential to decentralize big data. Bitcoin's success has inspired a multitude of spinoff projects hoping to use blockchain as a distributed database for records-management innovation in other fields. Misconceptions and exaggerations about blockchain and its capabilities are pervasive in the media. Drawing on perspectives from archival science, dependable computing, and secure computing, this paper surveys current applications, research, and critiques of blockchain to provide an objective assessment of its benefits and limitations. Based on the findings of the survey, this paper proposes three criteria that predict success for blockchain-based data management projects, briefly: dependability, security, and trust.

I Couldn’t Find a Kid’s Book About My Coding Job – So I Wrote One

One year ago I was in the early design stages of Goodnight Server Room. Back then the project was just snippets of poetry and hastily drawn page outlines. Now it is real.

Local Software Engineer Publishes Children’s Tech Book Called Goodnight Server Room

Minnesota software engineer, security researcher, and recent Blockchain guest Tyler “TD” Smith has checked another box off his bucket list: becoming a published children’s author.

Looking for nails to hit with my blockchain hammer: A Q&A with Adventium blockchain expert T.D. Smith

[] Co-written with Scott Nelson. 

Today blockchain seems to be everyone’s hammer in the world of cyber security.  A Google search for “blockchain IoT” found no less than two news articles per day in September describing the many ways that blockchain can solve security problems in the IoT.  Investment in blockchain startups is forecast to exceed $3B in 2017 on top of the billions being spent by established financial and technology firms hoping not to be left behind.  A lot of people are swinging hammers. Big hammers.

The question is, “Where are the nails?”

Tech{dot}MN Podcast: Blockchain

Our Blockchain introduction podcast with guests:
Clay Collins – Nomics
James Mitchell – Bitwise.IO
Tyler “TD” Smith – Adventium Labs
David Duccini – Silicon Prairie Portal and Exchange

Business Forum: Beware of the blockchain hype

[The Star Tribune]
[Wayback Machine]

“Blockchain” proponents claim it is a game-changing technology that is applicable to wide-ranging domains, including medical records to automotive safety. Blockchain is a useful technology, but it is not the panacea it is often made out to be. It is time to tone down the hype.

University of Minnesota Alumni Spotlight

[University of Minnesota]

Master of Science in Software Engineering and Bachelor of Science alum Tyler Smith spent his final year pursuing his undergraduate degree in computer science with one foot in college and the other in his career. In the summer of 2009, he interned at General Dynamics and was ambitious enough to maintain the position through the school year.

Our Minneapolis High School Is a Sanctuary

[The Salt Collective]

The walls are plastered with unabashed love for the students that walk through the doors. The welcome desk is backed by signs declaring “All Are Welcome Here” in multiple languages. Murals tell the stories of black kids, native kids, and everyone else who walks the halls of Minneapolis South High School.

I don’t know if there is a God. Neither do you. And that’s okay.

[The Salt Collective]

In my sophomore year of college, I stopped going to church. Like many of my peers, I was busy with school, distracted by friends, and didn’t find church necessary. Surrounded by intelligent non-believers, I realized that through years of Sunday school, sermons, and worship services, nobody had explained to me why we believe any of it.

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