Lin Tan
Lin Tan @ University of Waterloo
Assistant Professor
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Cross-appointed with the School of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Address: 200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3G1, Canada
Phone: (519) 888-4567 extension 35222
(519) 746-3077 (Fax)
Email: lintan at

We have open positions for postdoc, PhD, Master's, and undergrads!

Submit your papers to the Empirical Software Engineering journal!

Research Interests:

Software engineering; Software reliability; Comment analysis; Text analytics; Focusing on using interdisciplinary techniques such as natural language processing, machine learning, and program analysis to improve system reliability

Recent Publications: (For a full list, click here)

DASE: Document-Assisted Symbolic Execution for Improving Automated Software Testing. Edmund Wong, Lei Zhang, Song Wang, Taiyue Liu and Lin Tan. Acceptance Rate: 18.5% (84/452)


Online Defect Prediction for Imbalanced Data. Ming Tan, Lin Tan, Sashank Dara and Caleb Mayuex. Acceptance Rate: 22.5% (23/102)


Comparing Software Architecture Recovery Techniques Using Accurate Dependencies. Thibaud Lutellier, Devin Chollack, Joshua Garcia, Lin Tan, Derek Rayside, Nenad Medvidovic and Robert Kroeger. Acceptance Rate: 22.5% (23/102) [Data]

(Book Chapter)

Comment Analysis for Improving Software Quality. Lin Tan. Book chapter in The Art and Science of Analyzing Software Data. Eds. Chris Bird, Tim Menzies, and Thomas Zimmermann. 2015.


CloCom: Mining Existing Source Code for Automatic Comment Generation. Edmund Wong, Taiyue Liu and Lin Tan. Acceptance Rate: 31.9% (46/144)


AsDroid: Detecting Stealthy Behaviors in Android Applications by User Interface and Program Behavior Contradiction. Jianjun Huang, Xiangyu Zhang, Lin Tan, Peng Wang, and Bin Liang. (11 pages) Acceptance Rate: 20% (99/495) [BIBTEX]


Finding Patterns in Static Analysis Alerts. Quinn Hanam, Lin Tan, Reid Holmes, and Patrick Lam. (10 pages) Acceptance Rate: 34% (29/85) [BIBTEX]


em-SPADE: A Compiler Extension for Checking Rules Extracted from Processor Specifications. Sandeep Chaudhary, Sebastian Fischmeister, and Lin Tan. (10 pages)


SWordNet: Inferring Semantically Related Words from Software Context. Jinqiu Yang and Lin Tan. (28 pages) [DOI] [BIBTEX]


Bug Characteristics in Open Source Software. Lin Tan, Chen Liu, Zhenmin Li, Xuanhui Wang, Yuanyuan Zhou, and Chengxiang Zhai. (46 pages) [DOI] [BIBTEX]


Correlations between Bugginess and Time-Based Commit Characteristics. Jon Eyolfson, Lin Tan and Patrick Lam. (33 pages) [DOI] [BIBTEX]

Selected Awards and Recognitions:
Ontario Early Researcher Award (ERA) 2015
NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) Award 2015
Press Coverage: The Record's Technology Spotlight (Pages 46 & 47), Marketwired, UWaterloo News, Engineering Annual Report
Google Faculty Research Award 2014 (1 of 7 recipients worldwide in Software Engineering)
Distinguished Paper Award Nominee, IEEE/ACM ASE 2013
Google Faculty Research Award 2010 (1 of 4 recipients worldwide in Software Engineering)
Best Paper Award Nominee, ACM ASPLOS 2010
IBM PhD Fellowship 2008-2009
IEEE Micro Top Picks from Computer Architecture Conferences 2006

Professional Service:
2017: MSR'17 Program Co-Chair
ICSE'17 NIER (New Ideas and Emerging Results) Program Co-Chair
2015: Empirical Software Engineering Journal Editor, ICSME'15 ERA Track Program Co-Chair, ASE'15 PC, ICSME'15 PC, ICST'15 PC, MSR'15 (Co-located with ICSE'15) PC, SANER'15 (WCRE&CSMR) PC, SoftMine'15 PC; 2015 TSE reviewer, 2015 EMSE reviewer, 2015 AUSE reviewer, 2015 SQJO reviewer
2014: IEEE TSE Editor-in-Chief search Committee 2014, ICSE'14 PC, ASE'14 PC, ICSME'14 PC, ICST'14 PC, MSR'14 (Co-located with ICSE'14) PC, FSE'14 Doctoral Symposium Panel, FSE'14 SRC Committee; 2014 TSE reviewer, 2014 TOSEM reviewer, 2014 IEEE Software reviewer, 2014 EMSE reviewer, 2014 STVR reviewer, 2014 ToR reviewer
2013: ASE'13 Expert Review Panel, MSR'13 (Co-located with ICSE'13) PC, ICST'13 PC, ICSE NaturaLiSE'13 PC, SoftMine'13 PC, CoCoS'13 PC; 2013 EMSE reviewer, 2013 STVR reviewer, 2013 INFSOF reviewer
2012 and earlier: MSR'12 (Co-located with ICSE'12) PC, ICPC'12 PC, MAD'12 (SLAML v2.0) PC, SoftMine'12 PC, APSys'11 PC, SLAML'10 PC; 2012 EMSE reviewer, 2011 EMSE reivewer, 2010 TC reviewer

Research Funding (Sole PI unless noted otherwise):
NSERC Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grant ($119,696) 2015 - 2018
NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS) Award ($120,000) 2015 - 2018
NSERC Discovery Grants ($215,000) 2015 - 2020
Ontario Early Researcher Award (ERA) ($150,000) 2015 - 2020
IBM CAS Research Fellowship Project ($58,000) 2014 - 2015
Google Faculty Research Award ($39,848) 2014
NSERC Engage Grant ($100,000) 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014
Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence (ORF-RE) Grant ($3M, my share: $116,848) 2012 - 2015 (Co-PI)
OCE Technical Problem Solving (TPS) [now renamed to Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP)] Grant ($24,999) 2013
NSERC Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grant ($100,000) 2011 - 2014
Google Faculty Research Award ($70,000) 2010
NSERC Discovery Grants ($120,000) 2010 - 2015
University of Waterloo Startup Grant
For supporting undergraduate students: MITACS Gloablink, NSERC USRA, CREUC