Follow me on a life journey of design through software, sciences and education. We will start with design lessons from early computers still relevant today. We take a detour through the world of Chemistry then return to software to look at learning design through successes and failures at a variant of Silicon Valley startups. From startups in industry we move to a startup school: Singapore Management University’s School of Information Systems. I will present my experiences designing and evolving the curriculum at SIS, including cross-course issues and a deeper look at the decade long evaluation of a system design course. Finally, we’ll take a look at some challenges in teaching software design, and how the Dependency Graph Method (DGM) I created aides enables developers by giving unambiguous evaluations for a wide range of systems. I will also discuss how DGM has been used to evaluate designs including Fast And Secure Transfers (FAST), eGenting, and Watson.


Kevin Steppe is an Assistant Professor at Singapore Management University’s School of Information Systems. He received his PhD from SMU SIS, a Masters of Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor degree in Chemistry from Grinnell College. His research is methods for evaluating software designs, and his software related interests include system’s architecture, concurrent programming and software processes. Kevin’s other interests include sailing, cycling, Shakespeare and juggling.

Design-From Software to Chemistry to Curricula and Back (Kevin Steppe)