Seminar: Robyn R. Lutz

Robyn Lutz in the Iowa State University Laboratory for Molecular Programming. (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

“Designing Safe Programmed Molecular Systems”
Monday, Nov. 4 at 2:00 pm
LAR 234


Molecular programming uses the computational power of DNA and other biomolecules to create nanoscale systems. Many of these will be safety-critical, such as bio-compatible diagnostic sensors and targeted drug-delivery devices. Design of such programmed molecular systems needs to assure safe outcomes from very many, very small, fault-prone components operating simultaneously in a dynamic environment. This talk describes our team’s design and verification of a key building block needed for safe molecular systems—an embeddable, reusable Runtime Fault Detector. The talk also presents initial results from an empirical study of the integrity of a popular DNA structure.


Robyn Lutz is a professor of computer science at Iowa State University. She was also on the technical staff of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, from 1983 to 2012, most recently in the Software System Engineering group. Her research interests include safety-critical software systems, product lines, and the specification and verification of molecular programmed nanosystems. She is an ACM Distinguished Scientist. She was program chair of the International Requirements Engineering Conference in 2014, general chair in 2006, and currently serves on its steering committee. She has served two terms as an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Software Testing, Verification and Reliability, the Journal on Software and System Modeling, and the Requirements Engineering Journal.