Irwin Kwan’s Curriculum Vitae



Resume: Irwin Kwan – Resume


Senior User Experience Researcher, The MathWorks — Sept 2020 – Present

Senior User Experience Specialist, The MathWorks — May 2019 – Sept 2020

User Experience Researcher, The MathWorks — June 2014 – May 2019

  • UX specialist for MATLAB Coder, which generates C/C++ code from MATLAB code for embedded devices 
    • Designed features, including MATLAB to C traceability, Coder Types Editor, and a next-generation GUI in in a cross-functional team with development, documentation, and quality engineering,
    • Used interviews, workflow analysis, and journey mapping to understand user pains and identify user requirements for a next-generation GUI
    • Evaluated GUIs and command-line interfaces with usability testing, paper and interactive prototypes, and one-click studies
  • UX specialist for Embedded Coder, which generates C/C++ code from Simulink for embedded devices
    • Led UX effort for a large-scale development initiative to migrate Embedded Coder to a new user interface, the Embedded Coder Dictionary and Code Mapping
    • Performed case studies, workflow analysis, and interviews about how automotive enterprises use Embedded Coder in their software development processes
    • Advocated for users needs and requirements with development stakeholders
    • Designed UI for Embedded Coder Dictionary and Code Mapping using Axure RP
    • Evaluated GUIs using PURE, usability testing, and interactive prototypes
  • Led UX for a major technology shift for the Fixed-Point Tool, which converts models to use different numeric data types, to a new UI framework
  • Coached other UX specialists in the Simulink product area

Postdoctoral Researcher, Oregon State University — 2011-2014

  • Supervisor: Margaret M. Burnett
  • Researcher for Idea Gardening, which provides in situ support for end user programmers by giving end users strategies to problem solve in the context of their tasks
    • Co-author of three Idea Garden conference papers published
    • Co-designer of three Idea Garden qualitative and quantitative studies to gather and analyze barriers of end-user debugging
    • Led development team implementing Idea Garden features in an educational game, Gidget, using JavaScript/JQuery
  • Researcher for Information Foraging Theory in Software Engineering, a theory that predicts how software developers learn during software maintenance tasks
    • Co-author of one conference paper and one journal paper
    • Co-designer of two Information Foraging Theory qualitative studies
    • Performed qualitative thematic coding of video/audio of programmers

Ph.D, Computer Science. University of Victoria, Victoria, BC — 2006–2011

  • Supervisor: Daniela Damian
  • Performed statistical analysis using R on coordination patterns within software repositories of the IBM Rational Team Concert team
  • Executed social network analysis using R and Gephi to understand email communication patterns of a globally-distributed team across Brazil and the United States
  • Observed team members at work in a globally-distributed team environment during a field study of developer work practices

Research Intern, IBM, Hawthorne, NY — Jun–Aug 2007

Visiting researcher at Pontifcia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Porto Alegre, Brazil — Oct–Dec 2006

Software Developer: Network Services Management Alcatel, Ottawa, ON — May–Aug 2002

Software Developer: Network Services Management Alcatel, Ottawa, ON — Sept–Dec 2001

Software Developer: Core Components Entrust Technologies Ltd., Ottawa, ON — Jan–Apr 2001

Linux UI Quality Assurance Tester: Corel Linux Corel Corporation, Ottawa, ON — May–Sept 2000


Ph.D, Computer Science. University of Victoria, British Columbia  — 2006-2011

Masters of Mathematics (in Computer Science), University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario — 2003-2005

Baccalaureate of Applied Science, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario — 1998-2003


UX Research Methods

Usability testing, contextual interviewing, lightweight journey mapping, workflow analysis, PURE, case study, organizational research

Qualitative Methods

Qualitative thematic coding, grounded theory, case studies, field studies, observational studies, longitudinal studies, laboratory studies, experiment design, interviews, questionnaires, iterative interaction design

Quantitative Analysis

Statistical analysis in R including parametric/non-parametric tests, social network analysis in R/Gephi, logistic regression


Competent: Python, Ruby, Javascript/JQuery, Java, C, SQL
Novice: MATLAB, Simulink, PHP, sh/bash scripting


Axure RP, Figma, Miro, Balsamiq, R, MATLAB, Simulink, LaTeX, PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, Microsoft Windows/Apple Mac OS X/Linux, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Apple Keynote, Apple Pages, CVS/SVN/Git, HTML/CSS

Journal Publications

Scott D. Fleming, Christopher Scaffidi, David Piorkowski, Margaret Burnett, Rachel Bellamy, Joseph Lawrance, and Irwin Kwan. An Information Foraging Theory Perspective on Tools for Debugging, Refactoring, and Reuse Tasks. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM) Volume 22, No. 2
Valentina Grigoreanu, Margaret Burnett, Susan Wiedenbeck, Jill Cao, Kyle Rector, and Irwin Kwan, End-User Debugging Strategies: A Sensemaking Perspective ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction (TOCHI) Volume 19, No. 1
Irwin Kwan, Marcelo Cataldo, and Daniela Damian, Conways Law Revisited: The Evidence for a Task-Based Perspective, IEEE Software Volume 29, No. 1, pp. 90-93
Irwin Kwan, Adrian Schröter, and Daniela Damian. Does Socio-technical Congruence Have An Effect on Software Build Success? A Study of Coordination in a Software project. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering (TSE) Volume 37, No. 3, pp. 307-324

Refereed Conference Publications

Jill Cao, Irwin Kwan, Faezeh Bahmani, Margaret Burnett, Josh Jordahl, Amber Horvath, Scott Fleming and Sherry Yang. End-User Programmers in Trouble: Can the Idea Garden Help Them to Help Themselves? IEEE Conference on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), San Jose, United States.
Todd Kulesza, Simone Stumpf, Margart Burnett, Sherry Yang, Irwin Kwan and Weng-Keen Wong. Too Much, Too Little, or Just Right? Ways Explanations Impact End Users’ Mental Models, IEEE Conference on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), San Jose, United States.
John Henry People’s Choice Award
Michael Lee, Andrew Ko, and Irwin Kwan. In-Game Assessments Increase Novice Programmers Engagement and Level Completion Speed, the International Computing Education Research Workshop (ICER), San Diego, USA.
Daniela Damian, Remko Helms, Irwin Kwan, Sabrina Marczak, Benjamin Koelewijn. The Role of Domain Knowledge and Hierarchical Control Structures in Socio-Technical Coordination, IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), San Francisco, United States.
David Piorkowski, Scott Fleming, Irwin Kwan, Margaret Burnett, Chris Scaffidi, Rachel Bellamy, Joshua Jordhal. The Whats and Hows of Programmers’ Foraging Diets, ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), Paris, France.
Jill Cao, Irwin Kwan, Rachel White, Scott D. Fleming, Margaret Burnett, and Christopher Scaffidi, From Barriers to Learning in the Idea Garden: An Empirical Study, IEEE Conference on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), Innsbruck, Austria.
Honorable Mention
Todd Kulesza, Simone Stumpf, Margaret Burnett, and Irwin Kwan, Tell Me More? The Effects of Mental Model Soundness on Personalizing an Intelligent Agent, ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems(CHI), Austin, United States.
Adrian Schröter, Jorge Aranda, Daniela Damian, and Irwin Kwan. To Talk or Not to Talk: Factors that Influence Communication around Changesets, ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), Bellevue, United States.
Ernst Oberortner, Irwin Kwan, and Daniela Damian. Towards Patterns to Enhance the Communication in Distributed Software Development Environments, Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (PLOP), Portland, United States.
Irwin Kwan and Daniela Damian. The Hidden Experts in Software-Engineering Communication (NIER Track). New Ideas and Emerging Results in conj. IEEE Intl Conf on Software Engineering (ICSE),Honolulu, United States.
Daniela Damian, Sabrina Marczak, and Irwin Kwan. Collaboration Patterns and the Impact of Distance on Awareness in Requirements-Centred Social Networks. IEEE Intl Conference on Requirements Engineering (RE), New Delhi, India.
Daniela Damian, Luis Izquierdo, Janice Singer, and Irwin Kwan. Awareness in the Wild: Why Communication Breakdowns Occur. IEEE Intl Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE), Florianopolis, Brazil, pages 81–90.

Refereed Book chapters

Daniela Damian, Irwin Kwan, and Sabrina Marczak. Requirements-Driven Collaboration: Leveraging the Invisible Relationships Between Requirements and People. Collaborative Software Engineering Chapter 3, Springer-Verlag

Workshops, Posters, and other Invited Publications

Irwin Kwan, Scott Fleming, and David Piorkowski. Information Foraging Theory for Collaborative Software Development. Future of Collaborative Software Development Workshop in conj. ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW), Bellevue, United States.
Irwin Kwan and Daniela Damian. Extending Socio-technical Congruence with Awareness Relationships. Workshop on Social Software Engineering (SSE) in conj. ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations on Software Engineering, Szeged, Hungary.
Sabrina Marczak, Irwin Kwan, and Daniela Damian. Investigating Collaboration Driven by Requirements in Cross-Functional Software Teams. Proc. of the Collaboration and Intercultural Issues on Requirements Communication, Understanding and Softskills Workshop (CIRCUS) in conj. IEEE Intl Requirements Engineering Conference, Atlanta, United States.
Irwin Kwan, Adrian Schröter, and Daniela Damian. A Weighted Congruence Measure. Workshop on Socio-technical Congruence (STC), in conj. Intl Conf on Software Engineering, Vancouver, Canada.
Daniela Damian, Sabrina Marczak, Irwin Kwan, Thanh Nguyen, and Adrian Schröter (2010). Jazz Research at SEGAL. Jazz Poster Session in conj. Intl Conf on Software Engineering, Vancouver, Canada.
Adrian Schröter, Irwin Kwan, Lucas Panjer, and Daniela Damian. Chat to Succeed. First International Workshop on Recommendation Systems for Software Engineering (RSSE) in conj. Foundations on Software Engineering, Atlanta, United States.
Sabrina Marczak, Daniela Damian, Ulrike Stege, Adrian Schröter, and Irwin Kwan. Information Brokers in Requirement-Dependent Social Networks: A Requirements-Driven Approach to the Study of Socio-Technical Congruence. Socio-Technical Congruence workshop in conj. Intl Conf on Software Engineering (STC), Leipzig, Germany.
Lucas Panjer, Irwin Kwan, and Daniela Damian. Jazz Team Coordination Tools. Jazz Birds of a Feather in conj. Object-oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA), Montréal, Canada.
Irwin Kwan, Sabrina Marczak, and Daniela Damian. Viewing Project Collaborations Who Work on Interrelated Requirements. IEEE Intl Conference on Requirements Engineering (RE), New Delhi, India.
Irwin Kwan. Analysing the Effects of Requirement Changes on Interpersonal Communication During Software Development Projects. IEEE Intl Conference on Requirements Engineering (RE) DoctoralSymposium, New Delhi, India.
Irwin Kwan, Daniela Damian, and Sabrina Marczak. The Effects of Distance, Experience, and Communication Structure on Requirements Awareness in Two Distributed Industrial Software Projects. IEEE Global Requirements Engineering Workshop (GREW) in conj. IEEE Conference on Global Software Engineering, Munich, Germany.
Irwin Kwan. Mining Collaboration Patterns Between Knowledgable Software Developers from Software Project Artifacts. University of Victoria Graduate Innovation Forum 2006, Victoria, Canada.
Irwin Kwan, Daniela Damian. Connecting People in Social Networks with Requirement Explorer. ACM Workshop on Supporting the Social Side of Large-Scale Software Development in conj. Computer-supported Cooperative Work, Banff, Canada.
Irwin Kwan, Daniela Damian, Margaret-Anne Storey. Visualizing a Requirements-centred Social Network to Maintain Awareness Within Development Teams. IEEE Workshop on Requirements Engineering Visualization (REV), Minneapolis-St. Paul, United States.
Irwin Kwan, Daniela Damian, Luis Izquierdo, Florian Huber, Chris Hanlon. A Feature-based Awareness System for Software Development. Workshop on Collaborative Software Engineering, Consortium for Software Engineering Research 2006. Victoria, Canada.

Teaching Experience

2013 Winter
Instructor Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

  • Introduction to Software Engineering
2012 Spring
Co-instructor Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

  • Open-source Software Development
    • Co-taught with Dr. Carlos Jensen
Teaching Assistant University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

  • Fundamentals of Programming: II
2008, 2006
Teaching Assistant University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

  • Software Requirements Specification
Teaching Assistant University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON

  • Software Requirements Specification
  • Distributed Systems.
  • User interfaces.
  • Introduction to Computer Science 2


ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) Best Paper Honorable Mention
Natural Science and Engineering Research Council NSERC PGS D ($21 000/yr), University of Victoria (national level)
University of Victoria Graduate Fellowship ($15 000/yr), University of Victoria
Ontario Graduate Scholarship ($15 000/yr), University of Waterloo

Invited Talks

2013 March 27
Information Foraging Theory: Cues and Scents in Global Software Teams, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX
2013 February 25
Information Foraging Theory: Cues and Scents in Global Software Teams, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
2013 February 18
Information Foraging Theory: Cues and Scents in Global Software Teams, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
2013 February 4
Information Foraging Theory: Cues and Scents in Global Software Teams, University of Colorado at Denver, Denver, CO
2012 May 10
Coordination in Software Teams: A Model of Socio-technical Congruence, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
2012 April 4
Coordination in Software Teams: A Model of Socio-technical Congruence, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Academic Service


Program committee, International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2022)


Reviewer, Journal of Systems and Software

Reviewer Information and Software Technology Journal
Reviewer European Conference on Information Systems
Reviewer Empirical Software Engineering Journal
Program Committee Intl. Conference on Program Comprehension
Reviewer Journal of Systems and Software
Program Committee Mining Software Repositories Challenge
Program Committee Workshop on Requirements and Validation, Verification, and Testing
Program Committee Mining Software Repositories Challenge
Program Committee Socio-technical Congruence Workshop
Program Committee Requirements Engineering Visualization Workshop
Program Committee Global Requirements Engineering Workshop
Program Committee Socio-technical Congruence Workshop
Student volunteer Intl. Conf on Requirements Engineering
Student volunteer Intl. Conf on Requirements Engineering
Student volunteer Intl. Conf on Global Software Engineering

Society Memberships

IEEE Society Member
ACM Member
Vancouver Island Advanced Technology Council (VIATec) Software Managers Round Table

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