Chris Murphy

Associate Professor of Practice
Dept. of Computer & Information Science
University of Pennsylvania

Chris Murphy photo

About Me

I am in my eighth year as a teaching-track faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, and am director of the Masters of Computer & Information Technology program.

Although my primary focus is on teaching, I'm also interested in online education, student contributions to open source software projects, and how these affect diversity and inclusion within CS.

Prior to joining Penn, I completed a PhD in Computer Science at Columbia University, where my research focused on software testing. Before that, I worked as a professional software developer in Boston, San Francisco, and London after earning a BS in Computer Engineering from Boston University.

Somewhere along the way, I also spent two years teaching English in Seoul, but that's not really part of the narrative hahaha...

You can find out more in my CV and on my LinkedIn page!


If I ever got around to using Twitter, these are the things I'd mention (#humblebrag):

My student Judy Weng and I had a paper on open source software, diversity, and inclusion accepted to the RESPECT conference to be held in Baltimore in February 2018 (Judy wrote a post in the Penn Engineering blog about this work following our participation in the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing).

Dr. Jennifer Akullian of the Growth Coaching Institute and I will be leading a Birds of a Feather on mental health issues in the field of computing at the SIGCSE conference in Baltimore in February 2018.

In Summer 2017, my first two online courses were launched on edX as part of Penn Engineering's "CS Essentials for Software Development" professional certificate series.

In May 2017, my student Sydney Morton posted an article in the Penn Engineering blog about her experiences in software engineering education and her contributions to our SIGCSE paper earlier that year.

Research, Publications, and Presentations

My current research is focused on computer science education, particulary in how to create "real-world" experiences for software engineering students, including having students contribute to open source software projects. I am also interested in the effect this has on diversity and inclusion in CS. Here are some recent publications and presentations in those areas:

  1. "Bridging the Diversity Gap in Computer Science with a Course on Open Source Software"
    J. Weng and C. Murphy
    To appear in Proc of the 3rd Annual Conference for Research on Equity & Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, and Technology (RESPECT)
    Baltimore MD, Feb 2018.
  2. "Addressing Diversity & Inclusion Issues in Computer Science through Contributions to Free and Open Source Software" (Birds of a Feather session)
    2017 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing
    Atlanta GA, Sept 21, 2017.
  3. "A Two-Course Sequence of Real Projects for Real Customers"
    C. Murphy, S. Sheth, S. Morton
    In Proc of the 48th ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
    Seattle WA, Mar 2017, pp. 417-422 (Exemplary Paper Award).
  4. "Community Engagement with Free and Open Source Software" (panel moderator)
    48th ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
    Seattle WA, Mar 9, 2017.
  5. "Teaching a Standalone FOSS Course: Successes, Challenges, and Future Directions" (presentation)
    POSSE Roundup at SIGCSE 2017
    Seattle WA, Mar 8, 2017.
  6. "A Course on Programming and Problem Solving"
    S. Sheth, C. Murphy, K. Ross, D. Shasha
    In Proc of the 47th ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
    Memphis TN, Mar 2016, pp. 323-328.
  7. "Mentorship Models in Open Source Software Development Courses" (presentation)
    POSSE Roundup at SIGCSE 2016
    Memphis TN, Mar 2, 2016.
  8. "Motivating Students with 'Real Projects for Real Customers'"
    C. Murphy
    In University of Pennsylvania Almanac
    Vol. 62, No. 11, Oct 2015, p. 12.

As a graduate student at Columbia University, I investigated software testing techniques for programs that do not have a "test oracle," i.e. for which it is difficult to know what the correct output should be. Here are relevant publications:

  1. "Dynamic Inference of Likely Metamorphic Properties to Support Differential Testing"
    F.-H. Su, J. Bell, C. Murphy, G. Kaiser
    In Proc of the Tenth IEEE/ACM International Workshop on Automation of Software Test (AST)
    Firenze, Italy, May 2015.
  2. "Metamorphic Runtime Checking of Applications without Test Oracles"
    J. Bell, C. Murphy, G. Kaiser
    In CrossTalk: The Journal of Defense Software Engineering
    Volume 28, Issue 2, Mar/Apr 2015, pp. 9-13.
  3. "On Effective Testing of Health Care Simulation Software"
    C. Murphy, M. S. Raunak, A. King, S. Chen, C. Imbriano, G. Kaiser, I. Lee, O. Sokolsky, L. Clarke, L. Osterweil
    In Proc of the 3rd International Workshop on Software Engineering in Health Care (SEHC)
    Honolulu HI, May 2011.
  4. "Testing and Validating Machine Learning Classifiers by Metamorphic Testing"
    X. Xie, J. W. K. Ho, C. Murphy, G. Kaiser, B. Xu, T.Y. Chen
    In Journal of Systems and Software
    Volume 84, Issue 4, Apr 2011, pp. 544-558.
  5. "Automatic Detection of Previously-Unseen Application States for Deployment Environment Testing and Analysis"
    C. Murphy, M. Vaughan, W. Ilahi, G. Kaiser
    In Proc of the 5th International Workshop on Automation of Software Test (AST)
    Cape Town, South Africa, May 2010.
  6. "Metamorphic Testing Techniques to Detect Defects in Applications without Test Oracles"
    C. Murphy
    PhD Thesis
    Columbia University Dept of Computer Science tech report cucs-010-10, Apr 2010
  7. "Application of Metamorphic Testing to Supervised Classifiers"
    X. Xie, J. Ho, C. Murphy, G. Kaiser, B. Xu, T.Y. Chen
    In Proc of the 9th International Conference on Quality Software (QSIC)
    Jeju, South Korea, Aug 2009, pp. 135-144 (Best Paper Award).
  8. "Automatic System Testing of Programs without Test Oracles"
    C. Murphy, K. Shen, G. Kaiser
    In Proc of the 2009 ACM International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA)
    Chicago IL, Jul 2009, pp. 189-199.
  9. "Using JML Runtime Assertion Checking to Automate Metamorphic Testing in Applications without Test Oracles"
    C. Murphy, K. Shen, G. Kaiser
    In Proc of the Second IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation (ICST)
    Denver CO, Apr 2009, pp. 436-445.
  10. "Properties of Machine Learning Applications for Use in Metamorphic Testing"
    C. Murphy, G. Kaiser, L. Hu, L. Wu
    In Proc of the 20th International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE)
    Redwood City CA, Jul 2008, pp. 867-872.
    (tech report with additional findings is here)

A full list of publications is available in my CV.

Courses Taught

I primarily teach courses related to software development and systems programming, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Here are the courses I'm teaching in Spring 2018:

Here are the websites of my most recent offerings of other courses:

I also currently have two online courses running on edX:

A full list of the courses I've taught is available in my CV.

Contact Me

My office is Levine 162 and my email address is