Our Research

Our research is centered around software engineering. We consider software engineering as a unique perspective of computing research. This perspective represents the quest to answer one of the 5 Deep Questions in Computing, namely "how can we build complex systems simply?". We invent techniques and build systems to support learning, working, healthcare, and complex business process.

We believe that this quest requires an integral vision of human, techniques, and systems in software engineering research. Our research currently focuses on three interrelated topics: human-centric computing, complex system modeling and simuation, and reliable and secure system operation.

Our research is empirical and multi-disciplinary. To solve challenging problems in building complex system, we investigate and incorporate theories and practices from multiple areas of computer sciences, such as interaction design, data mining, formal methods, cloud computing, and agent-based modeling.

Postdoc, Research Assistant, and PhD positions available for the project "Framework for Rapid Simuation of Complex Business Systems" (2014-2018).

PhD position available for mobile therapy (August 2014 intake).

Research assistant positions available for human-centric computing (2014-2016).

Recent publications


Joining us

The SE @ NTU lab is a research family passionate about innovative and impactful research. We aim to become one of the best software engineering research labs in the world and are always looking for talented and passinate applicants to join us. There are three types of positions in our lab: interns or research assistants, Master or PhD students, and Postdocs.

Applicants with expertise in software engineering, interaction design, data mining, and/or computer security are very welcome to apply! Note that applicants with long term commitment (6 months or more) are preferred. If you are interested, plesae email your CV to zcxing@ntu.edu.sg with the following information: what position you are interested in, how long you can work and when you can start. Please also briefly describe your long term goals, what you can bring to our team, and what do you expect from this position.

Contact Me

Dr. XING Zhenchang
Division of Software and Information Systems
School of Computer Engineering
Nanyang Technological University
Office: N4-02b-67
Phone: 65-67906205
Email: zcxing@ntu.edu.sg

Our Vision

We believe that software engineering is a unique perspective (as opposed to an independent research area) of computing research. This perspective represents the quest to answer one of the 5 Deep Questions in Computing, namely "how can we build complex systems simply?" To fulfill this quest, we believe that software engineering research requires an integral vision of human, techniques, and systems.

Research Topics


Theory + Practice
Theory is when you know everything but nothing works. Practice is when everything works but no one knows why. In our lab, theory and practice are combined: nothing works and no one knows why. (PS: please take the last part as a joke :-)).

Our research investigates and incorporates theories and practices from interaction design, data mining, natural language processing, formal methods, cloud computing, agent-based modeling, etc. (PS: I collaborate with colleagues with expertise in different areas to maximize research throughput :-)).



Peer-reviewed Conference

Graduate Courses

Undergraduate Courses

XING Zhenchang (i.e., me :-)

Three important cities in my life so far: Tianjin, China, Edmonton, Canada, and Singapore. One observation is that my life is monotonically decreasing in the number of seasons: Tianjin (four regular seasons), Edmonton (two seasons, winter versus non-winter), and Singapore (always summer).

List of staffs and students

We are actively recruiting research assistants, graduate students, and postdocs. Please apply to join our research family.

Our lab currently offers three types of positions: interns or research assistants, Master or PhD students, and Postdocs. Different positions have different hiring requirements and expectations as described below. In general, all applicants should have strong programming skills, and have expertise or would like to develop expertise in software engineering, interaction design, data mining, and/or computer security. Shortlisted applicants will go through our regular hiring tests and procedures.

Prospective Interns or Research Assistants

Interns are usually short-term positions (less than 6 months). We require an intern applicant to determine a research topic or project before joining us. Since 6-month is very short, we do not have time to waste for thinking about the right projects to work on after your arrival. Therefore, please also enclose a short research proposal with your internship application.

Research assistants are more advanced and long-term positions than interns. The hiring requirement for RAs is more strict than interns but RAs are paid with higher salary. RA applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a short research proposal but this is not strictly required. We expect RAs to be able to independently conduct research either by him/herself or lead a small team of interns or undergraduate students. Unless you have a proven record of research experience (such as publications in reputable conferences or journals), all RAs are hired as interns first (typically for 3 months), and can then be converted to an RA.

Prospective Master or PhD Students

If you are interested in a PhD position in our lab, you have to apply it directly from our school's website: Prospective Students. Your application will go through the graduate student hiring committee and strong candidates will have a chance to be admitted by our school. The admitted applicants will receive full scholarship for 4 years. PhD students are expected to have a long-term research plan (3-5 years), and are able to propose and conduct independent research together with RAs and interns.

Before you join our school, if you are interested in software engineering research and want to gain some research experience, you can contact us to apply for an intern or RA position in our lab. You will go through a careful selection process conducted internally by members of our lab, and successful candidates will be offered with internships or RAships to work in our lab (preferably 6 months or more).

Note that successfully getting a position in our lab will not guarantee you to be admitted by our school. The benefit of this approach is that you can get familiar with the research environment and if your performance is exceptional, you can receive a recommendation letter from us, which can increase your chance of getting admitted.

Prospective Postdocs

Postdoc applicants should have a proven track record in research (means solid publications in top-ranked conferences and journals). They should also have strong analytical, communication, and writing skills. We especially welcome applicants with expertise in interaction design, data mining, information retrieval, and computer security who can leverage his/her expertise in solving challenging problems in software engineering. We expect a postdoc researcher to publish at least two high-quality research papers per year. Postdocs may also help to supervise PhD students and RAs.

About Me

I am an Assistant Professor in the Division of Software and Information Systems, School of Computer Engineering, Nan-yang Technological University. More ...