We would like to invite you to attend the inaugural Convocation of the USC Center for Systems and Software Engineering (CSSE), at USC October 24, 2006, and to participate in the Executive Workshop October 25-26 on "Critical Success Factors for Systems of Systems Engineering."

The Convocation will be a major event at USC and externally. Its confirmed keynote speakers to date include Dr. William Wulf, President of the National Academy of Engineering, and Mr. John Stenbit, the leader of many of the Department of Defense's network-centric systems of systems initiatives while recently serving as DoD's CIO and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence.

The Convocation will mark the union of USC's Center for Software Engineering (CSE) and the research arm of USC's Systems Architecting and Engineering (SAE) Program, with the additional involvement of leading USC systems-oriented researchers in the Viterbi School of Engineering, Marshall School of Business Administration, Information Sciences Institute, and Institute for Creative Technologies. At current counts, its USC Principals include 5 INCOSE Fellows, 10 IEEE Fellows, and 8 members of the National Academy of Engineering. We have searches underway to recruit additional senior research leaders and promising junior researchers in systems and software engineering over the next couple of years.

A primary objective of the CSSE is to bring its researchers together with counterpart industry and government leaders to assess and anticipate future needs for improved systems and software engineering capabilities, and to perform collaborative interdisciplinary research to address the needs. Its Executive Workshop series will continue and extend the series of Executive Workshops that the CSE has been holding since 1993. The current CSE affiliates' program has 30 member organizations, including all of the major aerospace companies; leading companies in telecommunications, computing, and software development; and most of the leading systems and software engineering nonprofit organizations.

A recent paper, derived from the results of several of these workshops, provides an example assessment of future systems and software engineering needs and challenges, and example USC process research results being applied on early forerunners of future systems of systems and product lines. You can find it at

We hope you'll be able to attend what we think will be a most significant and informative event.

Best regards,

Barry Boehm
CSE Director
CSSE Director-designate
Stan Settles
SAE Program Director
CSSE co-Director-designate
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