Nancy Day head shot

Nancy Day

Professor, School of Computer Science

Nancy Day

Professor Nancy Day arrived at the University of Waterloo in January, 2001. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Oregon Graduate Institute. she completed her Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia in October 1998 working with Dr. Jeff Joyce. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Western Ontario, where she spent much of her time running with the cross-country and track and field teams. Her work has won awards at MODELS (International Conference on Model-Driven Engineering, Languages and Systems) and ISSC (International System Safety Conference).

Professor Day's research is in developing techniques and methodologies to ensure correct system behaviour for software and hardware systems. Her focus is on the use of formal methods, which often uncover subtle bugs that are very difficult to discover using conventional techniques. For example, in the analysis of a separation minima used by air traffic controllers over the North Atlantic Region, Professor Day and her colleagues uncovered three inconsistencies in the specification. Formal methods involve the analysis of mathematically precise descriptions of how systems behave. Formal methods have an advantage over techniques based on testing or simulation in that they examine all possible behaviours of the system.

Professor Day's research has involved collaboration with GM Canada and Critical Systems Labs on the detection of feature interactions in advanced automobiles, AT&T on analysis of a telecommunications protocol, and Intel on microprocessor verification. In the past, she has worked with Raytheon Systems Canada and MacDonald Dettwiler Associates to study applications of formal methods to the Canadian Automated Air Traffic System (CAATS). She also consults on the analysis of system safety.