Suchita Mukherjee Receives College of Engineering Master’s Thesis Excellence Award

Suchita Mukherjee Headshot

Suchita Mukherjee is the first recipient of the annual Master’s Thesis Excellence Award in the College of Engineering. She is graduating from UC Davis this spring with a master’s degree in computer science and will be joining Zillow Group as a software developer.

She was selected for this award based on her research, “Fixing Dependency Errors for Python Build Reproducibility,” under the mentorship of computer science Professor Cindy Rubio-González.

“I was ecstatic but not surprised to hear that Suchita was selected as the recipient of this award,” said Rubio-González. “Suchita’s thesis is excellent in all respects. It addresses an important software engineering problem, provides a feasible and automated solution and evaluates its effectiveness in fixing hundreds of real-world dependency errors affecting large Python software.”

The College Awards Committee, chaired by materials science and engineering Professor Subhash Risbud, made the selection from several extremely competitive submissions.

“I’m very honored and really excited to receive this award. This award has given me further encouragement to strive for excellence in my work,” said Mukherjee. “I hope my experience in software engineering research will help me make more of an impact in my new role.”

In her thesis, she explains how software reproducibility is important for re-usability and the cumulative progress of research. A piece of software may inadvertently fail to build or produce the expected results due to changes in the dependencies it relies upon. While it is critical to diagnose and fix such dependency errors, the process is time consuming and difficult given the large search space of software dependencies and their available versions. Mukherjee designed and implemented a novel automated approach to detect, diagnose and fix dependency errors that affect software reproducibility in Python applications. 

Mukherjee says the UC Davis community has been an integral part of her educational journey and that she is lucky to have had great support from her faculty and peers.

“The work that I was able to accomplish would not have been possible without the continued mentorship of my advisor, Professor Cindy Rubio-González, along with Professor Aditya V. Thakur and Professor Premkumar T. Devanbu, who graciously agreed to serve on my thesis committee. Their detailed feedback and insights helped me improve my work. UC Davis has made me part of a community that has always prioritized building each other up and this network helped me stay motivated even through the trying situation of the pandemic.”

“It was delightful to work with Suchita on this project. Suchita conducted doctoral-level research and was the main force in all aspects of the project. She will be presenting this work at the International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, where her research has been accepted for publication,” said Rubio-González.