Madeline Endres

PhD Candidate, Full CV (Updated as of June 2021)

Computer Science and Engineering

University of Michigan


Hiring Undergraduate for Fall 2021

I am looking for an undergraduate researcher for Fall 2021. I am particularly looking for a Michigan undergraduate who is motivated, creative, and interested in human-focused software engineering research. If possible, I would like a student who can make at least a three-semester commitment (e.g. two school semesters and a summer). If you are interested in applying and/or you would like more information about the application process, please email me at

I am a third-year computer science PhD student at the University of Michigan where I am advised by Westley Weimer. Broadly, my research is at the intersection of software engineering and human factors where I am interested in exploring creativity, communication, and cognition. On the cognition side, I use neuroimaging and transfer-training-based experiments to study connections between natural language, spatial reasoning, and software engineering. As for communication, I have helped build and evaluate tools that automatically provide debugging hints for novices. I am also interested in how humans can best communicate scientific results, both of automatic patches and in other mediums such as Jupyter Notebooks. Finally, with respect to creativity, I am interested in understanding the diversity of human thought as expressed through programming. When I'm not working on research, I enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, hiking, and having long, overwrought conversations about moral philosophy, history, and astrophysics. I also play cello, and I'm always up for improvising and swapping music recommendations!

Academic Highlights

Cognitive Basis of Programming

In this area of work, I use a variety of techniques, including programming tests, psychological assessments, and medical imaging to better understand the factors behind programming expertise with the ultimate goal of helping novices become experts faster.

Indicative Papers: Relating Reading, Visualization, and Coding for New Programmers: A Neuroimaging Study

Ongoing Projects: Using VR to teach spatial reasoning for novice programmers, and investigating cognitive causality in programming more directly using TMS

Programming and Mind Altering Substances

Coming soon

Communication of Scientific Results

Coming soon

Automatic Program Repair for Novices

Around a third of all novice Python programs contain a call to standard input. These inputs can be surprisingly complex and can contain bugs. However, modern programming hint generators usually consider only the source code when identifying and fixing errors. With this work, I aim to understand input structures and and fix erroneous inputs for unique novice programs.

Indicative Papers

  • InFix: A tool for automatically repairing erroneous inputs for novice Python programs.
  • Conference and Journal Publications (Peer-Reviewed)

  • Madeline Endres, Madison Fransher, Priti Shah, Westley Weimer: To Read or To Rotate? Comparing the Effects of Technical Reading Training and Spatial Skills Training on Novice Programming Ability: Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), to appear 2021. [ Replication Package]

  • Madeline Endres, Zachary Karas, Xiaosu Hu, Ioulia Kovelman, Westley Weimer: Relating Reading, Visualization, and Coding for New Programmers: A Neuroimaging Study: International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), 2021. [ Stimuli and Data|  Slide Deck|  Conference Talk]

  • Madeline Endres, Westley Weimer, Amir Kamil: An Analysis of Iterative and Recursive Problem Performance: Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), 2021. [ Stimuli and Data|  Conference Talk]

  • Georgios Sakkas, Madeline Endres, Benjamin Cosman, Westley Weimer, Ranjit Jhala: Type Error Feedback via Analytic Program Repair: Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI), 2020.

  • Benjamin Cosman, Madeline Endres, Georgios Sakkas, Leon Medvinsky, Yao-Yuan Yang, Ranjit Jhala, Kamalika Chaudhuri, Westley Weimer: PABLO: Helping Novices Debug Python Code Through Data-Driven Fault Localization: Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), 2020.

  • Madeline Endres, Georgios Sakkas, Benjamin Cosman, Ranjit Jhala, Westley Weimer: InFix: Automatically Repairing Novice Program Inputs: Automated Software Engineering (ASE), 2019. [ Slide Deck|  Code Repository |  Stimuli and Data]
  • Posters and Presentations

  • Automatically Repairing Input Data for Novice Programs: IPIT Student talks, Ann Arbor Michigan, 2019. [ Slide Deck]
  • Computer Science Courses: Design Experience

    University of Michigan

    Computer Science Courses: TA Experience

    University of Michigan

    Other Teaching Experience

    • 2909 Bob and Betty Beyster Building
      Computer Science and Engineering
      University of Michigan
      2260 Hayward Street
      Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2121