Current Affiliation

Previous Affiliations
Institute for Software Research at Carnegie Mellon University Logo
Carnegie Mellon Engineering Logo

Patrick Wagstrom's Academic Home Page

Welcome to my home page and aggregator for academic information related to me. This is that place if you're looking for information on my research on software engineering, open source software development, and social network analysis. If you're looking for information on technology policy, MythTV and HDTV, or my random rants about using Linux as a desktop operating system, you probably want to see my personal home page, or my weblog. If you're wondering about where I've worked in the past and business type stuff, you should probably check out my LinkedIn profile.  If you're a friend, I finally gave in and created a Facebook profile.

Primary Academic Interests

I'm interested in the complex interactions required to make distributed software development and engineering processes work. There isn't any magical pixie dust that allows Open Source communities to create high quality software, rather its a blend of norms and processes that allow developers to collaborate effectively with minimal amounts of communication. When firms and individuals start to enter these communities, dramatic shifts in the organization of the community occur, sometimes with disastrous consequences -- so we must learn more about these interactions. Particularly, I take a hierarchical view to distributed Open Source communities, looking at the foundations, firms, and individuals in each community and how they collaborate. As I've researched these topics more and more, I've realized that many of these same challenges are inherent in any distributed team, so I also seek to bridge the knowledge about the Open Source world to the other realms.

Academic Background

Like many students at Carnegie Mellon, I have a fairly interdisciplinary background. When I arrived at Carnegie Mellon, I joined the Department of Engineering and Public Policy in the College of Engineering. Later, when the new program in Computation, Organizations, and Society was created within the Institute for Software Research in the School of Computer Science, I joined that program, where I now pursue a joint Ph.D. between the two programs. I am currently affiliated with two different research groups at Carnegie Mellon, the Center for the Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems and the Carnegie Mellon Software Industry Center. Trust me, it all works out and makes me a well rounded researcher. It also gives me a lot of flair to put on my home page and business cards.

Before arriving at Carnegie Mellon, I obtained a master's degree in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology. I also have three undergraduate degrees, in computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology.


Please see the publications section of my CV for a list of my publications.

Research Collaborators

Over the course of my academic career I've had the privilege of collaborating with lots of extremely talented and gifted individuals. Here's a small selection of great folks I've worked with and a little blurb of what I'm doing or did with them.  If you're someone I've worked with and I've forgotten you, please let me know and I'll try to remedy the situation.

Current Collaborators

  • Jim Herbsleb (Carnegie Mellon) - My primary Ph.D. thesis advisor. Open Source collaboration, distributed coordination, value in Open Source ecosystems.
  • Kathleen Carley (Carnegie Mellon) - My other Ph.D. thesis advisor. Social networks in Open Source, individualized social-technical congruence metrics.
  • Anita Sarma (Carnegie Mellon) - Visualizing distributed coordination challenges, coordination in distributed engineering.
  • Sonali Shah (University of Washington) - Value in Open Source ecosystems.
  • Laura Dabbish (Carnegie Mellon) - Coordination in distributed engineering.

Past Collaborators

Teaching and Research Supervision

While at Illinois Institute of Technology I served for three years as a teaching assistant - working as a lab TA, then lab manager, and finally working with Dr. Xian-He Sun to implement a graduate level course on pervasive computing.  In addition, I proposed and managed an Interprofessional Project on applications of pervasive computing.  This project had me working and managing 12 of the brightest undergraduates on an innovative project to utilize wireless technology in the classroom, at a time when wireless networks were far from common.  This project continued as an in-depth research project over the summer where I supervised three undergraduates on their first research experience: Tyler Butler (now at Microsoft), Andrei Makhanov (on leave from the Ph.D. program in electrical engineering at Northwestern to work at Powerset), and Brent Lagesse (received a Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Arlington, now at Oak Ridge National Laboratory). 

At Carnegie Mellon I have worked with two other graduate students, two faculty members, and 20 students on addressing the wide open problem of spyware.  I directed the technical students on an ambitious and successful project that involved monitoring all of the Carnegie Mellon internet traffic for traces of spyware using Snort.  I also worked closely with a group of students attempting an educational intervention on spyware and assisted their design of an experiment.  The results of this successful project were later presented to officials from the Federal Trade Commision, congressional staffers, America Online, and the computing services staff at Carnegie Mellon.

I have also had the opportunity to give numerous guest lectures in undergraduate and graduate classes on diverse topics such as the interplay of HDTV and Digital Rights Management, social networks and the Internet, and designing Open Source Software.  These experiences have been augmented by training sessions at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and a two year seminar series on preparing for a career in faculty.

Academic Service

I've reviewed papers for a variety of conferences and journals, including CHI, CSCW, IEEE Transactions on Security and Privacy, and IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. I've also been on the organizing committee for CSCW 2004 (Computing Chair), CSCW 2008 (Computing and A/V Co-Chair), and CSCW 2011 (Computing and A/V Chair) and served as a student volunteer at CSCW 2006.

Contact Information

The best way to contact me is via my personal email account,