Dr Paul Ralph

PhD (Information Systems), University of British Columbia


Dr. Paul Ralph is an author, scientist, consultant and computer science lecturer at The University of Auckland. His research centers on the theoretical and empirical study of software and game development, including projects, processes, practices, tools and developer cognition, socialization, productivity, creativity, wellbeing and effectiveness. His research has been published in premier software engineering and information systems outlets, including the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), the Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS) and Information and Software Technology. Additionally, he has written editorials on technology, education and design for influential outlets including Business Insider, Lifehacker and The Conversation. Paul is the founding director of the Auckland Game Lab, co-founded the AIS Special Interest Group for Game Design and Research (SIGGAME) and chairs the International Workshop on Theory-Oriented Software Engineering. Paul holds a PhD in information systems from the University of British Columbia. Previously he was a lecturer at the Lancaster University Management School, the highest rated management research institution in the United Kingdom.

Research | Current

Current and upcoming projects

  1. Exergames: modding video games to motivate intense physical exercise
  2. Coevolution: Tools for Enhancing Creativity in Software Development
  3. Theorizing Game Design: A Game Development Ontology
  4. Framing effects: The Effect of Problem Presentation on Design Creativity and Effectiveness
  5. Mitigating cognitive biases in software development
  6. Theorizing Agility: Do Agile methods actually increase agility?
  7. Software development contracts: contents and unintended consequences

Teaching | Current

SOFTENG 750: Software Development Methodologies

COMPSCI 732: Software Tools and Techniques

COMPSCI 111/111G: An Introduction to Practical Computing


Paul is the media coordinator for the Department of Computer Science.

Areas of expertise

Creativity, Design, Empirical Software Engineering, Game Development, Information Systems, Project Management, Cognitive Psychology, Sensemaking, Exergaming

Committees/Professional groups/Services

ACM SIGSOFT, AIS SIGGAME, General Theory of Software Engineering Initiative

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Ralph, P. (2015). The Sensemaking-Coevolution-Implementation Theory of Software Design. Science of Computer Programming, 101, 21-41. 10.1016/j.scico.2014.11.007
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/26327
  • Mohanani, R., Ralph, P., & Shreeve, B. (2014). Requirements Fixation. ICSE 2014 Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, 895-906. Hyderabad, India: ACM. 10.1145/2568225.2568235
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30324
  • Ralph, P., & Kelly, P. (2014). The Dimensions of Software Engineering Success. ICSE 2014 Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Software Engineering, 24-35. Hyderabad, India: ACM/IEEE. 10.1145/2568225.2568261
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/30322
  • Parsons, J., & Ralph, P. (2014). Generating Effective Online Recommendations Using Viewing-time Weighted Preferences for Attributes. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 15 (8), 484-513.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27660
  • Ralph, P. (2012). Improving coverage of design in information systems education. Paper presented at 33rd International Conference on Information Systems, Orlando, Florida, USA. 16 December - 19 December 2012. Related URL.
  • Ralph, P. (2011). Toward a Theory of Debiasing Software Development. In S. Wrycza (Ed.) Research in Systems Analysis and Design: Models and Methods: 4th SIGSAND/PLAIS EuroSymposium 2011, Gdańsk, Poland, September 29, 2011, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 92-105). Berlin: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-642-25676-9_8
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27633
  • Ralph, P. (2010). Comparing Two Software Design Process Theories. In R. Winter, J. L. Zhao, S. Aier (Eds.) Global Perspectives on Design Science Research. 5th International Conference, DESRIST 2010, St. Gallen, Switzerland, June 4-5, 2010. Proceedings (pp. 139-153). Berlin: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-642-13335-0_10
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27617
  • Ralph, P., & Wand, Y. (2009). A Proposal for a Formal Definition of the Design Concept. In K. Lyytinen, P. Loucopoulos, J. Mylopoulos, W. Robinson (Eds.) Design Requirements Engineering: A Ten-Year Perspective. Design Requirements Workshop, Cleveland, OH, USA, June 3-6, 2007, Revised and Invited Papers (pp. 103-136). Berlin: Springer. 10.1007/978-3-540-92966-6_6
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/27634

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 494
New Zealand

Social links

Web links