Director, School of the Environment
Professor, Department of Computer
University of Toronto,
40 St George Street,
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2E4,
Phone: +1 (416) 978 3610
Buy my new book, "Computing the Climate: How we know what we know about climate change", now available for pre-order from Cambridge University Press!
Member of the Sustainability Informatics research group
Member of the graduate faculty of the School of the Environment
Member of the Centre for Global Change Science
My research focuses on climate informatics, and more specifically, the applications of computer science and software engineering to the challenge posed by global climate change. I have completed a series of case studies of the software development processes used by computational scientists for development of Earth System Models. See for example:
I am also investigating the role of computational models in teaching key concepts in climate science, and the application of web-based collective intelligence tools to the development of consensus solutions to climate change. Some of this work focusses on the idea of Systems Thinking as a key strategy in understanding. See for example:
- S. M. Easterbrook (2014) "From Computational Thinking to Systems Thinking: A conceptual toolkit for sustainability computing". Proceedings, Second International Conference on ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S 2014), Stockholm, Sweden, August 24-27, 2014
- Becker, C., Chitchyan, R., Duboc, L., Easterbrook, S. M., Penzenstadler, B., Seyff, N., Venters, C., (2015) Sustainability Design and Software: The Karlskrona Manifesto. Proceedings, 37th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, Florence, Italy, 16-24 May, 2015.
My earlier work focussed on systems analysis for complex software-intensive systems, particularly questions such as how the views of different stakeholders
can be compared and merged; the role of modelling for understanding and
communicating key ideas about systems; software verification and validation and how it affects software quality; and the social and cognitive processes that support coordination within teams of software developers. I'm also interested in the broader question
of how software development re-shapes human activities, or more accurately,
how human activities and software systems co-evolve, each shaping the other
in important ways. See for example:
- S. M. Easterbrook, E. Yu, J. Aranda, Y. Fan, J. Horkoff, M. Leica, and R.
A. Qadir. Do Viewpoints Lead to Better
Conceptual Models? An Exploratory Case Study. 13th IEEE International
Requirements Engineering Conference (RE’05), Paris, France, Aug 29 –
Sep 2 2005.
- S. M. Easterbrook and M. Chechik, "A Framework
for Multi-Valued Reasoning over Inconsistent Viewpoints", Proceedings,
23rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE-01), Toronto,
Canada, May 12-19, 2001. IEEE Computer Society Press.
For a full list of papers, see my publications page
- How to broaden the education of computer science students - increasing diversity of the undergrad student cohort, improving their ethical and ecological maturity, and equipping them with the skills to engage in inter-disciplinary work.
- Fostering trans-disciplinary research around climate change.
- Software for collective decision-making around climate change policies.
- The software development processes and software quality factors in climate modeling.
- Research methodologies (and especially empirical research methods) in Software
- Modeling and Reasoning in the Presence of Inconsistency.
Some talks and tutorials I have given:
Patents held: Patents? Why on earth would I have patents?
I'm a scientist, dammit. Patents only get in the way of open dissemination of
||Please note: all teaching materials on my website are made available under
a creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
licence. Feel free to use and adapt this material, but respect the terms
of this licence. If you would like original powerpoint files, please contact
- Currently (2022-23) I'm teaching:,
- Nothing in 2023, as I've started a new term as Director of the School of Environment. I'll be teaching a new course Confronting the Climate Crisis in 2024.
- Past courses:
My interests include:
Steve Easterbrook, [Last modified: May 9, 2023]