As a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC), the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University is at the forefront of the world’s effort to advance and improve the state of the software engineering and cyber security practices. With offices around the world, a best-in-class education and training program and a global presence at a full spectrum of research- and industry-centric events, tradeshows and international conferences, the SEI’s mission is to be world leaders in research and transition of knowledge.


As a way to look back at 2011, I designed the SEI’s annual publication around the idea of data complexity. Using highly refined data visualizations and carefully sourced photography as a vehicle for reflecting on – and connecting to this idea –  their collection of work over the year. Running through the entire book is a secondary “story thread” which uses analytical data of various kinds to connect each story to this idea of complexity, which quickly emerged as the central theme for the ever-increasing scale, scope and significance of the SEI’s work – and ultimate impact – within the global technology space.