VL/HCC 2012


Keynote Speakers

Computational Thinking and Creative Practice

Prof. Alan Blackwell

Monday morning, October 1st

Alan Blackwell ABSTRACT End-user programmers have experiences of computation that are different from those of professional software engineers or people trained in computer science. We now understand that these different experiences arise from different motivations, different approaches to the task of programming, and different expectations about the outcomes. This talk reports results from a 10 year programme of research, engaging with collaborators who have been sought out precisely because their motivations, work methods and intentions are as different as possible from typical engineering programmers. These investigations have involved the development of a wide range of novel programmable systems and notations designed for use by choreographers, composers, musicians, and visual artists. The findings extend previous analyses of computational experience such as the attention investment model of abstraction use, and the cognitive dimensions of notations, drawing attention to ways of programming that are not only utilitarian, but playful and engaging. Research of this kind also helps us to understand that there are not necessarily different kinds of people in the world - those who are creative or not - but rather different ways of engaging with technology, available to all designers painting from the palette of human-centric computing systems.

BIO Alan Blackwell developed his first commercial visual and end-user programming tools in the early 1980s, and has worked with these technologies ever since. This included a mid-career PhD investigating the psychology of visual programming with Thomas Green at the UK MRC Applied Psychology Unit. Since 1998, Blackwell has been at the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory, where he teaches design-related topics, and directs the Crucible network for research in interdisciplinary design. He and members of his research group have consulted on end-user programming and interdisciplinary design topics for international research consortia and corporations including Microsoft, Google, Hitachi, Intel and Autodesk. Blackwell collaborates widely with social scientists and creative artists, and has published over 100 articles and books on design, visual languages and end-user programming. Among numerous services to the Psychology of Programming, Visual Language and HCI communities, he was one of the founders of the interdisciplinary Diagrams conference series, and is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing.


Some Thoughts on Executable Visual Languages and their Interfaces

Prof. David Harel

Wednesday morning, October 3rd

David Harel ABSTRACT The talk will survey the highlights of work carried out in the last 30 years, regarding visual languages for the programming of reactive systems. I'll discuss the intra-object language of statecharts and the inter-object language of live sequence charts (LSC) with its play-in interface, as well as a non-visual counterpart thereof, based on Java. Some recent work on a  natural language interface for LSCs and its combination with play-in will also be shown.

BIO David Harel has been at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel since 1980. He was Department Head from 1989 to 1995, and was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science between 1998 and 2004. He was also co-founder of I-Logix, Inc. He received his PhD from MIT in 1978, and has spent time at IBM Yorktown Heights, and sabbaticals at Carnegie-Mellon University, Cornell University and the University of Edinburgh. In the past he worked mainly in theoretical computer science (logic, computability, automata, database theory), and he now works mainly on software and systems engineering, modeling biological systems, and the synthesis and communication of smell. He is the inventor of the language of Statecharts and co-inventor of Live Sequence Charts (LSCs), and was part of the team that designed the tools Statemate, Rhapsody, the Play-Engine and PlayGo. He devotes part of his time to expository work, including series on Israeli radio and TV, and some of his writing is intended for a broad audience (see, for example, Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do (2000, 2012), and Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing (1987, 1992, 2003, 2012). He has received a number of awards, including the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (1992), the Israel Prize (2004), the ACM Software System Award (2007), the Emet Prize (2010), and four honorary doctorates. He is a Fellow of the ACM (1994), the IEEE (1995) and the AAAS (2007), a member of the Academia Europaea (2006) and the Israel Academy of Sciences (2010).

Updated on June 18th, 2012 | §Permalink