Spotlight on PPIGers

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Susan Wiedenbeck

Susan Wiedenbeck's new address is:

Susan Wiedenbeck
Faculty of Computer Science
DalTech
Dalhousie University
P.O. Box 1000
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3J 2X4

phone (902) 494-1425
susan@cs.dal.ca

Alan Blackwell

Alan Blackwell has recently completed (subject to examination) his PhD at the ex-Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge. The title of his thesis was "Metaphor in Diagrams", and completes an experimental investigation of the theoretical paper he presented at PPIG 8 in Ghent. The results of this work will be presented at PPIG in the near future, but in general they do not support the proposals made at PPIG 8.

Alan has now moved to the Computer Laboratory in Camridge University, where with EPSRC funding he is working on a PPIG-related project. This project, christened "Vital Signs: New Paradigms for Visual Interaction", is based on the work that he presented with Mark Simos at PPIG 10, and on Thomas Green's Cognitive Dimensions of Notations. It should have particular relevance to the current discussion on "end-user" programming.

Further information on the Vital Signs project is available at: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/afb21/vital/index.html

Howard Goodell

My name is Howard Goodell. I have been doing controls programming, mostly in the semiconductor capital equipment business, since I dropped out of a chemistry PhD program in the late 70's. 4 years ago I took over an end-user-programmed control system for equipment automation. My users and fellow-programmers and I agree this system transformed a frequently painful and tedious development process into the most productive software interaction of our careers. A paper on this system is in preparation.

End-user programming is also my doctoral research topic in the HCI Group of the Computer Science Department at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, USA. I have maintained an End-User Programming Web page http://www.cs.uml.edu/~hgoodell/EndUser there since 1997. With Carol Traynor (now Professor of Computer Science at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire USA), I organized a SIG on End-User Programming at CHI 97. We are currently soliciting position papers for a workshop at CHI 99 on "End-User Programming and Blended-User Programming" http://www.cs.uml.edu/~hgoodell/EndUser/blend/index.html.

The latter is my term (better suggestion, anyone?) for the rapidly growing class of concrete-minded, experimentally trained, full-time programming professionals: "Access programmer"; "NT networking expert"; "SAP applications specialist". They fall in the continuum of programming professionalism between end user and university-trained professional programmer. The purpose of the workshop is to formulate a research agenda for studying this phenomenon. I would like to acknowledge that the genesis of this idea was partly from the PPIG mailing list discussion of the "Eisenstadt-Bonar bet" last Spring. Also Prof. Russell Winder and others helped me clarify the idea after I suggested it there a couple months ago.