Spotlight on PPIGers

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Chris Douce

Recently, I have taken the plunge and moved from academia to industry, much to the bemusement of some of my friends. 'Real life!', they exclaimed. They joked that I would soon be debating the merits of one company car make over another, and coveting a named car parking space next to the marketing manager. I told them that this would never happen, and that I will be very happy driving my humble studentmobile for many years to come. Being intelligent sorts, they were quick to agree that there is more than one type of 'real-life' and both equally as difficult. I also informed them that I intend to stay close to my academic interests - after all, my job of chasing bugs and being confused with programs and programming languages is not a million miles away from what I was confused with and reading about when I was a student. It is only now that there is a little more money involved, and the programs are a little more complicated. I'm not sure whether its because of my change, but I seem to find Dilbert calendars all the more amusing.

I also seem to have changed my psychology of programming interests. I am now interested in programmers episodic/autobiographical memory in programmers, its strength, and how it develops. This is no more evident when I glance over a few sparsely commented object classes and ask my boss, 'hey, what the hell does this do?' His furrowed brow soon gives way to a brightening of his eyes and movements of the mouse, culminating in an explanation, 'its here! its here! look!....', with simultaneous scribbles on pieces of note paper (sometimes spatially arranged on the desk). Only now do I realise how little I know, and how much more there is to do in understanding what happens when we look at code, and wonder how it works. And how confusing my object hierarchies can get, especially first thing on a Monday morning. 

Georgios Heliades

Georgios Heliades has just completed (subject to examination) his Ph.D. thesis entitled "An argumentative approach to supporting early software design activities" at the Department of Computer Science, Loughborough University.

The thesis investigated the potential of design rationale to facilitate transfer of expertise among software designers working on error-prone tasks. That piece of research contributed towards a process model of the software design process based on argumentative reasoning as well as to the expansion of the role of notation in decision making activities of that kind. The strong experimental element in that work as well as the realisation of the benefits of looking at the design process from alternative perspectives brought up his interest in the PPIG community. He presented a paper at the 1st student PPIG workshop in 1996 and he became a member of PPIG just after PPIG 11. Other research interests include HCI and software methodologies.

During his time at Loughborough he worked as a teaching assistant on the Systems Analysis and Design first year course module (further information can be found at http://www-staff.lboro.ac.uk/~copv/coa281.htm) and as a research assistant on the SEDRES project (see http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/co/research_groups/sedres.html), an ESPRIT project defining data exchange standards for the systems engineering process in the aerospace industry. He currently plans his new study of virtual discussion between design diagrams and reader as an aid to the communication of the context of the original production and last update of the diagrams.

Martin Rausch

Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics (IGD) in Darmstadt, Germany.

I have gone to graduate school at the University of Colorado in Boulder where I worked on the team of Professor Repenning on issues related to the simulation authoring tool AgentSheets. As Master's thesis topic I investigated issues of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration among student groups working in similar setups cooperating via the Web. I am now working at IGD and help establish AgentSheets and its simple yet powerful ideas in Europe. I am especially interested in end-user programming aspects and how EUP can benefit education.