projects in University of Cambridge that are either currently in progress or
recently completed include:
An empirical evaluation of the effect of visual metaphor in programming
languages designed for use by novice end-user programmers. This work has been
presented at the IEEE conference on Visual Languages, and is to be published
in the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing.
A survey of scientific end-users of a laboratory instrumentation and control
language. This work has been presented at the Empirical Studies of Programmers
Workshop, and is to be published in the Journal of Visual Languages and
Computing. (In collaboration with Kirsten Whitley of Vanderbilt University).
A text processing system designed to provide the capabilities of the Perl
language to end-user software developers. This work was presented at the
Visual End User workshop, and included in a book published by Morgan Kaufmann.
The continued development of Green's Cognitive Dimensions of Notations
framework, still the only analytic technique that directly assesses the
usability of programming environments. This work is continuing in
collaboration with Thomas Green at Leeds University, and is the subject of
many ongoing publications and invited talks.
A cognitive model of the initial stages of a programming task: characterising
the decision taken by an end-user when investing in a new task abstraction.
This work has been presented to the Psychology of Programming Interest Group,
and is the subject of an ongoing collaboration with Chris Roast of Sheffield
A system which gives end-users the ability to customise their working
environment by automatically resolving conflicts and uncertainty between
different behaviour modules, based on data gained from observation of the
user's own actitivies. This work is being conducted by Richard Watts, a
student in the Computer Laboratory.
A study of the end-user programming facilities in domestic audio and video
appliances. This work is being conducted by Rachel Hewson, currently a senior
research associate in the Computer Laboratory.
Several interview studies of end-users in activities that resemble programming
in different ways (office filing, use of computer macros and styles, music
composition), and comparison of these activities to those of professional
programmers. This work has been conducted in collaboration with Thomas Green,
and has been presented at the International Computer Music Conference and the
Psychology of Programming Interest Group.
The development of a system for end-user programming of facilities in an
intensively networked home environment. This work is being conducted with
David Greaves, Daniel Gordon and Robert Hague in the Computer Laboratory. The
resulting end-user programming technique is currently the subject of a patent
application, and has been submitted to the IEEE conference on Human-Centric
The development of novel end-user programming techniques for time-based
control specification (e.g. domestic central heating), based on interviews
with commercial product designers and development of a novel prototype
controller. This work is being conducted with Rachel Hewson and Simon Moore in
the Computer Laboratory.
Facilities for improving the quality of end-user spreadsheet construction,
through the automated inference of assertions. This work is being conducted in
collaboration with Margaret Burnett of Oregon State University.