21 March 2012
12noon - 1pm
Venue: Room 303.561, City Campus
Contact info: Dr Alan Blackwell
Contact email: email@example.com
Department of Computer Science by Dr Alan Blackwell, the University of Cambridge.
Since the origins of digital computing, programming languages have been regarded as essentially mathematical - a kind of textual algebra or calculus. While human factors in programming were recognised as important, they have generally been considered a matter for education and training, aided by relatively common sense decisions regarding appropriate keywords and 'syntactic sugar'. However, recent advances in software design, cognitive ergonomics, and digital media offer radically different ways to address the creation of new interactive products. This talk will review some of the most promising research approaches, and present recent developments in the speaker's own group that are now influencing commercial projects at companies such as Google, Microsoft and Autodesk, as well as creative practitioners from dancers and musicians to sculptors.
Alan Blackwell was a student of electrical engineering at Auckland University, and worked as an industrial software engineer for several years, while completing a part-time MSc by research in computer science at Victoria. During an unexpectedly extended OE, he spent some years leading design teams in the UK, developing software products for companies including London Underground and Hitachi. He returned to further study in Cambridge, completing a PhD in applied experimental psychology. For the past 10 years, he has been on the faculty of the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory, where he is Reader in Interdisciplinary Design.
Refreshments will be served after the talk.