ISR Distinguished Speaker

Margaret Burnett

Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
“Males and Females Developing Software: Are Programming Tools Getting in the Way?”
Friday, December 2, 2011 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Faculty Host: 

Email RSVP required to Joanna Kerner by Monday November 28.

Donald Bren Hall (building #314), room 6011

No cost to attend.


Click here for directions and parking information.


Although there has been recent investigation into how to understand and ameliorate the low representation of females in computing, there has been little research into how the software environments themselves fit into the picture. This talk focuses on how programming environments and tools interact with gender differences. For example, what if females' problem-solving effectiveness as they develop software would accelerate if their software tools were changed to take gender differences into account? This talk reports the investigations my collaborators and I have conducted into whether and how software and its features affect males’ and females’ performance differently, and describes the beginnings of work on promising tool changes that help both male and female software developers across populations, ranging from end-user programmers to software professionals.

About the Speaker: 

Margaret Burnett is a Professor of Computer Science at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University. Her current research focuses on end-user programming, end-user software engineering, information foraging theory as applied to programming, and gender issues in those contexts. She has a long history of research in these issues and others relating to human issues of programming. She is also the principal architect of the Forms/3 and the FAR visual programming languages and, together with Gregg Rothermel, of the WYSIWYT testing methodology for end-user programmers. She was the founding project director of the EUSES Consortium, a multi-institution collaboration among Oregon State University and Carnegie Mellon, Drexel University, Pennsylvania State, University of Nebraska, University of Washington, University of Cambridge (U.K.), and IBM to help End Users Shape Effective Software.