General Information: Fall 2011
|Lectures||WF 10:30am - 12:00pm||McCain 2118|
|Instructor||Philip T. Cox||Comp Sci 226: tel. 494-6460: email@example.com|
There is no text for this course. The primary source for reference materials is the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing (JVLC) and the Proceedings of the IEEE Symposia on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC) which are in the library. Providing the computer you are using has a Dalhousie IP address, JVLC is also available on-line at Elsevier and VL/HCC at the IEEE Digital Library. Other papers will be made available for directed reading as required.
Undergraduate degree in Computer Science or permission of instructor.
The introduction of graphics-based operating systems in the mid-80s instigated a major revolution in the way we use and interact with computers, introducing or popularising notions such as “point-and-click”, “drag-and-drop”, “WYSIWYG”, “GUI” and so forth. As a result, computers became much more widely accessible to a much wider group of users. For example, these days personal computers are almost universally used by arts students to write, format and print papers. This would have been unthinkable 25 years ago. The immediate beneficiaries of this revolution were individuals we now call "end-users". Software developers, on the other hand, faced a great increase in the complexity of their task, which now was no longer just writing programs to compute results from data, but included very complex programs to manage graphical user interfaces.
This course looks at ways in which visual representations of software structures, for example, algorithms and data, can be used to bring productivity benefits to software developers, just as GUI-based applications have brought benefits to end-users. We will consider current research topics, questions concerning the suitability of visual languages to the tasks they are designed for, the advantages and disadvantages of visual programming compared with textual programming, and we will investigate some visual programming models.
News and announcements will be posted in reverse chronological order in the News section of the course home page (web.cs.dal.ca/~pcox/csci6304). That list is the first place you should look for information regarding the course. Please check it regularly.
Since this is a research-oriented course, there will be no final examination. During the term you will be assigned papers to read, write short research reports and give seminars to the class based on them. You will also write one 90 minute midterm (November 2), submit assignments, complete a project, and you will be expected to participate in class discussions. Although the exact format and weighting will be determined during the first two weeks of classes, the following is approximately how it will be.
Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities should register as soon as possible with Student Accessibility Services if they want to receive academic accommodations. To do so please phone 494-2836, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, drop in at the Killam, G28 or visit AccessibilityServices website.
All work must be your own unless it is specifically understood to involve collaboration. Any materials referenced must be attributed. Please see the Dalhousie University policy on Intellectual Honesty and the Academic Integrity website. If you are not sure how to properly cite items, you should attend one of the seminars on the topic offered by the Writing Centre in the Killam Library.