New project: CRUSADE

Ben du Boulay, Richard Cox, Rudi Lutz and Pablo Romero recently started working in an EPSRC-funded project entitled CRUSADE (Coordination of multiple external Representations in program UnderStAnding and DEbugging).

This project will study novice programmers of Java when using software visualisation representations for program comprehension tasks. We are interested in how the co-ordination of these external representations influences 1) the form of their mental representations and 2) their comprehension strategies.

The aims of this project are:

  • to investigate the role that perspective, modality and individual differences such as cognitive style play in the co-ordination of multiple external representations in novice program comprehension.
  • to develop a set of design principles for program comprehension aids, and particularly for software visualisation packages for Java.
  • to develop a computerised experimental tool that will include a prototype visualisation environment for Java suitable for learners.