Conferences, Workshops and Call for Papers

8th One-Day Conference on the Teaching of Programming

University of Glasgow, UK
31 March 2008

The UK Higher Education Academy Information and Computer Sciences are again seeking keen and enthusiastic people, that have novel ideas (tried and tested) for teaching introductory programming to first year computing students, to speak at the 8th One-Day Conference on the Teaching of Programming, to be held at the University of Glasgow on 31st March 2008.

If you are interested in participating please email a 1000 word or pdf description of what you wish to share with the audience, and an indication of how you wish to present it, to J.E.Carter (at) kent.ac.uk by 21st January 2008. Notification of acceptance will be by 4th February 2008.

Further information about this event can be obtained by contacting Karen Fraser [karenfraser112@gmail.com] or by visiting the UK Higher Education Academy ICS website.

CSCW Journal Special Issue: CSCW, Technology and Diagnostic Work

Editors: Monika Buscher; Jacki O'Neill, John Rooksby

Submission deadline: 18 April 2008

When we think of diagnostic work, often the first domain to come to mind is healthcare. However, practices of noticing and categorising trouble and of defining the scope for remedial action span many domains. For example, diagnostic work also takes place in software and hardware troubleshooting, engineering, emergency work, detective work, coaching, hospitality work, piano tuning, and quality control. Broadening the analytical focus can leverage important insights for the design and use of CSCW technologies.

Although frequently conceived of as a 'moment' of individual cognition, diagnosis is often a material, collaborative process. It requires careful sensory and sensitive engagement with other people (e.g. in healthcare, teaching, policing or customer service), resourceful and iterative probing of information technology ( e.g. debugging code, playing a video game) and manipulation of material objects (e.g. fixing a printer jam). Some activities involve rational everyday knowledge, others demand scientific practices, representation and calculation, and some call for emotional and intuitive ways of knowing. Moreover, technology use pervades diagnostic work, mediating or facilitating it. Increasingly, technologies are used in remote diagnostic practices, for example, for bomb disposal, environmental monitoring, healthcare, or for customer support from one of a myriad of call centres. And local diagnosis also often relies on technological support, for example to alert people to problems, to help assess their nature, to locate solutions, to communicate diagnostic reasoning and so on.

Diagnostic practices are a pervasive and important feature of contemporary life. They matter, not least because it is through diagnostic work that different perspectives (e.g. novices and experts, users, developers and designers) meet. Technologies meant to support diagnostic work can interfere with the everyday practices, organizational structures and skills involved, both positively and negatively. For this Special Issue of the Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work we invite contributions that explore key dimensions of this dynamic relationship to inform the design and use of CSCW technologies, including questions around:

Collaboration: Diagnosing is often a collaborative endeavour. How is collaboration organised and sustained? Is it made visible or invisible? How do participants 'calibrate' for varying degrees of competence? What technologies are used? How could technologies support collaboration?

Human-matter engagement: Engagement with physiological or material agencies entails skills of human-matter 'communication'. People use technologies that translate, amplify, or otherwise document material activities. They use thresholds, patterns and alarms. How do (or don't) such technologies help people in making matter 'speak'? How do they 'sit' with the collaborative dynamic of diagnostic work?

Human-technology engagement: The states and processes of many of the technologies meant to support diagnostic work themselves are hard to notice, inspect, 'diagnose', let alone 'debug'. How do people understand and make the most of these technologies? How do they notice and exploit affordances and address breakdown?

In this special issue of the Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work we seek to analyze the collaborative practical accomplishment of technologically mediated or facilitated diagnostic work. We particularly invite studies of domains outside of healthcare. Regardless of the domain studied, authors must clearly address what constitutes diagnostic work within the context of their study, they must clearly describe the collaborative nature of diagnostic work and the opportunities and challenges that technologies in general and CSCW technologies in particular raise. Papers may focus on:

  • Studies of technologically mediated and/or facilitated diagnostic work
  • Critiques and analysis of existing technologies in use in diagnostic practice
  • Descriptions of concepts or designs of new technologies for diagnosis

Find out more from the CSCW Journal website.

Fourth Workshop on End-User Software Engineering (WEUSE IV)

Co-located with ICSE 2008
Leipzig, Germany
May 12, 2008

End-user programmers far outnumber professional programmers, and are using a wide range of programming languages and environments to create software. Unfortunately, evidence suggests that there is a high incidence of errors in applications developed by end users for a wide variety of purposes. Some of these errors have a high impact on individuals and organizations. This aspect has motivated researchers to explore new ways in which to help end users develop dependable software. Approaches and tools traditionally developed for professional programmers cannot be brought directly to end users primarily because end users have different background, training, and motivations than professional programmers. Therefore, current research in the area of end-user software engineering involves specialists in software engineering, programming languages, human-computer interaction, empirical studies, education, and cognitive psychology.

The Fourth Workshop on End-User Software Engineering is a one-day workshop which will focus on the challenges faced by researchers working on helping end users create dependable software. The primary goal of the workshop is to bring together researchers working in this research space.

Brief presentations will kick off the various sessions of the workshop. The rest of the time will be devoted to group discussions. The overall structure of the workshop will be flexible, including at least one open session aimed at fostering research collaborations.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Techniques, tools, or environments for helping end users design and create dependable software
  • Analyses or studies of end-user programming problems in specific end-user programming paradigms
  • Empirical studies of end-user programmers
  • Characterizations of end-user software engineers
  • Exploration of interactions between software engineering and other disciplines as applicable to end-user software engineering research

Further information can be found on the ICSE website

IEEE Software Special Issue : Developing Scientific Software

Publication date: July/August 2008

Many of the recent advances in science have been dependent on software. Because of the complex nature of the science underlying the software, much scientific software is written either by scientists themselves or by multidisciplinary teams of software engineers and scientists.

In the former case, scientists face the challenge of knowing little about software engineering beyond coding. In addition, they often work within a culture in which the skills and knowledge required to develop software are devalued. They thus fall into the category of "professional end-user developers." In the latter, the multidisciplinary teams face the challenges of different cultures (science and software development) and communication.

The aim of this issue is to explore the particular challenges facing scientific software development and the ways by which these challenges might be addressed.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Case studies of scientific software development
  • Analyses, grounded in practice, of the particular characteristics of, and problems facing, scientists as professional end-user developers, characteristics of scientific software development, characteristics of, and problems facing, multidisciplinary development teams comprising software engineers and scientists.
  • Discussions of tools, techniques, and strategies specifically designed to support scientific software development. We are not interested here in purely technical papers, but rather in papers which ground a discussion in the actuality of scientific software development.
  • Discussion of how tools, techniques, and strategies commonly deployed by software engineers might be usefully deployed, perhaps with some modification, by professional end-user developers. Again, we expect such a discussion to be grounded in the actuality of scientific software development.

For further information about this special issue, please feel free to contact Judith Segal (j.a.segal (at) open.ac.uk)

IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC'08)

Herrsching am Ammersee, Germany
16-20 September 2008

The IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC) is the premier international forum for researchers and industrial practitioners to discuss the theory, applications and evaluation of technologies, visual and otherwise, that enhance the role of humans in the computing process.

Established in 1984, the mission of the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing ("VL/HCC") is to support the design, formalization, implementation, and evaluation of computing languages that are easier to learn, easier to use, and easier to understand by a broader group of people.

This includes all research aimed at the above mission, regardless of whether it uses entirely visual technology, text, or instead uses sound, taste, virtual reality, the web, or any other technologies. Examples of research addressing this problem include, but are not limited to, language/environmental design aspects, theory that supports the many media used toward this goal, implementation aspects, empirical work, software comprehension aspects (including software visualization), and software modeling and/or software engineering aspects.

We solicit original, unpublished research papers that focus on one or more aspects of human-centric computing technology, for instance visual programming or interaction, text, sound, virtual reality, the Web, or other multimedia technologies.

Research papers may address cognitive and design aspects, underlying theories, formal methods, taxonomies, implementation efforts, tool support, and empirical studies. We also solicit short papers that present work in progress or demonstrations of tools. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Design, theory, and application of visual languages for programming, modeling, and communication
  • Domain-specific languages (DSL)
  • Computer-mediated human-human communication
  • Empirical studies of human-centric software technologies
  • Languages and tools for end-user software development
  • Languages and tools for domain-specific software development
  • Model-driven development of interactive systems
  • Multimedia systems
  • Multi-modal interaction
  • Software visualization and algorithm animation
  • Visual or multidimensional model-driven development

Accepted papers will appear in the Proceedings of VL/HCC'08, published by the IEEE Computer Society.

The conference is also inviting submissions for workshops and tutorials to be held in conjunction with the symposium; more information about these submission types can be found on the VL/HCC'08 web site.

Authors of the best papers accepted for the conference will be asked to submit revised versions of their work for a special issue of the Journal of Visual Languages and Computing.

More information is available on the symposium website

International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM)

9-10 October 2008
Kaiserslautern, Germany

The objective of the International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM) is to provide a forum where researchers and practitioners can report and discuss recent research results in the area of empirical software engineering and metrics.

This conference encourages the exchange of ideas that help understand, from an empirical viewpoint, the strengths and weaknesses of software engineering technologies. The conference focuses on the processes, design and structure of empirical studies, and the results of specific studies. These studies may vary from controlled experiments to field studies and from quantitative to qualitative studies.

The best papers in the symposium will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Empirical Software Engineering.

Conference website