PPIG 2005 - 17th Annual Workshop
The Psychology of Invention in Computer Science
Ronald J. Leach, Caprice A. Ayers
Abstract: Much of the existing work on the psychology of programmers has been experimental. The purpose of this initial study is to help provide some avenues for future experimental research by addressing creativity in computer scientists. We studied several writings and published interviews with a number of prominent computer scientists in an effort to understand the nature of creativity in computer science and to develop a set of research questions to be answered about the thought processes of programmers. The intent was to identify similar factors of their experiences that may have contributed to their success. Parallels to some existing work on the nature of creativity in mathematics and architecture are also made. The paper concludes with a discussion of how the study of common experiences of creative research computer scientists can be extended to study the creative processes of programmers.