Alan Borning

Affiliations and Research Interests

I am a professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, an adjunct professor in the Information School, and a member of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Urban Design and Planning. My current research is in two areas: human-computer interaction and programming languages.

In HCI, my interests are in systems to support civic engagement and deliberation, on tools to make public transportation easier and more fun to use, and designing for human values, in particular using and evolving value sensitive design.

In programming languages, I've been working on constraint-based languages and systems. Along with object-oriented programming, this was my primary research area for many years. I stopped around 2000, but have resumed recently, currently working with researchers at Viewpoints Research Institute, Communications Design Group, and the Software Architecture Group at Hasso Plattner Institute. (These groups are all intertwined.) Historical papers from the UW Constraint-Based Languages and Systems group are here; I've put recent papers in this area on my recent publications list. Also, here is a recently revived version of ThingLab (the topic of my PhD dissertation), now running in a Smalltalk-78 emulator in Javascript.

Other previous research includes work on UrbanSim, a modeling system for simulating the development of urban areas over periods of 20-30 years to inform public decision-making about major transportation and land use decisions and their environmental impacts.

I've been at UW since 1980. Sabbatical visits include Xerox EuroPARC in Cambridge, England (1989-1990); Monash University and University of Melbourne in Australia (1997); University of Hamburg in Germany (2003); Ashesi University College in Accra, Ghana (2004); and Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany (2010-2011).

Academic Degrees and Such

B.A. in Mathematics, Reed College, 1971. M.Sc. 1974, Ph.D. 1979, in Computer Science, Stanford University. Fulbright Senior Scholar Award (1997); Fellow of the Association Computing Machinery, 2001.