Alan Borning

Affiliations and Research Interests

I recently retired (sort of) from the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where I was a faculty member from 1980 through March 2016. (The “sort of” is because I'm not totally serious yet about retirement -- I'm still actively working on a couple of research projects, am participating in some seminars, and advising a Ph.D. student.) Before retiring I was also an adjunct professor in the Information School, and a member of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Urban Design and Planning.

Working with a wonderful group of students and other colleagues, my current research is mostly in programming languages, specifically constraint-based languages and systems, with funding via the Communications Design Group. I've put recent papers in this area (and others) on my recent publications list. Historical papers from the UW Constraint-Based Languages and Systems group are here. Also, here is a recently revived version of ThingLab (the topic of my PhD dissertation), now running in a Smalltalk-78 emulator in Javascript.

I've also done research in human computer interaction, including OneBusAway, a set of tools to make public transportation more accessible, easier, and more fun to use; systems to support civic engagement and deliberation; on using and evolving value sensitive design, and 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.

Sabbatical visits during my time at UW 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). I've continued to work with the Software Architecture Group at Hasso Plattner Institute on the constraint language projects.

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.