CSE 478
206-543-6678
borningcs.washington.edu
Areas of interest: 

Human computer interaction, sustainability, computers and civic engagement, designing for human values, constraint-based languages and systems

Affiliations and Research Interests

I am Professor Emeritus in the Paul G Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, where I was a faculty member from 1980 to 2016, working with a wonderful group of students and other colleagues. I was also an adjunct professor in the Information School, and a member of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Urban Design and Planning.

For the first half of my time at UW my research was primarily in constraint-based languages and systems — see historical papers from the UW Constraint-Based Languages and Systems group. Also, here is a recently revived version of ThingLab (the topic of my PhD dissertation), now running in a Smalltalk-78 emulator in Javascript. During this period I was also a founding member of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, served on the board of directors for four years, and wrote and spoke on topics around computers and nuclear war (a depressing topic if there ever was one — see for example Computer System Reliability and Nuclear War from CACM in February 1987).

Later, I turned from programming languages to various research topics generally in the area of human computer interaction, again working with a great group of students and other colleagues. This included work on OneBusAway, a set of tools to make public transportation more accessible, easier, and more fun to use (including work on tools for blind and low vision riders such as StopInfo); on 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. In the last few years I again did some work on constraint-based languages and systems with funding from Viewpoints Research Institute. Papers on these topics are in my publications list on this site.

I'm not yet totally serious about retirement — recently I've been a part of the SEED Project, which seeks to work on larger issues around sustainability and economics, am still on the OneBusAway Board of Directors, and have a project on the material implications computer technology (material and energy use and waste) with the UW Tech Policy Lab. The programming language research is currently on hold (the funding dried up), but it would be nice to get back to it at some point.

Sabbatical visits included 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.