Carnegie Mellon University

Alice Wins Duke's Choice Award

06-03-2009

Alice Wins Duke's Choice Award

AliceSun Microsystems presented its Duke’s Choice Award for Java Technology in Education to Carnegie Mellon’s innovative Alice software system during the JavaOne conference at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

Randy Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science, accepted the award during the conference’s opening session June 2. The Duke’s Choice Awards program recognizes the year’s most influential Java technology-based applications submitted by developers and companies around the world. The winners are chosen by Sun Fellow and Vice President James Gosling, a 1983 graduate of Carnegie Mellon, along with a panel of Java technology experts at Sun.

Alice is a teaching tool that engages novice programmers in the creation of 3D animations using a drag-and-drop interface. The key research project of the late Randy Pausch, Alice is used in about 15 percent of U.S. colleges and universities, as well as a growing number of secondary schools. The project team now is headed by Associate Teaching Professor Wanda P. Dann and by lead developer and Project Scientist Dennis Cosgrove.

The latest version, Alice 3, will include a standard Java language interface so students can create programs either by using the drag-and-drop editor or by typing on a keyboard. Alice 3 will be released later this summer.

Last year, Sun announced it was teaming with Carnegie Mellon to support Alice’s continued development. Over the next three years, Sun will work with the university to globalize Alice, providing tools to translate it into different languages and develop drag-and-drop artifacts unique to a variety of cultures. Sun will work with the Alice development team to bring the system to a worldwide audience of educators and students.

Byron Spice