Carnegie Mellon University
July 07, 2011

Press Release: Symposium Explores How Computer Programs Can Be Made Easier To Write and Understand

CMU Hosts Visual Languages/Human-Centric Computing Conference Sept. 18-22

Contact: Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

Jeannette WingPITTSBURGH—Computers may be a common part of modern life and work, but the languages and methods used to program those computers continue to confound most people. Researchers who are developing ways to make computer programs easier to write and use will be sharing their ideas at the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), Sept. 18-22, in Pittsburgh.
Hosted by Carnegie Mellon University, the VL/HCC conference will be at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel, with workshops and tutorials before and after the conference on the university’s Pittsburgh campus.
Keynote speakers will be Jeannette Wing, chair of Carnegie Mellon’s Computer Science Department and a proponent of computational thinking as a fundamental skill, and Brian Powell, principal software architect at National Instruments Corporation and a developer of LabVIEW, a graphical programming language that can be readily used by non-experts.
“As computers have become essential tools for business, entertainment, research, learning and an ever-broadening array of important tasks, many people are no longer satisfied just to use existing computer programs — they want to write their own programs to do new and greater things,” said Brad A. Myers, the general conference chair and a professor in CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. “Researchers from around the world are working to make computer languages accessible to non-experts and will be presenting their best ideas at VL/HCC.”
The early registration deadline for the conference is July 24. For more information on the program and details on attending, visit the conference website at
The Computer Science Department and Human-Computer Interaction Institute are part of Carnegie Mellon’s top-ranked School of Computer Science. Follow the school on Twitter @SCSatCMU.


Pictured above is CMU's Jeannette Wing, a keynote speaker at the symposium.