Honors Seminar: Programming for the Masses

Rutgers University
Spring 2010
Michael L. Littman
Office hours by appointment

Time: Tuesday 1:40-3pm
Place: Hill 254
Semester: Spring 2010

Code: 01-198-195-01

DESCRIPTION: "Programming For The Masses": This class is about envisioning what programming might be in the future.

Computers are infiltrating everything from cars to phones to ballpoint pens. In the future, will programming knowledge be as widespread as computers? We'll explore this question from a number of different perspectives: In a world of programmable devices, what programs would people want to write? Is programming something arcane and best left to the experts, like reading and writing Latin? Or is it something with utility to everyone, like expressing yourself in written language? What devices are currently programmable and what others should we expect? What programming languages have the greatest promise for being usable to the broad population and what makes them so accessible? To grapple with these questions, we'll read relevant essays and background information. We'll gather our own experiences and mock up some programs of the future using existing tools. Finally, we'll synthesize and share our thoughts by blogging what we've learned.

Website support: Sakai. (All course administration will be done there.)

Each week, we will collect ideas individually, then blog a list to share with the group. Here are some of the things we'll collect: