Public Release: 

Symposium explores how computer programs can be made easier to write and understand

Carnegie Mellon hosts Visual Languages/Human-Centric Computing Conference Sept. 18-22

PITTSBURGH--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.

About Carnegie Mellon University: Carnegie Mellon ( is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 11,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. A global university, Carnegie Mellon's main campus in the United States is in Pittsburgh, Pa. It has campuses in California's Silicon Valley and Qatar, and programs in Asia, Australia, Europe and Mexico. The university is in the midst of a $1 billion fundraising campaign, titled "Inspire Innovation: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University," which aims to build its endowment, support faculty, students and innovative research, and enhance the physical campus with equipment and facility improvements.

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