Portrait of Andrew Begel

Andrew Begel

Principal Researcher


I am a Principal Researcher in the Ability Group at Microsoft Research in Redmond, WA, USA.

My research looks at how technology and AI can play in a role in extending the capabilities and enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities. My current focus is on employment for autistic adults and programming for accessibility. Recently, I looked at applying HCI techniques to study and improve the software development process. I studied biometrics and affect-based software engineering, social media for software engineering, collaborative software development, Agile methodologies, developer-centric knowledge management, flow and coordination, and K-16 and beyond programming education.

I received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in December 2005. I studied with Susan L. Graham. My dissertation was about voice-based programming, how to build a development environment that supports it, and how well programmers can use it. It is intended for programmers with repetitive strain and other injuries that make it difficult for them from using the keyboard and mouse in their daily work. For the quick punch-line, read my dissertation abstract below.

At MIT, I received a Master of Engineering degree in Computer Science in 1997 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1996. I worked on StarLogo, a programmable modeling environment designed to help students learn about science. StarLogo ran via Java on PCs, Macs and Unix machines. A newer version of StarLogo, called StarLogo TNG, incorporated graphical block-based programming and a 3D turtle world to teach programming by enabling kids to create their own games and simulations.

I grew up in southeastern New York, in Rockland County. I’ve lived in NY, Boston, San Francisco and now Seattle. For more information, see my personal home page.