End-User Programming for Mobile Devices


July 16, 2012


Nikolai Tillman from Microsoft Research chairs this session at Faculty Summit 2012.

In 2012, we are in the middle of a technology shift: instead of using PCs and laptops, mobile devices are becoming more prevalent for most everyday computing tasks. In fact, never before in human history were incredibly powerful and versatile computing devices such as smartphones available and adopted so broadly.

In this session, we discuss whether and how end-users can program mobile computing devices for fun and to automate tasks and implications for teaching computer science in today’s classrooms. Microsoft Research created the novel application creation environment TouchDevelop, which enables end users to author programs on smartphones—without a PC. We compare the traditional approach of using established programming languages to write mobile applications on a PC to novel programming approaches that enable creating applications on mobile devices directly. By mining existing mobile programming environments, we can infer what kind of applications end users want to create and what challenges they face.


Christoph Csallner, Nikolai Tillman, and Suresh Lodha

Christoph Csallner is an assistant professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). Before joining UTA, he worked for Google and Microsoft Research and received a PhD degree from Georgia Tech. He has received two Distinguished Paper Awards, the first one at the 2006 ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA) and the second one at the 2007 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE).