Using the web to get things done

October 13, 2010
12:00pm -- 1pm
Halligan 108
Speaker: Joel Brandt, Mira Dontcheva, and Wilmot Li, Adobe Systems
Host: Sara Su


As the Web grows, people increasingly rely on Web content to help them accomplish a wide variety of tasks. For example, programmers often search for and integrate code examples when writing software, graphic designers use online tutorials to help them learn new techniques, and 3D content creators leverage online repositories of 3D models. Despite the different goals and needs across this variety of scenarios, most users access Web content in the same way -- via general text-based search inside a Web browser. We show different approaches for helping people leverage the wealth of examples available on the Web in three very different domains: programming, 2D graphic design, and 3D modeling. One common challenge across these domains is to identify and extract the appropriate structure that makes it easier to interact with the data.

Joel Brandt is a Research Scientist at Adobe Systems, Inc. Through a mixture of empirical work and systems building, he studies the task of programming. His Ph.D. thesis explores the role that information resources play during software development. Tools built as part of this research are now used by thousands of programmers on a daily basis. He received a BS with majors in Computer Science and Mathematics and an MS in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis. He will receive his Ph.D. from Stanford University in December 2010.

Mira Dontcheva is a Senior Research Scientist at Adobe Systems. Mira's research focuses on search and sensemaking interfaces. Since joining Adobe, Mira has been learning about designers and developers and building new tools to support their information needs. Earlier this year, Mira published her first edited book - No Code Required: Giving Users Tools to Transform the Web. Mira completed her PhD at the University of Washington in 2008. She was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan and completed her BSE in computer engineering in 2000.

Wilmot Li is a Research Scientist in the Creative Technologies Lab at Adobe Systems. While much of his research focuses on automated and interactive techniques for visualizing important properties of 3D objects, he has also worked on a variety of other topics in computer graphics, including adaptive document layout, instructional design, and non-photorealistic rendering. Before joining Adobe in 2008, Wil earned his PhD at the University of Washington. He was an undergraduate at Princeton where he completed a BSE in computer science in 2000.