the UID group: Collabode, Collaborative Coding in the Browser

  1. Collabode project lead, Max Goldman, EECS PhD candidate and Angela Chang, EECS class of 2011 completing her undergraduate advanced project (AUP).
    Collabode project lead, Max Goldman, EECS PhD candidate and Angela Chang, EECS class of 2011 completing her undergraduate advanced project (AUP).
  2. Collabode 'collaborators' Max Goldman and Angela Chang.
    Collabode 'collaborators' Max Goldman and Angela Chang.
  3. Collabode homepage. http://groups.csail.mit.edu/uid/collabode/
    Collabode homepage. http://groups.csail.mit.edu/uid/collabode/
  4. Collabode 'collaborators' Max Goldman and Angela Chang.
    Collabode 'collaborators' Max Goldman and Angela Chang.
  5. Collabode homepage technology description. http://groups.csail.mit.edu/uid/collabode/
    Collabode homepage technology description. http://groups.csail.mit.edu/uid/collabode/
  6. Collabode 'collaborators' Max Goldman and Angela Chang.
    Collabode 'collaborators' Max Goldman and Angela Chang.
  7. Collabode 'collaborators' Max Goldman and Angela Change.
    Collabode 'collaborators' Max Goldman and Angela Change.

Meet Max Goldman, EECS PhD candidate in Computer Science and Project Lead for Collabode and MEng. student Angela N. Chang, recently graduated senior (6-3, 2011) who worked for her undergraduate advanced project (AUP) on Collabode.

Max, could you describe your work on Collabode – how you got interested? what are your goals? and how being part of Prof. Miller’s User Interface Design Group in CSAIL makes this work possible?

Max Goldman:
“My research interest is to understand how we can build software development environments designed for developers to collaborate closely with one another — working simultaneously on the same pieces of code — and what new kinds of development tools and processes we can support with such an environment. Just as Google Docs or similar web-based word processors make collaboration easy and immediate, Collabode enables the same thing for code.

The Collabode project arose from my involvement in another MIT project called MEET (Middle East Education through Technology). In MEET every summer we send a team of MIT students to teach computer science and entrepreneurship to combined classes of Israeli and Palestinian high school students in Jerusalem. Since our goal is to have these students working together, we ask them first to pair up on simple labs, then to work in increasingly large groups on increasingly complex projects. Watching students struggle to collaborate using existing tools is what sparked my interest in close developer cooperation using an environment built specifically for real-time collaboration. Although Collabode is not yet in use outside our group, we plan to use the system in 6.005 (Software Construction) in the fall.

Our group meets nearly daily to discuss our or others’ work. For me, the key feature of Prof. Miller’s UID group is that we do a variety of work at the intersection of human-computer interfaces and programming or software engineering.”

How exactly did you get started in the Miller UID group?

Max Goldman:
“I took Prof. Miller’s UI Design & Implementation class as an 18C (Math for CS) undergraduate in the first semester he taught it, and that class cemented my interest in HCI as the broad area of computer science I wanted to work on, even though at the time I was studying theory. I didn’t continue directly into the PhD program, instead I studied at the Technion in Haifa for my master’s before returning to MIT.”

Angela, you have worked as an EECS senior (2011) with Max and the UID group on the Collabode project for your EECS advanced undergraduate project (AUP). How has this influenced your future course following graduation?

Angela Chang:
“I am staying with Prof. Miller’s group for my MEng (in HCI) after graduating this spring (6-3). After MEng, I’m planning to move on into industry, but I’m still undecided as to where I want to go, and I’m hoping that working with Prof. Miller will help me decide on what I want to focus on for my career.

I took Prof. Miller’s User Interface Design & Implementation class (6.831) last spring and saw him give his usability talks a couple of times in other classes (6.005, 6.470). I was interested in doing a thesis in the areas of user interface design, human-computer interaction, or computer graphics for my Masters of Engineering next year and knew that Prof. Miller had a great reputation for both work and advising in this area, which led me to join this project and this group.”

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