About Looking Glass

My mentor is Caitlin Kelleher. She works at Washington University in St. Louis, located in St. Louis, Missouri. She is in the Computer Science and Engineering department. Her research focus is in the area of human-computer interaction.

Caitlin is the creator of the program Storytelling Alice. Storytelling Alice uses the programming language, Alice, which features a drag and drop environment to create computer animations using 3D models. Caitlin's program enables a few new features such as: high-level animations that allow users to program social interactions between characters, a story-based tutorial that introduces users to programming through building a story, and a gallery of 3D characters and scenery with custom animations designed to spark story ideas.

I am working with Caitlin on Storytelling Alice's successor, Looking Glass.

Here is a description of Looking Glass taken from Caitlin's Page on the Washington University website:

Computing has become a fundamental tool in nearly every career field. Yet there are few opportunities for children to learn basic computer programming. We are building a programming environment called Looking Glass (the successor to Storytelling Alice) which provides a fun context for learning to program (building short animated movies) and support for children to learn from each other's programs. If a Looking Glass user finds a movie on the internet that contains an animation or effect she would like to learn, she can use special tools within Looking Glass to quickly identify the commands responsible for that effect. Then, Looking Glass can generate a custom tutorial that will guide her through building that effect in her own program. We believe that the combination of a motivating context and the ability to find and effectively use examples in programs created by peers will enable many more children without access to formal computer science courses to learn basic computer programming.

I am currently revamping the process the description above refers to as the "special tools to identify commands responsible for that effect....[and] building that effect into her own program." This process is called Remixing. I have been working to make the process less cluttered, and easier to understand for users.