burnett-extractedFor the second time in the last four years, Margaret Burnett, computer science professor at Oregon State University, has won the Most Influential Paper Award from the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing. The awards demonstrate the leadership role Burnett has taken in the field in human computer interaction (HCI).

Last week at the annual conference hosted in Atlanta, Georgia, she received the award for her 2004 paper, co-authored with her then Ph.D. student, Laura Beckwith, and entitled “Gender: An Important Factor in End-User Programming Environments?

Ten years ago, the paper brought attention to the issue of gender differences in software itself, which has now led to a growing subfield in gender HCI.

From the nomination letter: “This paper was the first to address the topic of gender differences in programming environments. There had previously been work on software to target females (e.g., video games for girls), but no one had focused a lens on gender inclusiveness in ostensibly “neutral” software. The paper combined theories from five different fields and showed how they apply to end-user programming environments. This seminal paper started a line of work that attracted a considerable number of other researchers.”

This is the third such award for researchers at Oregon State. Just last year, Chris Scaffidi won it for his 2005 paper, “Estimating the Number of End-Users and End-User Programmers,” co-authored with Mary Shaw, and Brad Myers.

Burnett was also recognized this year for her outstanding mentoring by the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

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