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Alumni Fellowship Recipient - Jason Carter

Jason Carter is the recipient of the 2013-2014 Computer Science Alumni Fellowship. This fellowship is awarded annually to Ph.D. candidates in their final year of study, allowing the students to work full-time on dissertation research. Generous contributions by alumni and friends help to make this fellowship possible.

Jason Carter

Dissertation: "Automatic Difficulty Detection"
Advisor: Prasun Dewan

The amount of help developers receive is a function of the distance between them and potential helpers. The greater the distance between developers and potential helpers, the harder it is for the latter to determine if the former needs help. To make the amount of help independent of distance, our goal is to develop a system that automatically determines and communicates developers’ difficulty. To meet this goal we have a) developed an algorithm that uses developers’ activities as input to determine whether they are having difficulty with their tasks, b) implemented this algorithm as a set of reusable difficulty detection modules, c) implemented an algorithm that uses developers’ body posture as input to determine whether they are having difficulty with their tasks and combine this algorithm with our difficulty detection modules, d) combined the difficulty modules built in (b) with a system that replays developers’ screens, e) developed an algorithm that automatically detects the barrier and difficulty level of programmers, and f) evaluated these algorithms in lab studies.