informa
/
1 min read
article

Ben Shneiderman, Computer-Science Professor

Shneiderman, an authority on how people work with computers, is the founder of University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Lab.
Ben Shneiderman, Computer-science professor -- photograph by David Deal

Photograph by David Deal

Ben Shneiderman
Computer-science professor

Interview by Rick Whiting

1
Get Visual
We're overdue for the next generation of user-interface and data-visualization tools, Shneiderman says, "so people can create something new using the huge amounts of data flowing past them."

2
New Vistas
Shneiderman helped develop Microsoft's Windows Vista user interface, in which the Help functions will become Show Me! "Help is such an old, desperate-sounding word," he says.

3
Rejected
He co-created the Nassi-Shneiderman flow diagrams, a graphical representation for designing structured software, and once had a paper rejected for publication with the suggestion that the authors "collect all copies and burn them."

4
Hot Idea
Shneiderman, along with World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, helped develop the concept of hypertext links. "I called them 'embedded menus,' and Lee had the wisdom to call them 'hot links.'"

5
Da Vinci Code
In his book "Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs And The New Computing Technologies," he muses about how da Vinci would use a laptop to integrate art and science.