• unknown (b.)


A professor and software developer with the School of Computing at the University of Kent. Originally from Bremen, Germany, he is also a key member of the team that developed the BlueJ and Greenfoot Java learning environments. BlueJ is used in over 900 institutions worldwide and is available in over a dozen languages.. He was also involved in the development of the Blue programming language which was an object-oriented programming language that was developed especially for teaching. This led on to what is now BlueJ which is currently being maintained by a joint team at the University of Kent in Canterbury and Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Launched in 2006, Greenfoot is an environment created for teaching programming and computer science concepts and is targeted for a demographic of 15 years old and up. The software is available in both English and German. He co-wrote ?Objects First with Java? (4th edition), with David J. Barnes, which has been translated into six languages, including German, Italian, French and Dutch. At the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group of Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) 2010 conference, held in Milwaukee, WI, his work was referenced as one of the most influential tools in the history of computer science education. This paper described his work on the Blue programming language, which preceded BlueJ. On the 22nd May 2005 he made an entry to the BlueJ website in response to a post on Dan Fernandez's blog (Lead Product Manager - Visual Studio Express). Fernandez described a new feature of Visual Studio 2005 that "helps you understand objects at Design Time, rather than runtime." This feature had striking similarities to the way the object test bench functions within BlueJ. He did not act on the discovery; however, on May 11, 2006 Microsoft attempted to patent the idea. As the object test bench is essential to the way it functions, had Microsoft's patent been granted, it was likely that BlueJ would have had to have been discontinued. He spoke to Microsoft, and eventually the patent was dropped. He received a "Best PhD Thesis Award" in 2000 from The Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia and was awarded the first Victorian Pearcey Award for his development of BlueJ. He took part in a debate titled, "Resolved: Objects First has failed" at SIGCSE in 2005. He believes that "Objects First has not failed. We have failed to do it". He holds an honorary research position at Deakin University. Books he has authored or co-authored are , ?Introduction to Programming with Greenfoot: Object-Oriented Programming in Java with Games and Simulations?, Pearson Education, August 2009, ISBN 978-0-13-603753-8; ?Objects First with Java: A Practical Introduction using BlueJ?, Prentice Hall / Pearson Education, 2008, ISBN 0-13-606086-2 with David J. Barnes; and ?Reflections on the Teaching of Programming Series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science?, Vol. 4821. Springer, 2008, ISBN 978-3-540-77933-9 with Jens Bennedsen and Michael E. Caspersen.
  • Gender:

  • Noted For:

    Key member of the team that developed the BlueJ and Greenfoot Java learning environments and co-developer of the Blue programming language
  • Category of Achievement:

  • More Info: