Sherman R. Alpert

IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
914 . 945 . 1874

Research Interests Instructional Technology
Multimedia (Especially educational uses)
Object-Oriented Programming and Design (Especially in Smalltalk & Java)
Human-Computer Interaction 
Experience 1987—Present                    IBM T.J. Watson Research Center                      Yorktown Heights, NY
Senior Software Engineer
  • Departments: User Interface Institute, End-User and Object-Oriented Technology, Entertainment Applications, Applied Learning Technologies (current)
  • A sampling of my projects at Watson:
  • Web-enabled Intelligent Tutoring System for elementary algebra, using AI to recognize and remediate student errors; distributed Web implementation incorporating Smalltalk application server and Java applet client

  • Web-enabled Concept Map tool: tool for knowledge-elicitation, -representation, -organization, allows students to represent graphically information about a domain, story, etc. Deployed and accessible on the Web, incorporates multimedia (video, audio, image) concept elements, Web hyperlink concept elements, and knowledge abstraction (embedded sub-map) elements that allow for a three-dimensional representation of knowledge

  • Timeline-based digital video/film/audio editor: the IBM Digital Editing and Effects (EFX) editing and special effects environment

  • Intelligent Tutoring System for Smalltalk programming, including multi-modal demonstrations for help—bitmap animations and "interface animation" (animation of interface widgets—mouse, buttons, menus, etc.—as if a user were controlling them) accompanied by synchronized audio voice-overs
  • Educational application for early readers using speech recognition and speech output: users can speak sentences of a story shown on-screen while system "listens" and determines if sentence was read correctly and provides help if not; user can also listen to text-to-speech output to learn pronunciation of words and sentences

  • Grace (Graphical Constraint Editor) drawing editor incorporating graphical constraints and investigating visual mechanisms for creating and querying such constraints, including a programming-by-demonstration facility, as well as a natural language explanation facility

  • Raison d’Être: Multimedia project-history application allowing users to explore the evolution of a software project and its design rationale by viewing digitized video of designers at different stages of the project. Querying the database of video clips is performed via an iconic query interface

  • Expert system compile- and run-time environment that allows rules to access objects in any Smalltalk application in addition to working memory elements (WMEs) defined in the rule-based environment; in addition to modifying WMEs and objects, production rule actions may cause playback of multimedia; rulesets organized hierarchically with inheritance of rules and WME type definitions

  • Video jukebox allowing users to preview music CDs and associated videos prior to purchase (demo for major video rental chain)

  • 1986–1987                               Columbia University Teachers College                           New York, NY
    Instructor, Research Assistant, Graduate Student
  • Lisp programming course instructor

  • 1977–1986                  People Machine Interface, and Independent consultant               New York, NY
  • Variety of projects for major Wall Street financial institutions (e.g., CitiBank, Chemical Bank) and small businesses; project leader for entire life cycle: analysis, design, implementation, testing, deployment

  • 1975–1977                                  Burroughs Corporation                                                  New York, NY
    Systems Representative
  • S.W.I.F.T. design and implementation team—developed client software used by thousands of commercial banks worldwide connected to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications Electronic Funds Transfer network

  • 1974–1975                         Union Dime Service Corporation                                            New York, NY
  • Programmer for service bureau serving New York Metropolitan area savings banks
  • Professional Activities
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia
  • Editorial Board, Multimedia Tools and Applications
  • Research Papers Chair, Agile Development Conference 2004
  • Program Committee, ED-MEDIA 2004--World Conference on Education Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications
  • Scientific Committee, WWW/Internet 2004 Conference
  • Program Committee, Web-Based Communities 2004
  • Program Committee, International Conference on Internet and Multimedia Systems and Applications (EuroIMSA 2005)
  • Conference Committee (Tutorials Chair), OOPSLA 2002 (ACM Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications)
  • Conference Committee (Communications Chair), OOPSLA 2000
  • Program Committee, IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME) 2002; 2001; 2000
  • Program Committee, IEEE Multimedia’99—IEEE International Conference on Multimedia Computing and Systems
  • Co-Chair, Workshop on "Object-Oriented Programming in AI," International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI’89)
  • Co-Chair, Workshop on "Object-Oriented Programming in AI," National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI’90)
  • Guest Editor, Special Issue of IEEE Expert entitled "Object-Oriented Programming in AI," 1990
  • Masters Thesis Examiner for La Trobe University; thesis entitled "The design of graphics constraint system editors," 1998
  • Specialist Reviewer, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (IJAIED).
  • Reviewer, IEEE Multimedia; CHI 2004; Communications of the ACM.

    Publications Book:  Alpert, S.R., Brown, K., & Woolf, B. (1998). The Design Patterns Smalltalk Companion. Addison-Wesley.

    Alpert, S.R. (2004). Flexibility of Expressiveness in Concept Maps: State of the Practice, In P. Kommers (Ed.), Cognitive Support for Learning. IOS Press. Invited Chapter.

    Alpert, S.R. (to appear). Comprehensive Mapping of Knowledge and Information Resources: The Case of Webster, In Knowledge Visualization and Information Visualization – Searching for Synergies. Invited Chapter.

    Alpert,S.R., et al. (2003). User Attitudes Regarding a User-Adaptive eCommerce Web Site. User Modeling and User Adapted Interaction, 13 (4), 373-396.

    Alpert, S.R. (2003). Abstraction in Concept Map and Coupled Outline Knowledge Representations. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 14(1), 31-49.

    Alpert, S.R. (2003). Getting Organized: Some outstanding questions and issues regarding interaction design patterns. ACM CHI 2003 Workshop “Perspectives on HCI Patterns: Concepts and Tools”.

    Alpert, S.R. & Grueneberg, K. (2001). Multimedia in Concept Maps: A Design Rationale and Web-Based Application. In Proceedings of Ed-Media 2001: World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications. 

    Alpert, S.R. & Grueneberg, K. (2000). Concept Mapping with Multimedia on the Web. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 9(4), 313-330.

    Alpert, S.R. (2000). Primitive Types Considered Harmful, In D. Deugo (Ed.), More Java Gems  (pp. 435-454). Cambridge University Press.
    Also appeared in Java Report, 3(11), 49-65.

    Alpert, Singley, & Fairweather (2000). A Web-Based Intelligent Tutor for Elementary Algebra Equation Solving, Proceedings of “Learning Algebra with the Computer, A Transdisciplinary Workshop,” ITS 2000: Fifth International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems.

    Alpert, Singley, & Fairweather (2000). Porting a Standalone Intelligent Tutoring System to the Web, Proceedings of the Workshop on Adaptive and Intelligent Web-Based Education Systems, ITS 2000: Fifth International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems.

    Alpert, S.R. (2000). Sharing Screen Space Among Multiple Application Contexts, or "Real Estate is Expensive," In Proceedings of CHI 2000 Workshop on Pattern Languages for Interaction Design.

    Alpert, S.R, Singley, M.K., & Fairweather, P.G. (1999). Deploying Intelligent Tutors on the Web: An Architecture and an Example, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 10 (2), 183-197.

    Alpert, S.R., Singley, M.K., & Carroll, J.M. (1999). Multiple Instructional Agents in an Intelligent Tutoring System, In Proceedings of the AIED’99 Workshop on Animated and Personified Pedagogical Agents, July, 1999, Le Mans, France.

    Alpert, S.R., Singley, M.K., & Carroll, J.M. (1995). Multiple Multimodal Mentors: Delivering Computer-Based Instruction via Specialized Anthropomorphic Advisors, Behaviour and Information Technology, 14 (2), 69-79.

    Alpert, S.R., Laff, M.R., Koons, W.R., Epstein, D.A., Soroker, D., Morrill, D.C., & Stein, A.J. (1995). The EFX editing and effects environment. IEEE MultiMedia, 3 (1), 15-29.

    Alpert, S.R. (1993). Graceful interaction with graphical constraints. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 13 (2), 82-91.

    Alpert, S.R. (1991).  Self-Describing Animated Icons for Human-Computer Interaction, Behaviour and Information Technology, 10 (2), 149-152.

    Alpert, S.R. & Kelley, J.F. (1990).  Self-Describing Animated Icons (Video), In B. Myers (Ed.), All the Widgets Video Program of CHI’90: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Also published as ACM SIGGRAPH Video Review, #57. NY: ACM.

    Alpert, S.R. & Lam, R.B. (1997). The Ultimately Publishable Computer Science Paper for the Latter ‘90s: A Tip for Authors (Humor Piece), Communications of the ACM, 40(1), 94.

    Alpert, S.R., Woyak, S.W., Shrobe, H.J., & Arrowood, L.F. (1990). Guest Editors’ Introduction: Object-Oriented Programming in AI, IEEE Expert, 5 (6), 6-7.

    Alpert, S.R. & Rosson, M.B. (1992).  ParCE: An object-oriented approach to context-free parsing.  Computer Systems Science and Engineering, Special Issue on Object-Oriented Systems, 7 (2), 136-144.

    Alpert, S.R. (1989). Book review of "Knowledge-Based Tutoring: The GUIDON Program" (by William J. Clancey), IEEE Expert, 4 (2), 90-91.

    Carroll, J.M., Singer, J.A., Bellamy, R.K.E., & Alpert, S.R. (1990).  A View Matcher for Learning Smalltalk.  In J.C. Chew & J. Whiteside (Eds.), Proceedings of CHI’90: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, NY: ACM, pp. 431-437.

    Carroll, J.M., Alpert, S.R., Karat, J., Van Deusen, M.S., & Rosson, M.B. (1994).  Raison d’Etre: Capturing design history and rationale in multimedia narratives.  In Proceedings of CHI’94: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, NY: ACM, pp. 192-197, 478.

    Carroll, J.M., Alpert, S.R., Karat, J., Van Deusen, M.S., & Rosson, M.B. (1994).  Raison d’Etre: Embodying design history and rationale in hypermedia folklore—An experiment in reflective design practice.  Library Hi Tech, 12 (4), 59-70, 81.

    Carroll, J.M., Alpert, S.R., Karat, J., Van Deusen, M.S., & Rosson, M.B. (1994).  Demonstrating Raison d’Etre: Multimedia design history and rationale.  In Proceedings of CHI’94: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, NY: ACM, pp. 29-30.

    Carroll, J.M., Van Deusen, M.S., Wheeler, G., Alpert, S.R., Karat, J., & Rosson, M.B. (1994).  Multimedia folklore: Capturing design history and rationale with Raison d’Etre  (Abstract and Video). In Proceedings of CSCW’94: Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, NY: ACM, p. 10. Video also published as ACM SIGGRAPH Video Review, #106.

    Epstein, D.A., Alpert, S.R., et al.  (1995). The IBM POWER Visualization System:  A Digital Post-Production Suite in a Box. SMPTE (The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) Journal, 104 (3), 125-133.

    Karat, J., Carroll, J.M., Alpert, S.R., & Rosson, M.B. (1995). Evaluating a Multimedia History System as Support for Collaborative Design. In K. Nordby, P. Helmersen, D. Gilmore, and S. Arnesen (Eds.), Human-Computer Interaction - Interact’95. London: Chapman & Hall, 346-353.

    Robertson, S.P., Carroll, J.M, Mack, R., Rosson, M.B, Alpert, S.R., & Koenemann-Belliveau, J.  (1994) ODE: The Object Design Exploratorium.  In Proceedings of OOPSLA’94, the Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications, NY: ACM, pp. 51-64.

    Rosson, M.B. & Alpert, S.R. (1990). The Cognitive Consequences of Object-Oriented Design.  Human-Computer Interaction, 5 (4), 345-379.

    Singley, M.K. & Alpert, S.R. (1991). Ooxpert: Toward full integration of objects and rules in Smalltalk, IBM Research Report RC 17443.

    Singley, M.K., Carroll, J.M., & Alpert, S.R. (1993). Incidental reification of goals in an intelligent tutor for Smalltalk.  In E. Lemut, B. du Boulay, & G. Dettori (Eds.), Cognitive Models and Intelligent Environments for Learning Programming  (pp. 145-155).  Berlin: Springer-Verlag. (Paper also presented at the 1992 NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Cognitive Models and Intelligent Environments for Learning Programming).

    Singley, M.K., Carroll, J.M., & Alpert, S.R. (1991). Psychological design rationale for an intelligent tutoring system for Smalltalk. In J. Koenemann-Beliveau, T.G. Moher, and S.P. Robertson (Eds.), Empirical Studies of Programmers (pp. 196-209). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

    Singley, M.K., Fairweather, P.G, & Alpert, S.R. (1998). The Schema Compiler, Proceedings of the International Conference on the Learning Sciences (p. 351-353). Charlottesville,VA: Assoc. for the Advancement of Computing in Education.

    Education B.S., Computer Science, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1974

    M.A., Computing in Education, Columbia University Teachers College, January, 1987 
    (An interdisciplinary program incorporating human-computer interaction, cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, and instructional technology)

    Elected to membership in Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education, 1987