The Webworks Laboratory is the result of hard work by many people. Snapshots of those who have contributed over the years can be found in the Rogues Gallery. The current team is headed by Professor Rocky Ross, with support from long-time team member Frances Goosey, who holds the position of Research Scientist in the Computer Science Department. Other team members are PhD students Chris Boroni and Michael Grinder, and Master's students Kathy Schieno, Nick Degenhart, and David Helzer.
Rocky Ross, Professor and Project Director, has been working on interactive, animated educational delivery systems since about 1980. Initial work started on Apple II+ computers, moved to PCs running DOS and terminals running Unix, and then to PCs running Microsoft windows as well as Unix workstations running X-windows. With the advent of the World Wide Web and the platform independence of the Java Virtual Machine, the project has been retargeted to the web. This change in focus has resulted in the formation of the Webworks Laboratory, with facilities and expertise for developing, implementing, and evaluating interactive web based materials for all academic disciplines. Besides overseeing the project, Rocky is personally developing a theory "hypertextbook," called Snapshots of the Theory of Computing, that utilizes the interactive animation modules being developed by other team members. Rocky has received support for the project from the Apple Education Foundation, the Montana State Teaching and Learning Committee, the Montanan's on a New Track for Science (MONTS) program, the Department of Defense (DOD), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Frances Goosey, Research Scientist, has been with the project since beginning her work on her Master's thesis, which she finished in 1993. For her thesis, Frances produced a Pascal compiler for animating Pascal programs. Since that time she has provided lead programming support and continuity to the project, and has contributed a number of new web-based components, including a comprehensive Pascal animation environment and a site aimed at attracting women and girls to computer science. Her present work includes porting the Pascal compiler to the web and collaborating in cross-disciplinary educational initiatives for the web. Frances has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and other sources.
Chris Boroni joined the project as a Master's student and contributed a fine graphical user interface for animating programs that runs on Windows 95/98/NT platforms in conjunction with the Pascal compiler produced by Frances Goosey. This system continues to receive "hits" on the web as educators from around the world download the system for use in their own classrooms. Now a PhD student, Chris is working on the creation of a general intermediate representation form and a standard backend that will allow compilers to be more easily developed for animation (including reverse execution) on the web. He is compiling Java as a test of his thesis. Chris has been supported on National Science Foundation grants and departmental teaching assistant positions.
Michael Grinder joined the project as a PhD student. His thesis focuses on animating the theory of computing for education and research. A finite state automaton animator that he produced as an initial proof of concept project has received widespread attention. His work will eventually lead to interactive, animated, "hypertextbooks" on the theory of computing, helping students more easily learn such traditionally difficult topics as problem reductions and NP-completeness. Michael is supported by a National Defense Science and Engineering Grant.
Katie Walsh joined the Webworks team in the spring 0f 2001. Her work is on the animation of algorithms for regular expression manipulation. The resulting animation modules will be used in the hypertextbook project on the theory of computing that is currently the primary focus of the Webworks team.
Teresa Lutey joined the Webworks team in the spring of 2001, working on animating the algorithms involved with context free grammars. She is currently supported on an NSF grant for this work, which will be incorporated into the theory hypertextbook that currently is the primary focus of the Webworks team.
Seong Baeg Kim (Kim) arrived in the United States on July 1, 2001, joining the Webworks team in a postdoctoral position. At his home institution, Cheju National University in Korea, Kim has worked on computer based education for high school students.