Allen Cypher

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My professional career has alternated between academic research and product development.
I have worked at Apple, IBM and Microsoft with User Experience leaders — including Don Norman, Alan Kay and Larry Tesler — and I co-founded an educational software spinoff from Apple.

My main academic interest is in End User Programming: finding novel ways to bring some of the power of programming to non-programmers, with Programming by Demonstration being my preferred approach. My work focuses on making it easier for end users to automate their repetitive activities.

I received a B.A. in Mathematics from Princeton University, a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Yale University, and spent several years as a post-doc and Sloan Fellow in Cognitive Science at the University of California, San Diego.








Three 3-minute Demos

3 demos


Koala Stanford 2006 Google 2010


CoScripter CoScripter is a smart macro recorder for the Firefox web browser.  You can record your actions in the browser, replay them, and share them with others.
Stagecast I am a co-inventor of Stagecast Creator, a program that enables children to create their own games and simulations, and to publish them on the World Wide Web. Creator was originally called KidSim, and then Cocoa.
Eager was one of the first intelligent agents. It constantly watches your actions on the computer, and when it detects a repetitive activity, it writes a program which will perform that activity for you.

"Watch What I Do: Programming by Demonstration" was published in 1993 by MIT Press. It describes 18 different programming by demonstration systems, has a preface by Alan Kay, and includes a chronology, a test suite, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography.

The entire text of the book is available on the web.

Animals in our yard

Animals in our yard

Vacation Photo

Vacation Photo
Yes, I know what the Uffizi is: it's the big building next to Ora d'Aria. (Scroll to the right)



Desktop pictures

A view of the Rockies taken from my hang glider over Telluride, CO

I have other hang gliding photos.



Andy Cockburn on Vampire Andy Cockburn on Vampire: He's rightside up in New Zealand.