Margaret Burnett
Distinguished Professor
Computer Science

3051 Kelley Engineering Center
Corvallis, OR 97331-5501
(541) 737-2539
(541) 737-1300


  • University of Kansas, 1987-1991, Ph.D. Computer Science (with honors)
  • University of Kansas, 1979-1981, M. S. Computer Science
  • Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1967-1970, B.A. Mathematics, Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa


Margaret Burnett is currently a professor of computer science in the School of EECS at Oregon State University. Her research interests are where programming languages, human-computer interaction, and software engineering meet: namely, in visual programming languages and in how programming language and software engineering research can be applied to support end-user programming. She has a long history of research in these issues and others relating to human issues of programming. She is also the principal architect of the Forms/3 and the FAR visual programming languages and, together with Gregg Rothermel, of the WYSIWYT testing methodology for end-user programmers. She was the founding project director of the EUSES Consortium, a multi-institution collaboration among Oregon State University and Carnegie Mellon, City University London, Drexel University, Pennsylvania State, Saturday Academy, University of Nebraska, University of Washington, University of Cambridge (U.K.), and IBM to help End Users Shape Effective Software.

Burnett was a recipient of IBM's International Faculty Award (2007, 2008). She was also recently honored with Oregon State University's Excellence in Graduate Mentoring Award (2010), OSU College of Engineering’s Research Award (2009), OSU College of Engineering’s Research Collaboration Award (2005), and with OSU’s Elizabeth P. Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award (2000). She is a past recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award (1994). She has served on program committees for numerous ACM and IEEE conferences, including the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages, and Human-Centric Computing, the ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, the ACM Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation, the ACM Conference on Functional Programming Languages; on the steering committee for the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing and the ACM Conference on Software Visualization. She is a senior member of IEEE and a fellowr of ACM.

Research Interests

Research Areas
In general, where humans come together with software development. Examples: End-User Programming, End-User Software Engineering, Information Foraging in Software Development, Gender Differences in these contexts.

Research Description
I've spent most of my time recently taking a serious look at software engineering aspects of end-user programming. The objective is to improve the dependability of software produced by end-user programming languages. Click here for the latest news about this from the EUSES consortium.

Applications of Research
The software industry is starting to show an intense interest in developing new dependability mechanisms for commercial products that are aimed at supporting end-user programming.