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   ALVIS Live!
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To install ALVIS Live!, extract all files from the zip file, and then run setup.exe.

Installer Version Release Date Key Features
3.0 9/1/06
  • supports a different algorithm development language, Cb (pronounced "see flat"), which is a pedagogical subset of the C language.
  • improved direct manipulation programming tools that assist users by providing helpful dialog messages and improved constraints
  • support for pointers and memory addresses.
  • a new environment properties dialog that allows users to configure the environment to their liking
2.1 1/21/06 This is a completely new version that provides an all-new direct manipulation programming interface.
1.5 5/2/05 This is the original ALVIS Live! release.


Demos, Brochures, and Further Information

What is ALVIS?

The centerpiece of the Algorithms Studio project, The ALgorithm VIsualization Storyboarder (ALVIS) is a new breed of algorithm visualization technology that supports the rapid construction and interactive presentation of "low fidelity" algorithm visualizations. The two primary goals of ALVIS are

  • to empower novice programmers to construct algorithms and accompanying visualizations that involve array iteration; and

  • to facilitate educationally-beneficial conversations about algorithms mediated by algorithm visualizations.

The Evolution of ALVIS

ALVIS has been under active development since 1999. The first prototype was developed by Chris Hundhausen as part of his dissertation research. Since then, ALVIS has undergone substantial changes driven by continuous cycles of usability evaluation and redesign. The following research papers trace the evolution of the ALVIS software from its initial manifestation as a tool for second- and third-semester computer science students, to its present manifestation as a novice programming environment to support an "algorithms-first" approach to introductory computer science:

Need more Information?

For a comprehensive overview of the software, check out the Introduction section of the latest ALVIS Live! on-line help system, or contact Chris Hundhausen.

ALVIS Contributors

ALVIS is implemented in Microsoft Visual C++ using the Microsoft Founation Classes, GNU Flex and Bison, and several other open-source technologies. Chris Hundhausen wrote the parser and virtual machine for SALSA, which he continues to develop to the present day. However, ALVIS would not be possible without the substantial contributions of a legacy of talented programmers:

  • Hank Bennett (1998-1999)—wrote the back-end animation engine, and part of the original user interface of the original prototype

  • Chad Takahashi (2000-2002)—substantially updated the ALVIS user interface.

  • Josh Wingstrom (2002-2003)—rewrote the back-end animation engine in OpenGL, reorganized the code using a model-view-controller architecture, and substantially improved and revamped the user interface.

  • Jon Brown (2003 - present)—Gave ALVIS a complete overhaul, turning it into its present-day manifestation as ALVIS Live!. In particular, Jon redid the back-end animation engine, implemented a completely new graphics picture library, and implemented ALVIS Live!'s "radically dynamic" evaluation and execution model. Throughout all of this work, Jon helped to designed and carry out several rounds of usability studies.

  • Sean Farley (2003 - 2004)—Helped to write the animation engine for ALVIS 2.0, and helped track down and repair numerous bugs in ALVIS 2.0 and its predecessor.

  • Sudhir Garg (2003)—Helped to write the execution controller and script editor components for ALVIS 2.0.


Last modified by C. Hundhausen on May 4, 2007 14:35:54 -1000