James H. Garrett Jr.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890, U.S.A.
Within the last 20 years, much research and development has been conducted to deliver computer tools to assist engineers in performing their tasks. We are now experiencing the power of worldwide networked computing environments and the ability to easily share large quantities of information over geographically dispersed environments. However, are the computing environments available today supporting engineers in doing their job or defining how they must do their job? We need to develop systems that are more transparent and understandable to the users and that are more responsive to the individual needs and idiosyncrasies of the persons using these assistants.