Publications: Brad Cox, Ph.D.

Articles, awards, books, chapters, interviews, speaking engagements over the years with links when available.


Plan for a New University
Traditionaly, universities provide rigor at the expense of relevance, education at the expense of training, and individual learning at the expense of organizational learning. "Plan for a New University" advocates a new conception of a university that encompasses Rigor and Relevance, Education and Training, and Individual and Organizational Learning as a seamless whole.
A Win-win Approach to the Mideast Conflict
The focus on win-lose solutions has caused all sides to overlook the fact that history provides just as many examples of difficult situations that were solved by win-win solutions. These work far better in that they yield a unified population, undamaged by war and invigorated by treating diversity as a strength, not an reason for conflict.
Planning the Software Industrial Revolution
IEEE Magazine Special Issue on Software Engineering, republished in Byte Magazine as There is a Silver Bullet . Also see No Silver Bullet by Dr. Fred Brooks.Building Blocks of Silver by Tom Ochs contrasts the two viewpoints in Byte magazine.
Objects as Property
IEEE Software Magazine; Managers Column; Jan 1997
No Silver Bullet Reconsidered
American Programmer Magazine, Nov 1995, ed. Ed Yourdon.
Wired Magazine; Ideas Fortes, Sept 1994. Here's another version of the same paper.
What if there's a Silver Bullet and the competition gets it first?
Originally an editorial in the Journal of Object-oriented Programming and subsequentlyl replublished in Dr. Dobb's Journal. Mentioned in Peter Huber's article, Three Cheers for Price Discrimination, in Forbes Magazine.
Market Processes as a New Foundation for Software Engineering
1993 SIGSOFT Conference on New Foundations for Software Engineering.


1998 Paul Allen Foundation Online Course competition
The Outstanding Online Course Award was conceived with two purposes in mind. First to recognize distinguished accomplishment in the new and fast-developing world of online learning. Second, to reveal something about the general state of current practice among those developing the best online courses. After careful consideration the judges awarded the $25,000 prize to Dr. Brad Cox of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, USA.. Dr. Cox's course, "Taming the Electronic Frontier," represents an outstanding combination of creative instructional design that takes real advantage of the online environment backed by a careful and continuous process of evaluation and refinement based on student feedback.


Cover Art

Superdistribution; Objects as Property on the Electronic Frontier; Addison Wesley 1996; ISBN 0201502089; at and IBM InfoMarkets.

Superdistribution; Objects as Property on the Electronic Frontier
(Addison Wesley 1996; ISBN 0201502089). "Now that object-oriented technologies ranging from programming languages to graphical user interfaces to the WWW have made it feasible to manufacture readily transferable objects made of bits, what does it mean to buy, sell and own them? Brad Cox proposes "superdistribution" as a solution that allows software to flow freely without resistance from copy protection or piracy -- a "charge as you play" model that will work well in a world of Java-like applets. A well-worked out and "modest proposal" from one of the founders of object-oriented programming. Cox, an early pioneer in the Object-Oriented Technology revolution, anticipates how the electronic frontier will be tamed by putting the information revolution in context with other historic revolutions. He proposes a humancentric framework in relation to electronic goods, with the superdistribution approach detailed." (Reviewed by
Object-oriented Programming, An Evolutionary Approach
Addison Wesley Publishing Company, Second Edition 1986.


Forward: Developing Software Using OVID
Authors: Dick Berry (, Dave Roberts, Scott Isensee, John Mullaly
Forward: Brad Cox, 12 Jun 1997
Evolving a Distributed Learing Community
Chapter for Designing the Online Classroom in K12 edited by Zane Berge and Mauri Colins.


IEEE Computing Magazine Interview
Dec 1998.
Software's Chronic Crisis
Excerpts from interview by W. Wayt Gibbs, Scientific American Sept 1994.


Review of the Middle of Nowhere web
by Mike Swaine; inaugural issues of Web Techniques magazine.

Research Proposals

Plan for a New University
A new conception of the university could avoid the usual concentration on rigor at the expense of relevance, education at the expense of training, and individual learning at the expense of organizational learning. "New University" is a placeholder signifying a new kind of university that seamlessly integrates Rigor and Relevance, Education and Training, and Individual and Organizational Learning as explained in the What section. This is distinct from the either-or choices students make when choosing between liberal arts universities and technical training schools, or when executives retain organizational consulting firms for services that a new university might provide.
A GMU Proposal in Response to the 1998 NSF Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence Solicitation
We propose to deploy two levels of web-based technology (T1-T2) within three academic organizations (O1-O3), and to conduct an interdisciplinary study of the impact from the world views of the multiple disciplines in this team (V1-V7). For example, an economist will provide a management view by doing an accounting-style study of the effects on costs/benefits, a psychologist will examine the effects on paradigms and cognitive models, a sociologist will do an ethnographic study of the effects on institutional power relationships, and so forth as explained in the viewpoints section of the project description.
Digital Property
An Educom/IMS Working Paper on Superdistribution as the digital commerce standard for exchange of courseware and software subcomponents between universities.
Coalition for Electronic Markets
CEM is a coalition of industrial partners whose goal is deploying a techno-social solution to the electronic property issues of electronic goods; property composed of bits instead of atoms. See No Silver Bullet Reconsidered for conceptual background.


Position Paper for the Ecoop'91 Workshop On Exception Handling And Oopls
Action Expressions to ad Exception handling to C-based languages. This article shows why I started work on Action Expressions, Exception Handling, and Light-weight Multitasking to Objective-C in the first place; namely to provide a means for supporting a higher-level class of object than Objective-C supports directly.
The original article from which both of the above originated. Describes a multitasking/exception handling library I developed as a Stepstone product library but never released as a product.
TaskMaster: Card-level Objects and User-Programmable System
An early article on a lightweight multitasking and exception handling library for Objective-C and their role in building user-programmable systems.

Old Articles

Older articles, often written prior to the web. I don't have copies of many of these and many of the dates are best guesses.

1994 Testing Object-oriented Components; A Human-centric Approach
Communications of the ACM; Special Issue on Testing
1993 Market Processes as a New Foundation for Software Engineering.
92 What if there is a Silver Bullet and the competition gets it first?
Guest Editorial; Journal of Object-oriented Programming; June 92.
92 Superdistribution and Electronic Objects;
Dr. Dobbs' Journal; October 92.
92 A Revolutionary Approach
Invited Column; Journal of Object-oriented Programming.
1990 Planning the Software Industrial Revolution;
Software Technologies of the 90's special issue of IEEE Software magazine; November 90,
1990 There is a Silver Bullet;
Byte magazine, October 90.
1988 Specifying and Testing Object-oriented Software Components
bimonthly column; Journal of Object-oriented Programming.
1988 Producer; Smalltalk to Objective-C Translator;
OOPSLA `88 proceedings (with Kurt Schmucker)
1986 Object-oriented Programming; An Evolutionary Approach;
Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.
~1986 Objects, Icons, and Software ICs;
Byte magazine (with Bill Hunt)
~1986 Object-oriented Programming; What is It? Why is it important?;
Computer World magazine.
~1985 Software-ICs
Byte magazine (with Lamar Ledbetter)
~82 Message/Object Programming; An Evolutionary Change in Programming Technology
IEEE Software magazine.
~1983 OOPC; Object-oriented Pre-Compiler
1970 Simulation of Neural Nets
Decus Proceedings; Spring 1970; Papers and Presentations of the Digital Equipment Computer Users' Society

Modification date: March 28, 2004 © Copyright 2004 by Brad Cox
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