Mark Friedman

Mark S. Friedman

Adjunct Professor


Mark Friedman has had a long career as a computer scientist in academia and in industry. While he has worn many hats and has taken on many roles, one through line has been his interest in computer programming languages and computer science education. He is perhaps best known for co-founding, with Hal Abelson, App Inventor - a groundbreaking visual programming tool enabling non-programmers (especially kids) to build mobile apps. The latest version, MIT App Inventor, has grown into a significant force in Computer Science education with over 8 million users having created more than 30 million mobile apps.


  • Visual Programming Languages
  • Programming Languages

Research Areas

  • Visual Programming Languages
  • Programming Languages
  • Computer Science Education and Pedagogy


  • Vassar College, AB in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, 1980

Prior Experience

  • Vice President of Software, Piper
  • Vice President of Engineering, Thunkable
  • Senior Software Engineer, Google
  • Software Architect, Microsoft
  • Research Scientist, MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab

Selected Publications

  • Democratizing Computing with App Inventor, Oct 2014 , GetMobile: Mobile Comp. and Comm. 18, 4

  • Live Programming of Mobile Apps in App Inventor, 2014, Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Programming for Mobile & Touch (PROMOTO ’14). Association for Computing Machinery

  • Google App Inventor for Android: Creating mobile applications as a first computing experience, 2010, 2010 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)