How Do People Familiarize Themselves With Software?

One of my grad students, Jason Montojo, has posted a brief description of his intended research topic: how people familiarize themselves with code bases they haven't seen before. I'm sure he'd be grateful for your thoughts... Meanwhile, Alecia Fowler has posted a few links about tactile maps for the visually disabled. I was fascinated by the felt maps fire wardens used in London during the Blitz to find their way around in the dark; neat that high tech is finally catching up :-).