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2014 SIGCHI Awards

2014 SIGCHI Awards

Social Impact Award

Richard E. Ladner

Richard E. Ladner is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington with adjunct appointments in the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Linguistics. His current research is in the area of accessible computing which is an important subarea of human-computer interaction (HCI). He entered this research area relatively late in his career after working in theoretical computer science for more than 30 years. His MobileAccessibility project is exploring mobile applications to improve the lives of blind, low-vision, and deaf-blind people. He is the creator of the ASL-STEM Forum which is an on-line community for uploading and discussing sign language for terms in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. He is the Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded AccessComputing Alliance that has the goal of increasing participation of students with disabilities in computing fields. From 2007 – 2013, he directed the Summer Academy for Advancing Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Computing, a nine week program for students transitioning from high school to college. He served on the NSF Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) from 2006 to 2012. He is a recipient of the 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) and the 2008 Computing Research Association’s A. Nico Habermann Award. He is a winner of a 2008 Purpose Prize. He was the Outstanding Service Award winner at the University of Washington in 2009. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University, a liberal arts university that primarily serves deaf students.

Lifetime Service Award

Wendy Mackay

Wendy Mackay is currently Research Director, Classe Exceptionnelle, at Inria in France where she heads the In|Situ| research group in Human-Computer Interaction, which includes 7 faculty and 20 students and research staff from Inria, CNRS and Université Paris-Sud. She is a member of the CHI Academy and a recipient of a prestigious European Research Council Advanced grant. She recently served as Vice President of Research for the Computer Science Department at Université Paris-Sud, France and spent two years as Visiting Professor at Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. from M.I.T. and has managed software development groups at Digital Equipment Corporation and research groups at Digital, MIT, Xerox, CENA and Aarhus University. She has been actively involved in SIGCHI since 1983 and has participated in every CHI conference since then. She was elected Chair of ACM/SIGCHI, has served on most other SIGCHI executive positions, co-founded the first SIGCHI local SIG, Greater Boston SIGCHI, and has also served on the ACM Publications Board, ACM SIGBoard and CACM Web Editorial Board. She has published over 150 peer-reviewed research articles in the area of human-computer interaction and has served as program chair or on the program committees of ACM CHI, ACM UIST, ACM CSCW, ACM DIS and ACM Multimedia, among others. She was co-editor in chief of IJHCS and served on the editorial boards of ACM/TOCHI and RIHM. Most recently, she served as general chair of CHI’13 in Paris, with almost 3500 attendees. Her current research interests include participatory design, creativity, co-adaptive instruments, mixed reality and interactive paper, and multidisciplinary research methods.

Tom Hewett

Tom Hewett is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and of Computer Science at Drexel University where he has taught courses on Human Computer Interaction (HCI) since Academic Year 1981-82. He has published in a variety of places, contributed to research and development of some useful software projects, and given papers and a number of other types of presentations in several venues (e.g., in Austria, in the UK at the BCS HCI meetings, at NSF sponsored workshops on HCI-related topics, at SIGSAM, SIGGRAPH, and OZCHI meetings). Tom’s service activities for SIGCHI began with development of a successful proposal to the SIGCHI Executive Committee that asked them to fund the creation and work of a Curriculum Development Group charged to develop a SIGCHI recommended sample Curriculum for Human Computer Interaction. During the course of this project, while seeking and listening to feedback gathered from target users, the Curriculum Group also found it desirable to create descriptions of example HCI courses for different types of programs (e.g., Computer Science, Information Science, etc.). The final report, with its infamous “lime green” cover, became an official ACM document. The enthusiasm and high quality of the members of this Curriculum Development Group turned what could have been work into an exciting, absorbing project with some long lasting effects. During the two and a half years Tom chaired this curriculum project, he accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the SIGCHI Executive Committee Advisory Board. This led to his becoming a candidate for election to the Executive Committee itself.

After serving 4 years as Vice Chair for Operations (1989-93), Tom was one of the CHI 94 General Co-Chairs. For the CHI Conferences from CHI 91 to CHI 06 Tom served as Tutorials (or Courses) Chair or Co-Chair 4 times. Starting with CHI 95, in years when not chairing the Tutorials program, Tom did several annual offerings of a one-day Tutorial/Course on cognitive factors applied to interface and interactive system design. Somewhere along the line this tutorial was dubbed a “CHI Classic.” Demonstrations included in the course notes have been successfully put into use by many former attendees in their workplace and other contexts. In addition, Tom was a Co-Presenter on Mike Atwood’s Tutorial/Course on practical approaches to interactive system design. This course also stressed activities that could be carried back to the workplace. Last, but not least, Tom has been on the organizing committee for 4 of the SIGCHI sponsored Creativity and Cognition conferences, serving as papers program Chair or Co-Chair for 3 of those conferences. Most recently this included being papers program chair for the Creativity and Cognition conference in Sydney in June of 2013.

Lifetime Research Award

Steve Whittaker

Steve Whittaker is Professor in Psychology at University of California at Santa Cruz. His research examines the design and evaluation of technologies to support human memory, productivity, socialising and well-being. His work uses insights from the social sciences to evaluate existing technologies and generate new designs that address important human problems. He has previously worked at Hewlett Packard, Bell Labs, AT&T, and IBM. In 2008 he was elected the Association of Computational Machinery (ACM) Computer Human Interaction Academy for sustained research contributions. He is Editor of Human Computer Interaction. Right now he is working on online communities and digital tools to support human memory that have mental and physical health benefits.

Lifetime Practice Award

Gillian Crampton Smith

Gillian Crampton Smith studied Philosophy and Art History, then followed her long-standing interest in typography. In 1981 an issue of the typographic magazine Upper & Lower Case, on computers in graphic design, inspired her to buy a computer and write a program to do magazine layouts on screen – very early desktop publishing. Convinced of the potential contribution of artist-designers to the design of human-computer interaction, in 1984 she started a graduate program for practicing graphic designers at St Martin’s School of Art in London. In 1990 she moved to the Royal College of Art, Britain’s graduate school of art and design, where she became professor and, with a generous grant from the Palo Alto company, Interval Research, founded the Computer Related Design Research Studio. This studio collaborated with many high-tech companies, developing the role of the art and design disciplines in shaping how people interact with electronic tools, products and media. She spent several summers in Silicon Valley collaborating with Apple, IDEO and Interval. In 2000 she became the first Director of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, a teaching and research institute funded by Telecom Italia and Olivetti. Despite its short life, Interaction-Ivrea remains, through its alumni, a worldwide influence. In 2005 she moved to Iuav University of Venice where, with Philip Tabor, she developed the Interaction Design program within its Masters in Design. A Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, she has served on England’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, the start-up program of the UK National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts, and the advisory boards of Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, Fabrica, and MIT’s SENSEable City Laboratory.

Special Recognition Award

Ted Nelson

Theodor Holm Nelson originally a film-maker, began designing interactive software and text systems in 1960. His original vision of a world-wide document system without publishers was quite like the World Wide Web, except with visible bridges of connection between parallel pages. He is still working to achieve this alternative literary structure–of parallel pages, visibly connected. His books “Computer Lib” and “Literary Machines” have been particularly influential. He holds degrees from Swarthmore, Harvard and Keio University.


(formerly CHI Academy)


John C. Tang

John C. Tang is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research where he designs and studies new tools to support connecting people over distance. His research has focused on supporting remote collaboration, using a range of technologies (video, instant messaging, rhythmic patterns) in diverse contexts (distributed work teams, long-distance social connections). He not only researches distributed collaboration, but also lives it through working with teams at other sites in the U.S. and around the world. John’s research approach combines understanding users’ needs through social science methods with designing and prototyping new technologies and learning from how they are used. John’s career in industry has included previous positions at IBM Research Almaden, Sun Microsystems, and Xerox PARC. He has been active in the CHI and CSCW research communities through research papers, patents, and service on conference committees, including co-chairing CSCW 2011 in Hangzhou, China. John received his Ph.D. from the Design Division at Stanford University.

Jeff A. Johnson

Jeff A. Johnson is Principal Consultant at UI Wizards, Inc., a product usability consultancy. He also is a principal at Wiser Usability, Inc., a consultancy focused on usability and accessibility for adults 50+. After earning B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Yale and Stanford Universities, he worked at Cromemco, Xerox, US West, Hewlett-Packard Labs, and Sun Microsystems. In 1990, he co-chaired the first Participatory Design conference, PDC’90. Since 2004 he has served on the SIGCHI U.S. Public Policy Committee. He has taught at Stanford and Mills College, and in 2006 and 2013 taught HCI as an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He has authored many articles and chapters on HCI, as well as the books GUI Bloopers, Web Bloopers, GUI Bloopers 2.0, Designing with the Mind in Mind, and (with Austin Henderson) Conceptual Models: Core to Good Design. A second edition of Designing with the Mind in Mind was published in early 2014.

Susan Dray

Susan Dray has worked to advance human-centered design since 1979, initially in a human factors research group at Honeywell, and later championing usability of corporate systems at American Express. Since founding her consulting firm in 1993, she has provided user experience research for a long list of clients to help them create innovative products and services that are useful, usable, and desirable. Through her publications, teaching, mentoring, and many speaking engagements, Susan has contributed significantly to the evolution of UX research practice, especially in field research, naturalistic usability evaluation, and international usability and user research. Extensive experience doing research in developing countries led to her involvement in forming a professional community focused on user-centered design for development (UCD4D), applying UCD to technological aspects of economic development. She is currently pursuing this interest as a Fulbright Scholar on the faculty at the Technological University of Panama. Susan is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, recipient of the SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award and an ACM Distinguished Engineer. She is a long-time Column/Forum editor for Interactions and served as Director of Publications on the Board of the User Experience Professionals Association. Susan holds a doctorate in Psychology from UCLA.

Jodi L. Forlizzi

Jodi L. Forlizzi is an Associate Professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. She was the first design professor hired into the HCII and the School of Computer Science at CMU. Jodi has advanced design research in HCI, illustrating to the CHI community that design research, while different than scientific research or research on human behavior, is a critical part of our community. Jodi’s early work explored experience design, and understanding how to best design all aspects of product behavior — functional, aesthetic, emotional, and social. Jodi has also conducted research in human-robot interaction, big data and what it means for design, how technology services can better adapt and be personalized to people’s needs, and how design research can help to address societal problems, such as our aging population and today’s healthcare needs. Jodi has authored or co-authored over 130 papers and book chapters.

Keith Edwards

Keith Edwards is a Professor of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. His research focuses largely on bringing human concerns to bear on the creation of core computing infrastructure, for example, by exploring human-centered approaches to networking and computer security. Lately his research has expanded into a number of explorations of the social impacts of computing technology, such as understanding how technology can support the work of non-profits and NGOs, or help build stronger communities. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, he was a Principal Scientist at Xerox PARC and managed PARC’s Ubiquitous Computing group. He is an ACM Distinguished Scientist, a member of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Academic Advisory Board, and has served as the Technical Program Chair for CHI 2010, the Program Chair for UIST 2002, and the General Chair for UIST 2000. While he is a technologist at heart, he enjoys working with designers, social scientists, and others from diverse backgrounds.

Ken Hinckley

Ken Hinckley is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, where he has spent the last 17 years investigating novel input devices, device form-factors, and modalities of interaction. He feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with many CHI Academy members while working there, including noted trouble-makers such as Bill Buxton, Patrick Baudisch, and Eric Horvitz—as well as George Robertson, whom he owes a debt of gratitude for hiring him fresh out of grad school. Ken is perhaps best know for his work on sensing techniques, cross-device interaction, and pen computing. He has published over 75 academic papers and is a named inventor on upwards of 150 patents. Ken holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia, where he studied with Randy Pausch. He has also published fiction in professional markets including Nature and Fiction River, and prides himself on still being able to hit 30-foot jump shots at age 44. Not too shabby.

Richard H. R. Harper

Richard H. R. Harper is Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge and co-manages the Socio-Digital Systems group. Richard is a sociologist concerned with how to design for ‘being human’ in an age when human nature is often caricatured or rendered in oversimplifying ways. His book, Texture: Human expression in the age of communications overload (MIT Press) was awarded the Society of Internet Researcher’s ‘Book of the Year (2011)’. Amongst his prior books was the IEEE award winning The Myth of the Paperless Office (MIT Press,2002, with Abi Sellen), and Inside the IMF: an ethnography of documents, technology and organisational action (Academic Press, 1997). His latest collection, Trust, Computing and Society ‘, will be published by CUP in April this year. He is currently working on a monograph (with Dave Randall and Wes Sharrock) called Choice: The science of reason in the 21st Century, (Polity Press).

Gary Marsden

Gary Marsden was professor of computer science at the University of Cape Town, pioneer and passionate advocate of HCI for development and community builder. He became internationally known for his work in mobile interface design, design, and ICT for development (ICT4D)—for which he was a recipient of the ACM SIGCHI’s Social Impact Award in 2007. He went to great lengths to show how mobile technologies were revolutionizing how developing countries were advancing apace. In doing so, he raised the profile of what developing world actually meant. In just a few years, he had managed to put HCI in South Africa and South Africa in HCI. As well as a being a renowned researcher, he received many teaching awards, the last one a prestigious award from his university that only a few ever receive. Gary died suddenly of a heart attack on December 27, 2013, at the age of 42 and is survived by his wife Gil and his two children, Holly and Jake.