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2020 SIGCHI Awards




Susan T. Dumais

Susan T. Dumais is a Technical Fellow and Director of the Microsoft Research Labs in New England, New York City and Montréal, and an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. Prior to joining Microsoft, she was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs and Bellcore. Her research is at the intersection of human-computer interaction, information retrieval, and web and data science. A common theme that runs through her work is the importance of understanding and improving information systems from an interdisciplinary and user-centered perspective. She is a co-inventor of Latent Semantic Analysis, a well-known word embedding technique, which was designed to mitigate the disagreement between the words that authors use writing and those that searchers use to find information. Her research spans a wide range of topics in information systems, including email spam filtering, user modeling and personalization, context-aware information systems, temporal dynamics of information, and large-scale behavioral interactions. She has worked with several Microsoft product groups (Bing, Windows Search, SharePoint, and Office Help) on search-related innovations.

Susan is an ACM Fellow, was elected to the SIGCHI Academy, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), and received the SIGIR Gerard Salton Award for lifetime achievement in information retrieval, the ACM Athena Lecturer Award, the Tony Kent Strix Award for outstanding contributions to information systems, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Indiana University Department of Psychological and Brain Science.


SIGCHI Lifetime Practice Award


David Canfield Smith

David Canfield Smith received his PhD in computer science at Stanford University in 1975. His thesis contained two new ideas: icons and programming by demonstration. The first idea caught on and has been adopted worldwide. In 1976-83 he worked at Xerox Corporation, in the Systems Development Division. As one of the designers of the Xerox Star computer, he refined the idea of icons into a “desktop” metaphor for common office objects such as documents, folders, and wastebaskets. He also invented the concepts of dialog boxes for displaying and changing the properties of objects, and universal commands (move, copy, delete, undo, …) which applied to objects in all applications.

In 1998-2000 he worked at Stagecast Software. As one of the designers of Stagecast Creator, an educational software application for children, he cast his idea of programming by demonstration into terms acceptable to children. This allowed children to write their own video games, while teaching them the scientific method. With Allen Cypher and Alan Kay, he invented a visual representation for their programs which proved to be essential for children’s programming. It was well received by the educational community.


SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award


Gilbert Cockton

Gilbert Cockton’s service to the community began with organising meetings for the British Computer Society’s HCI Group from 1985-88. He was later treasurer (1988-91), HCI 1994 Technical Chair, ACM liaison (1997-2001, 2004-2005), conference management chair (1996-1999), HCI 2000 conference general chair, and group chair (2001-2004). Within IFIP, he attended the User Interface Engineering working group (2.7/13.4 from 1987), edited the 1989 EHCI proceedings (now part of ACM EICS) and was group secretary (1993-99). He was programme co-ordinator for INTERACT’90, latebreaking cochair for INTERACT’99, and BCS representative on IFIP TC13 (2002-06, vice-chair 2004-2006), which manages the INTERACT conferences and related international activities and awards, such as the Brian Shackel Award (2003-2005, Chair 2003). Through his BCS and IFIP work, he was invited to co-chair the joint IFIP-ACM INTERCHI’93 late-breaking track. This was followed by CHI roles across three decades: 1994, 1998, 2000-01, 2003, 2005-06, 2008-12, and 2015-16. These included general co-chair (2003), several AC/SC/jury roles, three student competitions, and six doctoral consortia (including DIS and NordiCHI). He has served on SIGCHI’s International Advisory Task Force (1997-99), Conference Management Committee (2001-2005), publications working group (2003-04), Social Impact and Service Awards Committees (2008-09), and its long-lived brand identity (2002-2003). He served on the ACM Software Systems Award Committee (1999-2003, Chair 2002), was recently co-editor-in-chief of Interactions magazine (2016-2019), and is an ACM Distinguished Speaker.

In his other time, Gilbert has championed the development of Third Wave HCI with its broad disciplinary underpinnings, focusing on research practices from creative and humanities disciplines, and developing innovative perspectives on usability, user experience, and worth-focused and critical practices. He has presented 15 keynotes, almost 30 courses, and around 100 other invited presentations in 23 countries. He has supervised or examined 95 research students in 8 countries, reviewed research proposals from 12 countries, and advised on promotions and awards in 14 countries. He has been privileged to be part of an ever expanding and ever improving international community of HCI researchers and IxD and UX practitioners. He has been downsizing since 2017, and officially retired in 2019, but still has a few projects and responsibilities to complete. He is Emeritus Professor in Design at Northumbria University and a part- time Professorial Research Fellow in Computing at the University of Sunderland.


Catherine Plaisant

Catherine Plaisant is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, and Associate Director of Research of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. She is also currently International Chair at INRIA Saclay, France. She earned a PhD in industrial engineering in France. Early pioneering work focused on touchscreen interfaces (home controls, slide to open), search and browsing (query previews), then information visualization and medical informatics became a central theme of research (LifeLines, EventFlow, EventAction, Twinlist). She has over 200 publications and 32000 citations.

She was elected to the SIGCHI Academy in 2006, and co-authored with Ben Shneiderman the 4th, 5th and 6th Editions of Designing the User Interface. She served on the editorial boards of Information Visualization and Interacting with Computers.  She launched theInformation Visualization and the Visual Analytics Challenges, and in 2006 co-chaired the first Beliv workshop (BEyond time and errors: novel evaluation methods for information visualization) – which continues to this day. For three decades, Dr. Plaisant has organized the UMd HCIL Annual Symposium with over 200 participants from the Washington DC community and beyond, which has become a respected forum for presenting human-computer interaction research results, hosting workshops, and running tutorials.

A strong advocate of video as a critical medium to document and demonstrate human- computer interaction innovations she was the editor of the University of Maryland HCIL video series from 1991 to 2006, and the CHI conference Video Chair in 1996. She successfully advocating for the Technical Video Program (consisting of stand-alone videos) and the Video Figures accompanying papers to be provided freely to all conference attendees for the first time. While videos became ubiquitous on the web the collection of CHI VHS videotapes became at risk of deterioration, so she launched the Historical CHI Video Program to digitize and archive those videos on the ACM Digital Library.  She successfully tracked authors of hundreds of video segments dating as far back as 1983 to obtain the needed permissions, and she continues to expand the archive of historical materials available to researchers and historians.




Ronald M. Baecker

Ronald M. Baecker is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and Emeritus Bell Chair in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Toronto (UofT). He is co-founder of UofT’s Dynamic Graphics Project, and founder of both its Knowledge Media Design Institute and its Technologies for Aging Gracefully lab (TAGlab). He is an ACM Fellow, a member of the CHI Academy, and one of the 60 Pioneers of Computer Graphics. He created NECTAR, a Canada-wide research network on collaboration technologies, and helped found AGE-WELL, Canada’s Technology and Aging network. At UofT, he offered the first courses in HCI, computational media design, CSCW, and software entrepreneurship. He has mentored over 200 outstanding students; he has inspired thousands through his teaching.

He designed and built Genesys, the first computer animation system of significant generality (1966-9); this work helped launch computer animation. His computer-animated computer science teaching film, Sorting Out Sorting (1973-81) is an underground classic, loved by students worldwide; it helped launch the field of software visualization. His recent research focused on envisioning, designing, and evaluating technological aids for aging gracefully, intended for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, amnesia, vision loss, and stroke, and also for normally aging senior citizens.

Three early books on HCI and CSCW helped launch these fields as academic disciplines. He is the founding Editor of the Synthesis Lectures on Assistive, Rehabilitative, and Health-preserving Technologies (Morgan & Claypool, Publisher). Recently, he has been thinking about computers and society, resulting in the first comprehensive and modern textbook — Computers and Society: Modern Perspectives (OUP, 2019). He authors a blog on this subject. He is also working on Digital Dreams Now Nightmares: A Call to Action.

At 77 he is still active, full of ideas, and committed to helping computer science discover its conscience.


Bonnie Nardi

Bonnie Nardi is Professor (Emer.) in the Department of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. An anthropologist, she is interested in computing and political economy, along with social life on the Internet, especially video gaming. Her most recent book, Heteromation and Other Stories of Computing and Capitalism (with Hamid Ekbia), was published in 2017 by MIT Press. Bonnie co-edits the MIT Press Acting with Technology Series. She is a founding member of the Computing within LIMITS Workshop Series. Bonnie has authored seven books and edited two collections, as well as writing numerous scientific papers and editing special issues. She is a senior editor at the Taylor and Francis journal Mind, Culture, and Activity, the flagship journal for studies of activity theory.

Bonnie is a member of the ACM SIGCHI Academy. In 2019, she received the European Society for Socially Embedded Technology (EUSSET) Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, she received an ACM Computer- supported Collaborative Work Conference Lasting Impact Award for a first-authored paper “Interaction and outeraction: Instant messaging in action (2000)” In 2015, she shared a University of California, Irvine Celebration of Teaching Instructional Technology Innovation Award for an online course on sustainability. In 2014, she received a “Doctor Honoris Causa” from the University of Umeå, Sweden.

Bonnie is working on her perennial food garden which produces decent crops of apples, artichokes, blackberries, and herbs (plus a lemon tree just coming into its own). She spends as much time as possible with her five grandchildren with whom she plays video and board games as well as enjoying camping and hiking.


Outstanding Dissertation Award


Katta Spiel

Katta Spiel’s dissertation represents significant and original scientific achievements that can be summarised as: defining a new research area around technology experience and autistic children; providing a new methodology for participatory evaluation with children; and resulting in high quality and high volume peer-reviewed publications. Katta Spiel’s broader research agenda is around the participatory design and evaluation of technologies with marginalised groups; in the thesis work, this is with autistic children. Technology research with autistic children is often concerned with ‘solving’ functional problems, such as social skills, with parents, carers and educators as primary informants both for design and for evaluation. Katta Spiel’s work looks at playful technologies, prioritizing the children’s intrinsic interests, and researching ways in which their voices and perspectives can be brought into the technology design and evaluation process.

The thesis describes a series of iterative participatory engagements with eight autistic children, that each resulted in a bespoke innovative piece of technology that the children were involved in designing. The core contributions of the thesis arising through these deep long-term engagements include: an experience framework (conceptual framework) based on combining Actor-Network Theory and Critical Discourse Analysis to evaluate the experiences the children have with the technologies that were co-designed with them; and, in complement to this, a methodological toolkit for creatively enabling autistic children to participate in the evaluation process.

Spiel’s thesis work was conducted at TU Wien (University of Technology, Vienna) in Austria. Their work has been published in ToCHI, CHI, and PDC conferences (among others) and received several honorable mentions, two of which at CHI for core papers contributing to the thesis.



Paul Strohmeier

How can we design better ways of conveying information through haptics? Stepping outside on a cold winter morning, we have access to all kinds of information about the world. The chill of cold down our spine. The wind in our face. In comparison, most devices provide us with impoverished haptic feedback. For example, the buzzing of a smartphone notification is void of information. The buzzing is a symbol, a placeholder, merely pointing towards something else. In his dissertation “Shaping Material Experiences: Designing Vibrotactile Feedback for Active Perception” Paul Strohmeier explores using vibrotactile feedback to manipulate and augment the perceived material properties of objects users interact with. He shows that by tightly coupling tactile feedback to users’ actions, haptic experiences emerge which can be as intuitive and direct as sensing the crispness of the frozen ground beneath our feet.

Paul’s thesis improves how we might use haptics in HCI by demonstrating devices that can provide users with material experiences. These material experiences emerge, when minuscule movements by the user create proportional feedback, resulting in tight action-feedback loops in the low milliseconds range. Paul also presents a path towards further knowledge and rigor in designing novel experiences, by sketching a theory of embodied perception which synthesizes and contextualizes the results of his work. Specifically, for designing novel sensory experiences, HCI must also focus on small timescales and engage with timeframes below that of deliberate acts — for example, to manipulate the subtle, preconscious interactions between our fingers and materials. It is interaction in the low milliseconds range, bordering on the timescales at which biological signaling occurs, which leads to material experiences.

Paul’s dissertation was written at the University of Copenhagen, under the supervision of Kasper Hornbaeck. The ReFlex prototype and corresponding paper stem from Paul’s time at Queen’s University and were supervised by Roel Vertegaal.


SIGCHI Academy


Sunny Consalvo

Sunny Consolvo is an HCI researcher at Google, where she studies topics in security, privacy, and anti-abuse. She has investigated the digital privacy and security practices, beliefs, and experiences of diverse populations, including survivors of intimate partner abuse, people in transitional homeless shelters, and women in South Asia. Sunny has helped multiple product teams improve their privacy and security-related UIs, including working with the Chrome team to make browser security warnings more effective.

Prior to Google, Sunny was a Research Scientist at Intel Labs Seattle. While at Intel, Sunny worked on foundational projects on location-aware computing (e.g., Place Lab), and persuasive computing in health and wellness (e.g., UbiFit). A facet of Sunny’s work was establishing usable privacy and security as key topics of consideration for these classes of systems. Sunny also worked in Silicon Valley on Web design and usability, including co founding Propel, a company that developed e-commerce storefronts and tools, and researching search, email, chat, and personalization at Infoseek and

In her 20+ years as a human-computer interaction researcher and practitioner, Sunny has co-authored over 60 papers and articles. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (US), a member of the Editorial Board for IEEE Pervasive Computing, and a member of the steering committee for the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS).



Steven Drucker

Dr. Steven M. Drucker is a Partner and Research Manager of the Visualization and Interactive Data Analysis (VIDA) group at Microsoft Research (MSR), and an affiliate professor at the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering Department (CSE). In his 30+ year career, he has published over 100 academic papers, and filed over 130 patents in topics ranging from graphics and interfaces to information visualization. Common threads in Steven’s work are helping people discover meaning from their data, and developing methods for communicating those discoveries to other people. His analysis tools assist in both analytic and intuitive explorations of large datasets by revealing their underlying patterns and structures. His communication tools help people share their insights from this process in clear and enjoyable ways by leveraging storytelling and natural interaction techniques. Another thread in Steven’s career is his continuing desire to bring his academic results to the world at large by shaping them into practical tools and products. His SandDance project democratized his work on the visualization of large datasets. His Thumbtack project gave people new and powerful tools to organize and act on information on the web.

Steven is well known for the diversity of his original ideas, having published research contributions in such diverse fields as information visualization, storytelling, exploratory search, multi user environments, online social interaction, hypermedia research, human and robot perceptual capabilities, robot learning, parallel computer graphics, automatic and human interfaces for camera control, and spectator oriented gaming.

Steven received his Ph.D. from the Computer Graphics and Animation Group at the MIT Media Lab in May 1994. His thesis research was on intelligent camera control interfaces for graphical environments. Dr. Drucker graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Neurosciences from Brown University where he also worked with the Brown Graphics Group and went on to complete his masters at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT doing research in robot learning. In addition to having served numerous times on SIGCHI, UIST, WWW, and VIS program committees, he will be the Papers’ Co-Chair for SIGCHI2021 and SIGCHI2022.



Jean-Daniel Fekete

After an early career in industry and a PhD at Université Paris-Sud, Jean-Daniel Fekete is now a Senior Research Scientist (Directeur de Recherche 1ère Classe) at INRIA Saclay-Île-de-France and the scientific leader of the AVIZ research team at INRIA next to Paris, France ( His work has been specifically influential in the areas of toolkit design for visualization, graph and matrix based network visualization, and recently progressive data analysis and visualization. He is a prolific HCI and visualization researcher, with more than 50 journal papers, 75 conference papers, and 11,000 citations, and he has an h-index of 50 (Google Scholar). His work has appeared in ACM CHI, UIST, and SIGGRAPH as well as all major visualization venues: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), InfoVis, VAST, EuroVis, and PacificVis. He is an associate editor-in-chief for TVCG. He was an ACM SIGCHI Conference Management Committee member in charge of Data Analysis, and he has been the president of l’AFIHM (i.e. the French language HCI community) from 2009 to 2012, on the program committee of CHI and UIST, a chair of the steering committee of InfoVis (the leading conference on visualization), and the general chair of VIS 2014. He received best paper awards and honorable mentions from ACM CHI (2013), ACM UIST (2016), and IEEE InfoVis (2008, 2012, and 2013).



Jason Hong

Jason Hong is a professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute, part of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He has published extensively in the areas of mobile computing, Internet of Things, and usable privacy and security. Jason is on the editorial board for ACM Transactions on Human Computer Interaction and the Communications of the ACM, and previously IEEE Pervasive Computing and Foundations and Trends. He is an author of the book The Design of Sites, a popular book on web design using web design patterns. Jason is also a co-founder of Wombat Security Technologies, which pioneered human-centered cybersecurity training and was acquired by Proofpoint in 2018.

Jason received his PhD from Berkeley and his undergraduate degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology. Jason has participated on DARPA’s Computer Science Study Panel (CS2P), is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, a Kavli Fellow, a PopTech Science fellow, a New America National Cybersecurity Fellow, and previously held the HCII Career Development fellowship.



Kristina Höök

Kristina Höök is a professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden, where she heads the Soma Design group.

Kristina has a long-standing reputation in the interaction design field, in particular she is known for her work on soma design: a process that allows designers to examine and improve on connections between sensation, feeling, emotion, subjective understanding and values. Soma design builds on pragmatics and in particular on somaesthetics combining soma as in our first person sensual experience of the world, with aesthetics as in deepening our knowledge of our sensory experiences to live a better life. Kristina recently published a book with MIT Press Designing with the body: somaesthetic interaction design aiming to establish soma design as a strand of interaction design more widely.

Kristina also works on epistemological questions for interaction design, proposing knowledge forms such as strong concepts and experiential qualities, to capture what she frames as intermediary knowledge forms.

Kristina received her PhD from Stockholm University and MSc from Uppsala University.



Kasper Hornbæk

Kasper Hornbæk is a Professor in Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen. He received his PhD from the University of Copenhagen in 2002. Hornbæk’s work has contributed to HCI in two important ways. First, he and his coauthors have created new models of usability and user experience. They have shown that different aspects of usability are orthogonal (and therefore should be measured independently); that we can measure how computer tools extend our bodies; and that meaning is an overlooked component of user experience. Second, Hornbæk and his collaborators have sought to develop fundamental concepts and methods in the HCI field. They have discussed the field-defining concept of interaction, analysed what it means that a user interface is subtle, and outlined the key types of problems addressed in HCI. Currently, Hornbæk works on body-based user interfaces and human-computer integration.



Meredith Ringel Morris

Meredith Ringel Morris is a Sr. Principal Researcher and Research Manager at Microsoft Research. She is an internationally-recognized leader in HCI, particularly in collaborative and social computing. Merrie is widely known as the founder of the field of collaborative web search; her SearchTogether system inspired numerous researchers in HCI and Information Retrieval to pursue work in this area. She subsequently co- developed a myriad of collaborative search prototypes and interaction techniques, aimed at supporting different search tasks, group configurations, and technologies. Her foundational studies of peoples’ collaborative searching habits and needs have informed the community’s understanding of search as a collaborative task. She was also the first to study the trend of friendsourced information seeking, wherein people use question-asking within social networks as an alternative to search engines; she contributed several articles describing and quantifying this phenomenon, as well as co-creating “socially embedded search engines,” an early type of chatbot that combined algorithmic search with friendsourcing. Additionally, Merrie is also widely known for her contributions to surface computing and gesture design: her dissertation introduced collaborative interaction techniques for the then-nascent field of surface computing, including cooperative gestures and identity-aware widgets, and her subsequent work as co-creator of the user-defined gesture-elicitation methodology has had broad impact in academia and industry, where it is frequently employed to design guessable gesture interfaces. More recently, she has emerged as a leader in accessibility, particularly accessible social media and accessible communication technologies.

Dr. Morris has served as the general chair for ACM’s CSCW conference and has previously served as Technical Program Chair of the CHI, CSCW, ASSETS, and ISS conferences. Dr. Morris is a past member of the TOCHI editorial board and of the CSCW and CHI steering committees. She has been recognized as one of Technology Review’s “35 under 35” for her work on collaborative web search and was named an ACM Distinguished Member for her contributions to HCI research. She is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles, many of which have been recognized with best paper awards, as well as Lasting Impact Awards from the UIST and ISS conferences. She is also an inventor on more than 20 U.S. patents, and her HCI innovations have influenced many of Microsoft’s products and services. In addition to her role at Microsoft, Dr. Morris is also an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington in the School of Computer Science and Engineering and in the Information School. Dr. Morris earned her Sc.B. in computer science from Brown University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University.



Peter Wright

Peter Wright is Emeritus Professor of Social Computing at Newcastle University, UK. He has a background in applied psychology. In the late 80’s he joined the HCI Lab at the University of York where he developed cost-effective usability evaluation methods and with Andrew Monk, published Improving your Human-Computer Interface (Prentice Hall, 1993). In the 90’s he worked on safety critical interfaces and with Michael Harrison, published a portfolio of work about the evaluation of human-error tolerance in aircraft and air traffic control systems. Here, he came to recognise the importance of user experience in shaping computer use in social settings and with Mark Blythe, Andrew Monk, and Cees Overbeeke, he co-edited Funology: From usability to user enjoyment (Kluwer, 2003).

This led to his work on theory and methods for experience-centred design for which he is best known in the HCI community. This included three books co-authored with John McCarthy; Technology as Experience (MIT Press, 2004); Experience-Centred Design (Morgan Claypool, 2010); and Taking [A]Part: (MIT Press, 2015), along with a number of CHI publications which explore the aesthetics of interaction and participation. Most recently with Patrick Olivier and other colleagues at Newcastle University’s Open Lab, he has been developing the Digital Civics research programme which explores how human-centred design practice and digital technologies can support innovation and citizen participation in local democracy, education, health, social care, and social justice.