Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

Encounters with HCI pioneers: a personal photo journal

March 21st, 2016 / in Announcements, pipeline, policy, research horizons, Research News / by Helen Wright

The following is a guest blog post by Beth Mynatt, Computing Community Consortium (CCC) Vice Chair and professor of Interactive Computing and the executive director of Georgia Tech‘s Institute for People and Technology (IPaT). 

The Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Pioneers Project draws attention to HCI trail-blazers by describing their backgrounds and contributions. Ben Shneiderman, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, started the personal photo journal as a tribute to these individuals and as a celebration of their contributions to HCI. He hopes to make the pioneer’s projects more visible to a wider audience by featuring them on the website.

Ben always had his camera with him at major conferences and HCI gatherings. He turned his photo archive into a public tribute to many of the leaders in the HCI field. The website chronicles generations of pivotal research driven by these leaders including Doug Engelbart, noted inventor of the mouse and the catalyst for many graphical user interface concepts; Jim Foley and Andy van Dam, pioneers in computer graphics before embracing HCI and bridging those fields; and Brenda Laurel and Randy Pausch, pioneers in virtual reality. Many HCI researcher have devoted their careers to understanding how interaction design can support collaborative work including Gary and Judy Olson, Wendy Kellogg and Sara Kiesler. Others, such as Wendy Mackay and Yvonne Rogers focused on the growing ubiquitous availability of computing capabilities and the possibilities for new user experiences in the home.

I’m proud to be included in this group of HCI Pioneers for my work in HCI and ubiquitous computing and bringing those capabilities to healthcare applications and support for “aging in place.”

One astonishing fact about this group is that their training and expertise ranges from computer science, psychology, design, engineering and more. Their backgrounds are a testament to the interdisciplinary nature of HCI work and the training that HCI students receive today. These pioneers are to be found in many universities as well as pivotal industry settings such as Apple, IBM, Microsoft and PARC.

The website is a treasure trove of invention, science, design and engineering that comes together in a narrative about the vast and rapid evolution of the human experience of computing. Shneiderman argues that these advances mirror the technical advances driven by Moore’s Law in creating the world of computing that we experience today. This collection of pioneer biographies makes it impossible to ignore the many contributions and careers that define human-computer interaction as a field, and human-computer interaction as a foundation for the tremendous adoption of computing technologies world wide.

Continue to check the website, as Shneiderman will keep adding profiles as time and resources permit.

Encounters with HCI pioneers: a personal photo journal