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2002 SIGCHI Awards

These are the highest awards that SIGCHI gives. As you can see, there are three kinds of awards. I will announce the winners and briefly explain why each person got their award. Let me note up front that my most difficult task by far, as awards committee chair, was to have to compress the impressive achievements of each of these individuals into less than a minute.

Script for SIGCHI Awards Presentation
Tom Moran / CHI 2002 (Minneapolis, MN) / April 25, 2002

These are the highest awards that SIGCHI gives. As you can see, there are three kinds of awards. I will announce the winners and briefly explain why each person got their award. Let me note up front that my most difficult task by far, as awards committee chair, was to have to compress the impressive achievements of each of these individuals into less than a minute.

The CHI Lifetime Service Award is given to individuals who have extended influence and impact on the growth of SIGCHI and the professional HCI community. Last year's winner was Austin Henderson.

Lifetime Service Award


This year's CHI Lifetime Service Award is presented to Dan Olsen for his many years of work on behalf of the SIGCHI community. Dan is a Professor at Brigham Young University and was head of the HCI Institute at CMU. Dan's service contributions include many years on the SIGCHI Executive Committee as Vice Chair of Finance and of Publications, where he undertook undertook several initiatives to benefit the CHI community. Most recently, he established a publication board for SIGCHI and has established the CHI Letters to increase the prestige of SIGCHI publications. Dan was one of the founders and the first Editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction. Dan also played a key role in establishing the UIST conference and in making it one of the most successful SIGCHI conferences.

CHI Academy

The CHI Academy is an honorary group of individuals who have made extensive contributions to the study of HCI and who have led the shaping of the field.

CHI is more than 20 years old as a distinct field. The awards committee, both last year and this year, has been focusing on recognizing and honoring the people who pioneered and defined the field of HCI in the early years and who have, indeed, defined the standards for the field.

You can see the first members of the CHI Academy, who were elected last year. This year we have elected six more people. In alphabetical order, they are:


Bill is the Chief Scientist at Alias/Wavefront in Toronto. Bill is well known to you as one of the most frequent and prolific contributors to CHI, UIST, SIGGRAPH, Multimedia, and many other conferences, as well as to books and journals. Bill is as much of an artist as he is a technologist and a human factors expert. His work is characterized by his creative and sensitive explorations and analyses of new user interface techniques — speech, audio, two-handed input, keyboards, menus, lenses, pens, ubiquitous computing, augmented reality, multimedia, media spaces, and more. Bill is widely-known as a visionary, articulate, and inspiring lecturer. He is one of the most effective spokesman for our field.


Jack is a Professor in the department of computer science at Virginia Tech. He was also head of the department there and, before that, a researcher and manager at IBM. Jack is one of the pioneering thought leaders developing the intellectual foundations for HCI. His work, which ranges over philosophy, cognitive science, social science, systems theory, and design theory, is a creative integration of theory and practical methods, such as his work on scenario-based design methods. His work on the Blacksburg Electronic Village is one of the most successful and longest-running community participatory design experiments. Jack is one of the most prolific researchers in HCI, having written and edited over 12 influential books, plus countless papers. Jack's contribution to our understanding the nature and practice of HCI has been profound.


Doug is a landmark figure in the history of computer science. He lead the Augmentation Research Center at the Stanford Research Institute in the 1960s, where they designed and implemented a grand vision of a system to augment the human individual and group intellect. They pioneered the concepts of hypertext, collaboration, shared screens, teleconferencing, multiple-windows, and the mouse. Their demonstration of the NLS system at the 1968 Fall Joint Computer Conference is undoubtedly the greatest demo of all time. Today, we are still trying to realize that vision. Doug has received countless awards, including the ACM Turing Award. At CHI 98, Doug was presented with a SIGCHI Special Recognition Award, which we consider a lifetime achievement award. So his election to the Academy is anticlimatic, but the CHI Academy would not be complete without him. Doug's excuse: he is, at this moment, giving the keynote at the World Library Summit in Singapore.


Sara is a Professor at the CMU HCI Institute. She is a well-known social psychologist who has worked on group dynamics, decision making, and communication. Sara's research in HCI has illuminated many of the most significant social impacts of computing, such as: "flaming", social equalization, open communication, electronic groups, information sharing. Her books "Connections" (with Lee Sproull) and "Culture of the Internet" have had a wide influence on both researchers and practitioners. Sara's recent study, with Bob Kraut, of the impact of the internet on the sociability of the home environment has received national attention. Sara's work is a model of scientific rigor and creative application. Sara also serves on a number of national boards and panels. In fact, Sara's excuse is that today she is chairing an NSF workshop in New Orleans.


Tom was a distinguished member of Bell Labs, director of cognitive science at Bellcore, professor at Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, and other universities. He is now at the University of Colorado and founder of Knowledge Analysis Technologies. He is Fellow of several national societies. Tom is an internationally recognized cognitive scientist and one of the deepest thinkers in our field. He's done extensive work on statistical semantics, which lead to his most well-known achievement -- the invention of Latent Semantic Analysis, which is a widely-applied practical technique and also as a theoretical tool. Tom has also contributed to our understanding of broad issues and implications of HCI, most notably in his influential award-winning book, The Trouble with Computers, which explores the productivity paradox of computing and the way that HCI can make a difference. Tom's excuse: Tom's 70th birthday is this week, and his family would not turn him over to us.


Lucy was a principal scientist and manager of the Work Practice and Technology group at Xerox PARC for 20 years. She is now professor at the University of Lancaster. Lucy is an anthropologist who shook up the fields of artificial intelligence and HCI in the early 1980s. Her thesis work challenged the cognitive-centric assumptions behind the design of interactive systems, using forceful arguments and detailed studies to show that human action is constructed from dynamic interactions with the material and social world. Her book, Plans and Situated Actions, is one of the most influential books in our field, and one of the intellectual foundations of HCI. Her subsequent continuing work and influence drew many ethnographers and social scientists into HCI and CSCW. Her work progressed from analysis to intervention in design situations. She collaborated with colleagues in Scandinavia to establish the tradition of participatory design in HCI. Lucy's excuse: she is in Philadelphia tonight to receive the prestigious Benjamin Franklin medal in computer and cognitive science.

Let's congratulate this year's Academy.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The CHI Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious award SIGCHI gives. The criteria for achievement are the same as for the CHI Academy, only more so. The previous winners are Stu Card and Ben Shneiderman.


This year's CHI Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Don Norman. Don is especially hard to summarize, because he keeps starting new careers. I first remember Don in the 60s as a leading cognitive psychologist whose books I actually enjoyed reading. He pushed beyond psychology and was one of the founders of the broader field of cognitive science. He co-founded and chaired the cognitive science department at the Universtiy of California at San Diego. Don was early to see that computational technology was a ripe domain. He developed the applied science of HCI, encompassing cognition, engineering, and design. He has probably trained more productive and creative researchers in HCI than anyone I know. Among his dozen plus books, Don wrote the "Design of Everyday Things," which carried the vision of human-centered design well beyond our little field into the broader public consciousness. Don took the leap from academia into the heart of the computer industry, where he was senior executive at both Apple computer and Hewlett-Packard. He then co-founded Neilson Norman Group, became an executive at Unext Learning Systems, and is now Professor of computer science at Northwestern University. Don represents our field on numerous academic, public, and governmental boards. Don is one of the most outspoken, sought-after, and listened-to advocates for the aspirations of our field.

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