Shneiderman awarded HCI Medal for Societal Impact

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ISR-affiliated Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Ben Shneiderman (CS/UMIACS) received the first HCI Medal for Societal Impact at the HCI International 2022 conference, June 26 through July 1.

The newly established award was given to Shneiderman “for his innovative science, engineering, and design breakthroughs in theory and practice, as well as his tireless efforts to initiate and transfer HCI research outcomes to society.”

The award was presented by the conference’s general chair Constantine Stephanidis, and Gavriel Salvendy, the conference founder, general chair emeritus, and scientific advisor. They said about Shneiderman: “His recent efforts on Human-Centered AI carry forward his philosophy of supporting human creativity, self-efficacy, responsibility, and social connectedness. Much work remains to be done, but his transformative efforts improve the lives of every technology user.”

The remarks continued, “Ben has been elected as a Fellow of many professional societies and as a member of the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his pioneering contributions to human-computer interaction and information visualization. His contributions include the direct manipulation concept, which led to the essential clickable highlighted web-links, the ubiquitous small touchscreen keyboards used by billions of people on mobile devices, and a key patent for photo tagging. His work on information visualization led to the successful commercial product, Spotfire, and the widely used treemaps, which are in most visualization tools including Excel. Treemaps are used regularly in media reports on economics, stock markets, voting, and other applications. Novel network visualizations and temporal event sequence analysis for electronic health records are additional success stories. His early devotion to accessibility and universal usability has broadened the benefits of information technology.

“Ben has received Honorary Doctorates from six universities on four continents, and has written more than 20 influential books, which have been translated into many languages and used as textbooks in HCI courses worldwide. His publications have been cited more than 100,000 times, demonstrating the breadth of his impact. Ben’s contributions epitomize the attributes of this award.”

Finally, we applaud his commitment to fostering collaborative solutions and supporting human rights, social justice, and individual dignity."

Published July 2, 2022