Plaisant Honored with ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award

Feb 25, 2020

Catherine Plaisant, a senior research scientist in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), has been recognized by the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI) with its Lifetime Service Award.

The award goes to individuals who have contributed to the growth and success of SIGCHI in a variety of capacities.

Plaisant says the award was triggered by a volunteer project she is leading in collaboration with SIGCHI: digitizing and archiving historical videos from the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. She has successfully tracked authors of hundreds of video segments dating as far back as 1983 to obtain the needed permissions.

Plaisant was elected to the SIGCHI Academy in 2015, which recognizes principal leaders in the field of human-computer interaction, based on her pioneering work in human-computer interaction and information visualization.

Much of the work by Plaisant, who also serves as the associate director of research in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, involves research on the design and evaluation of novel user interfaces. She has more than 200 publications and 32,000 citations.

Along with her longtime collaborator Ben Shneiderman, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of computer science, Plaisant has co-authored the 4th, 5th and 6th editions of "Designing the User Interface," one of the major books on the topic of human-computer interaction.

Plaisant is also the international chair at the National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (INRIA) in France.

She will be officially recognized with the lifetime service award on April 26 at the CHI 2020 conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Story by Melissa Brachfeld