UNIVERSITY of  WASHINGTON Information School Computer Science & Engineering
Jacob O. Wobbrock Associate Professor, The Information School
Adjunct Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering
  Jacob O. Wobbrock, Ph.D.
The Information School
University of Washington
Box 352840
Seattle, WA 98195-2840   USA

Are you interested in doing research in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)? Research in HCI at UW occurs primarily in four departments: Information School (iSchool), Computer Science & Engineering (CSE), Human-Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE), and Interaction Design in the School of Art (IxD). People from these units, along with industry affiliates from Microsoft Research and elsewhere, make up the DUB Group, an affiliation of faculty, students, and industry researchers devoted to advancing HCI and Design at the University of Washington.

Jacob O. Wobbrock, who directs the MAD Lab, is an Associate Professor in the Information School and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Computer Science & Engineering. He is one of many HCI faculty with primary appointments in the Information School; others are Andrew Ko, Batya Friedman, David Hendry, Wanda Pratt, and William Jones.

Information School Affiliate faculty from industry working in HCI include Mary Czerwinski, Jonathan Grudin, Susan Dumais, Jaime Teevan, Ed Cutrell, and Meredith Ringel Morris from Microsoft Research; Sunny Consolvo from Google; and Beverly Harrison from Yahoo! Labs. Thus, there are many HCI faculty associated with the Information School at the University of Washington, giving our students plenty of opportunities for mentorship.

UW faculty from Computer Science & Engineering working in HCI include Alan Borning, Gaetano Borriello, James Fogarty, Richard Ladner, Dan Weld, Jeffrey Heer, Maya Cakmak, and Shwetak Patel.

UW faculty from Human-Centered Design & Engineering working in HCI include David McDonald, Julie Kientz, Cecilia Aragon, Beth Kolko, Charlotte Lee, Mark Zachary, Sean Munson, Kate Starbird, Daniela Rosner, Andrew Davidson, and David Farkas.

UW faculty from Interaction Design working in HCI include Axel Roesler and Tad Hirsch.

For a complete list of all HCI-related faculty, see the DUB people page.

If you are a prospective Ph.D. student interested in pursuing HCI research, the Information School may be a great option. The iSchool brings together technology, social science, and design to pursue both activities of discovery (science) and activities of invention (design-based inquiry). Areas of research strength include assistive technology, health and wellness technology, input and interaction techniques, value-sensitive design, sustainability, computer-supported cooperative work, studies of designers and software development teams, human-centered tools for programmers, biomedical informatics, computing for social justice, digital youth, social networks, personal information management, and mobile computing, among others. HCI at the Information School uses technology to address contemporary social challenges, uniting the study of technical, societal, ethical, and environmental issues in the creation of new solutions and the study of phenomena surrounding them. We are highly collaborative, both within and beyond the iSchool.

If you seek to pursue a career in HCI research, apply to the Ph.D. program in the department that best fits your interests and skills. In the Information School, the doctorate is a Ph.D. in Information Science, a broad customizable degree that can focus on most any aspect of people, technology, and information. Ideal candidates for joining Dr. Wobbrock's MAD Lab will have a background in computer science or similar, possibly with joint degrees in psychology, human factors, communication, education, anthropology, mechanical engineering, or design. We actively publish at ACM CHI, ACM UIST, ACM ASSETS, and other top HCI venues. Human-Computer Interaction is a highly interdisciplinary field, so all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

HCI at the Information School is not just for Ph.D. students. If you are an undergraduate Informatics major, you can do an HCI option that appears on your diploma and transcript. The HCI option involves courses in the four main DUB-affiliated programs: iSchool, CSE, HCDE, and IxD.

For prospective Master's students, the Information School participates with the other DUB departments to offer the new joint Master of Human-Computer Interaction & Design (MHCI+D) aimed at giving practitioners world-class training in designing and building interactive systems, and in usability and user research techniques. The MHCI+D degree is not the best option for students wishing to pursue HCI research and obtain a Ph.D.; it is a terminal professional degree for aspiring practitioners.