Jacob O. Wobbrock is a Professor of Information and, by courtesy, of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington (UW), which U.S. News ranked the 7th best global university for 2022. His field is human-computer interaction (HCI) with a focus on mobile and accessible computing. Prof. Wobbrock has helped build the UW into one of the world's premiere universities for HCI research and education. He was a founding member of the DUB Group and the MHCI+D degree. He also directs the ACE Lab and is a founding Co-Director of the CREATE research center.
Prof. Wobbrock's work seeks to scientifically understand people's interactions with and experiences of computers and information, and to improve them by inventing and evaluating new interactive technologies, especially for people with disabilities. His specific research topics include input and interaction techniques, human performance measurement and modeling, HCI research and design methods, mobile computing, and accessible computing. He has conducted numerous projects on novel pointing techniques, text entry methods, gesture recognition, gesture design, statistical methods and tools, mobile user interfaces, and accessible user interfaces, among many others.
He has co-authored ~200 publications and 19 patents, receiving 26 paper awards, including 7 best papers and 8 honorable mentions from ACM CHI, the flagship conference in HCI. For his contributions to accessible computing, he received the 2017 SIGCHI Social Impact Award and the 2019 SIGACCESS ASSETS Paper Impact Award, a 10-year lasting-impact award. He also received a 10-year lasting impact award from ICMI 2022 for work on gesture recognition. In 2018 and 2021, he was named the #1 Most Influential Scholar in HCI by the citation-ranking system AMiner, and he was runner-up in 2020. In 2019, he was inducted into the CHI Academy. In 2021, he was named an ACM Fellow "for contributions to human-computer interaction and accessible computing."
Prof. Wobbrock's work and ideas have been reported in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Seattle Times, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, M.I.T. Technology Review, PC World, Self Magazine, USA Today, and other outlets.
He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and seven other National Science Foundation grants. He is on the editorial board of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. His former advisees are now professors at Harvard, Brown, Cornell, Colorado, Toronto, Washington, Simon Fraser, Bucknell, and many companies.
Prof. Wobbrock is also an entrepreneur. From 2012-2015, he was the venture-backed co-founder and CEO of AnswerDash, during which time he raised over $2.5M in venture capital, launched a multi-platform SaaS product, signed 35 corporate customers, and built a team of 15 employees. In 2020, AnswerDash was acquired by CloudEngage.
Jacob O. Wobbrock received a B.S. with Honors in Symbolic Systems (1998) and an M.S. in Computer Science (2000) from Stanford University. He received a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction (2006) from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Upon graduating, he was honored with CMU's School of Computer Science Distinguished Dissertation Award.