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



Curriculum Vitae

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 6th best global university for 2022-2023. His doctorate is in human-computer interaction (HCI), focusing on mobile and accessible computing. Wobbrock has helped build the UW into one of the world's top two universities for HCI research and education. He was a co-founder of the DUB Group and the MHCI+D degree. He also directs the ACE Lab and is an Associate Director and former founding Co-Director of the CREATE center.

Wobbrock's work seeks to scientifically understand people's experiences with interactive technologies, and to improve those experiences by designing, building, and evaluating new techniques and systems, especially for people with disabilities. His specific research topics include text entry, pointing, touch, and gesture; human performance measurement and modeling; HCI research and design methods; virtual reality; mobile HCI; and accessible computing. His work blends interaction design, computer science, and experimental psychology.

Some of Wobbrock's notable projects are the ability-based design approach to accessible computing, the $-family gesture recognizers, the end-user elicitation design method, the Slide Rule design for touch-based screen reading, ARTool for conducting nonparametric statistical analyses, the Pointing Magnifier assistive pointing and visual aid, and the versatile EdgeWrite text entry system.

Wobbrock has co-authored over 200 publications and 19 patents, receiving 29 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."

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 has served on the editorial boards of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction and three other HCI journals. His former doctoral students are professors at Harvard, Brown, Cornell Tech, R.I.T., Toronto, Washington, Simon Fraser, Bucknell, and companies including Microsoft Research, Google Research, Apple, and Meta Reality Labs.

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 $6.9M 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.

Wobbrock earned a B.S. with Honors in Symbolic Systems (1998) and an M.S. in Computer Science (2000) from Stanford University, where he received the Robert M. Golden Medal for his research into autonomous software agents. 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 the School of Computer Science Distinguished Dissertation Award.