Computer-human interaction expert Steve Whittaker wins lifetime achievement in research award

UCSC professor Steve Whittaker
Professor Steve Whittaker

UC Santa Cruz psychology professor Steve Whittaker, a specialist in human and computer interaction, has won the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Research Award given by the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI).

SIGCHI is the professional society for human-computer interaction researchers. Each year it recognizes one or two individuals who have contributed to the advancement of the field. The award will be presented at the annual Computer Human Interaction conference scheduled for April in Toronto, Canada. Recipients are also invited to give a lecture at the conference.

Whittaker works at the intersection of psychology and computation, using insights from cognitive and social science to design new digital tools to support effective multitasking, memory, collaboration, and socializing.

Recently, his research has focused on life blogging as a way to improve psychological well-being, and on the implications from digital breakups, such was what to do with Facebook posts and photo archives of or by former romantic partners. He has also explored how people’s everyday memories are affected when they create rich records using technologies such as GoogleGlass.

Trained as a cognitive psychologist, he works with computer scientists and computer engineers as well as other social scientists. Whittaker joined UCSC in 2011 after two years as a research scientist at IBM's Almaden Research Center and previous positions at the University of Sheffield, AT&T Labs, Lotus Development Corp., and Hewlett-Packard Labs.