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CHI 2012 Conference Preview

With technology use so prevalent in our daily lives, computer-human interaction professionals have the opportunity and responsibility to design and implement elegant, useful and usable interactive environments that enhance the quality of life. This year's ACM conference on Computer-Human Interactiofutn (CHI 2012), scheduled 5-10 May 2012 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, offers a rich program of emerging interaction technologies. "It's the experience that sets one technology apart from another, and that is what we present at the CHI 2012 conference," explained Dr. Joseph Konstan, CHI 2012 General Conference Chair, Distinguished Professor and Associate Department Head of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Join us at CHI 2012 and catch a glimpse of innovative ideas in research and practice that boldly predict and influence the future.

About the CHI Conference

Originally a small conference for psychologists interested in user interface design, the annual CHI conference has grown to include a very diverse participant group (such as interaction designers, computer scientists, engineering psychologists, developers, performing artists and more). It has also grown to deal with larger problems such as the organizational integration of technology and the use of technology in the home rather than only office settings. This year's conference marks 30 years of research, innovation and development in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and is expected to draw more than 2500 professionals from over 40 countries. The experience at CHI 2012 offers innovative opportunities for interacting with future technologies. The following areas represent a small portion of the total conference. For complete information about this year’s conference, consult the Advance Program.

Featuring over 900 works, the CHI conference is the premier worldwide forum for the exchange of information on all aspects of human-computer interaction. Typically the works presented address the concerns of design, engineering, management and user experience professionals. This year's conference also features works that focus on: Digital Arts, Games and Entertainment, Human-Computer Interaction for Kids, Health and Sustainability. Works are presented in several different venues. After two days of intimate pre-conference workshops, the main conference includes panel discussions, courses that provide leading-edge HCI knowledge, paper sessions, case studies, works-in-progress, student competitions (involving design, research and games), interactive demonstrations, special interest groups, and a Tuesday evening video night (popcorn included).

Glimpse of the Future

Social Media of the Future

Wisdom of Crowds

Touch Interaction

Technology in Education

Privacy and Security

Health Technology

Visual Aids


Designing for Children

Designing for An Aging Population

The Environment

Technology in Developing Regions

Keynote Speakers

Opening the conference, Margaret Gould Stewart, past Director of User Experience at YouTube, presents the keynote, Connecting the World Through Video. Stewart notes, "From my talk, you can expect to learn about the YouTube experience from both filmmakers and viewers, stories behind the videos, and design principles that apply to your work".

Hugh M. Herr, of MIT Media Lab, will close the conference with his keynote presentation, Designing Intelligent Orthotics and Prosthetics. Dr Herr explains, "My primary research objective is to apply principals of biomechanics and neural control to guide the designs of wearable robotic systems for human rehabilitation and physical augmentation. When well designed and properly customized to the individual, these devices not only traverse physical limitations, but also become very much a part of the wearer's physical self".


In addition to the technical presentations, CHI 2012 offers a diverse series of 38 courses. These courses range from basic classes, such as Human-Computer Interaction: Introduction and Overview to narrowly focused advanced topics, such as Designing with and for Children in the 21st Century: Techniques and Practices. Other examples of the wide range of offerings include Inspiring Mobile Interaction Design, User Experience Evaluation in Entertainment and Games and Innovating from Field Data: Driving the Voice of the Customer into Solutions that Transform Lives.

Professional Networking / Tuesday Night Job Fair

Valued equally with the technical sessions and courses are the informal conversations that help form a community of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) professionals. Many attendees return each year because the relationships formed with other members of the community are as important as technical sessions. Conference attendees can spend their days encountering unexpected new ideas and taking advantage of formal and informal networking opportunities to discuss them. Of special interest is the Tuesday night Job Fair, a scheduled time for interested participants to explore employment opportunities. Many of CHI's exhibitors are active recruiters, in addition to demonstrating prototypes or fully developed products.

Interactivity (Interactive Demonstrations and Performances)

Interactivity is a highly interactive (Don't just sit there!) program that features 66 hands-on demonstrations and performances. Interactivity is an opportunity to fully engage at a personal level by touching, squeezing, hearing or even smelling interactive visions for the future: they come as prototypes, demos, artworks, design experiences as well as inspirational technologies. Interactivity promotes and provokes discussion about the role of technology by actively engaging attendees one by one. There are two types of interactivity exhibits this year, explorations and research. Interactivity Explorations present cultural applications and explorations of future technologies. Interactivity Research presents an exciting collection of hands-on research demonstrations and prototypes. These exhibits, developed by leading researchers and designers, will be on display in the Exhibition Hall.

Invited Talks

Richard Shusterman presents Somaesthetics and its Implications for CHI.

Stu Card, one of the founders of Human-Computer Interaction, presents Interaction Science in the Age of Makers and Instructables.

Key Contributor Recognition Awards

S. Joy Mountford will be recognized with the SIGCHI Lifetime Practice Award

Batya Friedman will be recognized with the SIGCHI Social Impact Award

Dan Olsen, Jr. will be recognized with a SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award

Conference Sponsors

Organizations contributing to the financial support of the conference include Champion Sponsors, Autodesk; Bloomberg; eBay; Google, Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; the National Science Foundation (NSF) and SAP. Contributing Sponsors include Facebook and Nokia. Friends of CHI include Adobe Systems, Inc.; Disney Research; Samsung UX Center America and University of Michigan School of Information. See a complete list of the conference sponsors.

About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.


CHI 2012 is sponsored by ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (ACM SIGCHI). The scope of SIGCHI consists of the study of the human-computer interaction processes and includes research, design, development, and evaluation efforts for interactive computer systems. The focus of SIGCHI is on how people communicate and interact with a broadly-defined range of computer systems. SIGCHI serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas among computer scientists, human factors scientists, psychologists, social scientists, designers, educators, and practitioners involved in the design, implementation, and evaluation of interactive computing systems. Over 5,000 professional members of the SIGCHI community work together toward common goals and objectives.