Herbert A. Simon Professor of Human-Computer Interaction Robert Kraut has been named the recipient of the 2016 SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement in Research Award. Presented annually by the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, the award recognizes an individual for the very best, most fundamental and influential research contributions to the human-computer interaction field. According to SIGCHI, "It is awarded for a lifetime of innovation and leadership."
A founding member of the HCII, Kraut began his career as a traditional social psychologist and spent time at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Bell Laboratories and Bell Communications Research. He joined the Carnegie Mellon community in 1993, and his research has broadly focused on the design and impact of social computing. He has conducted empirical research on online communities, the impact of the Internet on personal relationships and psychological well-being, the design of information technology for small-group intellectual work, the communication needs of collaborating scientists, the impact of business computer technologies on organizational networks, and employment quality and home-based employment.
Kraut's recent work has focused on analyzing and designing online communities, including health-support communities, Facebook groups and guilds in multiplayer games. In this research, he's studied how these groups operate — how they socialize newcomers, for example, or coordinate their work — as well as interventions to improve their operation.
"Bob is so deserving of this lifetime achievement award," HCII Director Anind Dey said. "He has literally written the book(s) on how people use technology both at work and to work together, and how successful online groups are created. His work continues to inspire both the HCII at CMU and the larger human-computer interaction community."
A fellow of both the Association for Psychological Science and the Association for Computing Machinery, Kraut has authored or co-authored seven books and more than 170 academic papers. He was elected to the CHI Academy in 2003, and has served as visiting faculty at Facebook and Hewlett-Packard. He's chaired 16 Ph.D. committees and has advised scores of graduate students.
"I am personally delighted and honored to receive this award," Kraut said. "However, I also consider the award a testimonial to the wonderful collaborators and students I have worked with over the years at CMU. They are responsible for much of the research with which I’ve been involved and have made my research career so much fun."
Kraut will receive the Lifetime Achievement in Research Award at the 2016 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI2016), which will be held May 7–12 in San Jose, Calif.
Learn more about the award on the SIGCHI website.