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John Zimmerman

Tang Family Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Human-Computer Interaction

Human-Computer Interaction Institute School of Design

John Zimmerman

I am an interaction designer and researcher. I teach courses on interaction design, service innovation, design theory, and HCI methods. My research falls into four areas.

Interaction with intelligent systems: I investigate how to blend human and machine intelligence. I’m also interested in how designers can more easily grasp machine learning as a design material. My current work include a decision support system that aids clinicians in deciding if they should implant an artificial heart.

Designing for the Self: I apply product attachment theory (why people love their things) to the design of digital products and services. Many of the systems we have made help parents feel that they are becoming better parents. Examples include an alarm clock that keeps small children from waking their parents and a mobile system that learns a family's routines and alerts parents when they forget to pickup their kids. My current work investigates how changes to the form and behavior of digital things can make people experience them as more valuable.

Public service innovation via social computing: I investigate how social computing can help citizens engage in the co-design of the public services they use. My current work includes Tiramisu, a deployed app that allows transit riders to crowdsource real-time arrival information.

Research through design: I study how design inquiry, with its focus on exploring possible futures through a process of making things, can be integrated with scientific and engineering inquiry. Book: Design Research through Practice.

Before joining the HCI Institute, I researched personalized TV systems for Philips Research.

Research Interests

Design Research, Ubicomp, Social Computing, Cloud Computing, Service Design, Mixed-initiative Interaction, End-user programming, Possession Attachment