17 February 2020

Professor Kasper Hornbæk receives international award and membership of prestigious academy

SIGCHI Academy Award

Professor at Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen (DIKU) Kasper Hornbæk has been rewarded with a SIGCHI Academy Award for his research on Usability and User Experience and for his contribution to defining Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) as a science. At the same time, the award admits Kasper Hornbæk to the CHI Academy which only admits a small group of leading researchers each year who has contributed most significantly to the HCI field.

Portrait of Kasper Hornbæk
Portrait of Kasper Hornbæk

The CHI Academy is a part of SIGCHI - Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction - which annually hosts the largest conference of the HCI field with more than 3000 participants; this year in Hawaii. The conference has existed since 1982, and Kasper Hornbæk has participated since 1999. In 2000, his first CHI paper was published, and since then, he has received five best paper awards. His most cited CHI paper has more than 1000 citations.

Kasper Hornbæk is honored to receive the award and the lifelong membership of the CHI Academy: 

- To become part of the academy is the ultimate recognition to me. SIGCHI is truly my common professional community which I have been actively involved in for over 20 years. Their choice to reward me shows that my research has made a difference, and it also marks that our HCI research at DIKU is at the very top.

A redefinition of “good” and defining HCI as a science

According to the CHI committee, Kasper Hornbæk’s impact covers two main areas. One area of impact concerns usability and user experience. His work has concerned how we measure usability, which methodologies we use for assessing usability, and how we conceptualize user experience. In short, this work has redefined how HCI thinks about what is good. 

The other area of impact concerns foundational topics in HCI, concerning the nature of the field and the methodologies it employs. Kasper Hornbæk has helped shape how the field measures and reasons scientifically about usability and user experience which has influenced the work of many other HCI researchers. His IJHCS 2006 paper is a classic for many HCI students and his recent work on eudaimonia and meaning has been taken up by many.

In the company of world-renowned scientists

As a member of the academy, Kasper Hornbæk joins a distinguished group of top-level researchers such as Douglas Engelbart, who invented the mouse, Ben Shneiderman, whose Interface Design principles have been used by tech giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, and Donald Norman, who is well-known for his work on User-centred Design. 

The criteria for election to the CHI Academy are:

  • Cumulative contributions to the field
  • Impact on the field through development of new research directions and/or innovations
  • Influence on the work of others
  • Reasonably active participant in the ACM SIGCHI community.

Kasper Hornbæk will be honored at this year’s CHI conference in May at a reception for invited guests. At the conference, he will present his recent study about how the concept of interaction has evolved since 1982.

SIGCHI also presents a range of other awards, including an Outstanding Dissertation Award, which this year has been given to one of Kasper Hornbæk’s former PhD students, Paul Strohmeier, for his dissertation entitled Shaping Material Experiences: Designing Vibrotactile Feedback for Active Perception.