Friday, October 3, 2008

Who is my advisor: academic life and career

My advisor John M. Carroll is one of the biggest names in the HCI field. He is actually a founder of this field.

Dr. Carroll received his B.A. degree in mathematics from Lehigh University and Ph.D. degree in psychology from Columbia University. When he was still a Ph.D. student, he published a paper in the world-widely well-known academic journal “Science”, which is a rare thing for a graduate student since the journal usually requires very high quality papers. This paper helped him get a research job in IBM upon graduation.

Dr. Carroll worked for the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center for around 18 years (1976-1994) and founded the User Interface Institute at IBM in 1984. During this period, he also did research work at MIT, Yale University, Columbia University, University of Twente, and Xerox Research Center Europe as a visiting scholar. It is kind of amazing that he worked with Noam Chomsky, the father of modern linguistics, at MIT in 1980-1981. However, this experience did not drive him to devote himself into linguistics research; instead, it made him clear that he would not like to be a linguist. Dr. Carroll joined the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech in 1994. He was a professor there for 10 years, including 5 years as the head of the department. He came to Penn State in 2003, where he directs the Center for Human-Computer Interaction and the Computer-Supported Collaboration and Learning (CSCL) lab.

Dr. Carroll has written or edited 15 books, published more than 400 articles, serves on 12 editorial and advisory boards, and is the editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interactions. He has received both the Rigo Career Achievement Award and the CHI Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACM SIGDOC and SIGCHI respectively, received the Goldsmith Award from IEEE and the Silver Core Award from the IFIP. He is a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE, and Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Dr. Carroll received a great renown in 1980’s for his theory of Minimalism in computer instruction, training and technical communication. He is also well-known for his later work in scenario-based design, community networking, participatory design, collaborative learning, and HCI theories.

In the last few years, Dr. Carroll taught graduate courses in “Theories and Frameworks for Human-Computer Interaction” and “Current Issues in HCI”, and upper level undergraduate courses “Usability Engineering” and “Community Informatics”.

* The image is from Jack's website

No comments: