Boston has a storied history in human-computer interaction research. Vannevar Bush designed the Memex and Ivan Sutherland developed Sketchpad here. The Tangible Bits vision was authored here. Boston has hosted more CHI conferences than any other city.
Now we’re ready for the next step. Recently, the New England area has seen a burst of hires in human-computer interaction, including Krzysztof Gajos at Harvard and Orit Shaer at Wellesley, the creation of Microsoft Research’s NERD center with folks like danah boyd, Chia Shen’s move to Harvard, and MIT EECS tenuring Rob Miller last year. Here in CSAIL our HCI groups are growing, not to mention continued work at HCI stalwarts like the MIT Media Lab, Tufts, Northeastern, IBM Research Cambridge, and MERL.
Recently we all got together and decided to coordinate our efforts a bit more. We’re forming BostonCHI Labs, a consortium of human-computer interaction students and researchers. We’re going to be sharing expertise, interest, feedback, ideas, food, drinks, and maybe even advisors. We’re starting with a low-traffic mailing list, which you should get on if you’re interested. More to come, soon.
It’s an exciting time to be doing human-computer interaction research in Boston.