Abowd Receives ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award

Gregory D. Abowd, dean of the College of Engineering, received the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) Lifetime Research Award.  This Association for Computing Machinery award is presented to individuals for outstanding contributions to the study of human-computer interaction. This award recognizes the very best, most fundamental, and influential research contributions. It is awarded for a lifetime of innovation and leadership.

Abowd is a world leader in the invention and application of ubiquitous computing technologies. His work has defined the field over the past three decades, and his intellectual contributions have shaped two major themes in ubiquitous computing: context-aware computing and automated capture and access of live experiences. He has shown how a variety of application areas—the classroom, the home, autism, and health care—benefit from innovations in mobile and ubiquitous technologies. Two particularly trailblazing projects, Classroom 2000 and the Aware Home, demonstrated “living laboratories” to advance technological advancements as well as understanding the impact when those technologies are woven into everyday life. His research has resulted in public-domain software toolkits and commercial solutions in the home and health sectors. As the parent of two sons on the autism spectrum, Abowd initiated a research program in technologies to support this neurodiverse population, resulting in several commercial products. In the process, he started a non-profit, the Atlanta Autism Consortium, that connects stakeholder communities across research, clinical practice, education, and families, and he was recognized by the State of Georgia for his efforts in establishing that organization.

Abowd’s leadership to the research community cemented ubiquitous computing as a core topic in HCI research. He hosted UbiComp 2001 in Atlanta, rebranding and establishing it as the premier forum in the area. He served on the founding editorial board for IEEE Pervasive Computing Magazine and was the co-founding Editor-in-Chief of Foundations and Trends in HCI. In the mid 2010’s created the Proceedings of the ACM in Interaction, Mobile, Wearable, and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT), serving as the Founding Editor-in-Chief.

Abowd has been recognized by ACM as a Fellow, a member of the SIGCHI Academy, recipient of the SIGCHI Social Impact Award, and the ACM Eugene Lawler Humanitarian Award. After 26 years at Georgia Tech, Abowd became Dean of Engineering at Northeastern University in 2021.

View a video recording of Abowd’s acceptance lecture in honor of receiving the SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award.

Related News:  Gregory Abowd spent a career thinking about ‘computer-human’ interaction. Now he’s won the field’s coveted ‘Lifetime Research Award’ by Tanner Stening, Northeastern Global News

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering