I am an Associate Professor of Systems Design Engineering, with a cross appointment in English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. I am also the Director of the Collaborative Systems Laboratory and a Member of University of Waterloo's Games Institute. My research and teaching focus on human-computer interaction and computer-supported collaboration, with a special interest in developing technology that enhances human-human interaction in face-to-face environments. My particular area of specialization is in the design and development of large-format surface computer systems, such as interactive walls and tabletop systems, for supporting various face-to-face collaborative and social endeavours, including both serious pursuits such as military command and control and emergency response, and more playful pursuits such as board gaming. More recently I have begun exploring the integration of large-format surfaces with mobile personal devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to enable more flexible collaborative activity in face-to-face environments.
In March 2014, I was profiled in the Chair for Women in Science and Engineering's 30-in-30: 30 Women in 30 Days in Celebration of National Engineering Month. Check out my profile here.
I am a strong advocate of the potential of interactive surface computing systems to support collaboration. I am heavily involved in the surface computing international research and development community, and the broader communities of human-computer interaction (HCI) and computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW). I currently serve on the steering committee of the ACM Conference on Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ITS). In the past, I guest co-edited a special issue of the IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications journal (2006) on digital tabletops, and have twice served as Program Chair of the ACM ITS conference (2007 and 2009), and annually serve on its program committee and other organizational roles.
In other efforts to promote digital tabletops and walls to industry and students, I co-founded and serve as a theme co-lead of SurfNet, an NSERC Strategic Network founded in 2010 that focuses on tabletops and interactive surfaces. I also co-founded and served as the Canadian Director of a Canadian-EU exchange program, Leif: A Multicultural Exploration into Research and Education for Surface Computing, that ran from 2010-2013, and promoted exchanges between Canada and European universities engaged in tabletop and surface research. This program offered Canadian students an exciting opportunity to travel to a participating university in Europe (and for European students to visit a participating Canadian university), to work on cutting-edge digital surface research projects.
Areas of Graduate Supervision
- Interface and interaction design for large-format interactive digital displays (e.g. interactive tabletops and walls),
- Interface and interaction design for multi-surface display environments (e.g. environments that support interaction between personal and shared surfaces, such as tablets or smartphones with tabletop or wall displays),
- Investigations of the use of large-format interactive digital displays for different types of tasks and in the context of task settings,
- Collaborative and communication practices related to technology use,
- Collaborative gaming technologies and impact of gaming technologies on collaboration and socialization practices.
If you are interested in any of these, or related areas, please visit my Student Opportunities page for more information what type of background I typically look for in a student. Please take note of the required background, as I will not consider graduate students without these foundational credentials.