March 1, 2017
by Scott Bureau
Rochester Institute of Technology Distinguished Professor Vicki Hanson was elected to the ACM CHI Academy, an honorary group of individuals who have made substantial contributions to the field of human-computer interaction, or HCI. With this honor, Hanson joins principal leaders of the field whose efforts have shaped the disciplines and industry of HCI.
The academy is a part of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction—more commonly known as SIGCHI. ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.
“The CHI Academy recognizes leaders in HCI research,” said Hanson, who is on the faculty of RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. “My contributions primarily have been in the area of accessible technology experiences for people with disabilities. I am proud to have contributed to developing accessibility research as a priority within HCI, and I feel that my election to the CHI Academy helps recognize the importance of that research.”
Hanson, who currently serves as president of ACM, is a human-computer interaction expert with experience in both industry and academia. Hanson’s many contributions include serving as SIGCHI vice president at large, revitalizing ACM’s Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing, establishing a successful annual conference in accessible computing, and co-founding and serving as the first co-editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing. In announcing the award, the academy said it was recognizing her efforts to shape and grow the field, mentoring young researchers and building a strong international research community.
At RIT, Hanson teaches graduate level courses in HCI and is part of RIT’s new undergraduate degree program in human-centered computing. Along with Matt Huenerfauth, associate professor of information sciences and technologies, Hanson helps run the Golisano College Center for Accessibility and Inclusion Research, which brings together researchers working on computer accessibility and assistive technology for people with disabilities, technology for older adults and educational technologies.
Before academia, she worked as a research staff member and manager with IBM Research, where she received an IBM Corporate Award for pioneering technology and innovation supporting IBM’s contributions to accessibility. Business Insider also named her one of the 25 Most Powerful Women Engineers in Tech.
Other professional recognition for her contributions including being named an ACM Fellow in 2004, a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society in 2008 and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2013. She also served as one of the founding members of the ACM-W Europe Executive Committee, an organization that supports women in computing professions.