ACM Distinguished Speakers Program:  talks by and with technology leaders and innovators

Distinguished ACM Speaker:
Michel Beaudouin-Lafon
Based in France


Michel Beaudouin-Lafon is Professor of Computer Science, Classe Exceptionnelle, at Université Paris-Sud (France) and a senior fellow of Institut Universitaire de France. He was Visiting Professor at University of Aarhus (Denmark, 1998-2000) and Stanford University (USA, 2010-2012). He has worked in human-computer interaction for 30 years and was elected to the ACM SIGCHI Academy in 2006. His research interests include fundamental aspects of interaction, novel interaction techniques, computer-supported cooperative work and engineering of interactive systems. He has published over 150 papers, seven of which have received awards, and has edited a book on computer-supported cooperative work. His top-cited papers illustrate the variety of his contributions: Technology Probes, a user-centered method for participatory design; Charade, a free-hand gesture input technique; Instrumental Interaction, an interaction model for post-WIMP interfaces; and Semantic Pointing, a technique that improves pointing performance. He has given numerous invited seminars around the world at the top universities and research institutions. His current research is conducted in the Ex Situ group, a joint lab between Université Paris-Sud, CNRS and Inria. He heads the 22M€ Digiscope project, which creates a network of 10 interactive rooms interconnected by a telepresence system to support co-located as well as remote collaborative work in data-intensive domains such as scientific discovery, modeling and simulation, product lifecycle management, and training. 

Michel is heavily involved in the management of research. He has been vice-president of the computer science department at Université Paris-Sud. He was director of LRI, the laboratory for computer science joint between Université Paris-Sud and CNRS (280 faculty, staff, and Ph.D. students), and now heads the Human-Centered Computing lab. He participates in the evaluation of many research institutions and research proposals at the French, European and international levels. He currently sits on the Scientific Committee of CNRS for Computer Science.

Michel has worked tirelessly to develop HCI in France. He has advised twenty-eight Ph.D. students and has served on more than 100 Ph.D. and French "habilitation" committees. He founded and co-directs two international masters in HCI, and is co-director of the graduate school in computer science. He founded AFIHM, the Francophone association for human-computer interaction, and was its first president. 

Michel has also been active in ACM and SIGCHI for over 20 years. He has served on the program committees of many conferences, especially CHI and UIST, several times (7) as chair or co-chair. He was chair of UIST 2001, co-chair of IHM 2004, co-chair of ECSCW 2005, and Technical Program Co-chair for CHI 2013 in Paris (3500 participants, 1000 presentations). He sits on the editorial boards of ACM Books and ACM TOCHI. He has served on the ACM Council and the ACM Publications Board, and on several award and nominating committees of ACM and SIGCHI. He is currently serving on the ACM Europe Council and on EUACM, the new European policy office of ACM. He received the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award in 2015.

Digital Library Author Page

Available Lectures:

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  • Designing Interaction, not Interfaces: Although the power of personal computers has increased 1000-fold over the past 20 years, user interfaces remain essentially the same. Innovations in HCI research, particularly novel interaction techniques, are rarely incorporated into products. In th...
  • Gesture-based Interaction: From the invention of the mouse to the touch-based interface of the iPhone and the full-body interaction enabled by the Kinect, gestures have been the favorite form of input for the majority of interactive systems. In this talk I give an overview of ...
  • Instrumental Interaction in Multisurface Environments:
    Today's user interfaces are based on the desktop metaphor and the principles of direct manipulation that were created more than 25 years ago. With the diversity of hardware platforms, contexts of use and types of information that we face t...
  • Interaction beyond Computation:
    We are currently witnessing a shift in computer science from classical, closed computer systems to open, interactive systems whose components harness each other's power. This is particularly true in Human-Computer Interaction, where resear...
  • Pointing and Multiscale Navigation:
    Pointing is by far the most common action in graphical user interfaces. It is also one of the few areas in Psychology where an empirical law lets us predict pointing performance: Fitts' law. For the past 25 years, many studies of pointing ...
  • Research metrics: the good, the bad and the ugly of bibliometrics and University rankings : Over the past decade, research metrics have become an important part of the discourse on research, from hiring committees to government policy. Researchers display their h-index on their web pages, journals brag about their impact factor, Universitie...
  • Tangible Interfaces and Instrumental Interaction: I introduced Instrumental Interaction fifteen years ago as an interaction model for post-WIMP interfaces. The goal was to go beyond the dominant paradigm, Direct Manipulation, recognizing that interaction is most often mediated by tools and instrumen...
  • Visions in HCI: a short history of Human-Computer Interaction: From its very early days, the field of Human-Computer Interaction has been driven by powerful visions, from Doug Engelbart's augmenting human intellect to Alan Kay's Dynabook to Mark Weiser's Ubicomp. In this talk I take a historical (but...

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