Accessibility statement


Professor John Long

UCL Interaction Centre

Delighted to hear of my nomination as hero of Computer Science at the University of York and that I am an inspiration to your staff and graduate students. Many thanks and much appreciated!

I have been inspired by the very concept of the discipline of Computer Science. Maths without science; but with embedded Software Engineering as programming. Theoretical and pragmatic hole in one. It can’t fail.

Second, I have been inspired by productive engagement over the years with software engineers and their work, including William Newman (HCI as engineering), George Coulouris (London HCI Centre), Marie-France Barthet (structured methods), Philippe Palanque (formal models), Jean Vanderdonckt (HCI design) and Michael Harrison (formal methods).

Third, my relationship to Software Engineering has been inspired much in the way of a 'camp-follower', playing HCI catch-up. With Kee Yong Lim, we developed MUSE (Method for Usability Engineering) to support the design of the user interface and to run in parallel with JSD. With John Dowell, we developed a conception for HCI, which formed the basis for Cognitive Engineering as the counterpart of Software Engineering. With Adam Stork, we developed initial principles for HCI interface design using MUSE for research.

"Having reflected long and hard how I got here, I have not come up with much by way of an explanation other than having the luck to work with bright and engaging colleagues. I put down what success I have enjoyed to never working with PhD students not cleverer than myself and never working with MSc students cleverer than myself. When I came across the latter, I converted them into the former. Student potential rules – OK?

This message relates to the aims of the Athena Swan award, although the connection may not be obvious. Suggestions from students as to what the connection might be should be sent to There will be a small prize for best suggestion (an e-copy of my next book entitled ‘Approaches and Frameworks for HCI Research’, to be published by CUP in early 2021).

Finally, a number of you will be in my position in the years to come. Send a postcard to your older self, warning of the possible temptations, which threaten the meaning of your current life. What would you write? Responses will be posted (anonymously, if desired) on my blogsite <>."