Professor Michel Beaudouin- Lafon
Thank you for this exciting and most unexpected news! I am honored!
Michel Beaudouin-Lafon is Professor of Computer Science, Classe Exceptionnelle, at Université Paris-Sud and a senior fellow of Institut Universitaire de France. He has worked in human-computer interaction for over 35 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 200 papers and is an ACM Distinguished Speaker. His current research is conducted in the Ex Situ group, a joint lab between Université Paris-Sud, CNRS and Inria, where He headed the 22M€ Digiscope project and is the laureate of an ERC Advanced Grant. Michel 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 at LRI. He is also chair of the department of Computer Science at Université Paris-Saclay (2400 faculty, staff and Ph.D. students). He participates in the evaluation of many research institutions and research proposals at the French, European and international levels, such as the European Research Council panels for starting, advanced and synergy grants. He founded and co-directed two international masters in HCI, and was 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 25 years, including as 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, has served on the ACM Council, ACM Europe Council and ACM Publications Board, and on several award and nominating committees of ACM and SIGCHI. He is currently vice-chair of the ACM Technology Policy Council. He received the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award in 2015.
"I discovered Computer Science as a student in a French engineering school in Toulouse. At the time, programming involved typing punched cards, putting them in a card reader and waiting several hours for a listing that, more often than not, would simply state “syntax error line 2”. Nevertheless, I was fascinated by the fact that you could get the computer to do pretty much anything. After receiving my degree, I realised I did not want to work in industry as a project manager, so I sought a Ph.D. thesis. I ended it up at LRI at Université Paris-Sud (now Paris-Saclay), where I have been to this day. My advisor put me in front of what was one of the first graphics workstation (a PERQ computer, before the Macintosh!). I created an interactive program to create and simulate Petri Nets, and discovered what I later learned was a research field in its own right: Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). While I was trained to create algorithms, I found it much more interesting to create systems that could change people’s lives. My goal was not make computers that can replace human beings, but rather to augment and expand human capabilities. I have worked in many areas of HCI, from basic research on pointing to creating advanced interaction techniques, from exploring collaborative work to creating large infrastructures such as Digiscope, from theory and methodology to policy implications. While I am well aware of the pitfalls of computer technology, I am still fascinated by how it can help us be more human."