HCI 20th Anniversary celebration

The Human Computer Interaction (HCI) program at Iowa State University has celebrated its 20th anniversary!  We hosted a vibrant event filled with insightful talks, research presentations, alumni reunions, panel discussions, and reflections. Here are some of the key highlights:

Research Poster Competition

The celebration commenced with a research poster competition, where twelve posters were presented. Participants showcased their cutting-edge research in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI).

Prizes were awarded to outstanding posters, recognizing the talent and creativity within our HCI community.

Congratulations to these award winners:

Talks by Esteemed Speakers:

    • Jim Oliver, former VRAC director and the visionary behind our HCI program, delivered a brief talk titled “History of ISU HCI.” His insights into the program’s evolution were both informative and nostalgic.
    • Dr. Allison Woodruff, a distinguished User Experience Researcher from Google, shared her perspectives in a talk titled “How Knowledge Workers Think Generative AI Will (Not) Transform Their Industries.” Her expertise shed light on the intersection of AI and user experience.
    • The evening concluded with a presentation by Dr. Anicia Peters, CEO of the Namibia National Commission on Research, Science, and Technology (NCRST). Her talk, titled “Transforming Africa: Navigating the AI Revolution in the African Landscape,” emphasized the role of AI in shaping Africa’s future.

HCI Alumni Panel:

The celebration continued on Friday with an engaging HCI Alumni Panel featuring accomplished professionals. Attendees gained insights into the real-world impact of HCI from these industry leaders:

  • Dr. Chase MeuselSenior Researcher at Netflix, where he explores what goes into great gaming experiences. Previously, he spent 5 years conducting UX Research at Microsoft, primarily with the Xbox team. He earned his M.S. in HCI in 2014 and Ph.D. in HCI in 2017, and now lives in Minnesota and enjoys playing music, games, and swimming with his wife and two children.
  • Brandon Newendorp – Senior Software Engineering Manager. Brandon leads the team that’s responsible for Siri on Apple Watch, working with machine learning and engineering teams across Apple to create well-designed and tightly integrated experiences for Siri users around the world. He earned his B.S. in Computer Engineering in 2007 and his M.S. in human computer interaction in 2009. He was also known for many years at Iowa State as the co-chair and emcee for FIRST LEGO League.
  • Kate PeloquinExecutive Research Assistant, Intel. Kate began her career conducting research for products used by tech employees and has since leveraged her foundation of engineering and UX insights across a variety of roles including program management, business operations, and roadmap planning for personal computing and datacenter products sold worldwide.
  • Dr. Lori Sjolund – Digital Software Development Specialist. Dr. Sjolund is a 2016 PhD graduate from the HCI and Psychology programs at ISU and currently works in the Corporate Research Systems Lab at 3M. In her role, she leads the early technical development of both physical and digital products. Her responsibilities vary based on project needs, but she is particularly passionate about connecting with end-users and frequently conducts usability tests and user interviews. Additionally, Lori has held multiple leadership roles at 3M, including serving as a 2022 Chair of 3M’s Tech Forum, a self-governed technical organization with 10,000 members, and as a 2023-2024 Lab Operations Manager in the Corporate Research Labs.

HCI Alumni Panel Video Recording (Box.com) 
Access restricted to @iastate.edu logins only

Comment and Reflections:

Young HCI Faculty Panel:

  • A panel discussion featuring young HCI faculty members gave fresh perspectives as they presented their work and fielded questions from attendees
    • Merate Barakat – Architecture
    • Jundi Liu – Industrial Manufacturing and Systems Engineering
    • Chengde Wu – Architecture

Video Recording (YouTube)

 A heartfelt shout-out to the VRAC staff for their tireless efforts in orchestrating the HCI 20th Anniversary celebration. Their dedication and meticulous planning ensured that the event was a resounding success.