Serendipity and People: Key to My HCI Research Directions

Audrey Girouard
Winner of the 2019 CS-Can|Info-Can Outstanding Early-Career Computer Science Researcher Award, Associate Professor in the School of Information Technology, Carleton University and head of the Creative Interactions Lab and the Collaborative Learning of Usability Experiences training program.

Does every successful researcher have a well-defined 5 or 10-year research plan that they will execute perfectly? While my impostor syndrome says they do, I have never had such detailed plan. In this talk, I will share how my research projects and directions come from significant, sometimes random, encounters with various people, from supervisors, to students, to colleagues. I pick ideas that pique my interest and that will allow me to work with people I like within an area I love. I will present my path and the significant people that influenced my human-computer interaction research, going from brain-computer interactions at Tufts University, to flexible phones at Queen’s University, to interactions with deformable, shape-changing and wearable devices, and accessibility research at Carleton University.

Audrey Girouard is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Technology at Ottawa’s Carleton University, where she is also the Associate Director for Graduate Studies. She leads the Creative Interactions Lab and the Collaborative Learning of Usability Experiences training program. Specializing in next-generation interactions, her current research focuses on deformable devices and wearables. Her work has applications in health, accessibility, gaming, creative input, and mobile devices. She sits on the steering committee for the ACM TEI Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interfaces where she was the Program Committee’s Co-Chair in 2012 and 2018. She has received the Ontario Early Researcher Award, the Carleton University Research Achievement Award and the Partner in Research Technology Achievement Award. Dr. Girouard received her PhD in Computer Science from Tufts University in 2010, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Human Medial Lab at Queen’s University the following year. Her undergraduate degree is in software engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal.

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