Aaron Quigley in SIGCHI Leaders

Aaron Quigley 

Professor, University of St Andrews

Professor Aaron Quigley is the Chair of Human Computer Interaction and Director of Impact in Computer Science in the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He is co-founder and director of SACHI, the St Andrews Computer Human Interaction research group. His research interests include surface and multi-display computing, human computer interaction, pervasive and ubiquitous computing and information visualisation.



1. What is your role on the SIGCHI executive committee? Why are you interested in serving the community in this role?

The Vice-President for Conferences is appointed by nomination of the President and approval of the elected officers. The SIGCHI bylaws describe 8 parts of the role but each year there are about 47 distinct aspects of the role I’ve documented. These aspects range from chairing the council of steering committee chairs to date and budget approvals. Or from helping steering committee chairs and conference chairs with tricky situations to developing new mechanisms and strategies to support and develop the family of SIGCHI conferences. We have 24 sponsored or co-sponsored conferences and over 30 in-coperation events. Each of these require checks, review and support through our various conference related supports, from the conferences development fund to the SIGCHI student travel grant program.

(Link to bylaws)


2. What is the impact SIGCHI has on the HCI world?

I’m working to make our conferences a family of globally inter-connected events and experiences. Working with our volunteers I’m hoping this idea acts as a source of inspiration to spark the imagination of steering committee chairs and organisers. To create the inter-connections SIGCHI is supporting activities which can begin to thread the family together, eventually building bridges to form a stronger conference program. The result of this is a stronger platform of conferences where we can meet, share, learn and build on each others work.


3. How is SIGCHI essential for keeping and growing the HCI community?

SIGCHI remains a focal point and voice for the entire HCI community as it seeks to support what our members wish to achieve. SIGCHI is its members, SIGCHI is its volunteers and SIGCHI is its conference delegates and each person who learns and benefits from our work. What SIGCHI can do, as a SIG, is to help direct and magnify the reach these people and their ideas can have.


4. Is there room for improvement in SIGCHI as an entity? How might we think about SIGCHI a bit differently?

Ask not what SIGCHI can do for you, but what you can do for SIGCHI! I apologise for these borrowed words but SIGCHI is the people who make it. And we need more people to realise the world desperately needs what the HCI community is doing. They need it in every home, shop, workplace or hospital. We need more professionals, not just in computing, versed in HCI principles. SIGCHI needs to inspire each member to take on the challenge of growing and extending our community. As computing continues to reshape what it means to be human, HCI must lead the way not be an afterthought.


5. What is your favourite part about being a SIGCHI member?

The people and their aspirations to make this world a better place through their research, practice and actions as HCI professionals.


6. Write down 3 awesome reasons why everybody should be part of the SIGCHI community.

    1. In SIGCHI each new connection you make may lead to something new, a fun idea, a rewarding experience, a novel direction for thinking or a life-long colleague.
    2. In the grand scheme of thing, the HCI community is very small and the problems we face are large. Membership in SIGCHI shows your commitment to grow and nurture this community and the next generation as it tackles these problems.
    3. The people, their infectious ideas and their dreams to invent the future.
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