The hub for latest news and announcements from ACM SIGCHI

New Chairs of the SIGCHI Research Ethics Committee

28 Dec 2023

Melissa Densmore and Cosmin Munteanu are now the Co-Chairs of the Research Ethics Committee, taking over from Casey Fiesler. You can read their aims in their own words, and their bios are below.

We will continue supporting our community by providing expert insight in research ethics issues for the SIGCHI community. In particular, we continue organizing the SIGCHI volunteer ethics reviewers, in support of conference and journal program chairs as reviewers raise ethical concerns with submitted papers. In addition we hope to establish a clear governance and standard operating procedure for our committee, based on how its practice has emerged over the past several years, as well as continue engaging the broader community in collaboratively sharing and improving our community's best ethical practices.

Melissa Densmore (she/her) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University of Cape Town (UCT), director of the HCI Lab at UCT, and coordinator of the Hasso Plattner Institute Research School at UCT. She is chair of the UCT Faculty of Science Research Ethics committee and the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Human-Computer Interaction (ACM SIGCHI) Research Ethics Committee. Densmore’s research explores digital participation in data-constrained communities, with a particular interest in alternative communications infrastructures and digital health. Densmore completed her PhD at University of California, Berkeley in Information Management and Systems, has an MSc in Data Communications, Networks and Distributed Systems from University College London, and holds a BA in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Cosmin Munteanu (he/him/they/them) is an Associate Professor and Schlegel Research Chair in Technology for Healthy Aging at the Department of Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, and Director of the Technologies for Ageing Gracefully lab. They are a transdisciplinary scholar, drawing from a wide range of disciplines such as engineering, computing sciences, critical theory, and technology and society studies. Cosmin takes a primarily ethnomethodological approach to study how to design intelligent applications that improve access to information, support social connections late in life, and reduce digital marginalization for underrepresented groups such as older adults. Their work is situated at the intersection of user experience design, digital inclusion, aging, conversational user interfaces, and ethics, primarily focusing on the sociotechnical design of inclusive interactions with and for older adults. 

Remembering Gary Marsden

27 Dec 2023

As this year draws to a close and a new one begins, many of us are on break, taking time off from various SIGCHI commitments. Allow us to pause this silence with a note of remembrance for Gary Marsden, in whose honor SIGCHI has supported—since 2015—hundreds of students and early career members, among others, in attending our conferences.

Gary was a professor of computer science at the University of Cape Town, "pioneer and passionate advocate of HCI for development and community builder" [1], who died suddenly of a heart attack ten years ago, on December 27, 2013, at the age of 43. Gary was notably also a recipient of the SIGCHI Social Impact Award in 2007. Aside from his contributions to the field, many remember him as “a playful, generous, and intelligent spirit who will be sorely missed by all those who were taught by him, worked with him, or simply had met him" [1].

On this tenth anniversary of his loss, we are grateful to Gary and all that he did for our community and others around the world, and for the Gary Marsden Travel Awards that continue to remind us of his contributions.

[1] Matt Jones and Yvonne Rogers. 2014. In memory of Gary Marsden. interactions 21, 2 (March + April 2014), 6–7. https:/ / doi. org/ 10. 1145/ 2574859