Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research
Siân is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge, where she studies technologies in use and the practices that are built around them. Her recent work explores how people manage, re-use and collaborate with digital content, and how this is changing in the current landscape of mobile devices, cloud computing and conversational platforms.
1. What is your role on the SIGCHI executive committee? Why are you interested in serving the community in this role?
I am a Vice President at Large. My goal in this role is to increase awareness of HCI, especially amongst people who are interested in technology, who might consider a career in the field, or who work in related fields. I do this by finding ways to help our members share their work (we offered communication and media skills sessions at CHI 2018 and will do so again at CHI 2019) and by organizing public outreach events (look out for one at CHI 2019!). I’m also currently exploring what it might mean for SIGCHI to have a PR agency working with them, to publicize work presented at SIGCHI-sponsored conferences more broadly. I believe that these efforts will increase our potential to have impact.
(Link to bylaws)
2. What is the impact SIGCHI has on the HCI world?
SIGCHI has a huge impact on the HCI world. Attending and reading up on the work published in conferences sponsored by SIGCHI is the main way I feel able to connect with my peers and with the latest research. SIGCHI also plays a vital role in facilitating HCI education (e.g. by sponsoring summer schools) and in supporting community building around HCI research and practice. As part of the latter, we’re currently exploring ways of engaging researchers and practitioners in the Global South (something that my fellow Vice President at Large, Susan Dray, is currently focusing on).
3. How is SIGCHI essential for keeping and growing the HCI community?
In many ways, SIGCHI is the HCI community for me. SIGCHI-sponsored events are a key way for me to get feedback on my work, learn from others, and also to give something back. From attending the doctorial consortium at my first CHI conference, to speaking at summer schools, to serving on program committees, SIGCHI events have been the way for me to participate in the HCI community.
4. Is there room for improvement in SIGCHI as an entity? How might we think about SIGCHI a bit differently?
It’s exciting to see the CHI conference increasingly being held in parts of the world that haven’t yet hosted it, such as in Asia. I hope that this, along with our efforts to better engage with our peers in the Global South, will help reposition SIGCHI as more global.
5. What is your favourite part about being a SIGCHI member?
Catching up with all those people I would rarely see otherwise.
6. Write down 3 awesome reasons why everybody should be part of the SIGCHI community.
- Be up to date with the latest research;
- Connect with and learn from others working in the field;
- Have a sense of how HCI is evolving, both in research and in practice.