CHCCS/SCDHM Achievement Award

Saul Greenberg

2007 Achievement Award

Dr. Saul Greenberg is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. A computer scientist by training, the work that he and his students are engaged in typifies the cross-disciplinary aspects of human-computer interaction (HCI) and computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW). He is receiving the CHCCS/SCDHM Achievement Award for his long-term contributions to the field of HCI through the development of software toolkits for distributed systems, groupware and hardware-based physical user interfaces, and the use of social theories and observations in the design and evaluation of groupware. These contributions have made protoyping groupware and physical interfaces accessible to a wide community of practitioners and have laid a sound theoretical foundation for evaluating the effectiveness of those tools.

Dr. Greenberg received a BSc in microbiology and immunology in 1976 and a Diploma in Education in 1978, both from McGill University, and an MSc in computer science in 1984 and a PhD in 1989 from the University of Calgary. His dissertation was on Tool use, reuse and organization in command-driven interfaces. Saul has written over 100 journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, and invited publications, in addition to numerous short papers and posters at conferences, video publications, and other scholarly presentations. He has supervised over two dozen graduate students, many of whom have worked closely with researchers in industry during their degree programs. Before returning to university he worked as a high school teacher, which perhaps explains his reputation as an excellent instructor.

Toolkits developed by Dr. Greenberg and his colleagues include Groupkit, Collabrary, SDGToolkit, and Phidgets. Major systems based on social theories and observations include GroupSketch, GroupDraw, TeamRooms, Notification Collage and Community Bar, as well as numerous other experimental prototypes. These have built upon his empirical investigations of awareness, casual interaction and privacy, and the heuristic evaluation of groupware.

Saul has a strong commitment to making his tools, systems, and educational material readily available to other HCI researchers and educators. His HCI lecture notes were one of the first to be available on-line, and are heavily downloaded and used. The collection of papers he edited on computer supported cooperative work and groupware (1993) and the collection he co-edited on human-computer interaction (1995) helped to establish both of these areas as distinct fields within computer science by providing overviews of seminal papers and commentaries that placed those papers into a theoretical framework. He regularly participates on program committees for major international conferences and has served on the ACM SIGCHI Publications Board. He is currently a member of the editorial boards for the International Journal of Human Computer Studies and the Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work.

Dr. Greenberg holds the iCORE/Smart Technologies Industrial Chair in Interactive Technologies and he was awarded a University Professorship at the University of Calgary in recognition of his research excellence. He is a theme leader and a founding member of the executive committee for the Network for Effective Collaboration Technology through Advanced Research (NECTAR), a research network funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. His achievements as both an HCI researcher and as an educator have been truly outstanding. He was inducted into the ACM CHI Academy in 2005.

An avid back-country skiier and mountain climber, he lives in Canmore, Alberta, with his wife and children.