Gregory Abowd Receives Social Impact Award from SIGCHI

March 28, 2007

(March 28, 2007) - The Computer Human Interaction Special Interest Group (SIGCHI) within the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) has awarded School of Interactive Computing Professor Gregory Abowd their Social Impact Award. The award will be presented at ACM's Computer/Human Interaction 2007 Conference in  San Jose, California, April 28 - May 3, 2007.

The Social Impact Award is given to individuals who promote the application of human-computer interaction research to pressing social needs.

Gregory Abowd is an Associate Professor in the College of Computing and GVU Center at Georgia Tech, and co-Director of the Aware Home Research Initiative. His research explores applications of ubiquitous computing technologies, combining both human-centered and technology-driven research themes.

Since 1995, Abowd has lead the development and evaluation of several influential ubiquitous computing projects: Cyberguide; eClass (nee Classroom 2000); the Aware Home; and most recently a suite of tools to support caregivers for children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Abowd is the co-author of a major textbook on Human-Computer Interaction and has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles in the areas of Ubiquitous Computing, HCI and Software Engineering. He is a 1986 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he studied Mathematics and Physics. He has a M.Sc. (1987) and D.Phil. (1991) in Computation from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia Tech in 1994, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of York in the U.K. and at Carnegie Mellon University.

One of 12 children growing up in suburban Detroit, Abowd himself is the father of three children, two of whom have diagnoses on the autism spectrum.

Abowd serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Cure Autism Now Foundation (now part of the Autism Speaks Foundation) and is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of America Greater Georgia Chapter and serves as the chair for adult services. He also also serves as moderator for the Emory Autism Center's Dad's support group.

In these roles, Abowd has been a strong advocate to encourage Computer Scientists to explore the applications of their work towards problems of relevance for the developmental disabilities community. He has also been an advocate to other researchers in the area of autism to consider the use of technology to improve their own work.

With seed funding from CAN and SBIR funding from NICHD, he has started a company, Caring Technologies, to provide video recording services for schools and families wishing to communicate behavioral evidence to behavioral and medical professionals.