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March 17, 2010
Associate Professor Beki Grinter of Interactive Computing, a two-time alumnus of the University of California-Irvine, will receive a Distinguished Alumni award from the university's Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences in a ceremony to be held May 13 in Irvine.
Grinter earned her master's in information and computer science from UC-Irvine in 1994 and her Ph.D. in 1996. Under the guidance of professors Jonathan Grudin, John King and Rob Kling, Grinter focused on the coordination challenges in software development early in her career. Today, her research lies at the intersection of several different research communities, including computer-supported cooperative work, human computer interaction (HCI), sociology, software engineering and ubiquitous computing. Grinter directs the Work2Play lab in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.
One of her best-known publications, "Instant Messaging in Teen Life", was reported in 2006 as one of the year's 15 most-downloaded papers on the ACM Digital Library. Her work is highly referenced by other experts in the field and has been highlighted numerous times by the media such as The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, CNN International, Discovery Channel, ComputerWorld and Health Magazine.
“Beki’s constant search for answers to the questions surrounding the use, adoption and benefit of technology contributes to improved understanding of design needs and implications,” said Brenda Richardson, founding dean of the Bren School. “Her research on the effect of certain technologies on people – whether the single user at home, or group users collaborating at the workplace – and the social impact of technologies like instant messaging, is continuously impacting the digital landscape.”