Klemmer, Scott

other, Co-Director, The Design Lab
professor, Cognitive Science & CSE
Division: UCSD
Email: srk@ucsd.edu
Research Layer: Networked Infrastructure

Bio: Scott Klemmer is a co-founder and co-director of the Design Lab, as well as professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. He previously served as Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stanford, where he co-directed the HCI Group, held the Bredt Faculty Scholar chair, and was a founding participant in the d.school. He has a dual BA in Art-Semiotics and Computer Science from Brown (with Graphic Design work at RISD), and a PhD in CS from Berkeley. His former graduate students are leading professors (at Berkeley, CMU, and UIUC), researchers (at Adobe), founders (including Instagram and Pulse), social entrepreneurs, and engineers. Prof. Klemmer helped introduce peer assessment to online education, and created the first such online course. More than 200,000 have signed up for this human-computer interaction design class. He has been awarded the Katayanagi Emerging Leadership Prize, Sloan Fellowship, NSF CAREER award, and Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship. Nine of his papers were awarded best paper or honorable mention at top HCI venues. He has been program co-chair for UIST, the CHI systems area, and HCIC. He advises university design programs globally. Organizations worldwide use his group’s open-source design tools and curricula.

Research: New challenges, cultural values, and technologies are changing design — and vice versa. Pervasive networked devices have freed design from the confines of the lab: design increasingly roams at large. Many of these designs meld the physical, digital, and social worlds. The successes are tremendously exciting, but the failure rate is high. Herein lies the challenge. Currently, many design practices are faith-based rather than research-based. Why is there a shortfall of principles for effective design? In part, some see design as intrinsically mystical and impervious to investigation, because creative work is clearly complex and multifarious. And in part, this is a multidisciplinary effort. Building rigorous design theory requires insights that are currently spread across departments… and also beyond the ivory tower. Prof. Klemmer's group's research tools harvest and synthesize examples to empower more people to design, program, learn, and create. The experiments and research systems leverage real-world, web-scale usage to create practical theories for design. One focus of recent work — inspired by the design studio — is enabling peer learning online. This work, used in 100+ massive online classes, has created techniques for effective global-scale peer assessment of creative work and small-group video discussions among learners from diverse cultures.