CHI Academy 2017

Thad Starner, a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is one of the 2017 honorees to be inducted into the ACM CHI Academy this year in recognition of advancements to the field of human-computer interaction. The CHI Academy is an honorary group of individuals who have made substantial contributions to the field of HCI. These are the principal leaders of the field, whose efforts have shaped the disciplines and/or industry, and led the research and/or innovation in human-computer interaction. The CHI Academy 2017 inductees were recognized in a special ceremony at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing (CHI 2017) in Denver, Colorado, May 6-11.

Thad Starner is presented the CHI Academy plaque from Awards Chair Steve Feiner on May 7.

The criteria for election to the CHI Academy are:

  • Cumulative contributions to the field
  • Impact on the field through development of new research directions and/or innovations
  • Influence on the work of others
  • Reasonably active participant in the ACM SIGCHI community

Thad Starner
Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Thad Starner is a wearable computing pioneer. He is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Technical Lead on Google Glass. In 1990, Starner coined the term “augmented reality” to describe the types of interfaces he envisioned for the future, and he has been wearing a computer with a head-up display as part of his daily life since 1993, perhaps the longest such experience known. Besides Glass, his projects include a wireless glove that teaches how to play piano melodies without active attention by the wearer; a game for deaf children using computer vision-based sign language recognition that helps them acquire language skills; creating wearable computers to enable two-way communication experiments with wild dolphins; making wearable computers for working dogs to facilitate communication with their handlers; recovering phrase-level sign language from brain signals; and recognizing English speech without vocalization. Thad is a founder of the annual ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers, now in its 20th year, and has produced over 450 papers and presentations on his work. He is an inventor on over 90 United States patents awarded or in process.

Starner is one of the curators of Meeting the Challenge: The Path Towards a Consumer Wearable Computer exhibit, which debuted at CHI 2014 in Toronto. The exhibit went on to other notable venues around the world, including the World Economic Forum and the Computer History Museum.


CHI ACADEMY CLASS: Georgia Tech now has seven faculty as part of the CHI Academy including (l to r) Jim Foley, Keith Edwards, Thad Starner, Beth Mynatt, Beki Grinter and Gregory Abowd. (Not pictured: John Stasko)

SIGCHI 2017 Honorees