Daniel Vogel named 2023 ACM Distinguished Member

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

The Association for Computing Machinery has named Professor Daniel Vogel a Distinguished Member for his fundamental contributions to human-computer interaction and applications of novel forms of interaction. He is among 52 individuals recognized internationally by ACM for their outstanding scientific contributions to computing.

“Congratulations to Dan on this much-deserved recognition from ACM for his pioneering human-computer interaction research,” said Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. “Dan has made many fundamental contributions to user interfaces that have been adopted widely by industry. His vision also extends to the future as he has developed methods for large-display interaction using one’s body for input to wearable Bluetooth-enabled displays to prototyping novel interfaces using spatial augmented reality.”

photo of Professor Daniel Vogel

Professor Daniel Vogel’s research focuses on fundamental characteristics of human input and novel forms of interaction for current and future computing form factors such as touch, tangibles, mid-air gestures, and whole-body input, for everything from on-body wearable devices and mobile phones to large displays and virtual reality.

Professor Vogel held a Cheriton Faculty Fellowship from 2019–22, was recognized as a 2018 Outstanding Young Computer Scientist by CS-Can | Info-Can, received the 2018 Faculty of Mathematics Golden Jubilee Research Excellence Award, and the 2010 Bill Buxton Best Canadian HCI Dissertation Award. As of January 2024, his journal and conference papers have been cited collectively more than 5,900 times with an h-index of 34 according to Google Scholar.

About Professor Vogel’s research

Professor Vogel is an internationally recognized HCI researcher known widely for his work on novel forms of interaction that have been adopted by industry in currently used devices as well as futuristic user interfaces that fuel yet-to-be-created and prototype devices. The overarching goal of his work is to inspire a future where interfaces are embedded in and seamlessly integrated with our surrounding environment.

A prolific researcher, Professor Vogel and his students have published more than 100 articles, including 46 at ACM CHI and 19 at ACM UIST, two annual international conferences in which presentation is synonymous with publication in the best journals of the field. His publications have received 16 best paper and honourable mention awards, including four best papers and eight honourable mentions at ACM CHI. His 2004 paper on interactive ambient displays is one of the ten most-cited papers in the history of the UIST conference.

Professor Vogel’s success is attributable in part to his rare but highly complementary background. He is a computer scientist by training, but he also holds two undergraduate degrees in visual art and has experience as a professional artist. Before starting graduate school, he worked as a graphic designer, creative director, 3D animator, and information architect. In both his research and teaching he blends his background in art and computer science. His rare fusion of skills and education were instrumental in his success in garnering support to build a $1.8 million physio–digital facility to explore the intersection of HCI and fine arts in spatial augmented reality — technology where everything around you can be augmented with digital information without need of special goggles.

Professor Vogel’s first two publications — one on context-based whole-body input for large displays and another on mid-air bare-hand pointing — are seminal works. These papers portrayed a vision for digital displays that can be controlled using one’s body, an input technique now used in the latest generation of smart TVs.

His reputation in designing novel interaction techniques was established early with his highly cited Shift technique, a touchscreen input method. This research not only received a best paper award in 2007 at CHI,  but the technique is also protected by Microsoft through a 2010 patent. The shift technique may have inspired the “bubble” that appears above your finger when you fine-tune text selections on a smartphone.

Professor Vogel’s 2008 article on how a computer mouse transfers movements to an on-screen cursor is now a well-known reference. Another fundamental challenge for user interfaces is filtering noisy input device sensors. His extensively cited 2012 paper solved this challenge by developing a novel speed-based filter for interactive systems. The method he developed has been integrated into major commercial software including Vicon Tracker, Unreal Engine, and Google Chrome.

In addition to his many scholarly contributions, Professor Vogel also serves the HCI community. He has twice been a papers subcommittee chair for CHI, twice a posters co-chair for UIST, has served on the UIST doctoral consortium panel and regularly on many technical paper program committees.

Professor Vogel is the 12th faculty member at the Cheriton School of Computer Science to be recognized as a Distinguished Member by ACM, following Professors Khuzaima Daudjee (2022), Florian Kerschbaum (2019), Ian Goldberg (2017), Kenneth Salem (2017), Jo Atlee (2016), Charles Clarke (2015), Ihab Ilyas (2014), Mark Giesbrecht (2013), Don Cowan (2010), Anna Lubiw (2009), and Jeffrey Shallit (2008).

The Association for Computing Machinery is the world’s largest and most well-known scientific and educational computing society. To be recognized as an ACM Distinguished Member, awardees must have achieved a significant research accomplishment or made a substantial impact in computing, computer science, or information technology.