XXI.5 September + October 2014
Page: 86
Digital Citation

Reaching out

Gerrit van der Veer

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Each of us knows what HCI means. Most of us have even had some education in this domain, which may have been as little as a chapter in a software engineering course, or as much as a major in interaction design or a Ph.D. supervised by a member of the CHI Academy. Being a reader of Interactions—and probably a member of SIGCHI—means that you know how to find relevant stuff, how to search the ACM Digital Library, how to use the HCI library (, in case you forgot), and how to subscribe to the SIGCHI newsletter (ACM SIGCHI-TechNews). And you know how to approach your local SIGCHI chapter or a dedicated SIGCHI community for specialist information.

You are well aware SIGCHI is there to support you; indeed, SIGCHI members pay for this benefit through member dues. But there is a much broader need for HCI awareness and knowledge outside our own well-educated world.

We are trying to develop a broad picture of the educational needs in HCI from the perspectives of educators, practitioners, and students.

Even in the most developed parts of the world, HCI education is not part of regular education. And if it is, it is often modest, due to a lack of qualified teachers or a lack of insight into what the basics should be. In the 1990s, SIGCHI published a set of standard HCI curriculum guidelines, which, even though we tried to update them, failed to be applicable to the wide variety and diversity of educational cultures around the world. We are now trying to develop a broad picture of the educational needs in HCI from the perspectives of educators, practitioners, and students. Consequently, please let us know what you think HCI education should include, what should be core in your context (you are the expert here!), and what should be electives. Go to and help us find out how to better serve the growing need for relevant learning support.


In large parts of the world, even the most basic notions of HCI are not yet commonplace in design, in providing services, in using modern ICT, and in participating in society. SIGCHI considers it a mission to help build communities here, to lay down stepping stones, and to support isolated kernels. SIGCHI is willing to provide organizational and financial support (that is how we spend the part of your membership fee allocated to the Development Fund). But we need your active help: If you know of a small community of active colleagues who need to build a local network, or if you know of an isolated group of students who could benefit from meeting with an expert far away, get in touch. You may be the only person who could prompt us to act. Contact our Vice President for Local Chapters, Tuomo Kujala ([email protected]), or our Adjunct Chair for Developing Worlds, Zhengjie Liu ([email protected]).

SIGCHI's mission is to reach out. We need your help—in this case, that means, first and foremost, your knowledge!

—Gerrit C. van der Veer
President, ACM SIGCHI

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