James A. Landay: 2017 Plenary Session


Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Location: McCaw Hall, Arrillaga Alumni Center

"Tools and Techniques: Sensing and Inference to Shape Human Behavior & Wellness"



Many people are overstressed, overweight, tired, angry, sick, unmotivated, distracted, wasteful, unhappy, and feeling isolated. The built environment directly impacts these problems. Yet, we do not design our buildings to tackle these maladies in a coordinated manner based on scientific research about the impact of built space on our wellbeing. We plan to expand the existing science to create a new engineering discipline of hybrid physical+digital spaces, which senses and infers the state of people - their behaviors, emotions, health and learning - and in response dynamically adapts the information technology and the non-structural materials in these spaces to enhance human wellbeing in sustainable ways. This new style of building offers the unique opportunity to create living laboratories in which to collect scientific data and to bring coordinated physical+digital design to bear upon health, learning, human relationships and sense of belonging in spaces where humans spend 90% of their time. We will ensure that cities, where 66% of the world' s population will live by 2050, will provide productive, social and mindful spaces for humanity to flourish in environmentally sustainable ways.


James Landay is a Professor of Computer Science and the Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University. He specializes in human-computer interaction. He is the founder and co-director of the World Lab, a joint research and educational effort with Tsinghua University in Beijing. Previously, Landay was a Professor of Information Science at Cornell Tech in New York City and prior to that he was a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. From 2003 through 2006 he was the Laboratory Director of Intel Labs Seattle, a university affiliated research lab that explored the new usage models, applications, and technology for ubiquitous computing. He was also the chief scientist and co-founder of NetRaker, which was acquired by KeyNote Systems in 2004. From 1997 through 2003 he was a professor in EECS at UC Berkeley. Landay received his BS in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1990, and MS and PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 and 1996, respectively. His PhD dissertation was the first to demonstrate the use of sketching in user interface design tools. He was named to the ACM SIGCHI Academy in 2011 and as an ACM Fellow in 2017. He formerly served on the NSF CISE Advisory Committee.