Portrait of Bill Buxton

Bill Buxton

About

Bill Buxton is a relentless advocate for innovation, design, and especially the appropriate consideration of human values, capacity, and culture in the conception, implementation, and use of new products and technologies. In December 2005, he was appointed Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. Prior to that, he was principal of his own Toronto-based boutique design and consulting firm, Buxton Design.

Buxton earned his Bachelor of Music degree at Queen’s University, then studied and taught for two years at the Institute of Sonology, Utrecht, Holland. Designing his own digital musical instruments led him to the University of Toronto, where he completed an MSc in Computer Science, and subsequently jointed the faculty. It is also the path that brought him into the field of human-computer interaction, which is his technical area of specialty.

From 1987-89, Buxton was in Cambridge England, helping establish a new satellite of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (EuroPARC). From 1989-94 he split his time between Toronto, where he was Scientific Director of the Ontario Telepresence Project, and Palo Alto, California, where he was a consulting researcher at Xerox PARC.

From 1994 until December 2002, he was Chief Scientist of Alias|Wavefront, (now part of Autodesk) and from 1995, its parent company SGI Inc. In the fall of 2004, he became a part-time instructor in the Department of Industrial Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design. In 2004/05 he was also Visiting Professor at the Knowledge Media Design Institute (KMDI) at the University of Toronto.

Projects

Hands-Free Keyboard

Established: March 24, 2015

The Hands-Free keyboard is a project to enable people who are unable to speak or use a physical keyboard to communicate using only their eyes. Our initial prototypes are based around an on screen qwerty keyboard very similar to the 'taptip'…

Tablet and Stylus Interaction

Established: October 3, 2014

We explore grip and motion sensing to afford new techniques that leverage how users naturally manipulate tablet and stylus devices during pen-and-touch interaction. We can detect whether the user holds the pen in a writing grip or tucked between his…

ThinSight

Established: May 27, 2012

This project explores a new technique for optical sensing through thin form-factor displays. It allows for detection of fingers and other physical objects close to or on the display surface. This essentially allows us to turn a regular LCD into…

Publications

2014

2013

2010

Projects

Design Expo: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Link description

Design Expo: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

Date

August 4, 2014

Speakers

Elizabeth Gerber, Tom Igoe, Bill Buxton, Nikoline Hoegh, Patrick Fritz, Monika Havno, and Jalte Windum

Affiliation

Northwestern, NYU, Microsoft Research, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

Design Expo: Carnegie Mellon School of Design Link description

Design Expo: Carnegie Mellon School of Design

Date

August 4, 2014

Speakers

Elizabeth Gerber, Tom Igoe, Bill Buxton, Alex Sciuto, Shannon Impellicceiri, and Leslie Bloomfield

Affiliation

Northwestern, NYU, Microsoft Research, Carnegie Mellon School of Design

Design Expo: Art Center College of Design Link description

Design Expo: Art Center College of Design

Date

August 4, 2014

Speakers

Elizabeth Gerber, Tom Igoe, Bill Buxton, Jenny Rodenhouse, and Kristina Ortega

Affiliation

Northwestern, NYU, Microsoft Research, Art Center College of Design

Other

In 1995, Buxton became the third recipient of the Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society Award for contributions to research in computer graphics and human-computer interaction. In 2000 he was given the New Media Visionary of the Year Award at the Canadian New Media Awards. In 2001, The Hollywood Reporter named him one of the 10 most influential innovators in Hollywood. In 2002, Time Magazine named him one of the top 5 designers in Canada. Also in 2002, he was elected to the CHI Academy. In October, 2005, he and Gord Kurtenbach received the “Lasting Impact Award”, from ACM UIST 2005, which was awarded for their 1991 paper, Issues in Combining Marking and Direct Manipulation Techniques. In June, 2007, he was named Doctor of Design, Honoris Causa by the Ontario College of Art and Design, in 2008 he became the 10th recipient of the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award, “for fundamental contributions to the field of Computer Human Interaction,” and in January 2009 he was elected Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), for his contributions to the field of human-computer interaction.

He is on a number of academic advisory boards, the Department of Industrial Design of the Technical University in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Buxton is a member of the Association of Computing Machinery and the Industrial Designers Society of America.

In 2010, the Bill Buxton Dissertation Award was founded. This award is given annually for the best doctoral dissertation completed at a Canadian university in the field of Human-Computer Interaction.