Portrait of Steven Drucker

Steven Drucker

Partner Research Manager

About

Dr. Steven M. Drucker is a Partner and Research Manager of the Visualization and Interactive Data Analysis (VIDA) group at Microsoft Research (MSR), and an affiliate professor at the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering Department (CSE). In his 30+ year career, he has published over 100 academic papers, and filed over 130 patents in topics ranging from graphics and interfaces to information visualization.

Common threads in Steven’s work are helping people discover meaning from their data, and developing methods for communicating those discoveries to other people. His analysis tools assist in both analytic and intuitive explorations of large datasets by revealing their underlying patterns and structures. His communication tools help people share their insights from this process in clear and enjoyable ways by leveraging storytelling and natural interaction techniques.

Another thread in Steven’s career is his continuing desire to bring his academic results to the world at large by shaping them into practical tools and products. His SandDance project democratized his work on the visualization of large datasets. His Thumbtack project gave people new and powerful tools to organize and act on information on the web.He has demonstrated his work on stage with Satya Nadella at the Microsoft CEO Summit and with Bill Gates at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Steven is well known for the diversity of his original ideas, having published research contributions in such diverse fields as information visualization, storytelling, exploratory search, multi-user environments, online social interaction, hypermedia research, human and robot perceptual capabilities, robot learning, parallel computer graphics, automatic and human interfaces for camera control, and spectator oriented gaming.

Steven received his Ph.D. from the Computer Graphics and Animation Group at the MIT Media Lab in May 1994. His thesis research was on intelligent camera control interfaces for graphical environments. Dr. Drucker graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Neurosciences from Brown University where he also worked with the Brown Graphics Group and went on to complete his masters at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT doing research in robot learning. In addition to having served numerous times on CHI, UIST, WWW, and Infovis program committees, he will be the Papers’ Co-Chair for SIGCHI2021 and SIGCHI2022.

Before coming to Microsoft, Steven Drucker received his Ph.D. from the Computer Graphics and Animation Group at the MIT Media Lab in May 1994. His thesis research was on intelligent camera control interfaces for graphical environments. Dr. Drucker graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Neurosciences from Brown University where he also worked with the Brown Graphics Group and went on to complete his masters at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT doing research in robot learning.

Since 2010, he has been in Microsoft Research, currently as head of the Visualization and Data Analytics Group (VIDA) in Redmond.

From 2006-2009, he was a Principal Scientist in the LiveLabs Resarch Group at Microsoft and heads the Information Experiences Group. He is working on user interaction and information visualization for web based projects. He is also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering Department. During his tenure at the group he has published papers on web interaction patterns, exploratory search, information visualization, and machine learning, as well as filing 34 patents.

From 1999-2006, he was the lead researcher for the Microsoft Research Next Media Group for 6 years where he examined how the addition of user interaction transforms conventional media. Particular interests included database visualization for consumers or where art meets technology for user interfaces. While in the group, he demonstrated some of his projects on stage with Bill Gates at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), was written up in the New York Times, filed 38 patents and published papers on technologies as diverse as remotely operated personal video recorders, spectator oriented gaming, and new visualization techniques for media databases.

From 1995-1999, he was the lead researcher in the Virtual Worlds Group also in Microsoft Research. During his time there he helped architect a platform for multi-user virtual environments, filed an additional 12 patents, and published papers in subjects ranging from architectures for multi-user, multimedia systems to online social interaction.