St Andrews HCI Research Group


Jul 2015

New Lecturer: Welcome to Uta Hinrichs


Dr Uta Hinrichs

SACHI and the School of Computer Science in the University of St Andrews are delighted to welcome Dr Uta Hinrichs as a new lecturer. Uta has been a postdoctoral research fellow with SACHI since 2012 and she now co-leads SACHI along with her colleagues. During her time as a post-doc, Uta served on the program committee for CHI 2015 and she was the ACM ITS 2013 and ACM UIST 2013 volunteer co-chair.
Commenting on Uta’s appointment Professor Giulio Jacucci (University of Helsinki) and the General co-Chair for ITS 2013 said, “Uta is a rising star in human-computer interaction, she is uniquely talented combining art, design and interaction technologies into exciting innovations and scientific papers. Her achievements include novel insights and solutions for information exploration in cultural settings in particular utilising public screens. She is an internationally recognised scholar and a great addition to the St Andrews faculty in the area of Human-Computer Interaction“. In 2013, Uta was a named investigator and research fellow on the successful Palimpsest project. This project funded by the AHRC under their Digital Transformations in the Arts and Humanities (Big Data Projects) program. Professor James Loxley the Palimpsest Principal Investigator from the School of Literature, Languages & Culture in the University of Edinburgh said “I have been hugely impressed by Uta’s capacity to work fruitfully across the disciplines in her contribution to the Palimpsest project – this kind of capability is vital to the healthy future development of the digital humanities“.
Prior to joining the University of St Andrews, Uta studied in the University of Calgary in Canada. Her PhD combined information visualization with large display technology and was awarded the Bill Buxton Award 2012 as Best Canadian HCI Dissertation and her MSc is in Computational Visualistics from the University of Magdeburg in Germany. In Canada, and now in St Andrews, she has worked with Dr Miguel Nacenta. Commenting of her appointment here Miguel said, “Uta is already a highly appreciated member of SACHI, and a catalyst of SACHI activity. I am sure that her focus on cultural heritage and the digital humanities and her significant design challenges will make SACHI a referent in these areas in the next few years“. Uta has worked at Microsoft Research and collaborated with public institutions in the cultural sector such as the Vancouver Aquarium, the Taylor Family Digital Library in Calgary, and Historic Scotland.
Professor Aaron Quigley, the director of SACHI added that, “We are delighted that Uta has decided to join us as a faculty member here in Computer Science. Having worked together over the past few years on a number of projects including Smart Tourism, Trading Consequences, and Palimpsest along with supervising students together I know what an asset and unique talent Uta is. Her intellectual curiosity in visual and material culture and the views on the relationship between art, science and the humanities is very exciting for us. We look forward to working together to extend Computer Science in interdisciplinary ways with new forms of interaction in life.
Remarking on her appointment Uta said, “I am very excited about this opportunity to teach and do research at the School of Computer Science and in particular at the SACHI group. My research will focus on the design of digital technology to facilitate knowledge formation alongside pleasurable and inspiring experiences. This will involve information visualization as well as interaction design for novel digital and tangible devices. I am very excited about working in an interdisciplinary manner, and I hope to continue and initiate new collaborations with people from the Arts, Humanities, and Design within Scotland but also internationally.
Everyone in SACHI and the School of Computer Science welcomes Uta and wishes her well!