The Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL)

Director: Niklas Elmqvist & Associate Director: Jessica Vitak

The Human-Computer Interaction Lab has a long, rich history of transforming the experience people have with new technologies. From understanding user needs, to developing and evaluating those technologies, the lab’s faculty, staff, and students have been leading the way in HCI research and teaching.

We believe it is critical to understand how the needs and dreams of people can be reflected in our future technologies. To this end, the HCIL develops advanced user interfaces and design methodology. Our primary activities include collaborative research, publication and the sponsorship of open houses, workshops and symposiums.

We are jointly supported by the College of Information Studies (iSchool) and the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). Our faculty come from a variety of departments across campus including computer science, education, psychology, journalism, and the humanities. We are brought together by a core focus on understanding how to design technologies to support positive impact in the world.

Our research focuses on:

  • Accessibility
  • Children as Design Partners
  • Computational Journalism
  • Open Data & Citizen Science
  • STEM Learning through Alternate Reality Games
  • Tech to Engage Communities
  • User Privacy
  • Visual Browser Interface
  • Visualization
  • Wearable Technology

Website:  |  Blog:



The Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) News

UMD iSchool @ the ACM's 2020 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW)

  • Jessica Vitak

    UMD iSchool's Dr. Jessica Vitak discusses the college's robust participation in the ACM's prestigious CSCW 2020 Conference.

Dr. Niklas Elmqvist & Purdue to Develop Virtual Reality Workforce Training Tech

  • Mia K. Hinckle

    Funded by a $5M NSF Grant to develop more effective workforce training methods using augmented, virtual, and extended realities.

UMD iSchool Faculty and Students Lead the Way at the ASSETS 2020 Conference

  • Mia K. Hinckle

    As a leader in the development of and advocacy for accessible information technology, systems, and research – the UMD iSchool is represented broadly in this year’s event.

SIGACCESS Release: Jonathan Lazar - Outstanding Contribution Recipient 2020


    Dr. Jonathan Lazar was named the winner of the 2020 ACM SIGACCESS Award (Special Interest Groups on Accessible Computing) for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility. It is the highest award given by ACM SIGACCESS. 

UMD iSchool Pioneers Initiatives to Advance STEM Learning Among Youth

  • Hayleigh Moore

    Faculty and researchers are pioneering methods to increase youth interest in STEM, from co-design with youth to partnering with libraries to develop services.

Leveraging Partnerships to Enhance Accessibility, Diversity, and Inclusion in Curriculum

  • Hayleigh Moore

    Working with industry, community, and LIS partners to create hands-on learning opportunities for students and revolutionize curriculum.

Medium: What to Expect When Non-Experts Train AI

  • Jonggi Hong

    Research on machine teaching in which non-experts teach a model through a teachable interface.

Medium: Engaging the Commons in Participatory Sensing

  • Yongle Zhang

    Research on participatory sensing, the practice of using human participants to gather data on their mobile devices from their environment that can be shared.

Medium: HCIL 2019-2020 News Roundup

  • Huaishu

    UMD Human-Computer Interaction Lab’s (HCIL) 2019-2020 accomplishments

Medium: Devices All The Way Down

  • Niklas Elmqvist

    Professor and Director of the HCIL, Niklas Elmqvist, reflects on his NSF Career Project.