Alan Dix

HCI Centre,
School of Computer Science,
University of Birmingham, UK

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journal: fionnphort and nails on Good Friday
words: the carpenter, more

desire logoTiree Tech Wave
Isle of Tiree, Scotland, UK
next TTW 26-30 Oct 2017
A hands-on making and meeting event exploring the edges of technology on the wild edge of Scotland
... more ..

Spinners, Grasmere
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Spinners is our first floor holiday let in Grasmere, Cumbria, furnished with colourful textiles and, naturally, a spinning wheel! It sleeps up to four people in two bedrooms. Contact The Good Life Lake District Cottages for information and booking.

HCI Course logo
free open online HCI course

This originally ran in early 2013 at It is still available there, but also as a supported course at Interaction Design Foundation.

study HCI @ bham
see the MSc in Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
or mail me if you are interested in PhD studies

visit the e3 website

*FREE* online verson

Firefly in Lancaster City Centre
Light fantastic! live and flashing at CityLab in Lancaster - go see them soon
... more on FireFly
... and more on the CityLab dsplay ...

VisMaster book "Mastering the Information Age
Solving Problems with Visual Analytics"

now available online at: (

Alan Walks Wales
one thousand miles of poetry,
technology and community
The walk is over, but you can still
read the blog
donate to charity
use my data

third edition

alan@Large ...
Keynote: Communicating in Wales: design and architecture for mobile applications over poor connectivity, ITA17, Wrexham, North Wales, 13th Sept 2017
Panel: Doing metrics responsibly, ARMA Conference, Liverpool, 7th Jun 2017
Course: Making Sense of Statistics in HCI: From P to Bayes and Beyond, CHI2017, Denver, 10th May 2017
Talk: a bit about MOOCs: past, present and future, UX Academia Industry, Media City, Manchester, UK, 8th March 2017
Talk: Getting Nowhere Slowly: Learning from a Thousand Miles at Walking Pace, Technology on the Trail, Virginia Tech., USA, 2nd March 2017 (see my blog)
Keynote: Open Data Islands and Communities, SICSA HCI All Hands Meeting 2016, St Andrews, Scotland, 29th Nov 2016.
Keynote: Open Data Islands and Communities, EPCGI'2016, Covilhã, Portugal, 25th Nov 2016
Seminar: the Internet of Things and Internet of Places,Cardiff School of Art and Design, 16th Nov 2016
Keynote: The Leaves are Golden - putting the periphery at the centre of information design, HCI2016, Bournemouth, 13th July 2016
Talk: Evaluating REF, Bibliometrics in Practice, Manchester, 27th June 2016
Guest lecture: Journeys in Human-Computer Interaction, University of Southampton, 16th Feb 2016
Evening talk: On the Edge, HighWire, Lancaster, 4th Feb 2016
Workshop: Margins and Migrants, HighWire, Lancaster, 4th Feb 2016
Talk: Data Matters, Bournemouth University, 16th Sept 2015
Panel member: HCI and the REF, HCI 2015, Lincoln, 15th July 2015
Presenting paper: More than one way to flip a class: learning analytics for mixed models of learning", APT 2015, Greenwich, 7th July 2015
Presenting paper: Citations and Sub-Area Bias in the UK Research Assessment Process", Workshop on Quantifying and Analysing Scholarly Communication on the Web (ASCW'15) at WebSci 2015, Oxford, June 30th 2015
Talk: Tales of Regret and Identity, Talk at Open University, 28th April 2015
Talk: Five shades of flipping, Talk at Insight 2015, NCC, Birmingham, April 2015
Talk: Rich analytics for the "flipped classroom", E-Learning Practitioner's Forum, University of Birmingham, 8th Jan 2015
Keynote: Long-Term Engagement, Usability And Accessibility Days 2014 'Engagement', Athens, 10 Dec 2014
Talk: The big story of small data, Open University, 11th November 2014.
Join me: Tiree Tech Wave, 23-27 October 2014.
Remote presentation (video): Alan Walks Wales: Sensing the Miles, , 'Enhancing Self-Reflection with Wearable Sensors' workshop at mobileHCI 2014 Toronto, 23rd September 2014.
keynote At the Edge, at Tag der Informatik, Aachen, Germany, 6th December 2013.
keynote The Walk: exploring the technical and social margins, APCHI at 2013 / India HCI 2013, Bangalore India, 27th September 2013.
co-Organiser Visions and visioning in CHI SIG at CHI 2013, Paris, UK, May 2013
co-Chair Physicality 2012 HCI 2012, Birmingham, UK, 11th September 2012
co-Chair Alt-HCI HCI 2012, Birmingham, UK, 12th-14th September 2012
co-Organiser Interaction Beyond the Desktop Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany, 26-31 August 2012
co-Chair Doctoral Consortium EICS, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 25–28, 2012
co-Chair PPD'12, Workshop on Infrastructure and Design Challenges of Coupled Display Visual Interfaces AVI'12, Capri, Italy, 25 May 2012
Invited Lecture "Introduction to Information Visualisation" at PROMISE Winter School 2012, Information Retrieval meets Information Visualization. Zinal, Switzerland 23-27 Jan 2012.
Keynote: Designing for Physicality, at SICSA MMI Workshop for Early Career Researchers in Multimodal Interaction, 15 Dec 2011.
Workshop: Designing Effective User Interfaces, FTSM, UKM, Bangi, Malaysia, 5-6 Dec 2011.
Keynote: The Personal Information Environment beyond the Personal Computer at iUser 2011, 29 Nov - 2 Dec 2011.
Join me: Tiree Tech Wave, 3-7 November 2011.
Keynote: Living in a World of Data, ASSETS 2011, Dundee, Scotland, 24-26 October 2011.
Talk: Dynamics of internal cognition and the web as external representation, CHI Belgium, Antwerp, 21 September 2011.
Talk: Extended Episodic Experience at Inaugural Symposium for prof.dr. Panos Markopoulos, TU/e Eindhoven, 16 September 2011.
Keynote: Physical Creatures in a Digital World, ECCE 2011, Rostock, Germany, 24-26 August 2011.
Keynote: Understanding Creativity: from bad ideas to personality prosthesis, Lancaster, 13-14 July 2011.
Join me: Tiree Tech Wave, 17-21 March 2011.
Invited Talk: web of data, web of people, web of action, i-USEr 2010, Shah Alam, Malaysia, 13th Dec. 2010.
Invited Talk: Touching Technology: taking the physical world seriously in digital design, (full text notes also available) Greek SIGCHI Workshop "Human-Computer Interaction: Theory and Practice of design of usable and accessible technologies", Athens, 5th March 2009.
India Visit: part of the EPSRC funded UK-India Network on Interactive Technologies for the End-User, Bangalore, 2-5 Feb 2008.
Invited Tutorials: Winter school on Usability Engineering, Anzere, Switzerland, 26-30 Jan 2009.
SIGCHI Ireland Inaugural Lecture: Human–Computer Interaction in the early 21st century: a stable discipline, a nascent science, and the growth of the long tail, (full text now available) Dublin, 2nd Dec. 2008.
distinguished lecture series: Human–Computer Interaction: as it was, as it is, and as it may be, St Andrews, Scotland, 6th Nov. 2008.
keynote: Using the Web of Data at WOD-PD 2008, Web of Data Practitioners Days, Vienna, Austria, 22-23 Oct. 2008.
invited tutorial: Interaction with and through the mobile at MobiKUI 2008 - First International Workshop on Mobile and Kinetic User Interfaces, Fribourg, Switzerland, 13-14 Oct. 2008 .
keynote: Tasks = data + action + context: automated task assistance through data-oriented analysis, at Engineering Interactive Systems 2008, Pisa, Italy, 25-26 Sept. 2008.
keynote: As We May Code - The art (and craft) of computer programming in the 21st century. keynote at PPIG08 – The 20th Annual Psychology of Programming Interest Group Conference. Lancaster University, UK. 10–12 September 2008..
masterclass: From Formalism to Physicality part of UPC North: Understanding People and Computers, UCLanc, Preston, 30th April 2008.
invited talk: Designing for adoption and designing for appropriation, University of Technology of Berlin, 12th Feb 2008
panel keynote: at Social Technologies Summit part of FutureSonic2007, Manchester, May 2007.
keynote: the brain and the web - intelligent interactions from the desktop to the world, at Simpósio de Fatores Humanos em Sistemas Computacionais (IHC 2006), Natal Brazil, 19-22 Nov. 2006.
I'll be at Misuse and Abuse of Interactive Technologies and Designing for Collective Remembering at CHI 2006, Montreal, 22nd and 23 April 2006
invited talk: insider/outsider orientation of place and signage and systolic flows, at Design and Non-Place Workshop, Edinburgh University, 29-30 June 2005.
keynote: incidental interaction, at 1st workshop on 'New Paradigms in Interaction Design'. FTW, Vienna, 10th June 2005. Followed by interview and article in der Standard.
tutorial; Understanding Statistics, at Designing for Usability in eScience, National E-Science Centre, 8th June 2005.
keynote: experimentation, validation and evaluation, at 3rd UK-UbiNet Workshop: Designing, evaluating and using ubiquitous computing systems. University of Bath, 9-11 February 2005.
keynote Paths and Patches - patterns of geognosy and gnosis, at Second Workshop on Spaces, Spatiality and Technology Napier University, Edinburgh, 13-14 December 2004.
keynote at Interacción 2004: Physicality, rationality and imagination, Lleida, España, 5-7th May 2004.
invited talk European HCI Theory - a uniquely disparate perspective. at European HCI Research special area CHI 2004, Vienna, Austria, 24-29 April 2004
keynote Controversy and Provocation at 7th HCI Educators? Workshop, Preston, UK, 1-2 April 2004
keynote (stand in!) at OZCHI 2003: getting physical, Brisbane, Australia, 26-28 Nov 2003.
speaking at The e-Learning Experience: deconstructing the experience of (e)learning for delivery ecologies. Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, 15th October 2003
interview on "2010", RTP channel 2 (Portugese TV science and technology programme), 12th October 2003
invited talk the interface just left the desktop. Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal. 26th September 2003.
Preston, UK, 1st-3rd July 2003
keynote at Interaction Design and Children 2003 (IDC2003): Being Playful – learning from children, Preston, UK, 1st-3rd July 2003
awarded Honorary Fellowship at University of Gloucestershire, 7th November 2002
keynote at Tamodea2002: Managing the Ecology of Interaction. Bucharest, Romania, 18-19th July 2002
keynote on teaching innovation, e-learning etc. at Excellence in Education and Training convention. Singapore Polytechnic, 17th May 2002
panelist in workshop on Homopolybots: Building Modular Humans. part of performance artist Stelarc's visit to Lancaster, 8-10th May 2002

4-comment ...

the brain and the web (how similar they are ;-).
imagination and rationality (ongoing collection of working essays).
called xxxxx whilst waiting for a title (position paper ? HCI, the Arts and Humanities, Kings Manor, York, 21 July 2003).
driving as a cyborg experience (working paper).
the ultimate interface and the sums of life? (Interfaces, 50)
incidental interaction (working paper).
various new pages on AI and intelligent interfaces: appropriate intelligence, eco-algorithms / artificial ecologies, the Monte-Carlo baseline

Toys for the Boys or Jobs for the Girls. Distinguished Guest Lecture. BCS Cheltenham and Gloucester Branch. 2.15pm Wed. 14th Nov. 2001, CGCHE, Cheltenham, UK.

Cyber-economies and the Real World. keynote at SAICSIT'2001 - South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists Annual Conference. Pretoria, 25-28 September 2001.
.... and while I'm in South Africa for SAICSIT ... Kruger vfridge - animals and things at Kruger park 14-16 Sept. 2001

The original PIE paper is now online. Other older papers added recently: Non-determinism as a paradigm for understanding the user interface (1990), Analysis of user behaviour as time series (1992), Formal Methods chapter from Perspectives in HCI (1995), Dynamic pointers and threads (1995). I try to add older papers whenever I get requests for reprints and have the original source available.

The 2002 International Mathematical Olympiad will be held in Glasgow, UK.
I've written a few of my personal recollections of the 1978 Olympiad in Romania.

visit including my statistic tutorial pages (including full tutorial notes and annotated booklist)
you can try out coin tossing experiments on-line (needs Netscape 3 or higher)
you can also see my other tutorials on topics including groupware, formal methods in HCI, virtual reality and various UNIX and networking short courses
many of my turorials have full or partial notes online and demos to download or run

notes from my short courses on Unix Systems Programming and UNIX Network Programming with TCP/IP are now available as PDF files

the full proceedings of the Active Web conference are available online
also you can read my paper of the same name.

new pages on PopuNET and the ecology of information

Loads of new and old papers online - see my publications list.

I've added a visualisation page to my research topics including an example of interactive stacking histograms (needs Java).

My time pages include an on-line version of my 1987 paper The Myth of the Infinitely Fast Machine and the full proceedings of the British HCI Group Meeting on Time and the Web.

Inspired by Schrödinger's cat I have devised an experiment in which Charm the Quantum Dog is locked in a room with cyanide yet survives. (additional content on 10/8/97)

Ever wondered why scrollbars are on the right-hand side? Hands across the screen is a short paper looking at this and some related issues.

The text of my 1990 INTERACT paper Information processing, context and privacy is online. (I know, it took me 6 years to do it!)

... and in case you're wondering about Magisoft Wand


A. J. Dix (1991).
Formal Methods for Interactive Systems.
Academic Press.
table of contents

A. Dix, J. Finlay, G. Abowd and R. Beale (1998).
Human-Computer Interaction, second edition.
Prentice Hall.
second edition out NOW
the HCI book web site has full contents, answers to exercises, full text search of the entire book and other useful links and information

M. A. R. Kirby, A. J. Dix and J. E. Finlay, Eds. (1995).
People and Computer X - Proceedings of the HCI'95 Conference.
Cambridge University Press.

J. Finlay and A. Dix (1996).
An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence.
UCL Press / Taylor and Francis, ISBN 1-85728-399-6.

A. J. Dix and R. Beale, Eds. (1996).
Remote cooperation: CSCW issues for mobile and tele-workers.
Springer Verlag, ISBN 3-540-76035-0.

Contact details

   Professor Alan Dix
   School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham Birmingham, UK email: url: (blog) (HCI textbook)

This page: news and recent events || things I do || books || publications || contact details
Other pages: things I've done - a mini-CV || research topics || Magisoft Wand

Alan Dix