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Hanson Featured in Distinguished Alumni Speaker Program

Psychology alumna Dr. Vicki Hanson (PhD, 1978) will speak on campus in a program sponsored by the Graduate School and Department of Psychology recognizing UO graduates who have made contribution outside the usual confines of their field of study.

Her talk is very relevant to all graduate and undergraduate students who might seek to use their training on computer science, statistics, data science, and the like.

The talk is on November 13th from 2:30-4pm in the EMU Redwood Room.

More details about the talk are below.

A Cognitive Psychologist in Computing

Researchers in computing have long tended to work at some distance from the social impacts of their technology. In recent years, however, there has been a growing realization that computing is reshaping the foundations of economics, politics, and education, raising ethical concerns and highlighting the need for interdisciplinary research that considers issues on even a global scale. Using examples from my own research on access to technology and my work with ACM, this talk will consider some recent trends in computing that highlight this need for collaboration.


Vicki Hanson, who received her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Oregon, has been working in computing for nearly her entire professional career. After leading investigations in sign language and reading development she joined IBM Research where she created technology in support of education and people with disabilities. In 2009, she was hired as a professor of computing at the University of Dundee in Scotland, followed by a move to the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013 as a Distinguished Professor.

Since the early 1990’s, she served in various volunteer leadership roles in the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), which is computing’s oldest and largest society world-wide. The culmination of this volunteering was her election as ACM President for a 2-year term 2016-2018. At the end of this term, she accepted the position as ACM’s CEO.

Vicki has received numerous honors for her research and societal contributions. Chief among these are Honorary Doctor of Science degree, School of Computing, Newcastle University, UK (2017); election as Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2013), the British Computer Society (2009), and the ACM (2004); recipient of the Anita Borg Institute, Woman of Vision Award for Social Impact Award (2013); an IBM Corporate Award (2009); and the Arts and Sciences Alumni Fellows Award, University of Oregon (1995).

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