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Dr Simon Harper - personal details

Contact details

Dr Simon Harper

Role: Reader

Tel: 0161 275-0599

Location: Kilburn Building-2.44
School of Computer Science
The University of Manchester
M13 9PL

Contact (fax): +44(0)161 275 6213




I am an experimental Computer Scientist working in Human Computer Interaction and Information Systems as well as being a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and Research Lead for the Web Ergonomics Laboratory here at the University of Manchester. My particular interest is in Web Accessibility with specific regard to profound blindness and visual disability. My work is centred around building computational models of human behaviour and includes understanding, predicting, and influencing a user’s interactions and flow through interfaces and information, while taking into account neurophysiological, cognitive, behavioural, perceptual, and technological factors. In this case, my contributions lay along two paths. The first investigates ‘facilitating access and enhancing interactive Web behaviours', while the second focuses on ‘understanding, evaluating, and modifying the Web experience'.

I am Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Hypertext, Hypermedia and the Web (2011--present); Chair of the ACM SGB Task Force on Full Inclusion; Chair -- World Wide Web Consortium (International Standards Body for the Web), Research and Development Working Group (2010--Present); and Member of the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative -- responsible for all Web accessible standards -- (2010--Present); Invited Expert -- RCUK EPSRC Digital Economy Inclusion Cluster (2009-2011); Invited Expert -- European Commission Information Society and Media Directorate-General ICT for Inclusion, eAccessibility and Assistive Technology, (2011); Invited Expert -- EU Challenge 7 ICT 2009 Coordination Action in R\&D in Accessible and Assistive ICT (Inclusive Human-Machine Interaction), External Examiner for all Computer Science Programmes at the University of Abertay; Consultant -- Fujitsu Labs Europe (2006-2010); Reviewer for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, to review for grants in Computer Science (2007-Present); Responsive Mode Panel Member for the UK Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), 2012 -- Reviewer since 2008; Reviewer for the NWO, the Dutch National Research Council, to review for grants in Computer Science (2006-Present); Editorial Board Member of Journal of Interaction Science (Springer); Editorial Board Member of ACM Transactions in Accessible Computing (ACM); Editorial Board Member of PLoS One; Research Lead, Eclipse ACTF Project.

Extended Biography

I founded the Web4All Conference Series (now in its 11th Edition) and organised the first four (2004-2007 inc.) as General Chair; Steering Committee - International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility; Steering Committee - International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility; and Steering Committee - International ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia. Programme Chair for ACM ASSETS (2006); Submissions Chair for the WWW Conference (2006) and Accessibility Chair for the 2012 edition; ACM Student Research Competition Grand Finals Judge (2012), General Chair for ACM Hypertext (2007) and ACM ASSETS (2008) and is also a member of the steering committee for these two conferences. I have served on the programme committees, doctoral consortium panels, and review panels for a number of international conferences including ACM HT, WWW, ISWC, ACM CHI, UIST, ACM ASSETS, and ACM SAC. I have guest edited the New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia; Journal of Web Engineering; Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation, and Universal Access in the Information Society. He currently reviews for ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction, ACM Transactions on the Web, Elsevier Journal of Web Semantics, and IEEE Internet Computing.

I have delivered invited talks to Loughborough University HCI 'GuruLecture' (2013), the Technical Superior Insitute, LaSIGE, Lisbon, Portugal (2012); Informatika Fakultatea, UPV-EHU, Spain (2011); Fujitsu Labs Europe (2010); IBM Tokyo Research Laboratory (2009); and keynoted the WebMedia conference (2008). I am also a recipient of the ACM Doug Engelbart prize (2000), the ADDW IBM Research prize (2005), the Microsoft Web Accessibility Judges Award at the W4A (2008), and the Best Paper Award at W4A (2010). My last book `Web Accessibility: A Foundation for Research' has for two years ranked in the Amazon - Human Computer Interaction top 40, and in the top 10 for six months after it's publication.