Parmit Chilana

Assistant Professor
Management Sciences, University of Waterloo

I am an Assistant Professor in Management Sciences and cross-appointed in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. I specialize in human-computer interaction (HCI) and information systems. I received my PhD in Information Science from the University of Washington in 2013 and my PhD research was recently recognized as a runner-up for the international iSchool Doctoral Dissertation Award.

As an HCI researcher, I focus on understanding user needs and designing new technologies that help users access, manage, and analyze information in different contexts. While my research and the tools that I build directly help end users, they reveal social and organizational aspects of how modern software systems are designed and deployed, and how organizations can better achieve user-centered design. I draw upon a variety of methods in my research—from designing and building interactive systems to using qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate user needs, organizational processes, and tool adoption in the field. My research is currently funded by NSERC and Canada's GRAND network.

Recent Publications

Fourney, A., Lafreniere, B., Chilana, P., Terry, M. (2014) InterTwine: Creating Interapplication Information Scent to Support Coordinated Use of Software. Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2014). [To appear]

Chilana, P., Ko, A.J., Wobbrock, J.O., and Grossman, T. (2013) A Multi-Site Field Study of Crowdsourced Contextual Help: Usage and Perspectives of End-Users and Software Teams . Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2013)

Chilana, P., Ko, A.J., and Wobbrock, J.O. (2012) LemonAid: Selection-Based Crowdsourced Contextual Help for Web Applications. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012).

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About Me

I have interdisciplinary training in Information Science (UWashington, UIUC) and Computer Science (Simon Fraser) and have worked on a variety of research projects in HCI. For my dissertation, I invented LemonAid, a novel crowdsourced contextual help approach for software applications. I also co-founded AnswerDash, a venture-funded startup company from Washington that is commercializing LemonAid's help approach. I was a recipient of Facebook's PhD Fellowship (one of 5 inaugural winners in 2010) and Canada's Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Award. I have previously worked at Princeton University as a programmer and have collaborated with researchers at Facebook, Autodesk Research, and Washington's School of Medicine.

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Contact Me

Department of Management Sciences
Faculty of Engineering
University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1 CANADA

Office: CPH 3627
Email: pchilana@uwaterloo.ca