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Joanna McGrenere

Joanna's Biography

Joanna McGrenere is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She received a PhD from the University of Toronto in 2002, an MSc from UBC in 1996, and a BSc from Western University in 1993, all in Computer Science. Her broad research area is Human Computer Interaction (HCI), with a specialization in interface personalization, universal usability, assistive technology, and computer supported cooperative work. Joanna is particularly proud of receiving a Killam award for Excellence in Mentoring (2012) as well as being the first recipient of the Anita Borg Early Career Scholar Award (2004).

Professor, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of British Columbia, Vancouver

I teach graduate and undergraduate students, and I conduct research in Human Computer Interaction.

We train the next generation of IT workers and researchers.

Working with students and then seeing them flourish in their own careers.

I ran a project called the Aphasia Project in which we designed interactive technologies to improve the lives of people with aphasia. Aphasia is an acquired language disorder resulting from trauma to the brain, often caused by a stroke.

That women will make up at least 50% of the IT workforce, both in academia and industry. I will continue to mentor, mentor, mentor!

Teamwork is critical. I often work closely with other computer scientists, as well as researchers in other disciplines such as Psychology and Medicine.

To make interactive technology better fit human needs and abilities. Despite the prevalence of desktop computing and the plethora of devices of all sizes and types on the market today, technology is often more frustrating to use than it ought to be. It drives me nuts sometimes. We can do better!

I am not sure that I would have done things much differently. I wish I had known about the imposter syndrome earlier, to quell my own insecurities which probably held me back from going “all out” at various stages of my career. The imposter syndrome never fully goes away. No joke. I still have it.



Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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