Druin, Allison

Druin at CHI 2012
Allison Druin, Elizabeth Churchill, and Jenny Preece at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Austin, TX, May 5-10, 2012.

Allison Druin is known for being a futurist and a leading HCI researcher working with children. Druin’s professional focus on children began with the development of Noobie, an interactive computer terminal that breaks away from traditional ideas of HCI by coming in the form of a massive bird-like creature that enables kids to build their own digital creatures through interfacing with its parts and incorporated monitor – all done while sitting in Noobie’s lap.

During her tenure as the director of the University of Maryland’s HCI Lab, she inaugurated an intergenerational development team that brought children aged 7-11 into the interface design process. She also built the International Children’s Digital Library, in conjunction with Ben Bederson, and she is a past Chief Futurist for University of Maryland’s Division of Research.

Druin at CHI 1987
Allison Druin with her creation, Noobie, at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Toronto, CA in April 1987.

Druin currently leads, mentors, and supports the research and strategic partnerships at Pratt Institute. The research spans from advanced interactive materials for the fashion future to understanding the impact of a food barge on food deserts in New York City.

She was elected to the ACM CHI Academy in 2016 and as an ACM Fellow in 2017.  She was appointed by the SICHI EC to be the organization’s first Adjunct Chair for Inclusion in 2018.


“Allison arrived on campus bringing the energy of her already-famous CHI-Kids events at the CHI conferences to the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab.  She established the year-long KidsTeam activities, which initiated the ideas of ‘children as our design partners’ and intergenerational teams.  Allison gained further respect for HCI research on children by launching the Interaction Design for Children Conference.  One of my most satisfying professional accomplishments was attracting Allison and Ben Bederson to our campus.  Allison became HCIL Director in 2006.”  – Ben Shneiderman



  • Ph.D. in Educational Specialties in K-12 Technology, University of Education (1997)
  • M.S. in Media Arts and Sciences, MIT (1987)
  • B.F.A. in Graphic Design, Rhode Island School of Design (1985)


  • Associate Provost for Research and Strategic Partnerships, Pratt Institute (2017 – Present)
  • Special Advisor for National Digital Strategy, National Park Service, (2015 – 2017)
  • Co-Director, University of Maryland Future of Information Alliance (2013 – 2017)
  • Chief Futurist, Division of Research (2013 – 2015); Director, Human-Computer Interaction Lab (2006 – 2011); Professor, College of Information Studies (1998 – 2017); University of Maryland
  • Research Assistant, Computer Science Department, University of New Mexico (1995 – 1997)
  • International Product Manager, Desktop Design Systems, Scitex Corporation (1990-1993)
  • Customer Support Testing Coordinator, Context Graphic Systems (1987 – 1989)


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