Fischer, Gerhard

Fischer 2003
Jenny Preece and Gerhard Fischer at a Masterclass and Symposium hosted at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 20, 2003.

Gerhard Fischer’s (1945 – ) work has, according to SIGCHI, “played a crucial role as an integrator of and mediator between HCI and a spectrum of related fields: AI, Software Engineering, Participatory Design, Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, and CSCW. His work has extended the boundaries of our field.”

In addition to his bridge-building, Fischer has also conducted extensive research in education (lifelong learning, self-directed learning, and organizational learning), and Cognitive Science (mental models and learning environments).

Fischer was elected to the SIGCHI Academy in 2007.

“Gerhard’s thoughtful writings on HCI, collaboration, education, and other topics made me think in fresh ways and learn about new sources.  I also value his remarkable skiing ability and style, gained from his youthful experience of being a ski instructor.  Skiing with Gerhard made me a better skier, talking with Gerhard made me a better researcher.”  – Ben Shneiderman


  • Habilitation on Computer Science, University of Stuttgart (1982)
  • Ph.D., University of Hamburg (1977)
  • M.S. in Mathematics and Physical Education, University of Heidelberg (1971)


  • Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Colorado – Boulder & Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science (1984 – 2012), Emeritus Professor (2012 – Present)
  • Director, Center for LifeLong Learning and Design, University of Colorado – Boulder (1994 – Present)
  • Visiting Professor, University of Christchurch, New Zealand (2002 – 2003)
  • SEL Stiftungsprofessor, Technical University Darmstadt, (1994 – 1995)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Xerox PARC (1979)
  • Professor, University of Stuttgart (1978 – 1984)
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, MIT (1977 – 1978)
  • International PhD Fellowship, German Academic Exchange Service: University of British Columbia, Vancouver (1971 – 1972) and University of California, Irvine (1972 – 1973)


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