Kiesler, Sara

Sara Kiesler at SIGCHI 1992
Sara Kiesler at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Monterey, CA in June 1992.

Sara Kiesler is a psychologist by education, but has worked extensively to understand how interactions with computers change how humans interact with one another. She is the co-author of Connections (with Lee Sproull), which examines how e-mail changes workplaces – some of the first research done on the topic. The work documented in Connections continues with studies of personality portrayal and anonymity online.

Currently, Kiesler is working on collaborative research examining the pros and cons of complex and multidisciplinary projects and groups, data analysis patterns in intelligence analysts, and developing “service delivery frameworks” for human-robot interactions. Kiesler was elected to the CHI Academy in 2002, awarded the SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, and named an ACM Fellow in 2010. In 2018, she was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and given the Human Robot Interaction Lifetime Service Award. Since 2016, Kiesler has been a Program Director at the Division of Social and Economic Sciences in the U. S. National Science Foundation.  She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2019.


“One of the sharpest analytic minds anywhere.  When Sara speaks, I listen carefully because she makes vital distinctions, documented by empirical evidence, and directed toward making an important point. Her devotion to rigorous experimentation gives her a compelling authority when she speaks.  I admire her style.” – Ben Shneiderman


  • Ph.D. in Psychology, Ohio State University
  • M.A. in Psychology, Stanford University


  • Hillman Professor of Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction, Carnegie-Mellon University (1999 – Present)
  • Interval (1998 – 1999)
  • Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie-Mellon University (1979 – 1998)


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