Konstan, Joseph

Konstan at CHI 2013
Joe Konstan receives his ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award from Loren Terveen at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris, France, April 27 – May 2, 2013.

Joseph “Joe” A. Konstan is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. His research spans a variety of human-computer interaction issues related to filtering, comprehending, organizing, and automating large and complex data sets. One of Konstan’s most notable contributions is his ongoing work with GroupLens, a research lab at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, specializing in recommender systems, online communities, mobile and ubiquitous technologies, digital libraries, and local geographic information systems. Konstan has also collaborated with partners across disciplines to improve theoretical and empirical understanding of online Q&A sites and to develop persuasive computing applications focusing on altering behaviors to reduce AIDS risk among high-risk individuals.

Konstan NSF 2011
Joe Konstan with GroupLens lab colleagues John Riedl and Loren Terveen at the NSF Workshop on Social-Computational Systems at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN in 2011.

The GroupLens lab was one of the first to study automated recommender systems through its development of the “GroupLens” recommender, which functions much like the system Amazon.com uses to recommend purchases to specific users. Konstan joined the GroupLens recommender system project in 1995 and has since worked with the lab’s research team to explore technology for creating recommendations and identify how best to present those recommendations so that users find them useful. In recent years, Konstan’s focus has shifted to the concept of online communities, particularly how people participate in those communities and how to design communities to elicit participation.

Konstan has chaired or co-chaired several ACM conferences and served as president of ACM SIGCHI from 2003 to 2006. He was elected as a Fellow of the CHI Academy, ACM, IEEE, and AAAS.  He received two prestigious awards: the 2010 ACM Software System Award for the GroupLens Collaborative Filtering Recommender Systems and the 2016 World Wide Web Conference’s Seoul Test of Time Award.

“I’ve followed Joe Konstan’s work from the time of his Ph.D. degree at the University of California-Berkeley in 1993. He manifests the focused style and thoughtful competence that I like to see in colleagues. He did great research on online communities – developing a successful collaborative filtering company – authored several patents, was involved in innovative teaching projects, and has an active service record on campus and professionally.  During this time as SIGCHI Chair, he helped advance our discipline and build a stronger community.” – Ben Shneiderman


  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley (1993)
  • M.S. in Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley (1990)
  • A.B. in Computer Science, Harvard University (1987)


  • Professor (2005 – Present), Associate Professor (1999 – 2005), Assistant Professor (1993 – 1999), University of Minnesota
  • Consulting Scientist, Net Perceptions, Inc. (1996 – 2000)
  • Instructor, University of Minnesota (1992 – 1993)



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