Tremaine, Marilyn “Mantei”

Tremaine at CHI 85
Marilyn “Mantei” Tremaine, Michael Schneider, and David Beard at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in San Francisco, CA on April 14, 1985.

Marilyn “Mantei” Tremaine is widely regarded as one of the earliest and most prominent leaders in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. During her distinguished career, Tremaine pioneered the application of digital media to a variety of problems, served as a mentor to multiple generations of students, and contributed to foundation of the ACM’s Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI), the premier international society for professionals, academics, and students with a shared interest in human-technology and human-computer interaction.

Tremaine CHI 86
Susan Dray, Marilyn “Mantei” Tremaine, and Sara Bly at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Boston, MA on April 13, 1986.

Tremaine’s educational background combined several disciplines, including business, cognitive psychology, computer science, and sociology. During her two years at CMU, Allen Newell had a significant impact on her understanding of HCI. This interdisciplinary background served her well as she made a career in human-computer interaction. As an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Tremaine conducted research on Database Interfaces and the integration of HCI into software engineering while teaching courses in Information Systems, networking, HCI, and decision support systems. During her time at Rutgers University, Tremaine developed and led a new Masters in Business Science degree, User Experience Design (UXD). The program uniquely prepares its students for careers in HCI through multiple projects, ample one-on-one mentoring, and frequent guest lectures from professionals in the field.

Tremaine at UIS92
Marilyn “Mantei” Tremaine with Ben Shneiderman at the User Interface Strategies (UIS) annual interactive satellite TV broadcast addressing issues in human-computer interaction in College Park, MD in December 1992.

In 2005, Tremaine received the CHI Lifetime Service Award, recognizing her contributions to the foundation and growth of SIGHCI. As “founding mother” of SIGCHI and the CHI conferences, Tremaine was active in all early CHI conferences, served as a member of various SIGCHI committees, and chaired the CHI 86, CSCW 92, and ASSETS conferences. She served as President of SIGCHI from 1998 to 2002.

Since retiring in 2014, Tremaine has pursued her love for cooking through her entrepreneurial project, M3 Catering. She began volunteering to cater cocktail receptions for former U.S. Representative for New Jersey Rush D. Holt, Jr. in 2012 and has expanded to offering catering services to other candidates in the Democratic Party, including Bonnie Watson Coleman, New Jersey’s first African American female Representative to Congress.

“Marilyn Mantei’s pioneering contributions helped develop the fields of collaborative technologies.  She showed the way forward with theories, real systems and  testing in large corporations with real users.  She also gave generously of her time and energy to get SIGCHI going, and then did the hard work of developing educational programs and curricula.” – Ben Shneiderman


  • Ph.D. in Communication Theory, University of Southern California (1982)
  • M.S. in Communication Theory, University of Southern California (1978)
  • B.S. in French, Mathematics & Physics, University of Wisconsin (1969)


  • Chief Cook, M3 Catering (2012 – Present)
  • Head of User Experience Design Masters Degree (2009 – 2014), Research Professor (1997 – 2014), Rutgers University
  • Visiting Professor, Technical University of Munich (2013)
  • Vice President, Usability NJ (2008 – 2011)
  • Visiting Team Member, UAE, Bahrain Ministries of Education (2007 – 2010)
  • Department Chair, New Jersey Institute of Technology (September 2001 – February 2004), Professor Emerita (1997 – Present)
  • Co-Founder and President (1998 – 2002), ACM-SIGCHI
  • Professor, Drexel University (1998 – 2001)
  • Visiting Professor, Cambridge University Computer Science Department (1994 – 1995)
  • Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Toronto (1988-1997)
  • Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Business School (September 1980 – July 1988)
  • Project Manager, Lawrence Berkeley Labs (1970 – 1975)


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