Elizabeth F. Churchill

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Elizabeth F. Churchill
Born Calcutta, India
Residence San Francisco, California
Citizenship American
Nationality British
Fields Human-computer Interaction
Cognitive Science
Experimental Psychology
Artificial Intelligence
Institutions Google Past: eBay, Yahoo, PARC, FXPal
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Richard Young, Thomas Green
Other academic advisors Thomas P. Moran
Known for Feminism and HCI,
Public and Situated Displays,
Embodied Conversational Agents
Notable awards ACM Distinguished Scientist

Elizabeth Frances Churchill is a British American psychologist specializing in human-computer interaction (HCI) and social computing. She is the Secretary-Treasurer of the ACM[1] and is a Director of User Experience at Google.


Churchill was born in Calcutta, India and moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in her early childhood. She gained a B.Sc. in Experimental Psychology and a M.S. in Knowledge Based Systems from Sussex University in the United Kingdom where she worked on Soar simulations.[2] After completing a Ph.D. (1994) from the University of Cambridge, she joined University of Nottingham as a Postdoc. In 1997, she moved to California, United States to join FXPAL where she formed and lead their Social Computing Group. In 2004, Churchill joined Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). She joined Yahoo! in 2006 as a principal research scientist, where she formed and led the Internet Experiences Group in the Microeconomics and Social Systems division of Yahoo! Labs. Her group and research was multidisciplinary, addressing the intersection of computer science, cognitive and social psychology, design science, neuroscience, analytics, and anthropology. She was previously Director of Human Computer Interaction for eBay Research Labs in San Jose, CA. Currently, she is a Director of User Experience at Google in Mountain View, CA. In 2009, she was elected as the Executive Vice President of ACM SIGCHI on a joint ballot with Gerrit van der Veer, SIGCHI's president.


Churchill is known for her work on Embodied Conversational Agents and co-edited a book[3] of the same name, an area of HCI which uses computer generated embodied agents together with a model of gesture and facial expression to enable face-to-face speech communication with people. She is also known for her work on public displays and installations.[4] In 2011, she co-edited a special journal issue on Feminism and HCI[5] with Shaowen Bardzell at Indiana University Bloomington.

Academic work[edit]

Churchill has chaired and run the technical program in several top conferences and publishes regularly in top-tier academic journals and conferences in computer science, human-computer interaction, sociology, and related fields. Her work has appeared in various newspapers and magazines around the world including Scientific American[6] and SFGate.[7]


  1. ^ "ACM Officers Biographical Information". Association for Computing Machinery. Retrieved 18 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Churchill, E.F.; Young, R.M. (1991). "Modelling Representations of Device Knowledge in Soar". In Steels, Luc; Smith, Barbara. Proceedings of AISB '91. Springer-Verlag. 
  3. ^ Cassell, J., Sullivan J., Prevost, S., Churchill, E. F. (2000). Embodied Conversational Agents. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. 
  4. ^ O'Hara, K.; Perry, M.; Churchill, E.F.; Russell, D. (2003). Public and Situated Displays. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 
  5. ^ Bardzell, Shaowen; Churchill, Elizabeth F. (September 2011). "Feminism and HCI: New Perspectives". Interacting with Computers. 23 (5). doi:10.1016/S0953-5438(11)00089-0. 
  6. ^ Greenemeier, Larry (September 29, 2010). "Sentiment-sensing software could aid in weeding hostile online comments". Scientific American. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 
  7. ^ Temple, James (January 11, 2010). "Social science meets computer science at Yahoo". SF Gate. Retrieved March 19, 2012. 

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