William A.S. Buxton

Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research (Toronto, ON)

Bill Buxton has been Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research since December 2005.

Dr. Buxton is an advocate for innovation, design, and especially the appropriate consideration of human values, capacity, and culture in the conception, implementation, and use of new products and technologies. He has spent more than 30 years observing how people use technology and applying those insights to the human-computer interaction field.

Dr. Buxton has worked extensively in both the academic and private sectors. He began his career as a composer and performer, having acquired a Bachelor of Music from Queen’s University in 1973. He then completed his M.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto in 1978. This brought him into the field of human-computer interaction and for the next 15 years he taught at the University of Toronto’s Department of Computer Science, first as a Lecturer and then as an Associate Professor. He became the Chief Scientist at Alias Research and Wavefront Technologies, which was purchased by Silicon Graphics, Inc. in 1995. Dr. Buxton was also Principal of his own Toronto-based design and consulting firm, Buxton Design.

From 1998-1999, Dr. Buxton chaired a panel to advise the premier of Ontario on developing long-term policy to foster innovation through the Ontario Jobs and Investment Board. He is on the advisory board of the Department of Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, and the President's Advisory Board at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He is a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery and a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Dr. Buxton has received numerous honours and awards, including a Doctor of Design Honoris Causa from the Ontario College of Art and Design (2007), a Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from Queen's University (2009), and a Doctor of Industrial Design along with the title of Distinguished Professor from the Technical University of Eindhoven (2010). In 2002, Time Magazine named him one of the top five designers in Canada.

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