Monday 12pm, 10 October 2016


The New ABCs of Research: Blending Design, Engineering & Science

Ben Shneiderman

Professor - University of Maryland


Solving the immense problems of the 21st century will require ambitious research teams that are skilled at producing practical solutions and foundational theories simultaneously – that is the ABC Principle: Applied & Basic Combined. Then these research teams can deliver high-impact outcomes by applying the SED Principle: Blend Science, Engineering and Design Thinking, which encourages use of the methods from all three disciplines. These guiding principles (ABC & SED) are meant to replace Vannevar Bush’s flawed linear model from 1945 that has misled researchers for 70+ years. These new guiding principles will enable students, researchers, academic leaders, and government policy makers to accelerate discovery and innovation.


BEN SHNEIDERMAN ( is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (, and a Member of the UM Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) at the University of Maryland. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, IEEE, and NAI, and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, in recognition of his pioneering contributions to human-computer interaction and information visualization. His contributions include the direct manipulation concept, clickable highlighted web-links, touchscreen keyboards, dynamic query sliders for Spotfire, development of treemaps, novel network visualizations for NodeXL, and temporal event sequence analysis for electronic health records.

Ben is the co-author with Catherine Plaisant of Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (6th ed., 2016) With Stu Card and Jock Mackinlay, he co-authored Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think (1999). His book Leonardo’s Laptop (MIT Press) won the IEEE book award for Distinguished Literary Contribution. He co-authored, Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL ( (Morgan Kaufmann) with Derek Hansen and Marc Smith. Shneiderman’s latest book is The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations (Oxford, April 2016).