Paul Dourish

Office: Bren Hall, room 5086 (Directions)

Phone: (949) 824-8127

Fax: (949) 824-4056


Formal bio and photos

Please note: I am on sabbatical for academic year 2007-08, and will be away from Irvine for roughly a year, beginning August 2007. During this time, I'll be focusing on writing projects, and so I will be turning down all invitations to serve on committees, speak at conferences, etc.

"It is to Scotland that we look for our idea of civilisation." -- Voltaire

I am a Professor of Informatics at UC Irvine, with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and Anthropology. According to an anonymous student reviewer, I am "by far the most eccentric professor in ICS," which I choose to take as a compliment. The competition for "most eccentric" is pretty tough around here.

In addition, I have a number of other roles on campus: a member of the core faculty on our interdisciplinary graduate program in Arts Computation Engineering (ACE); a member of the divisional council of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology; co-conspirator in the Laboratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction; a member of the Center for Cyber-Security and Privacy, the Institute for Software Research, and the Center for Organizational Research; a faculty associate of the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations; a faculty member of the UC Game Culture and Technology Lab; a faculty affiliate of the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs; a member of the Working Group for Science and Technology Studies; and a member of the advisory board of the Center for Ethnography. (Phew.)

Externally, I serve on the editorial boards of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, the International Journal of Computer-Supported Cooperative Learning, Games and Culture, and Information Technology and People, and on the editorial advisory board of Computer Supported Cooperative Work. In 2008, I was elected to the CHI Academy.

On this page, I used to list all the conferences for which I was serving on the program committee or the organizing committee. But it was too hard to keep up. Let's just say, "lots."

I joined the faculty at UCI (or "Ape City") in September 2000, after working at Xerox PARC (now PARC, Inc.), Apple Research Labs (a now-defunct part of Apple Computer), and Rank Xerox EuroPARC (later part of Xerox Research Centre Europe, and now gone... hmm, there seems to be a trend.)

My principal research interests are in Ubiquitous Computing, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Human Computer Interaction, and Social Studies of Science and Technology, all of which basically means that I care not only about cool technology, but also about how ordinary mortals can use it and the consequences for how they live and work. Click on "Research" above for more information, and a list of current and potential projects. My book, "Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction", was published in 2001 by MIT Press. It is available at all good bookstores (and probably quite a few bad ones). Fortunately, it has not yet been remaindered.

These days, though, our lives are really defined by numbers. I won't tell you my social security number, but I am an official European "expert", number E73514L, and my Erdos Number is 3.

Unlike some of my terribly sporty colleagues, I'm someone whose idea of a whole-body workout is to drink standing up. However, I have occasionally been spotted on a bicycle or rollerblades. Watch out if you see me, because I'm probably not in control of my direction.

Click the links at the top of the page to find more information about courses I'm teaching, my current research activities and projects, and copies of my publications. Other pages you can reach from here are: