Alison Lee

Extensive experience with cutting-edge UI design and software development for mobile, social, semantic, cloud, and interactive computing. A research, design, and technical lead on projects used by hundreds and thousands of users. Manager and technical lead since 2009. A people-oriented team builder with excellent communications skills. Particularly strong in results-driven settings, in bridging across technical, design, and behavioral disciplines, and in bringing practical design and usability sensibilities to bear in creating simple, engaging interactions with complex applications.

Work Experience
2012 - NowPrincipal Scientist Lead, Microsoft, Sunnyvale CA
2007 - 2012Research Manager and Principal Research Scientist, Nokia Research, Palo Alto CA
2005 - 2007Web/UI Developer, Metaweb Technologies, San Francisco CA
1997 - 2005Research Staff Member, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, Hawthorne NY
1992 - 1997Member of Technical Staff, NYNEX Science and Technology, White Plains NY
1985 - 1986Summer Intern, Xerox PARC, Palo Alto, CA
1983 - 1984Research Associate, Database & OIS Group, University of Toronto, Toronto Canada
1992Ph.D. in Computer Science, University of Toronto, Canada
1983M.Sc. in Computer Science, University of Toronto, Canada
1981B.Sc. with Specialist in Computer Science, University of Toronto, Canada


Computer Languages (selected): Javascript, HTML5/DHTML/CSS3, Java, AspectJ, Python, Perl, C/C++, C#, AWK, sh scripting, XML & XSLT, VoiceXML.

Web Application Design and Development: 15+ years creating social, multimodal, and mobile Web applications with client and server components working cross-browser and cross-platform.

Tools/Techniques/Frameworks (selected): Django, Qt/QML, JQuery Mobile, Nokia Web Runtime, Yahoo UI, Eclipse rich-client platform, JSPs & servlets, Apache, MySQL, CGI, clustering, image & video toolkits, text processing and categorization, social networks, location-based services, mobile sensors.

Computing Platforms: HTML5 Web platform, Development on Linux and Windows. Windows Azure.

See CAMP, NFC games, Video Sharing, TimeSage, EasyMeet, CHIplace, People browser, Portholes.

User Experience Design & User Research

Tools (selected): Photoshop, Illustrator, Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and S-Plus.

Data Collection/Analysis Techniques (selected): Log analyses (keystrokes and Web server), basic experimental design, statistical analyses, regression analyses and multi-dimensional scaling.

User Research Methods (selected): Focus groups, interviews, scenarios, surveys, field studies.

See CRM scenarios, ePlace scenarios, Portkey studies, Portholes study, CSCW 2000 Video CD.

Project Samples from Recent Positions

Microsoft, Principal Scientist Lead (Sept 2012 - Now)

Create new user experiences and applications for maps. E.g., Win 8.1 2D Maps and 3D Maps apps.

Nokia Research, Research Manager (2010 - 2012) & Principal Research Scientist, (July 2007 - Sept 2012)

Create mobile services for automotive, emerging markets, productivity, games, and social computing.

Metaweb, UI Engineer, (Oct 2005 - July 2007)

Co-developed the front-end UI widget set, capabilities (e.g., XHR broker mechanism), apps (e.g., location-based restaurant guide) and services that powered the public release unveiling of Freebase in 2007. Metaweb was acquired by Google in 2009.

IBM TJ Watson Research Center, Research Staff Member, (Sept 1997 - June 2005)

Researcher, UI developer, and technical architect of several prototypes for multimodal systems, accessibility, Web, eBusiness collaboration, social computing, multimedia systems.

NYNEX Science and Technology, Member of Technical Staff, (May 1992 - Aug 1997)

Designed and developed productivity tools, applications, and systems for software developers, cross-disciplinary product design teams, and telephone operators.

Selected Publications

G. Cheung, A.Lee, K. Cheng, and H.J. Lee. Dispensable, Tweakable, and Tangible Components: Supporting Socially Negotiated Gameplay. Meaningful Play 2012. Top five paper.

C. Shi, H.J. Lee, J. Kurczak, and A.Lee. Routine Driving Infotainment App: Gamification of Performance Driving. Work-in-progress and Position Paper for Workshop entitled "We are not there yet: Enhancing the Routine Drives Experience. Automotive UI 2012.

R.A. Hankins and A. Lee. Crowd Sourcing and Prediction Markets. CHI 2011 Workshop on Crowdsourcing and Human Computation: Systems, Studies, and Platforms, 2011.

T.V. Raman and A. Lee. Speech-Enablement of Eclipse IDE and Eclipse Rich Client Applications Using AspectJ. Gary Poock Best Paper Award. In Proceedings of AVIOS — SpeechTEK, 2005.

A. Lee, A. Girgensohn, and J. Zhang. Browsers to Support Awareness and Social Interaction. In IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 24(5), Los Alamitos CA: IEEE Computer Society, pp. 66-75, 2004.

E. Churchill, A. Girgensohn, L. Nelson, and A. Lee. Blending Digital and Physical Spaces for Ubiquitous Community Participation. Communications of the ACM, 47(2), New York:ACM, pp. 39-44, 2004.

A. Girgensohn and A. Lee. Making Web Sites be Places for Social Interaction. In Proceedings of ACM 2002 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp. 136-145, 2003.

A. Lee and A. Girgensohn. Design, Experiences and User Preferences for a Web-Based Awareness Tool. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 56, Academic Press:London, pp. 75-107, 2002.

C.G. Wolf, A. Lee, M. Touma, and S. Daijavad. A Case Study in the Development of Collaborative Customer Care: Concept and Solution. In Proceedings of INTERACT’99: IFIP TC.13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, IOS Press, pp. 54-61, 1999.

A. Girgensohn, and A. Lee, Seamless Integration of Interactive Forms into the Web. In Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, 29, pp. 1531-1542, 1997.


A. Lee, Y. Jung and P. Malkin. System for Interacting with Participants at a Web Site through an Interactive Visual Proxy, 2001.

A. Lee, Y. Jung and P. Malkin. System, Method, and Program Product for Navigating and Mapping Content at a Web Site, 2001.

Extra-Curricular Activities


Conference Chair, Technical Program Member, Reviewer: ACM CSCW, ACM CHI, MobileHCI, WWW, ACM Group, INTERACT, ACM TOIS.

Instructor: A long series of conference tutorials on using Web technologies to build collaborative and social applications and mobile web applications.


Woodworker: Sawdust Shop member.

Stock and options trader: Manage personal investment portfolio.

Sports: Squash, hiking, skiiing, and swimming.

Tinkerer: Embed simple programmable electronics in woodwork objects.