Sara Kiesler

Sara Kiesler

Carnegie Mellon University, PA

United States

Research Areas

Human-computer Interaction, Robot Programming, Robots


Sara Kiesler was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She first attended Simmons College in Boston where she studied psychology, specializing in social psychology. She later completed an M.A. in Psychology at Stanford in 1963 and Ph.D. in Psychology at Ohio State University in 1965. Following graduation, she came to Carnegie Mellon where she worked in the Computer Science Department and in the Social Sciences Department until 1998 when she moved to California to work at Interval Research Company. After working at Interval for a few years, she returned to Carnegie Mellon in the School of Computer Science and became involved in her first robotics project-Nursebot. Since then she has worked on several other robotics projects, including Ro-Man and the Human-Robot Interaction Conference. Currently, she is the Hillman Professor of Computer Science and Human Computer Interaction in the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon.   Her research interests include the application of behavioral and social science research methods and theory on group collaboration, and human-technology interaction. She has received several awards and honors, including becoming a fellow of the American Psychological Association, and in 2002, election into the CHI Academy. Her awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, the Allan Newell Award for Research Excellence in 2013, and the International Communication Association Williams Prize in 2015.

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Kiseler discusses her career in robotics, focusing on anthropomorphic robots, human-robot interaction, and cognitive and social design. Describing her involvement with projects such as Pearl, she goes on to describe her involvement in organizing and developing the HRI conferences. She reflects on her transition from social psychology and computer interaction to human-robot interaction, and comments on its relationship to human psychology and its future development.