Orit Shaer

Professor of Computer Science

Orit Shaer is Professor and co-Chair of Computer Science at Wellesley College. She founded and directs the Wellesley College Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab. Her research focuses on novel human-computer interaction for the future of work and learning, including human-AI collaboration, tangible and embodied interaction, and mixed-reality interfaces. Prof. Shaer's book "Weaving Fire into Form: Aspirations for Tangible and Embodied Interaction" (ACM Books, 2022) is the first comprehensive reference book on this emerging field. It provides wide-ranging conceptual and pragmatic tools toward weaving the animating fires of computation and technology into evocative tangible forms.

Prof. Shaer is co-founder and steering committee co-chair of the international Symposium on Human-Computer Interaction for Work (CHIWork). She is also a steering committee chair of the ACM conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI). She has served on dozens of program committees for international conferences and review panels and is currently on the editorial boards of Foundations and Trends in Human Computer Interaction and ACM Transaction on Computer-Human Interaction (ToCHI). She was also an editor of the IEEE Pervasive Computing special issue on The Future of Work: COVID-19 and Beyond.

Prof. Shaer is a Senior Member of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), and a recipient of several NSF and industry awards including the prestigious NSF CAREER Award, Agilent Technologies Research Award, and Google App Engine Education Award. At Wellesley she was awarded the Pinanski Prize for Excellent Teaching.

Human-Computer Interaction Lab

Link to Personal Page


  • B.A., Academic College of Tel-Aviv
  • M.S., Tufts University
  • Ph.D., Tufts University

Current and upcoming courses

  • Human-Computer Interaction is one of the areas that have transformed the way we use computers in the last 30 years. Topics include methodology for designing and testing user interfaces, interaction styles (command line, menus, graphical user interfaces, virtual reality, tangible user interfaces), interaction techniques (including use of voice, gesture, eye movements), design guidelines, and user interface software tools. Students will design a user interface, program a prototype, and test the results for usability.
  • The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the way we work, interact, and make decisions. AI is integrated into applications and devices that are woven into our daily lives. How does AI work? What impact will AI have on individuals, communities, and our global society?This course aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to become informed digital citizens in the age of AI, ready to navigate the digital landscape. Students will gain fundamental technical understanding of how computers, the Web, and AI work, and will study three programming languages: HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. Students will also examine and discuss societal and ethical issues related to the Web and AI technologies, and consider responsible and future use of these technologies. (CS 110 and MAS 110 are cross-listed courses.)