Women in Computing: Dr. Stacey Scott

Posted on Sunday, March 8th, 2020

Written by Joshua Lange

            On March 8th, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. This day of celebration recognizes the achievements of women around the world across the political, economic, social, technological, and cultural spectrum. It is a day to recognize that the progression of the world has been accelerated (and continues to accelerate) by the overwhelming positive impact of women breaking through countless barriers and making their mark on the world. Here in SoCS, we want to continue to showcase the strong work of our women in STEM.

Stacey Scott, Associate Professor

           Dr. Stacey Scott has had a diverse career and a has wide educational background. Her past experiences have propelled her forward into emerging technologies over the past decade, where she has made a name for herself in the fields of technology, engineering, and STEM. Prior to working as a faculty member in SoCS, she has worked as a software engineer on military tech through a software consulting house, before going back to school to pursue higher education. Her research and training are focused on human-computer interaction, and she also has an interest in both psychology and social sciences. These two fields help enrich her HCI research by tying in the underlying principles that affect human interaction itself.

            Dr. Scott has an impressive teaching background, working for MIT (as a postdoctoral fellow) and the University of Waterloo (as a faculty member) in the past, before ultimately joining the SoCS faculty in 2016. Her research over this time continued to expand into emerging technologies, and her teaching moved towards programming, software design, and user-centred design courses. At the University of Waterloo, Dr. Scott was responsible for co-founding the Games Institute, while also taking the lead on a number of initiatives that promoted women in technology, engineering, and STEM.

Moving forward, Dr. Scott aims to continue to be a leader in her field. She currently spearheads several committees within SoCS and is actively looking to pursue new technologies in the computing field. On the research front, Dr. Scott has recently been highlighted for her work on interactive displays, in relation to increasing the level of engagement between public displays and passing individuals. Dr. Scott’s teaching follows her research interests closely, with a focus on software design, human-computer interaction, and software engineering courses. These courses have a strong emphasis on collaboration, understanding the individual’s interaction with computer systems, and models of software development.

Dr. Scott was recently featured in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences’ post for International Women’s Day, where she talked briefly about her fear of failure, and its impact on her life as a faculty member and researcher:

“Getting over my fear of failure is challenging sometimes. Once I became a faculty member, there was simply too much to do all the time to be perfect at everything. This can be hard to handle mentally. Also, in research you have to constantly try new things to be innovative. Sometimes those things work, and sometimes they don’t – but you still learn from those failures as part of the design and scientific process.”

Regardless of her fears, Dr. Scott continues to produce strong research insights in the world of human-computer interaction, and her contributions to SoCS are unequivocally positive. Her most recent acceptance of the future role of Assistant Director signals the strength of her character and commitment to SoCS. We are happy to celebrate all of the work that Dr. Scott has completed during her short time within SoCS and look forward to many years ahead with her leading us through 2020 and onwards.

For more information about the recent work that Dr. Scott and her students have completed, see the following academic article:

Ghare M, Pafla M, Wong C, Wallace JR, Scott SD. Increasing Passersby Engagement with Public Large Interactive Displays: A Study of Proxemics and Conation. ISS ’18. 2018. doi: 10.1145/3279778.3279789.

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