Professor  Duncan P Brumby Digital Library

Based in London, United Kingdom
Duncan P Brumby


Duncan Brumby is a Professor of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at University College London (UCL), where he leads a research group that is focused on understanding how people interact with computing technology. His team have introduced new research methods to the field through their pioneering use of crowdsourcing platforms to study naturally occurring self-interruptions, and through the development of novel computational approaches to modelling the harmful effects of driver distraction on safety and performance. 

Brumby has an established reputation within HCI research community. He has published more than 90 research articles, which have been cited more than 2,500 times and have received numerous research excellence awards. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies – a leading journal that publishes original research on the design and use of interactive computer technology. He has served on the programme committee for the ACM SIGCHI conference since 2012 and was Subcommittee Chair for CHI 2018 and CHI 2019.

Brumby is an ACM Distinguished Speaker and an accomplished public speaker. He gave the opening keynote address at Irish HCI 2017, ISRIMT 2019, and the BPS Psychology Business Conference 2019. He has given more than 50 invited talks at leading universities, both within the UK (Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Oxford) and internationally (Aalto, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, Groningen, Illinois Urbana-Champaign, National Tsing Hua, Rensselaer, Stanford), as well as leading industry research groups (Google, Microsoft Research, MobileLife, NASA, Nokia-Bell Labs, Yahoo!). You can watch Brumby’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture here: 

Brumby is a leader in HCI education. He has led on innovative changes to the HCI curriculum and is a member of the ACM SIGCHI HCI Education Committee. He has been the Director of the HCI MSc program at UCL since 2016 — an internationally leading postgraduate HCI program that has a large international alumni network who have developed successful careers within technology multinationals, start-ups, government agencies, consultancies, and academia. He is a Faculty Graduate Tutor, a senior leadership role at UCL, which provides strategic direction for the development and delivery of postgraduate education across the university. He has taught on numerous international summer schools for PhD students on HCI research skills training. He has led courses on applying quantitative and qualitative methods in HCI research at CHI 2015, ‘16, ‘17. He was a Doctoral Consortium (DC) chair at CHI 2020, leading the unexpected but successful pivot to online delivery (read about that experience here:, and will be a faculty mentor at the CHI 2023 DC.  

Brumby received his PhD in Psychology from Cardiff University in 2005 and has previously held appointments at Drexel University (post-doc), Georgia Tech (visiting professor), Microsoft Research (research intern), and PARC (research intern).

Available Lectures

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  • Drowning in Email? Practical Tips from Research on How to Better Manage Your Inbox.
    We are all utterly overwhelmed by the volume of email that we receive every single day. I will talk about our research on how people manage digital communications over email and offer...
  • History and Future of Human-Automation Interaction
    In this talk, I shall review the history of human-automation interaction research, assess its current status, and identify future directions. I will start by reviewing articles that were published...
  • How Do Interruptions Affect Productivity?
    Work is frequently interrupted. What is known about how interruptions affect productivity? This important question has been studied using a variety of research methods, from controlled experiments...
  • Managing Digital Distractions
    Our daily activities are constantly punctuated by interruptions and maintaining focus can be challenging. In this talk, I’ll discuss the results of our research aimed at understanding how...
  • Media Multitasking in the New Digital Age
    On-demand video services, such as Netflix and Amazon Video, have become extremely popular. The advent of these video services has transformed how people access content, from the devices...
  • Research Methods for HCI
    The talk will introduce quantitative and qualitative methods used in HCI research. I shall discuss how these research approaches are used to understand people and interactional contexts. Practical...

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