Catherine Plaisant


Catherine Plaisant is a French/American Research Scientist Emerita at the University of Maryland, College Park[1] and assistant director of research of the University of Maryland Human–Computer Interaction Lab.[2]

Catherine Plaisant
Catherine plaisant.jpg
Catherine Plaisant in 2020
Born (1957-05-26) May 26, 1957 (age 64)
Scientific career
FieldsHuman–computer interaction, information visualization
Ben Shneiderman and Catherine Plaisant at the Summer Social Webshop 2012, University of Maryland


Catherine Plaisant completed her Ph.D. in industrial engineering at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France.[3] She also earned a Diplôme d'Ingénieur from Arts et Métiers ParisTech (one of the French Grandes écoles).


After five years working at the Centre Mondial Informatique et Ressource Humaine (in French) in Paris, Catherine Plaisant joined the University of Maryland Human–Computer Interaction Lab to work with Ben Shneiderman.

Catherine Plaisant is known for her work on human–computer interaction and information visualization. She contributed to the early development of touchscreen interfaces. For example, her work is cited in the lock screen (or "slide to unlock") patent litigation, which cites in particular her 1991 video of a touchscreen slider.[4][5][6]

Plaisant also contributed to the development of Treemap (in particular Treemap 4.0) and Lifelines, a visualization of personal records, such as patient records.[7][8] Other work has focused on visual analytics tools for exploring patterns of temporal event sequences, with projects such as LifeLines2 and EventFlow that enable analysts to find patterns in large databases of patient records, student records or customer records.[9][10]

Catherine Plaisant was elected to the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) CHI Academy in 2015, for her contributions to the field of study of human–computer interaction.[11] Her work has been cited more than 32,000 times.[12]

In 2018, Dr. Plaisant was awarded an INRIA (French: Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique) International Chair.[13] The chairs are awarded to eminent international researchers to join its project teams.[14] Plaisant's research project, for 2018–2022, Visual Analytics for Exploratory Data Analysis, is hosted by INRIA research team AVIZ (Analysis and Visualization).[15]

In 2020 she received the SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).[16]

Later in 2020 Plaisant was recognized by the IEEE Computer Society with the 2020 Visualization Career Award "for her comprehensive body of work within the field of data visualization, including her contributions to evaluation, benchmarks, case studies, and her specific research focus on event sequence visualization."[17]


  • Designing the User Interface Pearson by Shneiderman, B. and Plaisant, C. - 4th Edition (2005), 5th Edition (2010), and 6th Edition (2016) ISBN 978-0-32153735-5.


  1. ^ [1] "Catherine Plaisant web page at the Human-Computer Interaction Lab"
  2. ^ [2] "Human-Computer Interaction lab"
  3. ^ [3] Catherine Plaisant Resume
  4. ^ "Apple touch-screen patent war comes to the UK". 10 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2015. - UK Channel 4 website
  5. ^ "Apple's $120M jury verdict against Samsung destroyed on appeal". 26 February 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016. - ArsTechnica
  6. ^ "1991 video of the HCIL touchscreen toggle switches (University of Maryland)". YouTube. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  7. ^ [4] "Treemap 4.0" from University of Maryland
  8. ^ [5] LifeLines for Visualizing Patient Records - from University of Maryland
  9. ^ "Lifelines2". Retrieved 2011-09-23.
  10. ^ "EventFlow". Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  11. ^ "2015 SIGCHI Awards". Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  12. ^ "Catherine Plaisant - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  13. ^ "Catherine Plaisant: Human–Computer Interaction Lab – University of Maryland". Retrieved 2019-03-23. In 2018 she was awarded an INRIA International Chair.
  14. ^ "Holders of Inria International Chairs" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-05-13.
  15. ^ "Analysis and Visualization: AVIZ Research team". Retrieved 2020-05-13.
  16. ^ "2020 SIGCHI AWARDS". Retrieved 2020-05-13.
  17. ^ "IEEE VGTC Visualization Technical Awards". Retrieved 2020-05-13.

External linksEdit

  • Official website