Clarisse de Souza

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Short Bio

Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza graduated as a Translator and Conference Interpreter - English, French, Portuguese - from PUC-Rio (1979), where she also obtained an M.A. in Portuguese (1982) and a Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics (1987). In January 2020 she retired as a Full Professor from the Informatics Department of Rio de Janeiro's Pontifical Catholic University (PUC-Rio). Her main research interests have gravitated around: HCI theory and methodology; HCI evaluation; computer-mediated human communication; end-user programming;  explanation systems; cultural dimensions in HCI design; and self expression via software.

During her career, Clarisse has been a visiting researcher at Stanford University, in Terry Winograd's group, at the University of Waterloo, in Tom Carey's group, and at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, in Jenny Preece's group. She was the creator of Semiotic Engineering, the first full-fledged semiotic theory of HCI, and founder of SERG ( the Semiotic Engineering Research Group),  for a long time one of the world's leading research centers in Computer Semiotics. Because of her leadership in this field, Clarisse has been  the recipient of several awards. In 2010 she was the co-winner of the ACM SIGDOC Rigo Award an in 2013 she was inducted to the ACM SIGCHI CHI Academy. She was also one of the co-winners of the IFIP TC13 Pioneers of HCI Award in 2014, and in 2016 she was the winner of the Scientific Merit Award of the Brazilian Computer Society. In 2017 she won the Distinguished Career in HCI Award given by the Brazilian Computer Society Special Interest Group in HCI. Clarisse is also one of CRA-W / Anita Borg Institute's Notable Women in Computing featured in Jessica Dickinson Goodman's card deck and poster.

She has supervised or co-supervised 28 PhD students (21 as the main supervisor) and 20 MSc students (18 as the main supervisor). Moreover, Clarisse is the author of  four international books on this topic: The semiotic engineering of human-computer interaction (MIT Press, 2005), Semiotic engineering methods for scientific resarch in HCI (Morgan & Claypool, 2009 - with Carla Leitão),  A Journey through Cultures (Springer, 2013 - with Luciana Salgado and Carla Leitão) and Software Developers as Users - Semiotic Investigations in Human-Centered Software Development (Springer, 2016 - with Renato Cerqueira, Luiz Marques, Rafael Brandão and Juliana Ferreira). She is also the author of the reference chapter on Semiotics and Human-Computer Interaction of Interaction-Design.Org's Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction.

Clarisse spent a sabbatical year at IBM Research Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) from July 2017 through July 2018. She retired in January 2020, when she became Professor Emerita of PUC-Rio. Her current research interests revolve around: Digital Rhetoric and Semiotic Engineering; Human-Centered Computing and Artificial Intelligence; Philosophy of Computing and Philosophy of Technology. All her work in these areas is carried out with the transdisciplinary group on Ethics and Algorithmic Mediation of Social Processes, EMAPS.

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