Cornell University
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François Guimbretière

Professor; Charles F. and Barbara D. Weiss Director of Undergraduate Studies

Areas of Interest

Pen computing both on paper and on digital surfaces; Information appliances to support reading; Empirical evaluation of computer interface; Information visualization


François Guimbretière is a Professor in the Information Science Department at Cornell University. After completing an Electrical Engineering degree with a major in artificial intelligence at the Ecole Supérieure d’Electricité, in Gif-sur-Yvette, France, he went on to do MS and PhD degrees at Stanford in Computer Science. He came to Cornell in 2002. 

The overarching goal of Dr. Guimbretière's research is to bring the ease of use of pen and paper interactions to computer interfaces. Pen and paper are an  extremely versatile tool used extensively by knowledge workers when sketching new concepts, exploring a design space by quickly sketching several variations, brainstorming during a meeting, or simply proofreading  documents.  Pen and paper interactions are rapid, fluid, and almost transparent to the user. Unfortunately, work captured on paper is often difficult to transfer back into the digital world where powerful computational resources are accessible. Through my work, I have demonstrated that the ease of use of pen and paper interactions and access  to digital resources  can be smoothly bridged. Blending hardware prototypes, software implementations, and empirical evaluation, I have proposed novel  pen interfaces for a wide variety of digital surfaces, including: large wall-sized displays such as the Stanford Interactive Mural; portable notepad-sized systems such as tablet PCs; and digital pens such as the Anoto system which can record and process strokes made on a special pre-printed paper. My work  establishes a  unified framework for pen computing  applicable to mixed paper-digital settings  as well as  a wide variety  of future  digital  interactive surfaces such as “digital wall paper” or electronic paper (e-paper), an area I have been exploring since I moved to Cornell. My work has been mostly supported by grants from the NSF (about $2.5M in total including a CAREER award), has been published in first tier ACM conferences and journals, and had a significant impact (my H-index is 19).



Please see François Guimbretière's home page for a complete list of publications. Below is a list of recent works. 
  • Tamara Munzner, François Guimbretière, Serdar Tasiran, Li Zhang, and Yunhong Zhou. TreeJuxtaposer: Scalable Tree Comparison using Focus+Context with Guaranteed Visibility, ACM Transaction on Graphics 22(3), pp. 453 – 462, July 2003. 
  • Juan Pablo Hourcade, Benjamin B. Bederson, Allison Druin, and François Guimbretière. Differences in pointing task performance between preschool children and adults using mice. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 11(4), pp 357 – 386, December 2004.
  • François Guimbretière, Andrew Martin, and Terry Winograd. Benefits of Merging Command Selection and Direct Manipulation.  ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 12(3), pp 460 – 476, September 2005. 
  • Chunyuan Liao, François Guimbretière, Ken Hinckley, and Jim Hollan. PapierCraft: A Gesture-Based Command System for Interactive Paper.  ACM Transactions on HumanComputer Interaction, 14(4), pp 18.1 – 18.27, January 2008.
  • Nicholas Chen, François Guimbretière, and Corinna Loeckenhoff. Relative Role of Merging and Two Handed Operation on Command Selection Speed. International Journal of HumanComputer Studies, 66(10), pp 729 – 740, October 2008.
  • Nicholas Chen, François Guimbretière, Liyang Sun, Mary Czerwinski, Gian Pangaro, and Steven Bathiche. Hardware Support for Navigating Large Digital Documents. International Journal of Human Computer Interaction, 25(3), March 2009, pp 199 – 219.
  • Hyunyoung Song, François Guimbretière, Chang Hu, and Hod Lipson. ModelCraft Framework: Capturing Freehand An-notations and Edits to facilitate the Design Process using Digital Pen. ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction,  16(3), pp. 14:1  – 14 :33, September 2009.
  • Youngmin Kim, Amitabh Varshney, David Jacobs, and François Guimbretière. Mesh Saliency and Human Eye Fixations. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, 7(2), 12:1 –12 :13, February 2010.
  • Georg Apitz, François Guimbretière, and Shumin Zhai. Foundations for designing and evaluating user interfaces based on the crossing paradigm.  ACM  Transactions on HumanComputer Interaction, 17(2), pp 9:1 – 9:42, May 2010.
  • Chunyuan Liao and François Guimbretière. Evaluating and Understanding the Usability of A Pen-based Command System for Interactive Paper. ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, In press.
  • François Guimbretière, Shenwei Liu, Han Wang, and Rajit Manohar. A System Architecture for Low Power Information Appliances. Submitted to the ACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems.
  • Nicholas Chen, François Guimbretière, and Abigail Sellen. Designing a Multi-Slate Reading Environment to Support Active Reading Activities. Submitted to the ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction.
  • Nicholas Chen,  François Guimbretière, and Abigail Sellen. Comparison of Tablets, Windows and Paper Reading Surfaces in Support of Active Reading. Under major revision for the ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction.