Updated 16:12 May 28th 2014

Harold Thimbleby

Press On book cover

Harold Thimbleby is professor of computer science at Swansea University, Wales. His passion is designing dependable computer systems to accommodate human error. See CHI+MED: Multidisciplinary Computer-Human Interaction research for the design and safe use of interactive medical devices for a really exciting major project he’s on.

Harold was elected to Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 2013, and to Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, in 2012. See this link for some of his recent work in healthcare IT. He has been a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award holder and a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow. He is Emeritus Gresham Professor of Geometry.

Harold has over 500 publications and wrote the book Press On, which won the American Publishers’ Association best book award in computer science.

Harold is a visiting professor at UCL and at Middlesex University.

Harold’s web site (this site) is www.harold.thimbleby.net


Please contact my Research Manager, Victoria Hurst, for any information
Vicky Hurst

Recent things

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Prolific researcher

Harold published his first paper, on menus, in 1978, and has since written many publications: 258 refereed and 221 invited (as of July 2012), from newspaper articles to articles in Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as many peer reviewed research publications. He wrote User Interface Design, published in the ACM Press Frontier Series in 1990, and his fifth book, Press On, was published by MIT Press in 2007: it was 2007 winner of the Association of American Publishers Publishing Awards for Excellence Competition in the Computer and Information Sciences category. He was Royal Society-Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellow (2008–2009), Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder (2001–2006), awarded the British Computer Society Wilkes Medal, and won a Toshiba Year of Invention prize.

Team builder

Harold founded Swansea University Research Forum, and founded the FIT Lab, 2006. He previously founded University College London Interaction Centre (UCLIC) in 2001.

International reputation

Harold has held visiting positions in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, etc, and is on numerous international editorial boards and conference committees. He has presented over 60 keynotes, including the first German Software Ergonomics conference, first International Handheld and Ubiquitous Computing Conference, first Asia-Pacific Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, etc.

Excellent speaker

Harold has presented over 60 conference keynotes and 450 seminars and presentations (including at Cambridge, MIT, Oxford, Royal Institution, Royal Society, Stanford and the House of Lords) in 23 different countries. See more ...

Advancing public understanding of science

Harold is 28th. Gresham Professor of Geometry, and has been widely interviewed and reported in the media. He got the largest post-bag ever for a New Scientist feature article — about video recorder usability! He has presented at many international science festivals in UK and internationally, and at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.


Harold’s full CV is available in PDF.

Ticket machine
Harold using a ticket machine
— when it takes your cash
it does not confirm the ticket type

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