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Bill Buxton

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Bill Buxton
Bill Buxton with a Microwriter chord input device
William Arthur Stewart Buxton

(1949-03-10) March 10, 1949 (age 72)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Alma materSt. Lawrence College
Queen's University
Utrecht University
University of Toronto
Known forUser interface pioneer
Marking menu
Sketching in design
AwardsSIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award (Association for Computing Machinery)
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science and design
InstitutionsUtrecht University
University of Toronto
Ontario College of Art & Design
Alias Wavefront
Xerox PARC
Microsoft Research
Doctoral studentsBrad Myers

William Arthur Stewart Buxton (born March 10, 1949) is a Canadian computer scientist and designer. He is a partner researcher at Microsoft Research. He is known for being one of the pioneers in the human–computer interaction field.

Background and contributions

Buxton received his bachelor's degree in music from Queen's University in 1973 and his master's degree in computer science from the University of Toronto in 1978.[1]

Buxton's scientific contributions include applying Fitts' law to human-computer interaction and the invention and analysis of the marking menu (together with Gordon Kurtenbach). He pioneered multi-touch interfaces and music composition tools in the late 1970s, while working in the Dynamic Graphics Project at the University of Toronto. In 2007, he published Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design.[2]

Buxton is a regular columnist at BusinessWeek. Before joining Microsoft Research he was chief scientist at Alias Wavefront and SGI from 1994 to 2002. In 2004, he was a visiting professor at the University of Toronto.[3]

Buxton received the SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 for his many fundamental contributions to the human–computer interaction field.[4] As of 2010, the Bill Buxton Award is handed out annually for the best doctoral dissertation in the field of HCI, completed at a Canadian university.[5] In 2016, he was recognized for his lifelong work in human computer interaction design and received the Digifest Digital Pioneer Award.[6]

Honours and awards

  • Recipient of the Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society (1995)[7]
  • New Media Visionary of the Year Award (2000) [8]
  • SIGCHI Lasting Impact Award (2005) [9]
  • Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (2008) [10]
  • SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award (2008) [11]
  • Doctor of Design Honoris Causa from the Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Ontario (June, 2007) [12]
  • Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario (June, 2009) [13]
  • Doctor of Industrial Design Honoris Causa from the Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands (April, 2010) [14]
  • Doctor of Science Honoris Causa from the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario (June, 2013) [15]


  1. ^ Bill Buxton's CV,; accessed December 15, 2015.
  2. ^ William., Buxton (2007). Sketching user experiences : getting the design right and the right design. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann. ISBN 9780123740373. OCLC 180932034.
  3. ^ Biography Archived May 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine,; accessed December 15, 2015.
  4. ^ SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award Archived 2011-01-04 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed December 15, 2015.
  5. ^ "Bill Buxton Award • Graphics Interface". Graphics Interface. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  6. ^ "Digital Pioneer - Toronto Digifest 2018". Toronto Digifest 2018. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "OCAD - OCAD presents Honorary Doctorates to George D. Butterfield and Bill Buxton". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  9. ^ "UIST 2018: 31st ACM User Interface Software and Technology Symposium". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  10. ^ University, School of Computing at Queen's. "Honorary Doctorates". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  11. ^ "2008 SIGCHI Awards — SIGCHI". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  12. ^ "Honorary graduate William Buxton". University of Toronto News. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  13. ^ "Honorary graduate William Buxton". University of Toronto News. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  14. ^ "Honorary graduate William Buxton". University of Toronto News. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  15. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients - Office of Convocation - University of Toronto". Retrieved 2015-12-16.
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Bill Buxton
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