By Louis DiPietro
Nicola Dell, associate professor at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech and in the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science, has received the 2023 Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer–Human Interaction (SIGCHI) Societal Impact Award.
One of three awardees, Dell was recognized for leveraging research in human-computer interaction (HCI) for the greater good: her work improves computer security and privacy for victims of intimate partner violence, strengthens digital privacy in non-Western contexts, and guides the development of technology that supports home health care workers.
Together with colleague Thomas Ristenpart, professor of computer science at Cornell Tech and Cornell Bowers CIS, Dell founded the Clinic to End Tech Abuse (CETA), which provides free tech support for survivors of intimate partner violence. CETA is embedded within the Family Justice Center social support system run by the New York City Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence.
“I’m truly honored to receive the SIGCHI Societal Impact Award and am grateful for the amazing collaborators, students, postdocs, and research partners who make my work possible,” Dell said. “This award is a wonderful recognition of our research team’s hard work and accomplishments over the last few years.”
Dell’s research spans HCI and Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD), which explores how technology can assist underserved communities. Specifically, her work focuses on designing, building, and evaluating computer systems for underserved populations in low-income areas around the world.
Her research has been published widely in journals including the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, and has received several awards at premier conferences including ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), and the USENIX Security Symposium, among others.
Among her many honors and recognitions, Dell received a Google Award for Inclusion Research in 2022, a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award in 2018, and two Google Faculty Research Awards in 2020 and 2018.
Dell earned master’s and doctoral degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in 2011 and 2015, respectively. At Cornell, she is a member of the Center for Health Equity, the Digital Life Initiative at Cornell Tech, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.
Louis DiPietro is a writer for the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science.