Dr. Joseph Konstan is Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Distinguished University Teaching Professor, and AssociateDepartment Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering. His research addresses a variety of human-computer interaction issues, including personalization (particularly through recommender systems), eliciting on-line participation, and designing computer systems to improve public health. He is probably best known for his work in collaborative filtering recommenders (the GroupLens project), and for his work in online HIV prevention. Konstan received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993.
Konstan teaches students at all levels, from freshman introductions to computer science through advanced courses on user interface design, social computing, and human-computer interaction. He was one of the founding faculty members of the University's MS in Software Engineering graduate program--a program that he led at one time--where he has worked to ensure that all graduate software engineers have experience in user-centered design. He also served for three years as director of the graduate program in Computer Science, and has remained active in the governance of graduate education universitywide. Konstan won the University's award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education.
Konstan is active in professional service. He is currently serving his third term on the ACM Council, and also serves on its Publications Board. He served as President of ACM's 4500-member Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, and as general chair of several conferences, including the CHI 2012, the premier conference in the field of HCI. He currently serves on the editorial board of ACM Transactions on Computer Human Interaction, ACM Transactions on the Web, and User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction, and was recently the Program Committee co-chair of User Modeling 2011. He served a term as vice-Chair of the Federal Demonstration Partnership (working to document and relieve administrative burden in grants administration) and recently was appointed to serve on the National Children's Study Federal Advisory Committee.
Konstan has also been active in industry and commercialization. He co-founded Net Perceptions, Inc. in 1996. NetP licensed the University's recommender systems technology and became the largest provider of recommendation engine software, serving leading retailers and information providers. He is still an active consultant, working with a variety of businesses, large and small.
Konstan has been elected a Fellow of the ACM and of the AAAS, is a member of the CHI Academy, and is recipient of the 2010 ACM Software System Award for the GroupLens Collaborative Filtering Recommender Systems.
Konstan grew up in New York City. He graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in Computer Science. He earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1992.