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Les Nelson

Les Nelson's research is about understanding the technical demands made by changing social practices. Social changes influence individuals, who make demands at the computer interface, which in turn impacts the underlying technical infrastructures these rely on. Current work has involved following this change process as it applies to emerging social media technology.

Les joined PARC to study and improve information-sharing and collaboration-support tools used in system engineering practices. His involvement with Xerox goes back to 1995, where his work in human-computer interaction led to two products, 20 patents, and many publications in social computing, mobile computing, and tangible computing. Before that, Les worked for Lockheed's R&D on a variety of projects in systems and software engineering for very large systems, software reengineering, and software reuse. Les began his corporate life with IBM as a software engineer on large-scale, mission-critical, real-time systems.

Les received an M.S. in Computer Science -- focusing on mathematical programming and systems science -- from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Computing from Trinity College. Les was recognized as a Senior Member of the Association of Computing Machinery in 2009.


PARC publications

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Finding the Adaptive Sweet Spot: Balancing Compliance and Achievement in Automated Stress Reduction

SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems CHI2015

15 April 2015


Online gaming motivations scale: development and validation

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012)

10 May 2012

Through the Azerothian looking glass: mapping in-game preferences to real world demographics

ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012)

5 May 2012


Mail2Tag: augmenting email for sharing with implicit tag-based categorization

2011 International Conference on Collaboration Technologies and Systems

23 May 2011

Mail2Tag, case study of design using multiple aspects of appropriation

CHI 2011 Workshop - Appropriation and Creative Use: Linking User Studies and Design

8 May 2011



Activity awareness & social sensemaking 2.0: design of a task force workspace

Foundations of Augmented Cognition, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference (FAC 2009)

19 July 2009

Impact on performance and process by a social annotation system: a social reading experiment

Foundations of Augmented Cognition, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference (FAC 2009)

19 July 2009


Ad-hoc guesting: when exceptions are the rule

;login: The USENIX Magazine

1 August 2008

Ad hoc guesting: when exceptions are the rule

Usability, Psychology and Security (UPSEC) 2008

14 April 2008

Keyholes: selective sharing in close collaboration

CHI 2008 Extended Abstracts

5 April 2008


Interactive community bulletin boards as conversational hubs and sites for playful visual repartee

40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science (HICSS'07); Seventh Annual Minitrack on Persistent Conversation

3 January 2007


Repurposing: Techniques for reuse and integration of interactive systems

2006 IEEE International Conference on Information Reuse and Integration (IRI-2006)

1 September 2006

Café life in the digital age: augmenting information flow in a café-work-entertainment space

ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2006)

22 April 2006





focus areas




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What PARC Will Do with Its Next 40 Years
27 September 2010 | eWeek



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