top of page


Shumin Zhai is a human-computer interaction research scientist at Google where he leads and directs research, design, and development of manual and text input methods and haptics systems. His research career has contributed to both fundamental models and understandings of human-computer interaction and practical user interface designs, inventions and mass-products. He originated and led the SHARK/ShapeWriter project and a start-up company that pioneered the touchscreen swiping-gesture keyboard paradigm, filing the first patents of this paradigm, publishing the first generation of scientific papers and dissertations (by his former Ph.D. student Per Ola Kristensson) of the field, releasing the first word-gesture keyboard in 2004 through IBM Alphaworks, and a top ranked (6th) iPhone app called ShapeWriter WritingPad in 2008. His publications have won the ACM UIST Lasting Impact Award and a IEEE Computer Society Best Paper Award, among others. He served as the 4th Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, and frequently contributes to other academic boards and program committees. He received his Ph.D. degree at the University of Toronto in 1995. In 2006, he was named one of ACM's inaugural class of Distinguished Scientists. In 2010 he was named Member of the CHI Academy and Fellow of the ACM. 



Text Input

Mobile keyboard UI and decoding; visual, motor, and cognitive behavior and performance, design and invention; history of writing technologies​

System UI Design

OS navigation model; command and menu selection methods


Haptic perception and display; mobile haptic actuation technologies; system design

Human Performance Modelling

Cognitive, perceptual, and motor control models in Human-Computer Interaction, particularly models concerning  touch, point, gesture

Multi-modal interaction

Eye-tracking in HCI, manual+speech input

Theories of Human-Computer Interaction

Efficiency and productivity; delight and frustration; design process​

Computer Input Devices and Methods

Touch, surface gesture, manual input device


bottom of page