Hi! I'm Katharina Reinecke.

I'm an Associate Professor and Associate Director of Research and Communication in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington where I direct the Wildlab. I'm also affiliated with the Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering and I'm part of the DUB group here at UW.


I'm broadly interested in Human-Computer Interaction, but specifically in developing digital technology that is equally usable and useful for everyone. My lab both explores how technology can be biased against people around the globe who are unlike the small groups of people that created it, and develops new technology that overcomes these biases. Our work has shown that commonly used technology, from online communities to scheduling software and MOOCs can be less usable, understandable, trustworthy, visually appealing, and engaging for people from non-Western countries and for people who deviate in their values, language, age, education level, or abilities from the average developer in Western technology hubs. We often use our virtual lab, the LabintheWild, to study these issues at large scale, and then build systems that help designers, developers, and researchers to better support the needs and perspectives of diverse people. You can read more about our work and access our publications on the Wildlab website.

I was paper co-chair for UIST 2019 and CSCW 2022. I'm a co-founder of Augury Design Inc., a startup that predicts the success of website designs based on LabintheWild data. My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Google, Adobe, and Facebook (Meta). I have been honored to receive an NSF CAREER award, a Swiss Computer Science Challenge Award, Best Paper and Honorable Mention awards at CHI, CSCW, ASSETS, and other conferences, the Mercator Prize, and the Madrona Prize by the Madrona Venture Group. As a little kid, I won a huge ginger bread house for the best bakery painting in my neighborhood.

Educational Background

I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Zurich where I was advised by Avi Bernstein, and did a postdoc with Krzysztof Gajos at Harvard University. Prior to joining the University of Washington, I was an Assistant Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. I grew up in Germany, but have lived in 10 cities in 5 countries on 4 different continents. Hence my interest in culture!


I teach Computer Ethics (CSE 581), Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (CSE 440) and a Human-Computer Interaction Capstone (CSE 481, see this video about a previous offering). I've also taught Crowdsourcing and Java for Android.