UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

Prof Duncan Brumby

Prof Duncan Brumby

Professor of Human-Computer Interaction

UCL Interaction Centre

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2007

Research summary

My research is in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and is concerned with understanding how people manage digital distractions. I've focused on four main research themes: 

  1. Technology use in the car

  2. Managing interruptions in the workplace

  3. Using devices in the home

  4. Visual search of screens

I’ve co-authored more than 75 research papers working with a team of outstanding collaborators both at UCL and beyond. This work has received research excellence awards (e.g., a CHI Best Note and four CHI Best Paper Honourable Mention awards) and has introduced new research methods to the discipline. For example, our novel research with crowdsourcing platforms to study naturally occurring self-interruptions (Gould et al. 2016, 2018) and our work on the development of a novel computational approach to modelling the deleterious effects of driver distraction on safety and performance (Brumby et al. 2009, 2018).

Teaching summary

I direct the Human-Computer Interaction MSc programme at UCL. I’ve made a significant and sustained contribution to the delivery and management of teaching in this area at UCL. Student appraisals of my teaching are consistently rated as outstanding, and I have taught students at every level, from 1st year under-graduates to mature post-graduates engaged in continued professional development. I continually strive to innovate in the delivery of my teaching for the benefit of improved student learning, by making use of interactive live quizzes in the classroom, peer learning activities, and developing problem-based learning activities that are supported by video tutorials. I've served as an External Examiner for degree programmes at IADT Dun Laoghaire and University of Sussex.


Cardiff University
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2005
Cardiff University
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 2002


I'm Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at UCL. My research is concerned with understanding how people manage digital distractions. I direct the Human-Computer Interaction MSc programme at UCL. I'm the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and I've been on the organising committee for the CHI conference (2012-2020). I received a PhD in Psychology from Cardiff University and I've previously held appointments at Georgia Tech, Drexel University, Microsoft Research, and PARC.