Jeffrey Nichols  Jeffrey Nichols photo       

contact information

Research Staff Member
Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA, USA


Professional Associations

Professional Associations:  ACM  |  ACM SIGCHI


I am a Research Staff Member at IBM Research – Almaden located in San Jose, California. I am working in the USER group on crowdsourcing and social media. My main project, called qCrowd, is a system for extracting hidden information from social media users by automatically asking questions. One of the initial prototypes of this work is the TSA Tracker, which crowdsources airport security wait times by asking questions of users who have indicated that they are located at an airport via a status update on Twitter. Our first paper on this work recently appeared at the CSCW conference.

Until recently, my research focused on end-user programming and the web. The Highlight system allowed users of any technical proficiency to create mobile versions of existing web sites. I also spent time on a variety of projects related to CoScripter.

I work with a bunch of great people, including Allen Cypher, Clemens Drews, Tessa Lau, Jalal Mahmud, Tara Matthews, Jeff Pierce, Michelle Zhou, and many others.

I received my Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My Ph.D. thesis is entitled Automatically Generating High-Quality User Interfaces for Appliances, and was advised by Prof. Brad A. Myers. The focus of my thesis was on the personal universal controller (PUC, pronounced "puck"), a solution for reducing the complexity of the appliance interfaces that we use everyday. See my Projects section for more information.

Before going to Pittsburgh, I completed a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Washington. I worked on several projects while at UW: user interfaces for constraint-based systems with Dr. Greg Badros and Prof. Alan Borning, biologically-inspired VLSI and circuit design with Prof. Chris Diorio, and embedded and ubiquitous computing systems with Prof. Gaetano Borriello.

For even more information, see my external web page at:

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.