Prospective Students

Dr. Carman Neustaedter and the Connections Lab (cLab) are looking for new graduate students (Master’s or PhD) to join our group.  Applications are due in January for a September start.  Positions are highly competitive.

Interested applicants should email to discuss their application before applying to SFU.

Emails should include the following four items (failure to include one or more will mean your email does not get a reply):

  1. a description of research interests related to the lab’s existing research
  2. a curriculum vitae
  3. a copy of your unofficial transcript
  4. a picture of you acting like a superhero

Why do I want to see the superhero photo?  I want to see your creativity.  I want to see your personality.  I want to see your design and media skills.


Our group specializes in the areas of human-computer interaction, domestic computing, interaction design, and computer-supported cooperative work. We study the design and use of technologies aimed at supporting the everyday activities of families. Many of our research projects focus on the study and design of family communication systems and pervasive games for families.  To learn more, you can explore this site and check out what we’ve been up to.

We have a strong research and publishing record.  For example, at the flagship HCI conference, CHI 2014, we were one of the top publishing research groups in terms of number of accepted papers ( – see Carman Neustaedter).  At the ACM DIS 2014, conference we were the top publishing research group with six papers accepted.  At Graphics Interface 2015, we were the top publishing research group with five papers accepted.  We continue to publish at high rates, which shows the strength and relevance of our research training program.

New Projects

New graduate students will work on research projects related to mobile video conferencing, wearable video conferencing technologies (e.g., Google Glass, GoPro, Looxcie), or pervasive games and social play amongst families (e.g., Geocaching, location-based treasure hunts, leisure activities).

The School of Interactive Arts and Technology

Vancouver, BC Simon Fraser University (SFU) has consistently been ranked as one of the top universities in Canada.  SIAT is a young, vibrant department at Simon Fraser University with research and teaching in human-computer interaction, interaction design, and media arts.  Graduate students take a selection of courses in qualitative or quantitative research methods, computation, interaction design, or media arts.  They also complete a written thesis containing a substantial research component.  Expected completion time is 2 years for a thesis-based Master’s degree and 4 years for a PhD (read: you will work hard in our group and finish on time!).

SIAT is located at the SFU Surrey campus located in Greater Vancouver, Canada, within the suburb of Surrey.  Greater Vancouver lies along the west coast of Canada where the Pacific Ocean meets the majestic mountains. With a population of over 2 million people, Greater Vancouver is known as one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Canada and has been ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world based on quality of life.  Vancouver is a great destination for those who love the outdoors (e.g., skiing, hiking, water sports) as well as the indoors (e.g., museums, art, theatre, hockey!).

Skills Needed

I am looking for both programmers and designers / UX researchers.  In order to be considered you must have:

  • a Bachelor or Master’s degree in computer science, HCI, or interaction design (or related fields) with a GPA that meets SFU’s admission requirements (URL is below)
  • strong programming proficiency (web and mobile phone development preferred) OR strong design / user research skills (web and mobile)
  • good written and oral communication skills
  • a demonstration of strong interest in the projects you have engaged with
  • at least one superpower of your own determination
  • a sense of humor


Full funding will be provided at levels commensurate with other Canadian and American universities as long as adequate progress is made in the graduate program.  Students receive full funding to attend international conferences (e.g., ACM CHI, DIS, CSCW) to present their published papers.

Students are also typically sought after for internships with our industrial collaborators.  These include major international software development companies within Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Application Process

Once you have discussed your interest in joining cLab with Carman, you will follow SIAT’s normal graduate student application process.  This is detailed here: