18 November 2019
The Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Florian 'Floyd' Mueller to the Computer-Human Interaction and Creativity Group.
Professor Mueller is a former Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University, USA, where he was labelled the ‘World Expert in Exertion Games’.
His work has been described as ‘research in computer games that makes you sweat’. He has looked extensively at understanding how digital games and play that require intense physical effort can be designed to maximise social and health benefits.
Professor Mueller said, ‘At university, I was becoming frustrated by the disconnect from what most people want and value in life, and how we actually live. Most of us want an active healthy lifestyle. Yet here we all were, sitting in dark offices and glued to our desks.’
‘Technology was supposed to free us and help us live longer, happier lives. But it has resulted in the opposite. So, I became interested in this idea that technology could make a positive contribution to society and support a life full of values.’
Since then, Professor Mueller has developed an interaction design research agenda that investigates a more playful technological future. His work has included looking at novel interfaces and innovations such as ingestible games and playful food.
According to the Dean, Professor Jon Whittle, the appointment is an excellent fit for the Faculty.
‘Professor Mueller is looking at how we can use digital devices and software to lower obesity levels and create meaningful human social interactions. His work aligns perfectly with our faculty’s mission, IT for Social Good,’ said Professor Whittle.
‘We are extremely pleased to be welcoming such a globally recognised researcher into our fold, and the appointment certainly builds on the calibre of our existing team.’
In joining Monash University, Professor Mueller leaves his role as Director of the Exertion Games Lab at RMIT University.
Professor Mueller has over 19 years’ research experience across four continents. He has published over 100 publications and according to Google Scholar, his research on ‘exertion interfaces’ has become one of the most cited papers in the field.
His research has been funded by industry and government organisations, including Discovery and Linkage grants from the Australian Research Council (ARC), with which he is advancing technologically-augmented physical activity, next-generation theme park experiences and muscle memory of the future.
Among his many accolades, Professor Mueller has received several best paper nominations, including a ‘Best Paper’ award (top 1%) from the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The nomination recognised his work in designing interactive systems that put the human body in the centre of the experience. It was this work that shaped his vision for the Exertion Games Lab.
He was shortlisted at the European Innovation Games Awards and received an honorary mention from the Nokia Ubimedia Awards. He is also General Co-Chair for the 2020 CHI Conference, the largest and most prestigious conference on human-computer interaction in the world.
Professor Mueller said, ‘I’m excited about joining the Computer-Human Interaction and Creativity Group. The size of the group means it will be possible to scale the work and therefore see real-world outcomes and benefits from my research.’
‘Monash is the ideal environment for this work because of the opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration. It will be a real coming-together of experts.’
Speaking on the appointment, Professor Whittle said, ‘Professor Mueller is an outstanding researcher and I believe his work will have a profound impact on how society views human-computer interactions.’