Judith Olson is the Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences in the Informatics Department at the UC Irvine, with courtesy appointments in the School of Social Ecology and the Merage School of Business.
For over 20 years, she has researched teams whose members are not collocated, summaries of which are found in her most cited paper, “Distance Matters,” (Olson & Olson, 2000), and in her key theoretical contribution in the book Scientific Collaboration on the Internet (Olson, Zimerman, and Bos, Eds., 2008). Her latest book on this topic is Working Together Apart (Olson & Olson, 2014).
Her current work focuses more on the details of collaborative writing: visualizing the development of a collaboratively written document, showing who wrote what, and, eventually, detecting when the “voice” changes because of authorship change.
She is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and with her husband and colleague, Gary Olson, holds the Lifetime Achievement award from the Special Interest Group in Computer Human Interaction. In 2011, she was awarded the ACM-W Athena Lecture, the equivalent of the Woman of the Year in Computer Science. In 2015, Larry Page was quoted in the book Innovations saying that the course that influenced him the most when he was an undergraduate was a course she taught on human-computer interaction.