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Bill Kules, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Science
The Catholic University of America
Washington, DC 20064

(202) 319-6278


Ph.D. Computer Science, University of Maryland at College Park, May 2006. Advisor: Ben Shneiderman. Dissertation title: Supporting Exploratory Web Search with Meaningful and Stable Categorized Overviews

M.S. Computer Science, University of Maryland at College Park, 2002. Member Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

B.A., Mathematics (Computer Science Concentration) and Physics, Colby College, 1986, Graduated Cum Laude, with Distinction in Mathematics/Computer Science and Physics. Received Senior Mathematics Award. Elected to Sigma Pi Sigma Honor Society (Physics).


University of Maryland, College Park, MD            October 2000 - present
Research Assistant

Dissertation research investigated the use of classifications to organize meaningful overviews of web search results. This permits users to more effectively explore search results through interactive filtering and navigation. Implemented working prototype and conducted a comparative evaluation, confirming that it helped users explore deeper within search results while remaining more organized, yielding a more stimulating and satisfying experience. Evaluation also identified ways in which searchers thought and behaved differently when categorized overviews were available. Project website: www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/categorizedoverview

Coordinated development of PhotoFinder Kiosk, a public access digital photo library that supports group annotation of photos, and PhotoFinder Web, a web-based application that supports browsing and searching of annotated photos from the PhotoFinder database. PhotoFinder Web was used to develop the Photo History of SIGCHI web site (www.sigchi.org/photohistory). Participated in user interface design, system design, implementation and evaluation.


Principles of Human-Computer Communication, Spring 2006
College of Information Science, University of Maryland, College Park
Co-taught with Dr. Ryen White

Short courses (1-5 day seminars): Web-database development, Java, JavaScript, and other programming topics.


Takoma Software, Inc., Takoma Park, MD               August 1998 - present

Consults in the areas of need assessments, requirements analysis, user interface design, small-scale software development, and evaluation, with an emphasis on user-centered design and prototyping. In addition to hands-on programming in a variety of languages and environments, develops project proposals, budgets and schedules, manages projects, coordinating work with clients, vendors and other consultants.  Has taught short courses in web-database development, Java, JavaScript and other programming topics. Presents at client briefings and industry forums.

Selected projects:

Radio Dynamics Corp., Bethesda, MD               March 1995 - August 1998
Vice President, Software Development

Led development team in the design and development of new software products for wireless telephony industry. Personally responsible for the design and implementation of Oracle and Informix relational databases. Developed Java and Perl-based web-database applications. Also developed Java, C, SQL and shell script utilities for data and system management on both NT and Unix platforms. Prepared client presentations, proposals, contracts, formal documentation (e.g. requirement and functional specifications).

Selected projects:

Visa Interactive, Herndon, VA               August 1991 - March 1995
Manager, MIS Software Development

Led team developing and supporting electronic bill payment system and software for telemarketing, customer service, accounting and other departments. Responsible for design specifications, scheduling, coding and coordination with clients and contractors. Projects included: Developing an interface to the Federal Reserve’s Automated Clearing House (ACH) for a home bill payment service; developing a customer relationship management (CRM) system using Tcl/Tk and Informix; designing X.25-based layered protocol supporting home banking service for PCs, screen-based telephones and telephone voice response systems.

Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC               September 1989 - August 1991
Information Systems Analyst

Maintained 300 node UNIX computer network, implementing the Research Division’s first IP-based Internet connection. Designed and implemented a uniform windowing interface for the Research Division based on X11 R4, developing custom utilities for economists and research assistants. Audited network security, analyzed risks, recommended and implemented policy changes.

Digital Analysis Corporation, Reston, VA               July 1986 - August 1989
Software Engineer

Designed, developed and documented tests for a B1 level secure implementation of UNIX by analyzing design specifications and kernel code. Led effort to design and develop commodities exchange system for bank certificates of deposit. Taught Unix shell programming course.


Kules, B., Kustanowitz, J. and Shneiderman, B. (accepted). “Categorizing web search results into meaningful and stable categories using Fast-Feature techniques.” Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries, Chapel Hill, NC.

Shneiderman, B., Fischer, G., Czerwinski, M., Resnick, M., Myers, B., Candy, L., Edmonds, E., Eisenberg, M., Giaccardi, E., Hewett, T., Jennings, P., Kules, B., Nakakoji, K., Nunamaker, J., Pausch, R., Selker, T. and Sylvan, E. (2005). “Creativity support tools: Report from a U.S. National Science Foundation sponsored workshop.” International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 20 (2). 61-77

Kules, B. and Shneiderman, B. (2005). “Categorized graphical overviews for Web search results: An exploratory study using U.S. government agencies as a meaningful and stable structure.” Proceedings of the Third Annual Workshop on HCI Research in MIS, December 2004, Washington, DC.

Kules, B., Kang, H., Plaisant, C., Rose, A. and Shneiderman, B. (2003). “Immediate Usability: A case study of public access design for a community photo library.” Interacting with Computers, 16 (3), December 2004, 1171-1193.

Kules, B., Shneiderman, B., Plaisant, C. (2003). “Data exploration with paired hierarchical visualizations: Initial designs of PairTrees”. Proceedings of the Digital Government Research Conference, 255-260.

Kules, B., Shneiderman, B. (2003). “Designing a metadata-driven visual information browser for federal statistics”. Proceedings of the Digital Government Research Conference, 117-122.

Shneiderman, B., Kang, H., Kules, B., Plaisant, C., Rose, A., and Rucheir, R. (August 2002). “A photo history of SIGCHI: Evolution of design from personal to public.” ACM Interactions, 9, 3 (May 2002), 17-23. 

Christian, K., Kules, B., Shneiderman, B., and Youssef, A. (September 2000). “A comparison of voice controlled and mouse controlled Web browsing.” Proc. ACM ASSETS 2000 Conference, ACM Press, New York (November 2000).


White, R.W, Kules, B. and Bederson, B.B (May 2006) “Exploratory search interfaces: Categorization, clustering and beyond.” SIGIR Forum, 32, 2.

Kules, B., and Plaisant, C. (2004) “Expert Review of the National Archives AAD Web Site.”

Kules, B. (2002). “A prototype visual information browser for finding federal statistics.” Working paper for the GovStat project. Available at: http://ils.unc.edu/govstat/papers.html.

Kules, B. (2000). “C-SPAN Programming and Scheduling Database Project: Requirements Specification.”

Kules, B. (1999). “C-SPAN Programming and Scheduling Database Project: Current Practices.”


Kules, B. and Shneiderman, B. (December 2005). “Using meaningful and stable categories to support exploratory web search: Two formative studies.”


Guest co-editor - Communications of the ACM, Special Section on Supporting Exploratory Search, April 2006


Co-organizer, Workshop on Exploratory Search Interfaces: Clustering, Categorization and Beyond, June 2005

Member, program committee, SIGIR 2006 Workshop on Evaluating Exploratory Search Systems, August 2006


“Improving the Search Experience with Categorized Overviews.” NFAIS Annual Conference, February 2006.

“Theory of Information Visualization Tools.” George Washington University/National Security Agency Seminar on Information Visualization, May 2000.


Member, American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T)
Member, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Member, Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction of the ACM (SIGCHI)
Member, Washington, DC Area Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Computer Human Interaction (DC-CHI)
Member, International Association of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)



Last updated 5/30/2006