In Memory

George Samaras

George Samaras (1959-2018)

Department of Computer Science, University of Cyprus, Cyprus

The sudden death of Prof. George Samaras, the afternoon of Monday July 30, 2018, plunged the entire research and scientific community and more widely those that they have known him. George was a mentor and visionaire, always accepting new challenges, giving opportunities and guiding young reseearchers to fulfill their dreams. He was passionately believed that human factors play a key role and should be taken into account in adaptation and personalization. Not only he was a key driver behind initiating the HAAPIE workshop series, but he also led research that provided some of the early examples of user-adaptive systems that take into account human factors such as cognitive ability and age.

George was a Professor at the Department of Computer Science, University of Cyprus where he was leading the DMAC Lab (Data Management for Mobile and Adaptive Computing) and the Human-Centred Computing group. He received a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and he obtained his B.Sc. degree in Mathematics at the University of Athens, Greece. He was previously at IBM Research Triangle Park, USA and taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (adjunct Assistant Professor, 1990-93). He served as the lead architect of IBM’s distributed commit architecture (1990-94) and co-authored the final publication of the architecture (IBM Book, SC31-8134-00). He also served on IBM’s internal international standards committees for issues related to distributed transaction processing (OSI/TP, XOPEN, OMG). His research interests spanned the areas of mobile and emerging wearable technologies, Human-Computer Interaction, User Modelling, Web Personalisation Systems, Sensor Networks and Databases. He was on the Editorial Board of International Journals and had served as Guest Editor for a number of journals and program committees of top conferences and workshops on databases, mobile computing, user modelling and human interaction.

He published more than 250 scientific articles and chapters and co-authored two books. He received several best paper awards, including the work on understanding the effect of human cognitive factors on CAPTCHA-related user interactions (SouthCHI 2013), the work on personalising user authentication tasks based on human cognitive differences (best paper nomination, UMAP 2014), the work on personalising eLearning environments based on cognitive characteristics (AH 2008) and on the work on utilizing mobile agents for Web database access (ICDE99). He also had patents on transaction processing technology. He had a long-term participation in research projects funded from national and international organisations, including the European Union and the Cyprus Research Foundation (RPF) (of total budget over 4.0M Euro).Of special interest were the projects on ambient assisting living (AAL) and the elderly domain relating to the areas of personalisation, adaptation and human interaction.

R.I.P. George, always in our hearts