He started working as an adjunct faculty member at Stanford University in the late 1960s. Since 1974 he has been working at PARC and was the Area Manager of the User Interface Research group. He retired from PARC in 2010.
Card received several awards. In 2000 he was awarded the CHI Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Computing Machinery's SIGCHI, and became Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. In 2001 he was elected to the CHI Academy. And in 2007, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and was awarded The Franklin Institute's Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science. On May 26, 2008, Card was made an Honorary Doctor of Science by Oberlin College.
Card's research interests are in the interdisciplinary field between psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science. He has been one of the pioneers of applying human factors in human–computer interaction.
The 1983 book The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction, which he co-wrote with Thomas P. Moran and Allen Newell, became a very influential book in the field, partly for introducing the Goals, Operators, Methods, and Selection rules (GOMS) framework.
At PARC his "study of input devices led to the Fitts's Law characterization of the mouse and was a major factor leading to the mouse's commercial introduction by Xerox". Further research into the theoretical characterizations of human–machine interaction led to developments like "the Model Human Processor, the GOMS theory of user interaction, information foraging theory, and statistical descriptions of Internet use".
In the new millennium his research has been focusing on developing a "supporting science of human–information interaction and visual-semantic prototypes to aid sense making".
Card has written three books and more than 70 papers, and holds 22 patents.
- 1983. The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction. With Thomas P. Moran and Allen Newell.
- 1990. Human Performance Models for Computer-Aided Engineering. Edited with J.I. Elkind, J. Hochberg and B.M. Heuy. San Diego, CA : Academic Press.
- 1996. IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization ’96 : proceedings, October 28–29, 1996, San Francisco, California. Edited with Stephen G. Eick and Nahum Gershon. Los Alamitos, Calif. : IEEE Computer Society.
- 1999. Readings in information visualization : using vision to think. With Jock D. Mackinlay and Ben Shneiderman.
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