H-STAR is a Stanford interdisciplinary research center focusing on people and technology

H-STAR, the Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute, is a Stanford interdisciplinary research center focusing on people and technology — how people use technology, how to better design technology to make it more usable (and more competitive in the marketplace), how technology affects people's lives, and the innovative use of technologies in research, education, art, business, commerce, entertainment, communication, national security, and other walks of life.

Among the large, complex, global problems that are at the heart of the H-STAR research agendas are:

  • Reducing complexity of technology to enable its universal uses for work, learning and other vital sectors of life
  • Closing digital divides across class, race, gender, age and nations, so that access to and fluencies with technologies can provide equal opportunities to learn and work productively for personal and societal well-being 
  • Accelerating innovation in the creation and diffusion of products and services that better meet human needs
  • Solving security and trust problems of computing, communications, and information systems at home, work and in governmental affairs
  • Ensuring pervasive safety and health of people over the lifespan with human-centered technology innovations

H-STAR pursues its mission in a number of ways, all built on our core belief in the power of collaboration: we organize interdisciplinary grants, contracts, and other funding opportunities; we bring together faculty to work collaboratively on projects — both across the campus and in collaboration with faculty at other universities around the world; and we organize events such as lectures, small seminars, workshops and conferences, sometimes through our Media X program (see below).

For summaries of H-STAR activities in previous years, see the H-STAR Annual Reports (PDF files) for 2013-142011-122010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006.

Because the problems we focus on are generally extremely broad, requiring the expertise of many different disciplines, H-STAR is not built on a fixed membership model. All Stanford faculty are eligible to participate in H-STAR supported research, as are faculty from universities anywhere in the world.

H-STAR operates an industry partners program focusing on research collaborations with industry, mediaX.