Biographical Information

Wolfgang Stuerzlinger (original spelling Stürzlinger) is an Austrian-born Canadian researcher, scientist, and inventor. He is a Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University.

Education and Career

Starting with 1981, Wolfgang Stuerzlinger worked as the technical lead for RZL Software GmbH, an Austrian tax consulting software company, where he was also the chief architect and developer of a large application framework that supported the application suite for over 20 years.

Wolfgang Stuerzlinger received his Dipl.-Ing from the Vienna University of Technology in 1989 and his doctorate in Informatics (Computer Science) from the Vienna University of Technology in 1993. He worked as a Universitätsassistent (with teaching, research, and administrative duties) at the Vienna University of Technology and Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria. Supported by an Erwin Schrödinger scholarship, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supervised by Prof. F. Brooks Jr. in 1997-1998.

He became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University in Toronto, Canada in 1998, an Associate Professor in 2003, and a Professor in 2011. In 2014 he moved to the School of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He is well known for his supportive supervision style and has supervised 50 graduate students to completion, six of which are now working as faculty members.


Stuerzlinger is best known for his work on Virtual Reality, 3D User Interfaces, and Human-computer interaction. His current research areas include 3D User Interfaces, Human-Computer Interaction, Occasionally Failing Systems, Visual Analytics, Immersive Analytics, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Graphical User Interface Layout, and Alternatives & Scenarios, with additional interests in computer graphics, large displays, head-mounted displays, and human error behaviours.

Led by L. Whitehead from UBC and together with others, Stuerzlinger investigated the High-Dynamic Range display, published at SIGGRAPH 2004. This work led to the founding of Brightside Technologies, later acquired by Dolby Laboratories. The High-Dynamic Range display technology can be found in most of today's mid-range and high-end TVs on the market. Stuerzlinger's group presented the first High-Dynamic Range projection system.

He presented the first method to objectively investigate the performance of 3D user interfaces for selection in 2009, which is independent of human and technical speed-accuracy tradeoffs and which is now part of the standard methodology to assess the efficiency of a 3D user interface. Moreover, he has presented a series of methods to make 3D content creation and manipulation more efficient. Recently he presented the first paper that identifies pen-based devices as a high-performance alternative for 3D interaction. Stuerzlinger was deeply involved in the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces (3DUI), which was merged into the IEEE International Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR) in 2018. He is also a founder of the ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (SUI).

Stuerzlinger was also part of the group that defined the field of Immersive Analytics through a book in 2018. Building upon the fields of data visualization, visual analytics, virtual and augmented reality, data science, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction, Immersive Analytics investigates how new interaction and display technologies can be used to support analytical reasoning and decision-making. His work in this area focuses on the role of interaction as well as alternatives and scenarios.

Several technologies that we use in our lives fail occasionally. Examples include autocorrect, gesture recognition, tracking systems, speech recognition and various automotive systems, such as lane detection. The objective of Stuerzlinger's work in this area is to reduce the negative impact that such systems can have on our lives, through better user interfaces. Several commercial systems, such as Google Android autocorrect and Grammarly, have recently adopted such innovations. His work was recently featured in a keynote at the Graphics Interface 2019 conference.

Stuerzlinger has served on over 85 program committees and been program chair for nine scientific events. He was also a member of the board of directors for the Graphics, Animation and New Media Network of Centres of Excellence (GRAND NCE) and continues to serve on various boards and steering committees.


Stuerzlinger’s work has received several awards, with some of the most recent ones being:


Various indices of Wolfgang Stuerzlinger's work: