Dr Cairns is a Professor of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in the department of Computer Science. He has a strong track record in diverse research methods across domains of user experience, human error, statistics and mathematical modelling in HCI. He is particularly interested in the player experience of digital games. He co-edited the first book on Research Methods for HCI (CUP, 2008) and more recently published a book on Doing Better Statistics in HCI (CUP, 2019). He has extensive research student training experience having successful supervised 17 PhD students to completion, was co-I and developed the training programme for the EPSRC CDT in Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence.
He has worked with the AbleGamers Charity to investigate the social wellbeing of players with disabilities in relation to digital games, and what factors help and hinder social integration in digital games.