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Faculty and Graduate Student Research Areas

The content contained within the Research section of the site is for archival purposes, and may or may not be current.

Communication studies

Communication systems and institutions; behavior and effects; uses and gratification; impact of networking on traditional media, survey research: Andrea Kavanaugh, Scott Patterson (formerly at VT, now at San Francisco State University), and Rebeka Bromley.

Computer science

Human computer interaction, problem-solving, learning, usability evaluation, user interface design: Jack Carroll, Mary Beth Rosson, Roger Ehrich, Deborah Hix, Rex Hartson, Jan Lee, Ed Fox.

Hierarchical data structures, computer cartography, computer aided education: Clifford Shaffer, Ed Fox.

Performance analysis of sequential, parallel, and distributed programs; parallel discrete event simulation; communication protocols and networks: Marc Abrams, Ed Fox.

Culture Studies

Language and technology relations, semiotics, Appalachian Studies: Anita Puckett.


Effects of networking on teaching and learning, instructional technology, leadership training: John Burton, Stephen Parson, Norm Dodl.

Technology Education: product development, curriculum development, and instruction using interactive video, hypertext systems, digital video, multimedia, and telecommunications: Mark Sanders.

Instructional Development Initiative: the use of multimedia and networking for classroom instruction, distance learning, and continuing education. Thomas Head, John Moore.

Educational reforms: science and math education; lead teachers; in-service and pre-service teacher training (Statewide Systemic Initiative/VQUEST). Susan Eriksson. Please see also the MINTS project at the Virginia Tech Museum of Natural History.

Classroom applications: field research, teacher participation and training in Montgomery County Public Schools. Harvey Goodwin, Susan Lester, Kat Emory, Meslissa Matusevich.

PCs for Families Project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Principal Investigator: Roger Ehrich. Virginia Tech graduate student research projects include: Stuart Laughton (or send email), Robert Mohn and Faith McCreary.


The Center for Wireless Telecommunications undertakes research and development efforts to determine future directions for multimedia transmission, mobile data systems, cellular systems, satellite communications and all other forms of wireless communications. The Center's research also includes business issues, which add an extra dimension to its efforts. CWT Director is Professor Charles Bostian. CWT Director of Business is Professor George Morgan. Participating faculty include: Professors Warren Stutzman, Jeffrey Reed, Tim Pratt, Scott Midkiff, Nathaniel Davis, and Peter Athanas.

Engineering education

The College of Engineering uses high speed network connectivity and multimedia to deliver engineering education, Faculty in the College of Engineering who work on computer networking include: Joe Tront, Scott Midkiff, and Robert Williges, among others.

Human factors

Human-computer interaction, computer-based training procedures, and human factors research methodology. Robert Williges. Please see also the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory.


The Montgomery Floyd Regional Library provides public access to the Internet, and evaluates the impact of networking on library services and patronage. The public library evaluation report of training and Internet use supported by the US Department of Commerce (TIIAP Program) is available in PDF Format.

The Scholarly Communication Project publishes electronic journals and experiments in electronic scholarly communications, including electronic theses and dissertations, electronic reserve (where faculty have converted their course materials and the libraries provide 24-hours a day access), and multiple digital image collections. Gail McMillan, James Powell.

Philosophy and Ethics

Technology studies; cultural studies of science, technology and medicine; ethnography of engineering education; ethnography of computer-aided engineering design: Gary Downey.

Effects of technology on society; philosophical issues related to communications technology and networking (including intellectual property): Patrick Croskery.

Political science

Politics and technology of informational society, informational modes of global production. Timothy Luke.


Development of "expert systems" and other technology-based interventions to promote adoption of healthy behaviors and prevent disease: Richard Winett.