The Center for Human-Computer Interaction is an interdisciplinary research center jointly sponsored by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech.


Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a multi-disciplinary enterprise, drawing from the human sciences, computational sciences and engineering, and information technologies. The Center for HCI (CHCI) at Virginia Tech is a university-wide research center that addresses both the facilitation and the foundational understanding of human interaction with and through technology. The CHCI excels in cross-disciplinary research on interactive computing that extends into the everyday life of individuals, groups, and societies. The CHCI fosters research excellence through funding programs, shared resources, and forums for idea exchange.

The Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech celebrated its 20th anniversary on 15-16 October 2015. The event was a huge success with attendance from a variety of industry and academia-affiliated alumni, current students, as well as former and current faculty members. You can watch the Plenary Panel discussion, which opened the event, on our youtube channel. You can also get more information about the event on the dedicated web page.

Research Thrusts

Human Computer Interaction (HCI), the overarching research area of the CHCI, is is a broad and diverse domain. Although the work of the affiliated faculty is equally broad and diverse, we have identified two key research thrusts that represent specific sub-areas of HCI for which the Center can obtain or maintain a world-class standing. The research thrust areas are:

Research Highlight

NSF Award on Global Event and Trend Archive Research (GETAR)


NSF III: Small Collaborative: Global Event and Trend Archive Research (GETAR)
Edward A. Fox (PI), Andrea Kavanaugh (co-PI), Donald Shoemaker (co-PI, Sociology), Chandan Reddy (co-PI, CS NOVA), and Jefferson Bailey (Collaborative Research co-PI at Internet Archive)

The GETAR project will devise interactive, integrated, digital library/archive systems coupled with linked and expert-curated webpage/tweet collections, covering key parts of the 1997-2020 timeframe, in collaboration with the Internet Archive (IA) and colleagues from diverse disciplines. Supporting research on urgent global challenge events and initiatives, the project will allow diverse stakeholder communities to interactively collect, organize, browse, visualize, study, analyze, summarize, and explore content and sources related to biodiversity, climate change, crises, disasters, elections, energy policy, environmental policy/planning, geospatial information, green engineering, human rights, inequality, migrations, nuclear power, population growth, resiliency, shootings, sustainability, violence, etc. GETAR will leverage VT research on Web archiving, HCI, digital libraries, information retrieval, machine learning, discovery analytics, and natural language processing. Those interested in participating are invited to contact any of the co-PIs. For more information see here.

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Recent News

CHCI faculty Kurt Luther receives NIH grant


Kurt Luther and T.M. Murali, both researchers in the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, recently received funding to begin tracking the effects of everyday chemical pollutants on human cells by de ...

CHCI welcomes new member Jeff Joiner


Jeff Joiner is an Assistant Professor of Practice and the Director of FourDesign, the student-run, faculty-led design studio at Virginia Tech. He received his MFA in Design with a Concentration in Design Research from th ...

CHCI welcomes new member Patrick Finley


Patrick Finley is an interactive designer and design educator who maintains a practice centered around research, teaching and service. His design work has been showcased at national and international competitions. He reg ...

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Recent CHCI Seminar

Understanding the Brain in a Social Context – Wearable Technology Framework for Assessment and Real-Time Feedback

2017-02-17 at 08:30:00 in ICAT Learning Studio, 253 Moss Arts Center

Presenter: Dr. Denis Gracanin

Abstract: The recent advances in mixed-reality and mobile technologies for assessment of cognitive and neural processing indicate a tipping point in our ability to go beyond standard experimental settings and study adaptive processes during complex physical, social, and educational interactions in realistic complex environments. Such technologies are exciting because they permit scientists to move beyond artificial experimental settings that have limited ecological validity. Recently, a handful of studies have demonstrated the promise of wearable devices and related technologies in the study of a number of psychological disorders, including specific anxiety disorders and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as typical social development. We have developed the FER (Facial Emotion Recognition) Assistant, a mobile neurotechnology tool that gives real-time feedback to users on accuracy of facial emotion recognition. Our long-term goal is to understand how FER networks can be manipulated for therapeutic and preventative purposes.

Bio: Denis Gracanin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech.He received the BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and the MS and PhD degrees in computer science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.His research interests include virtual reality and distributed simulation. He is a senior member of ACM and IEEE and a member of AAAI, APS, ASEE and SIAM.

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Fluid 960 Grid System, created by Stephen Bau, based on the 960 Grid System by Nathan Smith. Released under the GPL / MIT Licenses.