School of Advertising & PR
Environmental communication, sustainability, virtual reality, video games
Dr. Lucy Atkinson researches communication in the context of sustainability and the environment. She focuses on the ways message components (like visual elements, argument frames, source factors) in environmental communication campaigns influence environmental attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. In addition to traditional media, she also researches environmental communication in XR and video games.
Immersive media, human-computer interaction, child development
Dr. Jakki Bailey specializes in immersive media and its influence on cognition, behavior, and learning. Bailey examines the psychological implications of immersive virtual reality (VR) on child development, and is currently studying VR’s influence on children’s cognitive skills and social responses.
Dr. Bailey is a professor in the School of Information.
Computational theory, vision and motor control
Dr. Dana Ballard’s research interest is in computation theories of the brain, particularly human eye movements. Dr. Ballard’s current focus is on understanding behavior in vision by modeling human behavior in VR environments.
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Neuroscience
Visual perception, computational vision, image/video processing
Dr. Al Bovik’s areas of interest include image processing, particularly distortion perception in 2D and 3D image and video quality. Dr. Bovik has been credited for “substantially shaping the direction and advancement of modern perceptual image quality theory” by The Optical Society of America.
Dr. Bovik is the faculty director at the Laboratory for Image and Video Engineering.
Director of Digital Strategies
Technology management, systems management, graphics
Aaron Choate directs the UT Libraries' engagement with digital strategies in libraries and archives, working with and studying the impact technology innovations have on systems and services and the people that rely on them.
Kevin W. Gates
Functional recovery, pain control
Dr. Kevin Gates is a physiatrist at Dell Medical School, working to integrate technology into medical education through implementing medical courses on VR’s role in healthcare. Dr. Gates work specializes in functional recovery and pain control.
Dr. Gates is a resident in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Dell Medical School.
Human-Robot Interaction, Artificial Intelligence, Social Interaction, Robot Autonomy
Justin's research focuses on artificial intelligence and human-robot interaction, with a particular focus on the development of technologies for service robots. Currently, he is using virtual reality and eye tracking to model human gaze behavior with the intention of enabling robots to use gaze to communicate.
Justin Hart is an assistant professor of practice with the Computer Science Department, the assistant director of Texas Robotics, and a research educator with the Texas Institute of Discovery Education in Science (TIDES) Freshman Research Initiative (FRI).
Visuo-motor coordination, sensory-motor behavior
Dr. Mary Hayhoe’s area of study is in measuring human sensory-motor function. Dr. Hayhoe’s research uses VR and AR to understand how vision and motor systems are influenced by natural human behavior.
Autonomous systems, collision avoidance, timing perception
Dr. Humphreys is leading research on designing technologies for secure, robust, and precise smart grid perception. Dr. Humphreys’ team has designed low-cost, centimeter-accurate geopositioning systems for use in virtual reality headsets and other technologies.
Dr. Humphreys is a faculty member at the UT Radionavigation Lab.
Arts and Entertainment Technologies
Game development, programming, virtual reality
MJ Johns is a game and experience designer with an interest in developing VR applications. Johns teaches fine arts courses in VR for games, giving students experience with VR hardware, scripting, tracking and playtesting.
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Building information modeling, Information technology for project management, Collaboration and coordination technologies
Dr. Fernanda Leite’s technical interests include building and civil information modeling, and collaboration and coordination technologies. At UT-Austin, Dr. Leite teaches courses on Building Information Modeling, Project Management and Economics, and Sustainable Systems Engineering. Her funded research projects have focused on building and civil information modeling; 3D modeling for construction planning; autonomous 3D model generation; and virtual reality.
Dr. Leite is a professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering.
Dell Medical School
Immersive learning and digital interactives in medical education
Mary Myers designs immersive learning initiatives for health care applications in clinical skills training, anatomy study and wellness. Myers is researching multidisciplinary collaboration in health care innovation and designing electives that connect new technology within medical education.
Mary Myers is the Learning Technologist at Dell Medical School.
Spatial cognition, seizure prediction, neural coding
Dr. Zoltan Nadasdy’s research focuses on how the brain orients in various environments using spatial processing. Dr. Nadasdy is currently developing a VR scuba diving experience that will give a deeper understanding of the neurological grid cell mapping process.
Dr. Nadasdy is a principal investigator at the Human Brain Stimulation and Electrophysiology Lab.
School of Advertising & PR
Human-computer interaction, communication technology, user interface/experience, health communication, environmental communication
Dr. Jeeyun Oh investigates how user interaction with new media interface affects individuals’ emotional and cognitive processing of health, environmental, and pro-social messages. Her interdisciplinary research has explored the potential of interactive media technologies to enhance user engagement and persuasion by combining theories in social psychology, advertising, health communication, and human-computer interaction.
Dr. Oh is an assistant professor in School of Advertising and Public Relations.
Virtual reality storytelling, immersive media
Robert Quigley has introduced cross-disciplinary courses for Journalism and Computer Science majors to study VR storytelling and immersive media. Dr. Quigley’s courses teach students how to effectively communicate through experiential media.
Dr. Quigley is the Innovations Director for the UT School of Journalism.
Professor of Practice
Moody College of Communication
Audience engagement, storytelling, participatory learning
Erin Reilly is the inaugural Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Moody College of Communication. She is a creator, educator, and strategist with 20 years of experience inventing new approaches, products, services and experiences about storytelling, engagement and learning through emergent technology.
Structural health monitoring, resilience of structural systems, ultrasonic sensing methods
Dr. Salvatore Salamone’s research focuses on how to utilize AR visualization to augment real-time damage awareness. This research will allow augmented overlays in real world environments to be used in damage assessment of infrastructure systems.
Dr. Salamone is a faculty member at the Smart Structures Research Lab.
Anxiety disorders, behavioral and integrative treatment
Dr. Jasper Smits’ research is focused on improving the treatment of anxiety disorders and related problems. Dr. Smits has used VR exposure therapy in clinical trials for research for medical treatments of anxiety and phobias.
Dr. Smits is a faculty member at the Anxiety & Health Behaviors Lab.
Visualization Laboratory Manager
Texas Advanced Computing Center
XR and scientific visualization
Andrew’s research is focused on integrating current XR technologies into scientific visualization and understanding XR’s role in supporting scientists research on local machines to HPC systems.
Andrew Solis is a full-time researcher at the Texas Advanced Computing Center(TACC) and helps manage the Visualization Laboratory in the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Building (POB) and the Human-Data Interaction Lab at the Advanced Computing Building(ACB) inside the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.
AR/VR, virtual information models, remote aircraft piloting
Robert Stepnoski’s current research maps virtual information models for use in VR environments. Mr. Stepnoski uses unmanned aerial vehicles to produce digital surface models for use in VR, 3D printing, and to aid first responders.
Robert Stepnoski is a Research Scientist Associate at the Texas School of Architecture.
Games, mobile apps, augmented and virtual reality
Dr. Paul Toprac’s research interests are game/simulation, interactive media, mobile, apps, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) design and development, particularly for learning, motivation, and behavioral change.
Dr. Toprac is an Associate Professor of Instruction and head of the UTCS Mixed Augmented Reality Systems (MARS) Lab, as will as PI of the SAGA Lab.
Computer graphics, computational mechanics, scientific computing
Dr. Vouga's research is focused on physical simulation, particularly of thin, elastic materials, geometry processing and design, using advances in understanding of discrete geometry, and applying ideas to solving problems in computer graphics, computational mechanics, and scientific computing.
Dr. Vouga is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department and the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at the University of Texas at Austin.
School of Advertising & PR
Psychological Effects of Emerging Technology
Charulata Ghosh is a fourth year PhD candidate at the Stan Richard’s School of Advertising & PR. Her research is centered around the psychological effects of emerging technology, with emphasis on information processing, engagement, and behavior change.
Master's Student, Teaching Assistant
School of Advertising & PR
Audience engagement, immersive experiences, promotional efforts for entertainment
Max Harberg is a current advertising master’s student and teaching assistant with a focus in audience engagement, immersive experiences and promotional efforts for entertainment (concerts, festivals, athletic events, etc.). Additionally, he works for Buzznog, a direct-to-consumer experiential marketing company, managing their new projects EVOLVE and EMERGE – AR/VR live entertainment immersive experiences.
Max Harberg is a Spring 2020 Advertising Graduate of the University of Texas. He has returned to the Moody College of Communication to pursue a Master’s in Advertising with an expected graduation year of 2022.