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Solving Problems Through Research

What We Offer: Communication and Information Technology, and Mathematics

Virginia Tech is a leader in the deployment of information technology resources. Research areas are fiber optics, wireless communications, human-computer interaction, modeling and hardware description languages, configurable computing, digital library systems, and e-business.

The Center for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) provides a vital connection between the social and behavioral sciences and information technology. HCI researchers analyze and design user interface technologies, such as real-time collaboration over networks. They integrate and evaluate new applications of technology in human activities.

Wireless @ Virginia Tech is one of the largest wireless research groups in the United States. The new university center encompasses eight centers, groups, and laboratories, including the well-known Center for Wireless Telecommunications, Mobile, and Portable Radio Research Group (MPRG), and the Virginia Tech Antenna Group – bringing together 27 faculty members and more than 100 graduate students focused on wireless.

Other related centers are:

Usability a market advantage

Problem: A small company needed a way to develop easy-to-use user interfaces for their product, which connects non-computer devices to the Internet.

Solution: Develop a process to produce high-usability user interfaces.

Photo of mobile device

A small high-tech company had developed ways to connect many non-computer devices to the Internet, such as cell phones, hand-held computers, and even weather sensors and door sensors. However, the company needed a way to develop easy-to-understand user interface designs.

Virginia Tech Computer Science Professor Rex Hartson specializes in human-computer interaction. He and his students developed a process for designing and constructing interfaces that are almost intuitive from the user's perspective.

The researchers provided a usability engineering process that helped the company build a high-fidelity prototype. And student James Helms wrote his master's thesis as a case study of the problem and solution.