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Research Labs directed by CHCI Faculty

CHCI Faculty lead a variety of labs in different research areas that can form the basis for potential collaborations with other faculty and students in the same or other disciplines. Highlighted below are just a few of the labs that meet regularly and welcome visitors and new members (drop-ins or advance email indicated below, since schedules can change unexpectedly). A complete listing of all the labs directed by CHCI faculty appears under CHCI Research; VT-affiliated students and faculty can access the lab meeting schedules to join meetings and learn more about their research.

3D Interaction Group

Director: Doug Bowman

Meeting Schedule: Wednesday (11 am -12 pm)
Location: Moss Art Center 251
Visitors: Drop-ins welcome

The 3D Interaction (3DI) Group performs research on 3D user interfaces (3D UIs) and 3D interaction techniques for a wide range of tasks and applications. Interaction in three dimensions is crucial to highly interactive virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications in education, training, gaming, visualization, and design. We also conduct empirical studies to understand the effects of immersion in VR and AR, the impact of natural and magic 3D interaction techniques, and usability and user experience in 3D UIs.


Code World, No Blanket

Director: Chris Brown

Meeting Schedule: Friday (10:30 am)
Location: KWII 2215-A and Zoom
Visitors: Drop-ins welcome

The motivating research question we aim to explore is: “How do we get working programmers to actually adopt better practices”? Overall, our research goal is to improve the behavior, productivity, and decision-making of software engineers. As researchers in Code World, No Blanket, we aspire to make contributions to the field of software engineering (SE) by engaging in impactful and outward facing research that is practical, has real-world implications, and is relevant to the experiences of developers.

Our research approach is to empirically analyze software development practices in order to characterize software engineering problems, incorporate interdisciplinary concepts to study and enhance the behavior of software engineers, and build novel automated tools and techniques to increase developer productivity and help programmers overcome SE problems. We conduct experiments involving qualitative and quantitative methods with the goal of producing results to support programmers in their work, whether they are students, open source software hobbyists, or professional software engineers in industry.


Digital Interactive Sound and Intermedia Studio (DISIS)

Director: Ico Bukvic

Meeting Schedule: Tuesdays (2-3:15 pm)
Location: Newman 121
Visitors: Drop-ins welcome

Digital Interactive Sound and Intermedia Studio, founded in 2007 by Dr. Ivica Ico Bukvic, is the home of the Creative Technologies in Music degree option housed within the School of Performing Arts. DISIS is an Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) studio focused on furthering the scientific research in immersive audio and its real-world applications, ranging from data sonification to sound spatialization using high density loudspeaker arrays. By coupling contemporary technology with traditional music performance idioms, DISIS pursues a symbiosis of new forms of artistic expression, as well as scientific research of new multimedia technologies for the purpose of betterment of the overall quality of life. DISIS faculty have played a key role in the development of the ICAT Cube’s audio system. They continue to utilize the Cube for cutting-edge audio research. 

DISIS prides itself in fostering cutting-edge research as well as innovative approaches to interactive music and multimedia arts. With its newfound infrastructure and a growing curriculum, including the upcoming minor in Creative Technologies in Music open to all Virginia Tech students, as well as a powerful student-teacher ratio, the studio offers a rich inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration environment, attracting students across the entire campus.

DISIS is also the home of the World's first Linux Laptop Orchestra (L2Ork), as well as its Pd-L2Ork free and open source visual multimedia programming language that is currently used by thousands of users worldwide, and the L2Ork Tweeter telematic musicking platform designed to provide perfect sync between musicians regardless the physical distance. The L2Ork ensemble offers a unique level playing field for interdisciplinary collaboration and research and, as a curriculum, is open to all VT students.

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PrivateEye Lab

Director: Brendan David-John

Meeting Schedule: Every other Monday starting 9/12 (2-3 pm)
Location: Moss Arts Center 251
Visitors: Email lab director

We are a research group in the Department of Computer Science studying interaction in virtual/mixed/augmented reality (XR) with a particular focus on eye tracking and protecting privacy.

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Digital Library Research Lab (DLRL)

Director: Ed Fox

Meeting Schedule: Friday (11 am-12 pm)
Location: Torgersen 2030
Visitors: Drop-ins welcome

The DLRL Integrates the best of information retrieval — multimedia, hypermedia, visualization — with the best and most humanistic aspects of living libraries.


Mind Music Machine Lab

Director: Myounghoon (Philart) Jeon

Meeting Schedule: Every Other Friday Starting 9/9 (1-3 pm)
Location: Whittemore 524
Visitors: Email lab director

The Mind Music Machine (tri-M) Lab is a transdisciplinary research group based in the Departments of  Industrial and Systems Engineering and Computer Science at Virginia Tech and the Departments of Cognitive Science and Computer Science at Michigan Tech. Mind (emotions as well as cognition) is our ultimate research theme. Music (sound and speech) is our language and methodology of our work. 

Machinery (computers and systems) is our research tool and an analogy of mind. The mission of the lab is (1) to understand the mechanisms of the human mind, and (2) to design better interactions between people and technologies. To this end, we approach our research problems at the psychological level using empirical experiments, at the neurological level using neuroergonomic measures, and at the computational level using mathematical modeling.

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InfoVis Lab @ VT

Director: Chris North

Meeting Schedule: Thursdays (1-2pm) 
Location: Torgersen Hall 3060
Visitors: drop ins welcome; contact us for zoom link

InfoVis Lab is part of the Sanghani Center for AI and Data Analytics, the Center for Human-Computer Interaction, and the Department of Computer Science. The major themes of our research are: big data visualization and visual analytics, human-AI interaction and interactive machine-learning, large high-resolution displays and immersive analytics, novel display and interaction techniques, visual text analytics and human sensemaking.

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The Visionarium

Director: Nicholas Polys

Meeting Schedule: Thursdays (1-3 pm) 
Location: 3050 Torgersen Hall
Visitors: drop-ins welcome

The Visionarium supports the adoption of supercomputing and visual analysis tools to advance science, engineering, and education. Through our educational and support services, we boost access to and adoption of cutting-edge tools that integrate with researchers’ data, questions, and workflows. Our mission is to:

  • Consult and collaborate with researchers to design, develop, and apply advanced visualization technology;

  • Train students on how to develop modern visualization solutions and equipment;

  • Develop cutting-edge visualization solutions for domain experts/HPC users on a project basis;

  • Develop additional grants and funding streams with domain experts to include visualization tools and High Performance Computing (HPC).

The Visionarium is connected to Advanced Research Computing (ARC) HPC clusters through the 10Gb VT-RNET. Therefore, we also engage in the development of software infrastructures that support faculty across domains and use-cases. The Visual Computing Group connects researchers and their data through:

  • Deployment of visualization tools for various domains

  • Development of software suites and tools

  • Consulting and HCI/Human Factors evaluation

  • Development of grant proposals

Contact us with your ideas!