About the VRAC

Iowa State University’s Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) is an interdisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of humans and technology, aimed broadly at enhancing the productivity and creativity of people. The VRAC’s world-class research infrastructure supports the research of faculty and students representing all seven of ISU’s colleges, as well as the interests of collaborators from several federal agencies and numerous industry partners.

The VRAC research community spans a wide spectrum of disciplinary experts with particular strengths in state-of-the-art interaction technologies including virtual, augmented and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) as well as mobile computing, developmental robotics, and haptics interaction. The VRAC community is also skilled at human centered design and user experience (UX) evaluation as well as assessing the effectiveness of new interaction modalities via formal user studies.

To complement its research mission the VRAC established and now leads ISU’s interdepartmental graduate major in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). With more than 200 students currently enrolled, the HCI program is now the largest interdepartmental graduate major at ISU and offers PhD, MS and Professional Certificate degrees to resident and on-line student communities.

A friendly, efficient, service-oriented staff supports the collaborative interdisciplinary culture at VRAC. Administrative support facilitates research proposal preparation and submission, grant administration, purchasing and student appointments, while technical staff provides hardware maintenance, system integration, vendor coordination and technical assistance to the research community.

News & Events

Experience VRAC

Learn more about VRAC and the HCI graduate program during a 1-hour public presentation in the the Howe Hall auditorium on October 13 from 11-noon. This student led presentation explains how virtual and augmented realities work and includes multiple 3D VR demonstrations. The event is free and open to the public, but we do ask that you RSVP since seating is limited. More details on upcoming events at VRAC can be found here. … Continue reading

Gomes named college equity advisor

VRAC’s Associate Director, Carmen Gomes, has been named College of Engineering equity advisor. In this role, Gomes will co-chair the college’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee to enhance DEI by developing solutions to campus challenges. She will promote and provide consultation and training on best practices in recruiting, retaining, and promoting high-quality diverse faculty and develop solutions to campus challenges. In a letter to the VRAC community Carmen says “I am very passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and I hope I can have a positive impact on faculty experiences in the COE and beyond.” Camen went on to announce that she is stepping down from her role as an Associate Director at VRAC but will remain engaged with VRAC leadership … Continue reading