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.