Robert Kraut

Herbert A. Simon Professor Emeritus of Human-Computer Interaction

  • Human-Computer Interaction Institute



Find Me

Newell-Simon Hall 3515


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Research Interests

Computer mediated communication. Social impact of technology. Online communities.


I started my career as a traditional social psychologist, but working in the telecommunications industry for twelve years shifted my focus from disciplines to problems. As a researcher, I have broad interests in the design and social impact of information technologies in small groups, in the home, and in organizations.

I conduct research in the five major areas below. You can see my latest research on these topics by going to my article or book page.

  • Online communities
  • Everyday use of the Internet
  • Collaboration in small work groups
  • Technology and conversation
  • Computers in organizations

My research in a specific area first examines in detail the challenges individuals, groups, and organizations face in performing social tasks. This empirical research can inform the design of new technology to meet some of these challenges. Here I collaborate with computer scientists and engineers. The research comes full circle when we evaluate the usefulness of the new technology.

As an emeritus professor, I no longer do classroom teaching, but actively mentor undergraduate and graduate students.