Robert Kraut

Herbert A. Simon Professor of Human-Computer Interaction Emeritus

  • Human-Computer Interaction Institute



Find Me

Newell-Simon Hall 3515

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Research Areas

Social Computing

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 four major areas:

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

I teach courses in these topics, including undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. level courses in communication, computer supported cooperative work, and organizational computing.