Richard Henneman

(Ph.D. ISyE 85)

Professor of the Practice, School of Interactive Computing

What were the circumstances of your coming to work at the College of Computing?

I worked in industry since graduating with my Ph.D. in the area of HCI/UX management at a variety of companies, including NCR, a failed startup, ISS/IBM, and AT&T. I was on the Industry Advisory Board of the MS in Human-Computer Interaction Program at Georgia Tech for several years and got to know Prof. Jim Foley, the MS-HCI Program Director. When Jim decided to step down as Director, he asked if I might be interested in applying for his position as a Professor of the Practice. I did apply and started as the MS-HCI Director in January 2015.

Prior to this, had you ever thought about coming back to work at GT Computing?

I did not see a way for this to happen given my career choices. It was a very pleasant surprise when I learned about this opportunity in which my experiences in the industry would be an asset for this academic position.

What’s one of your favorite memories from your time as a student?

The sense of community that existed among my fellow Ph.D. students. Oh, and I met my future wife, Janet Fath (ISyE Ph.D. 1987), when we both worked as GRAs at the Center for Human-Machine Systems Research.

How has the College changed since you were a student?

It is bigger, better, and more diverse, has a more attractive physical infrastructure, places much more emphasis on interdisciplinary research, has a College of Computing, makes working with industry partners easier, and of course, has a world-class MS-HCI Program.

What do you carry with you from your time as a student that still informs/influences your personal/professional life?

It is easy at a big school like Georgia Tech for students to lose their way. I was lucky in my graduate experience at GT to have a strong support network, i.e., a community of faculty and student colleagues who strengthened each other academically and socially through a variety of shared experiences. This emphasis on community (along with, of course, academic and research excellence) continues to have a strong influence on what I value for students enrolled in the MS-HCI Program.

How would you like to see the college grow in the next decade?

I believe a continued emphasis on interdisciplinary research, increased diversity across all Institute communities, and a continued commitment to research and academic excellence are essential elements in ensuring the ongoing growth and health of Computing at Georgia Tech.