There are 6 funded PhD student positions available from HCI faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

RIT faculty conduct a broad range of HCI research, including in the areas of ubiquitous computing, user experience, haptics and wearables, communication, and accessibility. RIT has a dynamic HCI research community (, with faculty, students, and research centers across the university. PhD students also benefit from RIT's membership in the HCI Consortium (, an organization of top universities, companies, and government research labs in the field of HCI.

The HCI faculty below are also affiliated with the Center for Accessibility and Inclusion Research (CAIR,, which is a community of 40 faculty and students who publish research at leading computing conferences and journals, with a focus on HCI and accessibility for diverse users, including people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH), people who are blind, people with communication impairments, and older adults. CAIR faculty have secured over $3.5 million in external research funding since 2014, more than 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, and twelve Best Paper and Honorable Mention Awards from major research venues, including the ACM CHI and ASSETS conferences. CAIR includes several DHH researchers, and the RIT campus is enriched by the presence of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), with over 1,300 DHH students.

Faculty Seeking PhD Students:

Mingming Fan, Assistant Professor, researches at the intersection of HCI/UX, Accessibility, Mobile and Wearable Sensing, and Machine Learning (ML). He studies users’ experiences (e.g., usability problems) through subtle behavioral signals via user-centered design (UCD) and designs interactive intelligent applications utilizing sensing and ML technologies. His work includes ML-assisted analytical tools for UX practitioners, guidelines for senior-friendly instructions design, and applications of wearable sensing and ML technologies for accessibility, in particular for older adults and people with visual impairments. Website: Email:

Matt Huenerfauth, Professor, studies the design and evaluation of accessibility applications based on (imperfect) artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, especially how these can be useful for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) or with low literacy. His work includes applications of automatic speech recognition for captioning of live meetings or videos, applications of sign-language recognition technologies, and automatic reading-assistance technologies. Website: Email:

Tae Oh, Associate Professor, researches assistive technologies for people who are blind or visually impaired (BVI) or deaf or hard of hearing (DHH), especially in smart cane, indoor navigation, haptic communication, drop-off detection and security+ privacy. In these areas, he studies effective front and overhead obstacle detections, accurate indoor navigation for people who are BVI, effective haptic feedback design for cane handle, security and privacy technologies for BVI and DHH users, and siren detection for DHH users. His work includes smart cane performance evaluation, haptic prototypes for the handle, Android siren detection, and indoor navigation prototypes. Website: Email:

Roshan Peiris, an Assistant Professor, conducts research on Virtual/Augmented Reality, Haptics, Wearable Technologies and Accessibility with a particular focus on human computer interaction. In these areas, he studies the mechanics of human perception, creating new technologies and designing new experiences. His work includes implementing new technologies, interactions and experiences for head mounted display (AR/VR) users, designing haptic technologies for older adults and visually impaired users and the design of wearable and ubiquitous haptic interaction techniques. Website:, email:

Kristen Shinohara, Assistant Professor, conducts research at the intersection of human-computer interaction, accessibility and design, with a focus on how to improve accessible design and research processes. Primarily qualitative and design-focused, her work also draws on disability studies, and examines ways to enable and empower people with disabilities to conduct research and design new technologies. Website: Email:

Garreth Tigwell, Assistant Professor, conducts research within many aspects of HCI, including accessibility and user experience. He has a strong interest in how people use mobile devices. In particular, Garreth investigates situationally-induced impairments and disabilities (SIIDs), supporting designers with tools to improve app and web accessibility, and challenges caused by visual communication medium such as emoji. Published work: Email:

About the PhD Program:

The Ph.D. in Computing and Information Sciences at RIT is a research degree designed to produce independent scholars, cutting-edge researchers, and well-prepared educators. Faculty and students conduct both foundational and applied research to address diverse and important challenges, and our graduates are poised to excel within both computing and interdisciplinary environments in academia, government and industry.

About RIT and Rochester:

Founded in 1829, RIT ( is a national research university and the 3rd largest producer of STEM university degrees among private U.S. universities. RIT is a diverse and collaborative community of engaged, socially conscious, and intellectually curious minds. Through creativity and innovation, and an intentional blending of technology, the arts and design, we provide exceptional individuals with a wide range of academic opportunities. RIT is minutes aware from downtown Rochester's many entertainment, cultural, and employment opportunities. Rochester is large enough to provide the dining and night life opportunities you might expect in a bigger city, yet small and friendly enough to be inviting and accessible.

For More Information:

Interested students are invited to contact the individual faculty listed above.

General questions about the PhD Program or the admissions process may be directed to: Professor Pengcheng Shi, Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship and PhD Program Director, at 1-585-475-6147 or

Information about applying to the PhD program is also available at: