Aditya Johri

About Me Aditya Johri

Starting January 2014 I will join George Mason University as Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Information Technology in the Volgenau School of Engineering. You will shortly be redirected to my new webpage.

At present, I am an Associate Professor of Engineering Education, Computer Science (courtesy), Industrial and Systems Engineering (courtesy) and Science and Technology in Society (courtesy) at Virginia Tech.

I have affiliated appointments with the Center for Human-Computer Interaction (CHCI), the Center for Innovation-based Manufacturing (CIbM) and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program in Human Centered Design(HCD).

I received my Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2007.

Physical co-ordinates: Engineering Education MC 0218, 616 McBryde Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Email: ajohri at vt dot edu

Phone: 540-231-0653

My current CV (pdf) (updated 04/2013) and my official webpage.

Here is a complete list of my publications and presentations.

In 2009 I was awarded the NSF Early CAREER Award. In 2010, I received the Virginia Tech Engineering Dean's Award for Outstanding New Assistant Professor.

I direct the toolsLAB (technology, open organizing, and learning sciences laboratory). Our current efforts are funded by multiple grants from NSF (Award #s: 1122609, 0954034, 0935124, 0935143, 0835892, 0757540) and internal funding from ICTAS, College of Engineering, and OIRED. More information about my research and collaborators is available here.

We always have positions open for good student researchers; if you are interested, contact me with your CV.

My flickr photos and my blog from graduate student days.

You can find me on LinkedIn and Google Scholar.

Wordle: Research

Postdoctoral Associate

Dr. Janaki Srinivasan (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley)

Current Students

Hon Jie Teo (Ph.D. Engineering Education)

Bram Lewis (Ph.D. Engineering Education)

Bushra Chowdhury (Ph.D. Engineering Education)

Stephanie Kusano (Ph.D. Engineering Education)

Vaishali Nandy (Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction)

Krunal Doshi (M.S. Computer Science)

Committee Member (Ph.D.): Joon Suk Lee, Computer Science; Jacob Moore, Engineering Education; Sumitra Nair, Science & Technology Studies; Ricardo Quintana-Castillo, Computer Science; Rachel McCord, Engineering Education, and Jean Mahnas Mohammadi-Aragh, Engineering Education.


Andrea Goncher (Ph.D. Engineering Education)

Raktim Mitra (M.S. Thesis, Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Ashwin Khandeparker (M.S. Project, Computer Science)

And, Xiaomo Liu, Gaurav Dongaonkar, Monique Dufour, James Pembridge, Varun Ramdas, Asta Schram, Prasanna Kumar, Shreya Kothaneth, Daniel Breakiron, Vismay Shah, and Daniel Shanahan, among others.


I study the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for learning and knowledge sharing, with a focus on cognition in informal environments. I also examine the role of ICT in supporting distributed work among globally dispersed workers and in furthering social development in emerging economies. I am especially interested in understanding the relationship between our social and material context.

My primary research methodology is ethnography. I spend time observing and talking to people in the course of their daily life. My work takes me into the classroom environment as well as into organizations where learning and knowledge sharing are key to success.

In addition to ethnographic studies, I have recently started to conduct empirical studies that utlize large quantiative datasets to help understand digital interaction at a broader scale.

My research on cognition and learning has appeared in the following journals: Journal of Engineering Education, International Journal of Engineering Education, Engineering Studies, Journal of Computing in Higher Education, and Research in Learning Technology.

I have published my information systems and technology related research in Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Computers in Human Behavior, Information Technology and People, Information Technology for Development, Information Systems Frontiers, and Information and Software Technology.

My research has also appeared in the proceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, IEEE Frontiers in Education, ASEE Annual Conference, and ACM Computer Supported Cooperative Work, among others.

I am co-editing a special issue of Computers in Human Behavior on "Newcomer Participation in Online Communities" (with V. Singh, R . Frazan & O. Nov). Submission are due on September 30, 2013.

I co-edited a special issue of Journal of Engineering Education on "Engineering Representations" (with Barbara Olds and W-M Roth) (Vol. 102, Issue 1, January 2013).

I was the guest editor for the theme issue of Engineering Studies on "Engineering and the Workplace.". The collection of papers appeared as two issues: Vol.2, Issue 3 (Dec. 2010), and Vol. 3, Issue 2 (August 2011).

The Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research (CHEER), co-edited with Barbara Olds, is expected to come out in September 2013. Click on the image below for information on how to receive a discount on the book:



Undergradaute courses:

Engineering Explorations (ENGE 1024), Exploration of Engineering Design (ENGE 1114), and Engineering Design for Social Development (ENGE 2984).

Graduate courses:

Foundations of Engineering Education (ENGE 5014), Global Engineering Work Practices (ENGE 5984), and Ethnographic and Qualitative Research (ENGE 5984).

More information about teaching.


Design for Social Development - My design program consists of courses as well as studies of designers. I offer a class, with Akshay Sharma (Industrial Design), on 'Design for Development' and details of inventive and innovative projects done by students is available here. Our forthcoming book "Engineering Design for Global Development" summarizes the work we have done over the past 3 years.

New paper on design framework for ICTD: "Capable and Convivial Design (CCD): A Framework for Designing Information and Communication Technologies for Human Development," with Joyojeet Pal, Information Technology for Development.

Paper based on preliminary study of NREGA published at IT&P:

"The Role of Design Values in Information System Development for Human Benefit," with Sumitra Nair, accepted for publication in the journal Information Technology and People.

My other design interests include large scale digital interactive networks (see iKNEER). A report describing the iKNEER effort is available here.

laXmi - a financial literacy system for semi/illiterate women engaged in micro financing in rural India was a finalist for the 2012 World Design Impact award and received the 2012 IDEA Bronze award in the student category.

More information about the projects is available here.


August 2013: Two Full Papers Accepted at CSCW 2014 (27% acceptance rate)

"The Role of Data in Aligning the 'Unique Identity' Infrastructure in India", with Janaki Srinivasan

"Fast, Functional, and Fitting: Expert Response Dynamics and Response Quality in an Online Newcomer Help Forum", with Hon Jie Teo (lead author)

July 2013: Paper on Aadhaar accepted at ICTD 2013

"Creating Machine Readable Men: Legitimizing the 'Aadhaar' Mega E-infrastructure Project in India", with Janaki Srinivasan

May 2013: New Papers

"Effect of External Events on Newcomer Participation in Open Source Online Communities," with Raktim Mitra (lead author) and Oded Nov, First Monday.

"Using Data Analytics to Examine Expert/Novice Behavior in Informal Online Communities," with Hon Jie Teo, Bulletin of the IEEE Technical Committee on Learning Technology.

April 2013: The special issue of Journal of Engineering Education on "Representations in Engineering Practice" edited by Johri, Roth and Olds has been published.

I am on the program committee of ICTD 2013, please consider submitting your research. Deadline for full papers: May 1, 2013. Deadline for notes: July 26, 2013.

Dr. Johri has received the College of Engineering Faculty Fellow award.

March 2013: Dr. Johri appointed Associate Editor for Engineering Studies.

Dr. Johri and Prof. Sharma have been awarded the Virginia Tech's Center for Innovation in Learning's 2013 XCaliber Certificate of Excellence for a team making exemplary contributions to technology-enriched learning activities.

Feb. 2013: New Conference Papers and Posters:

Teo, H. J. & Johri, A. (2013). Experts Learn More (than Newcomers): An Exploratory Study of Argumentation in an Online Help Forum. Proceedings of Computer Supported Cooperative Learning 2013, Wisconsin, MI, USA. (Full paper).

Teo, H. J., Johri, A. & Mitra, R. (2013). Visualizing and Analyzing Productive Structures and Patterns in Online Communities Using Multilevel Social Network Analysis. Proceedings of Computer Supported Cooperative Learning 2013, Wisconsin, MI, USA. (Short paper).

Madhavan, K. P. C., Johri, A. & others. (2013). iKNEER: Interactive System to Assess and Visualize Relational and Epistemic Networks. Learning and Knowledge Analytics 2013, Leuven, Belgium. (Poster).

Teo, H. J., Johri, A. & Mitra, R. (2013). Productive Structures and Patterns - Multilevel Social Network Analysis of a Java Programming Help Forum. Learning and Knowledge Analytics 2013, Leuven, Belgium. (Poster).

Feb. 2013: New Book: Johri, A. & Sharma, A. (2013). Designing Development: Case Study of an International Education and Outreach Program. Morgan and Claypool Synthesis Lecture Series.

Jan. 2013: A new NSF grant ($450K) awarded to Dr. Johri, Dr. Skaggs (Education) and Prof. Sharma (Industrial Design) to investigate informal engineering learning.

Dec. 2012: Dr. Johri was awarded a Certificate of Achievement by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) for being a finalist for the "2013 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Awards" in the "Rising Star" category. Dr. Johri was nominated by Virginia Tech (a higher education institution in Virginia is eligible to nominate only one candidate). In 2013 there were 5 finalists (top 25% of nominations) in this category.

Nov. 2012: Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Goncher for successfully defending her dissertation.

Sept. 2012: ToolsLAB welcomes Dr. Janaki Srinivasan (Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley). Dr. Srinivasan has joined as a postdoctoral associate and will work with the lab till Sept. 2013.

Sept. 2012: Paper on "Portfolio Mining" accepted for publication in IEEE Computer (with Madhavan, Ramakrishnan and others).

ASEE 2012: Our paper on digital media and device use was nominated for a Best Paper award in the Computers in Education division.

NSF $3M grant in collaboration with Purdue, Arizona State, and Stanford — "Collaborative Research: Deep Insights Anytime, Anywhere (DIA2) – Central Resource for Characterizing the TUES Portfolio."

Best Note Award (Top 1% of all submissions): "Look Ma, No Email! Blogs and IRC as Primary and Preferred Communication Tools in a Distributed Firm." Acceptance rate: 22% (58/268) at ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2011)

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