Robert E. Kraut
Dr. Kraut has broad interests in the design and social impact of computing and has conducted empirical research on online communities, the social impact of the internet on personal relationships and psychological well-being, the design of information technology for small-group intellectual work, the communication needs of collaborating scientists, the impact of business computer technologies on organizational networks employment quality and home-based employment. He is a fellow of both the Association for Psychological Science and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and in 2016 won the ACM SigCHI Lifetime Achievement in Research Award.
His recent research has focused on the analysis and design of online communities, such as health-support communities, Facebook groups, guilds in multi-player games, and Wikipedia projects. This research consists of both empirical analyses of how they operate, such as how they socialize newcomers and they coordinate their work, and interventions to improve their operation. He is the coauthor of Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design, a handbook published by MIT Press. He also has long standing research interests in understanding the relatinoship of internet use and social media with psychological well-being.
He wrote a biographical essay, Re-engineering social encounters, in 2003 for the American Psychological Association. In 1980, his research on the evolution of the human facial expressions won a Proxmire Golden Fleece award. His biographical essay, Why bowlers smile, and Ed Diener's essay, Why Robert Kraut smiles, describe the legacy of that award. CMU's School of Computer Science alumni magazine published an article describing his role in the formation of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. Ben Schneiderman wrote an essay about Professor Kraut in his book Encounters with HCI Pioneers.