Information and Communication Technologies

Investigate the nature and effects of information and communication technologies across a wide range of settings...


Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have revolutionized the ways in which people work, play, exchange information, and manage personal relationships. Therefore, there is a strong demand for scholars that understand the foundations of human communication and can put those skills to use in academic and industry contexts. Scholars who focus on the study of ICTs are concerned with the uses and effects of communication technology. Contexts of study include social media, video games and virtual reality, mobile technology, technology and development, diffusion of ICT, social impacts of algorithms and artificial intelligence, computer-mediated communication, cyberbullying, human-computer interaction, online communities and collaboration, as well as the digitalization of communication in public and private sectors. Methodological training needed to address these questions includes traditional methods, such as experiments and surveys, along with network analysis and emerging computational methods.


Communication Faculty: Drew Cingel, Heather Hether, Martin Hilbert, Nicholas Palomares, Jorge Peña, Cuihua (Cindy) Shen, Jingwen Zhang. Distinguished Professor Emeritus George Barnett continues to work with graduate students in the program.

Affiliated Faculty: Michael Neff (Computer Science & Cinema and Digital Media)

Ongoing Research Programs

Our faculty are currently involved in the following research projects:

  • Exploring how virtual reality and user customization affect learner memory
  • Understanding the role of social algorithms and artificial intelligence in society
  • Using persuasive messages to increase the effectiveness of mobile games targeting depression
  • Leveraging identity shift and Proteus effects in virtual reality to boost confident public speaking
  • Designing and testing social network-based mobile apps to promote physical activity
  • Designing health information technologies to harness the wisdom of crowds to improve diagnosis
  • Understanding differential patterns of social media use and effects among adolescents
  • Exploring how people create and maintain social and collaborative networks in massively multiplayer online games and peer production communities

Relevant Courses

CMN 212: Web Science Research Methods  
CMN 214: Analysis of Communication Networks
CMN 233:Persuasive Technologies for Health
CMN 250: Mediated Communication Theory and Research
CMN 251: Digital Technology and Social Change
CMN 252: Computer-Mediated Communication
CMN 253: Children, Adolescents, and the Media
CMN 254: Communication Campaigns
CMN 255: Social Media
CMN 256: Communication Perspectives on Video Game
CMN 270: Diffusion of Innovations

"What can I do with this?"

ICT graduates can work in academia, industry, or public sectors. Example career opportunities include tenure-track faculty, user experience researcher, and social media marketing manager.


"As a Ph.D.student, I have worked on several projects in video games and virtual environments with Professor Jorge Peña. I also developed and explored original ideas in the field of mental health persuasive technology with guidance from faculty members, whose knowledge in the field of information and communication technology benefitted my work a lot. Encouraged by the faculty and the positive feedback my work has received, I hope to continue my research work in the field of software health applications."

Subuhi Khan
Class of 2018