(540) 544-7594
424 Orchard Hill Lane
Newport, Virginia 24128
(540) 231-3559

Objective: A permanent position performing research, design, development, and evaluation of Virtual Environments (VEs).

Education: Doctor of Philosophy, Computer Science, currently pursuing
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Master of Science, Computer Science, December, 1997
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Bachelor of Science, Computer Science, May, 1995
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, December, 1993
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Minor: Mathematics, December, 1994

QCA: Graduate Computer Science Courses = 3.82

VE Usability Evaluation:
Joe Gabbard is one of the world’s foremost leaders in usability and human-computer interaction (HCI) of virtual environments. He has developed several innovative methods for performing usability engineering design and evaluation of VEs. He has published several papers, and has given several talks on usability engineering of VEs, one of which was awarded "best paper" at the 1999 IEEE Virtual Reality conference. He is currently co-authoring a chapter on usability engineering to appear in a "VR Handbook" designed for practical application be designers and developers. See "Authored Papers" below for more details.

Currently evaluating a command and control / battlefield visualization application for the US Naval Research Lab. These evaluations have been included early in the software development lifecycle, and as such are shaping development efforts enroute to a more usable end-product.

Currently researching methods to incorporate eye tracking information into VE usability evaluation techniques. Methods include high-level capture of eye tracking information for use by the usability evaluator as well as information to be used by the user interface itself.

Developed four VE usability-based training courses including:
  • Interaction in VEs: Designing Appropriate User Interfaces for VEs
  • VE Interface Design: Presenting Complex Information Spaces in VEs
  • VE Usability Assessment: Identifying Critical Usability Issues Before Final Delivery
  • Usability Engineering of VEs: Developing Useful and Usable VEs

VE-based Research and Development:
Mr. Gabbard has authored several research proposals in the field of VEs and interactive systems including:
  • US Army DBBL Ft. Benning: Leading the concept and proposal development of a multi-million dollar development effort for the US Army to develop a low-cost, portable natural locomotion interface and state-of-the-art immersive environments. These efforts include designing proprietary VE-based software and innovative visual presentation devices.
  • FY99 N99-183: entitled "Coupling Real-world motion with virtual world systems." This effort will incorporate a ship’s actual motion as a basis for the virtual sea-state (and subsequent virtual motion associated with virtual sea state)
  • FY99 AF99-115: entitled "Innovative methods for integrating multiple input devices on a single computer system." This effort examines techniques to support multiple, collaborating, users (each with their own set of input devices: keyboard, mouse, lightpen, etc.) on a single computer system.
  • NationsBank Simulation-based Training: This effort examines the use of a haptic-based force-feedback glove (Virtual Technologies' CyberGrasp) for use in training bank tellers.
Created and authored a business plan for an internet-based start-up venture. This business plan outlines development of software that incorporates 3D, virtual-reality presentation techniques with E-commerce opportunities.

Developed a PC-based application that allows users to "virtually" visit and experience a historical church constructed in the early 1800’s. This application includes a 3D, stereoscopic visual scene, complex daytime and nighttime lighting, user interaction and appropriate audio cues.

Developed and produced a 45-minute passive stereo presentation for 300 people. Specific tasks included developing VE-based content (creating 3D models, programming within and integrating into a simulation application), customizing SGI’s infinite reality graphics to accommodate passive stereo modes, fine tuning presentation paths and eye-separations, setting up Onyx2 and projectors.

Performed research to explore methods of streaming photo-realistic, animation quality stereoscopic images over the internet as part of a CIT study award to explore VEs as a new technology in Virginia. Help to author the project final report entitled "Infrastructure Development and Planning Project to Explore the Benefits of a Collaborative Virtual Environment in Virginia Universities and Businesses". The final report is available here.

Designed, developed, and implemented commercial web site for local Opthamologist as well as a gourmet gift basket company. Related tasks include domain name registration, DNS setup, search engine registration, site hosting and maintenance. See, and

Authored Papers and Invited Talks:

  • Hix, D. and Gabbard, J. L., "Usability Engineering of Virtual Environments", To appear in Kay Stanney (eds) Handbook of Virtual Environments. Chapter 39. Note: E-version of the document is not available until time of publishing.

Related Work Experience:
Senior Research Associate, VPI&SU
June 1999 -- Current
Responsible for identifying and pursuing funding opportunities related to 3D visualization and VEs. Management responsibilities include designing research agenda, scoping work, setting timelines, and overseeing production staff.

Currently investigating innovative uses of eye tracking technologies within VEs. Uses under investigation include those which integrate real-time eye movement data into a "smart" user interface, as well as those which use eye movement data to assess the VE user interface.
Lead Scientist / VE Interface Specialist, VPST, Inc.
March 1997 -- June 1999
Responsible for R&D efforts including spearheading research initiatives, analyzing research findings, and publishing and presenting research findings at prominent VR conferences. Management efforts include forming and leading competitive teaming arrangements, leading high-level software design, and guiding software development efforts. During specific project-work, responsibilities also include time, materials, and budget management, as well as prototype and product reviews, evaluation, and delivery. He currently oversees a staff of three programmers.

VPST efforts also included many responsibilities involved in a small company startup including financial planning, devising hiring strategy and proctoring interviews, generating potential business development leads, setup of VPST engineering center, intranet design, and system administration.

Specific VR-related development experience at VPST includes: extensive knowledge of 3D modeling and simulation techniques, theory, and applications, unique knowledge of 3D, stereoscopic presentation techniques including CAVE, HMD, Responsive Workbench, IDESK, desktop display systems. Understanding of real-0time constraints on both SGI and NT platforms, knowledge of networking and collaborative VE design, animation-quality modeling and rendering environments as well as integration with motion tracking and virtual sets. For examples of project work see section above labled "VE-based Reseach and Development".

Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Computer Science, VPI&SU
May 1996 -- March 1997
Developed high-impact usability engineering evaluation methods for VEs through a taxonomy of usability characteristics. Results were published and presented at appropriate VE/HCI conferences and extended to address a specific VEs. See section labled "Authored Papers and Invited Talks" for more information.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Computer Science, VPI&SU
August 1995 -- May 1996
Organized and presented computer science undergraduate course material. Maintained class website, provided tutoring assistance, and managed large volume of documents and dynamic electronic data.

Computer Scientist, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, VPI&SU
May 1994 -- August 1995
Under role of "computer lab specialist", maintained VT ME departmental network. Responsible for computer administration, software, and hardware needs of the ME department as well as the Turbomachinery and Propoulsion Lab.

Under role of "programmer", developed PC-based application integrating existing propulsion-based FORTRAN and C code. Enhanced user interface of existing engine prediction codes.

Programmer, QuesTech Inc., Falls Church, Virginia
Summer 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
Generated code in 'C' under the NI Lab Windows framework to develop graphical control of hardware. Upgraded ASYST (4th) code to provide a menu driven, "user friendly", operating environment. Developed routines to manage the application's file system.

Generated HP Interpreter BASIC code for HP instrument control. Upgraded existing code to meet new project phase requirements. Constructed new software for control of RF/Microwave test equipment. Maintained manual and project documentation.

3D Modeling Environments
Multigen / Creator
3D-Studio Max / 3D Studio Viz
Rendering in Alias|Wavefront
VistaPro, Bryce 4

Operating Systems / Platform
Win95, Win98, WinNT / PC
AIX / IBM RISC System 6000
AUX / Macintosh

Software Skills (Publishing)
HTML Publishing, Front Page
Photoshop 5.0, Pagemaker 6.5
Extensive MS Office experience
LaTeX Document Processing
VE Simulation Environments
Paradigm VEGA and Lynx
Sense8 SmartScene, EON, Opus
CAVE Libraries, Performer/GL

Programming Languages
VB Script
ASYST, 4th
C, C++
Visual C++, J++
RISC Assembly

Software Skills (Development)
MS Development Studio
UNIX shell and scripts
UNIX complilers and debuggers

Honors & Activities:
Member, Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) --- International Honor Society for the Computing Sciences
Dean's List Sum1 1992, Sum2 1992, Fall 1992, Sum1 1993, Sum2 1993
Member, Nature Conservancy and Manomet Conservancy
Musical interests include percussion and jazz drumming
Backcountry hiking and camping

Mr. Scott R. Macrae, P.E.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Virtual Prototyping & Simulation Technologies, Inc. (VPST)
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060-6354
(540) 557-6102

Dr. Deborah Hix
Research Scientist/Assistant Professor - Department of Computer Science
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060
(540) 231-6199

Mrs. Betsy Gunnels
Owner of Baskets and Balloons
Herndon, Virginia 22071
(800) 298-4438

Dr. Walter O'Brien
Department Head - Department of Mechanical Engineering
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, Virginia 24060
(540) 231-7771