Myounghoon Jeon has been appointed associate professor in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. He is one of 28 new faculty members hired by the college for the 2018-19 academic year.

Jeon’s research is focused on human-computer and human-robot interactions, specifically how to bring more human features, like emotions and learning, into computer programs and robots. By using various instruments, computer vision technologies, driving simulators, neurophysiological equipment, and robots to facilitate in his research, Jeon is designing better ways for people to interact with technology.

Jeon is the director of the Mind Music Machine Lab, through which he plans to build a transdisciplinary team of artists, designers, scientists, and engineers at Virginia Tech.

"In the human factors domain, we need to work not only as an engineer, but also as a designer,” said Jeon. "We have a good catchphrase, ‘design with humans in mind.’  Specifically, it’s about improving communication between people and technologies, which is an indispensable part of this era.”

Prior to coming to Virginia Tech, Jeon conducted research at Michigan Tech, where he worked with musicians, sound designers, theater directors, and dancers. He created an after-school program that promoted STEM education for underrepresented students by using interactive robots as actors to create live theater. Other projects included helping children with autism learn social skills using robots and developing a better warning system in cars to prevent accidents by using in-vehicle speech interaction technology. 

Jeon received a bachelor's in both psychology and sociology and a master’s in cognitive sciences, both from the Yonsei University in South Korea. He holds a second master's in engineering psychology and earned his doctoral degree in engineering psychology, both from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Jeon was a 2007 recipient of the iF Communication Design Award and the 2007 Korean Ergonomic Design Award.

"What excites me about my research is that I can integrate my personal interests with my research," said Jeon. "I love music and sound. I’m very much interested in art, design, technologies, and user experiences. All of these components are fused in my research activities."

Written by Linda Hazelwood