I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, where I am affiliated with the Center for Human–Computer Interaction and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.

My research explores how social computing systems can enhance human creativity and problem solving. I draw upon my training in computer science, HCI, and design to build and evaluate creativity support tools. I also combine quantitative and qualitative methods to study examples of social computing “in the wild” and understand why they succeed or fail. My research spans many creative domains, including computer animation, visual design, knowledge discovery, and citizen science. I am also interested in connections to the digital humanities, especially history.

Before coming to Virginia Tech, I was a postdoc in the Human–Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. I received my Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech, where I was named a Foley Scholar, and my undergraduate degree from Purdue University, where I studied computer graphics, art, and design. I have also worked at Microsoft Research, IBM Research, and YouTube.


I frequently develop social software as part of my research projects. Recent examples include:

Screenshot of CrowdCrit


CrowdCrit is a tool for helping crowdworkers from Mechanical Turk provide high-quality critiques of visual designs. Designers can explore the feedback using an aggregation interface with an interactive visualization.

The CrowdCrit team includes Kurt Luther, Amy Pavel, Wei Wu, Jay Tolentino, Maneesh Agrawala, Björn Hartmann, and Steven Dow. CrowdCrit is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.

Screenshot of Pipeline


Pipeline is a tool for helping leaders organize creative projects online. People have used Pipeline to create award-winning films, games, artworks, and more. Pipeline is free and open source.

Website and demo
Source code (GitHub)

The Pipeline team includes Kurt Luther (project lead), Amy Bruckman (co-lead), Casey Fiesler (community manager), and Joe Gonzales (developer). Past team members include developers Boris de Souza, Kevin Ziegler, and Chris Howse. Pipeline is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.

Screenshot of Pathfinder


Pathfinder is a tool for helping citizen scientists collect, discuss, and analyze sustainability data. Users can visualize and compare their data to over 20,000 imported data sources, and collaboratively make sense of the data using a structured discussion tool.

The Pathfinder team includes Kurt Luther, Scott Counts, Kristin Stecher, Aaron Hoff, and Paul Johns. Pathfinder was developed at Microsoft Research.

Screenshot of ProveIt


ProveIt is a tool for working with references in Wikipedia articles. It has been integrated into the English-language Wikipedia and is currently used by more than 7,000 editors. ProveIt is free and open source.

Website and demo
Source code (Google Code)

The ProveIt team includes Kurt Luther (project lead), Amy Bruckman (co-lead), and Matt Flaschen (developer). Past team members include Terris Johnson (designer), Christopher Jordan (developer), and Andrea Forte (project lead). ProveIt is supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.

Screenshot of Who Gives a Tweet

Who Gives a Tweet

Who Gives a Tweet (WGAT) is a tool for giving and receiving feedback on Twitter status updates, or “tweets.” People have used WGAT to rate more than 43,000 tweets, and the site was featured in The Atlantic, CNN, Harvard Business Review, and elsewhere. WGAT is currently on hiatus.


WGAT was created by Kurt Luther, Paul André, and Michael Bernstein.


You can also find my papers on Google Scholar and in the ACM Digital Library.


For Fall 2014, I am teaching CS5774: User Interface Software, a graduate-level computer science course.