For work promoting the development of research in the field of signage and wayfinding, Eric Ragan, assistant professor of visualization at Texas A&M University, was selected as a 2018-19 Emerging Fellow by the Academic Advisory Council for Signage Research and Education.
Each year, the AACSRE chooses four distinguished researchers to advance thought leadership, science and technology impacting on-premise signage.
Ragan, who is researching the impact of infographics on signage with the help of a $20,000 AACSRE grant, heads the Interactive Data and Immersive Environments Lab in the Department of Visualization and is faculty lead for the department’s Visualization Human-Computer Interaction Lab. His research includes the design and evaluation of interactive techniques in the areas of information visualization, data analysis systems and virtual reality.
Ragan earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from Gannon University, a Master of Science in Computer Science and Applications, a graduate certificate in Human-Computer Interaction, and doctorate in computer science from Virginia Tech.
Since joining the Texas A&M faculty in 2015, Ragan has been recognized for his work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division of the U.S. Department of Defense that explores new technologies, for which he is part of a $1.6 million project exploring algorithmic processes.
He heads a two-year $175,000 project funded by the National Science Foundation exploring how visualization design can help aid data analysis- based decisions and is developing new methods for assessing the effectiveness of specific visual elements and how to automatically generate data illustrations.
Ragan is also involved in a multidisciplinary study supported by a $1 million grant from Patient-Center Outcomes Research Institute, a group that produces and promotes evidence-based health information, investigating how to best protect patient privacy in health data analysis.
He is developing an open source virtual reality software to teach users how to create, test and improve engineering designs in a project aimed at preparing K-12 students for jobs requiring expertise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.