IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
P. O. Box 704
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Objective To create, lead, and motivate an organization of creative, productive people with a crucial and challenging mission. To facilitate the creation and flow of knowledge. To design and build intelligent middleware to enhance personal and organizational effectiveness.
Education B.A., summa cum laude, Case-Western Reserve University, 1967.
Ph.D., Experimental Psychology, University of Michigan, 1971.
Awards and Honors Valedictorian, Ellet High School, Akron, Ohio, 1963.
National Merit Scholar, 1962.
American Mathematical Association Pin, 1962.
Valedictorian, Case-Western Reserve University, 1967. Phi Beta Kappa, 1966.
Millis Scholarship Trophy, 1967.
National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1969-1971.
First and Third Prizes, National Creativity Contest, 1979.
NYNEX Science & Technology "Recognition of Excellence," 1991.

Professional Experience
11/01-- present Research Staff Member, IBM Research. I am primarily leading a project to develop tools for consultants. Recent projects include an award winning e-learning project and working on the development of a socio-technical pattern language to encapsulate what is known about socio-technical systems.
2/98-11/01 Manager, Knowledge Socialization, IBM Research. Responsible for creating novel tools, methods, and technology to help organizations learn from their experience more effectively. Much of our work concentrated on the business use of stories and storytelling. This work has had significant impact on a number of IBM business units and influenced IBM's WorldJam, a three-day on-line company-wide virtual meeting. I also served as co-chair for the Professional Interest Committee for Human Computer Interaction and was recently technical co-chair of the ACM SIGCHI conference on Universal Usability. I was co-chair of two panels at CHI 2001, one on informed online consent and one on the use of pattern langauges in Human Computer Interaction.
8/97-2/98 Executive Director, Bell Atlantic Science & Technology. Responsible for understanding and creating relevant new interface technologies and, using that knowledge, to create new initiatives that create value for Bell Atlantic customers, employees, and shareholders. Responsible for understanding and creating relevant new business concepts. Be an advocate for the whole corporation; its customers, employees, and shareholders.
1/94 - 8/97 Executive Director, NYNEX Science & Technology. Responsible for multiple areas: speech technology, platforms and applications; network testing centers in New York City and Framingham, Mass; advanced software development environments; ISO9000 certification & software maturity process; human interface design (for new NYNEX services such as voice messaging and voice-activated telephony control, and for internal productivity projects such as craft access terminals); robotics.
5/86-12/93 Director, AI Lab, NYNEX Science & Technology. Built NYNEX Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; established vision and mission; developed and implemented strategy; Established world class groups in applied expert systems, speech recognition, neural networks, and human factors. Delivered projects on time that met specifications; ROI > 300%. Hired 1/8 the people for S&T resulting in > 1/2 the promotions.
5/89-5/91 General Co-chair of CHI, ACM's Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems. Responsible for logistic, technical, and financial aspects of international interdisciplinary 5-day conference with 2000 attendees and ten types of events. Recruited volunteers, set goals, orchestrated conference design and conflict resolution. Conference was technical and social success as well as achieving an ROI of 25%.
7/82-5/86 Project Manager, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. Delivered high-quality speech synthesis and developed applications for synthetic speech. Four patent publications. Brought IBM from ground zero to top of the art in 3 years. Group met deliverables and published at 8X average IBM Research rate.
5/80-7/82 Staff, Chief Scientist's Office, IBM Corporation. Oversaw usability and software work in IBM. Changed policies and procedures. Increased internal awareness of the importance of usability; developed dotted-line organization for coordination of corporate policy; participated in preparation of Congressional testimony, advertising, and organizational changes to deal with usability.
1973-1980 Research Staff Member, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. Developed novel method of introducing new office communication tool to maximize acceptance and use. Quantified the impact of new office system. Supervised experimental and theoretical studies of communication. Evaluated usability aspects of existing IBM computer systems, particularly in the area of office systems. Developed new methods to quantify and impact creativity and productivity in design. Developed aids to problem solving and software design. Quantified natural language dialogues. Developed pencil and paper simulation of Query By Example allowing design to be improved prior to any coding.
1971-1973 Research Associate, Harvard Medical School and Mass. General Hospital. Managed research project "Mental Performance and Aging." Designed hardware, software, and interface for on-line testing and analysis. Later responsible for supervision of computer personnel. Co-author of NIMH grant for $350K.
1967-1971 Doctoral Student, University of Michigan. Studied Artificial Intelligence, human problem solving, child development and education, perceptual adaptation, genetics. Dissertation "An Analysis of Problem-Solving Behavior in the Hobbits-Orcs Problem." Thesis advisor: Dr. James Greeno.

Publications and Presentations Over 120 publications and invited presentations. Topics include: Future of technology, social impact of technology, artificial intelligence, speech technology, natural language processing, organizational learning, human-computer interaction, gerontology, software design, problem solving and creativity, human communication, virtual reality, and management.
Training and Teaching Activities Designed and taught twelve university courses in industrial psychology, human factors, problem solving, computer science, mathematics, and psychology. Supervised numerous graduate students. Created and led workshops in a wide variety of areas to many kinds of audiences and collaborators.
Lifelong Learning Completion of post-graduate courses primarily in the areas of computer science, management, telecommunications, multi-media, and the Internet. Familiar with Baldridge, TQM, EEO, CMM, Marketing, Research Management, Scenario Planning, various approaches to Corporate Strategy, Dialogue, and ISO 9000. Writer of prize-winning prose and poetry.

Community Service I have long been active in the HCI community. I helped organize and served as publications chair for the "Gaithersburg Conference." I have been on numerous CHI program committees serving as general co-chair in 1991 and Conference Advisor in 1994. I co-led numerous CHI workshops including two on cross-cultural issues in HCI, and one on Pattern Languages in HCI. In 1998, I co-led Senior CHI, focusing on how technology can better serve older people and serve on the Science Advisory Committee to CREATE (Consortium for Research and Education on Aging and Technology). I have also served on panels to evaluate grants for NSF, SBIR, NASA, and NIH. In 2000, I served as technical co-chair for Universal Usability. I am currently on the editorial board for Interactions and International Journal of Speech Technology.

Contact Information

E-mail is preferred.

snail mail Dr. John C. Thomas,
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
P.O. Box 704
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Selected Publications:

Darwent, S., Incledon, F., Keller, N., Kurtz, C., Snowden, D., Thomas, J.(2002) YOR920000749US2 Story-based organizational assesment and effect system.

Thomas, J. C., Kellogg, W.A., and Erickson, T. (2001) The Knowledge Management puzzle: Human and social factors in knowledge management. IBM Systems Journal, 40(4), 863-884. Available on-line at

Thomas, J. C. (2001). An HCI Agenda for the Next Millennium: Emergent Global Intelligence. In R. Earnshaw, R. Guedj, A. van Dam, and J. Vince (Eds.), Frontiers of human-centered computing, online communities, and virtual environments. London: Springer-Verlag.

Thomas, J. C. (1999) Narrative technology and the new millennium. Knowledge Management Journal, 2(9), 14-17.

Thomas, J. C. , Basson, Sara H., and Gardner-Bonneau, D. (1999) Universal access and assistive technology. In D. Gardner-Bonneau (ed.), Human factors and voice interactive systems. Norwell, MA: Kluwer.

Thomas, J.C. (1997). Steps toward universal access in a telecommunications company. In B. Friedman (Ed.), Human values and the design of computer technology. Stanford, CA: CSLI.

Thomas, J.C. (1996). The long-term social implications of new information technology. In R. Dholakia, N. Mundorf, & N. Dholakia (Eds.), New Infotainment Technologies in the Home: Demand Side Perspectives. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Friedman, B., Brok, E., Roth. S. K., Thomas, J. (1996). Minimizing bias in computer systems. SIGCHI Bulletin, 28(1), pp. 48-51.

Thomas, J.C. (1995). Usability Engineering in 2020. In J. Nielson (Ed.), Advances in human-computer interaction. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Kellogg, W.A. & Thomas, J.C. (1995). HCIL's 12th Annual Symposium and Open House. SIGCHI Bulletin, 27(4).

Thomas, J.C. (1995). Human factors in lifecycle development. In R. Bennett and J. Greenberg Human Factors in Speech Technology . Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Stuart, R. and Thomas, J.C. (1991). Virtual Reality In Education. Multimedia Review, 2 (2), pp. 17-27.

Thomas, J.C. (1991). Invited keynote address at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) conference on Virtual Reality, Palo Alto, CA.

Thomas, J.C. (1991). Invited panel chair, "Future Information Services." Panelist, "Virtual Reality." Bellcore Usability Symposium, Livingston, NJ.

Thomas, J.C. (1990). Operations research and telecommunications: A 2020 vision. Invited Keynote address at the first Telecommunications Special Interest Group of ORSA, March 12, 1990.

Thomas, J.C. and Kellogg, W.A. (1989). Minimizing ecological gaps in interface design, IEEE Software, January 1989.

Thomas, J.C. (1989). Problem solving by human-machine interaction. In Gilhooly K.J., (Ed). Human and machine problem solving. London: Plenum Publishing.

Carroll, J.M. and Thomas, J.C. (1988). Fun. SIGCHI Bulletin, 20(3).

Thomas, J.C. (1988). Human factors and artificial intelligence. In H. Hartson and D. Hix (Eds.). Advances in human -computer interaction. Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex.

Thomas, J.C. (1985). Interruptions handler. IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, 27 (9), YO883-0819.

Thomas, J.C. (1985). Phonology-based algorithm for the suppression of noise bursts in speech. IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin., 27 (8), YO883-0775.

Thomas, J.C. (1985). Phoneme-class switch for selecting speech-coding techniques/parameters. IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, 27 (10A), YO883-0888.

Cohen, P., Dixon, R. and Thomas, J. (1984). Method for improving spelling-to-sound rules for speech synthesis using algorithmically deduced etymologies. IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, 27 (7A), YO883-0747.

Thomas, J.C. (1984). Goodness (human factors) does not equal degree (quantification). Contemporary Psychology, 29 (2), pp. 119-120.

Thomas, J.C. and Schneider, M. (Eds.) (1984). Human factors in computer systems. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Thomas, J. C., Rosson, M.B., and Chodorow, M. (1984). Human factors and synthetic speech. Proceedings of INTERACT '84. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science Publishers.

Branscomb, L. and Thomas, J. (1984). Ease of use: A system design challenge. IBM Systems Journal, 23 (3), pp. 224-235.

Thomas, J.C. (1983). Psychological issues in the design of data-base query languages. In M. Sime and M. Fitter (Eds.), Designing for human-computer communication.. London: Academic Press.

Thomas, J.C. (1983). Studies in office systems I: The effect of communication medium on person perception. Office Systems Research Journal, 1 (2), pp. 75-88.

Thomas, J.C. and Schneider, M. (1982). A rose by any other alphanumeric designator would smell as sweet. Bahavior and Information Technology, 1 (4), 323-325.

Carroll, J. and Thomas, J.C. (1982). Metaphor and the cognitive representation of computer systems. IEEE Transactions on Man, Systems, and Cybernetics., SMC-12 (2), pp. 107-116.

Thomas, J.C. and Carroll, J. (1981). Human factors in communication. IBM Systems Journal, 20 (2), pp. 237-263.

Thomas, J.C. (1980). The computer as an active communication medium. Invited paper, Association for Computational Linguistics, Philadelphia, June 1980. Proceedings of the 18th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics., pp. 83-86.

Malhotra, A., Thomas, J.C. and Miller, L. (1980). Cognitive processes in design. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 12, pp. 119-140.

Carroll, J., Thomas, J.C. and Malhotra, A. (1980). Presentation and representation in design problem solving. British Journal of Psychology/,71 (1), pp. 143-155.

Carroll, J., Thomas, J.C. and Malhotra, A. (1979). A clinical-experimental analysis of design problem solving. Design Studies, 1 (2), pp. 84-92.

Thomas, J.C. (1978). A design-interpretation analysis of natural English. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 10, pp. 651-668.

Thomas, J.C. and Carroll, J. (1978). The psychological study of design. Design Studies, 1 (1), pp. 5-11.

Miller, L.A. and Thomas, J.C. (1977). Behavioral issues in the use of interactive systems: Part I. General issues. International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, 9 (5), pp. 509-536.

Thomas, J. C., Fozard, J. L. and Waugh, N. C. (1977). Age-related differences in naming latency. American Journal of Psychology, 90(30), pp. 499-509.

Fozard, J. L., Thomas, J. C., and Waugh, N. C. (1976). Effects of age and frequency of stimulus repetitions on two-choice reaction time. Journal of Gerontology, 31, (5), pp. 556-563.

Thomas, J.C. (1974). An analysis of behavior in the hobbits-orcs problem. Cognitive Psychology 6 , pp. 257-269.