Computer Science

Contact Information

Fuller Laboratories, 131
Phone: +1-508-831-5618
Fax: +1-508-831-5776

View Personal Website

David C. Brown

Both teaching and research are interesting challenges. Good interface design is becoming increasingly important; there are way too many bad interfaces out there. I enjoy the challenge of trying to get students to learn and appreciate the subtle concepts that support the design of good interfaces. I often get very creative solutions from the group projects that they do in the HCI class, which is exciting and rewarding. One alum recently told me that what he learned in my class has been the most useful in the long term of what he learned at WPI. Wow!

As for research, I've been studying how people design things for many years and have been involved with looking into how artificial Intelligence techniques might help designers. Recently, I've been researching topics such as design rationale (keeping track of the reasons people have for their decisions) as well as computational design creativity (how computers might produce designs that people would judge to be creative). This area includes asking how a computer might be surprised by a design it produced because many creative objects are at least a little surprising, even to the designer. Undergraduate projects and graduate theses have focused on intelligent interfaces and AI in design topics, some very cutting edge. It is tough to get stale in areas that move so quickly: students push, and topics pull, so faculty need to keep moving!

Research Interests

  • AI in Design
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Intelligent Interfaces


  • B.Sc. (Honors), 1st Class, Computer Science, North Staffordshire Polytechnic, 1970.
  • M.Sc., Computing, University of Kent, 1975.
  • M.S., Computer & Information Science, The Ohio State University,1977.
  • Ph.D., Computer & Information Science, The Ohio State University, 1984.

Featured Publications

  • I. Boyle, Y. Rong & D.C. Brown (Feb 2011) A review and analysis of current computer-aided fixture design approaches. International Journal of Robotics and Computer Integrated Manfacturing, 27(1), pp. 1-12.
  • D.C. Brown (March 2008) "Guiding Computational Design Creativity Research", Proc. NSF International Workshop on Studying Design Creativity'08, University of Provence, France.
  • J.E. Burge & D.C. Brown (March 2008) Software Engineering Using RATionale, Journal of Systems and Software, 81(3), pp. 395-413
  • C. Shakeri & D. C. Brown (Spring 2004) "Constructing Design Methodologies Using Multi-Agent Systems", AI in Engineering, Design, Analysis and Manufacturing journal, special issue on Intelligent Agents in Design, J. S. Gero & F.M.T. Brazier (Eds.), Cambridge University Press, Vol.18, No.2, pp. 115-134.
  • D.C.Brown & B.Chandrasekaran (May 1989) Design Problem Solving: Knowledge Structures and Control Strategies . Research Notes in Artificial Intelligence Series, Pitman Publishing, Ltd., London, England.

View a Complete List

Professional Highlights

  • Senior Member, ACM
  • WPI Trustees' Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship, 1997
  • 2001-2011: Editor in Chief, AI EDAM journal, CUP
  • Best Paper Award, IUI conference, 2001
  • Best Paper Award, ASME CIE conference, 2004
  • Email a Friend
  • Bookmark this Page
  • Share this Page