Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

W. Richards Adrion

emeritus faculty
Professor Emeritus
224A CS Building
(413) 545-2475


CS Education research; CS Education policy and models for state and local change; impact of instructional technology on teaching and learning; history of computing and information sciences, and applications and models for technology transfer and diffusion.


After a long career in software engineering, analysis and testing, Professor Adrion's current research interests are in equity, diversity and inclusion; pedagogy and technologies for computer science teaching and learning, automatic capture and indexing of active classroom activities, multimedia authoring tools, and constructivist learning environments. Adrion has led a number of large regional and national programs, including the Commonwealth Information Technology Initiative (CITI) 2003–2006, the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE) 2006–2012, and the Expanding Computing Education Pathways Alliance from 2011–2019.


PhD, University of Texas at Austin (1971), ME(E), Cornell University (1967), BS, Cornell University, (1966). Professor Adrion joined the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1986 as Professor and Chair. He served as chair of the Department of Computer Science from 1986–1994. He founded and served as president and chair of the board of the Applied Computing Systems Institute of Massachusetts—a corporation designed to transfer technology developed at the University of Massachusetts from 1989–99. He served as the UMass Amherst Faculty Representative to the University Board of Trustees 2009–2012 and was active in the Faculty Senate throughout his UMass career. Dr. Adrion has served several times as a senior manager at the National Science Foundation, most recently as a Division Director and Senior Advisor in CISE from 1999–2003. Previously, he held NSF positions including Senior Scientist, Deputy Division Director, and Program Manager. He also held permanent and visiting positions with The University of Texas Austin, Oregon State University, National Bureau of Standards (now NIST), American University, Georgetown University, the University of California, Berkeley and the Universite' de Paris-Sud Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique.

Activities & Awards

Professor Adrion is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology. He has served on the organizing and program committees for numerous conferences, including as General Chair of the IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering and the ACM Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering. He has served on several federal advisory committees and boards, including NSF/CISE, NSF/CDA. NSF/NCRI, NIH/NLM. NIH/NINDS, NASA/CESDIS, NRC/COSEPUP and the National Superconducting Supercollider. He was a founding member of the Computing Research Association (CRA) Board of Directors.