W. Richards Adrion

Professor Emeritus
(413) 545-2475


Multimedia learning technologies; impact of instructional technology on teaching and learning; analysis and verification of concurrent, real-time computing systems; and applications and models for technology transfer and diffusion.


Professor Adrion's research interests are in three areas: multimedia technology for teaching and learning; analysis and verification of concurrent, real-time computing systems; and models for technology transfer and diffusion. His interests in pedagogy and technologies for learning include automatic capture and indexing of active classroom activities, multimedia authoring tools, and constructivist learning environments. He has focused on pedagogy for incorporating technology in the classroom and distance education. Adrion's research in the testing, analysis and verification of complex software systems centers around the definition of a new model of concurrency, development of repesentations of concurrent and real-time behavior based on this model, and use of the model to guide the modification, combination and application of sequential testing techniques, and extending the models, representations and techniques to systems under real-time constraints. In the area of technology transfer, Professor Adrion has been investigating various models related to university- industry collaboration.


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. 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, 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.