Jeffrey Jacobson, Ph.D.

333 Lamartine St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130



Consultant in technology and applications of Virtual Reality, working with clients to understand where virtual, augmented or mixed reality can solve problems. I collaborate with the client to build the workflow and organization needed. I also locate, customize, or create the technical solutions needed. Currently collaborating with professionals in Architecture and Construction on using VR to improve communication with their clients and accelerate the design process.

My doctorate and later work are in Information Science and centered on the psychology of human perception, action, and learning in three-dimensional space. This a key aspect of all meaningful applications of VR and related technologies. Strong technical background in computer science with 20 years of building VR systems. Created effective solutions with experts in several industries.

SELECTED PROJECTS________________________________________________

Managed budgets, schedules, and personalities. Managed technologies, testing, integration, and delivery. Published and promoted results. For the rest, see

Visual Training Materials, New England Tractor Trailer Training School

2012 – 2014   Somers, CT; North Andover, MA; Pawtucket, RI

       Collaborated with instructors to invent visual aids for learning certain complex maneuvers.

       Greatly improved test pass rates with those maneuvers (e.g. rates doubled in North Andover).

Virtual Egyptian Temple, Connecticut Science Center, Hartford, CT                               


Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA, and PublicVR, Boston, MA

2006 – 2010

At each museum:

       In their digital immersive theater, installed the temple, which a presenter navigates. This thematically extends their physical Egypt collection into the virtual space of the dome.

       Team:  Egyptologist, programmer, artist, student artists, educator, museum staff.

       Tools:  Unreal Engine, Unity3D, CaveUT, 3ds Maxx, Photoshop, SVN, Dolby Server.

       Audience response was enthusiastic. Both museums can now develop these virtual tours.

The Living Forest, Complex Systems Research Center, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (Supervising scientist: Dr. Schloss) and PublicVR, Boston, MA

2011, 2013

       Created an interactive virtual forest for digital dome theaters showing the forest life cycle.

       Audiences participated in game-like field trip activities, led by a teacher/guide.

       Team:  Programmer, Artist, Educator, Natural scientist, support staff.

       Tools:  Unity3D, 3D Studio Maxx, Photoshop, GanttProject, phpBB3 bulletin board, SVN

       Completed on time and on budget, multiple showings, publications, and related research.


Gates of Horus Game and Research   Carnegie Museum of Nat. History & Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA

2004 – 2008

       Built a game based on the Virtual Egyptian Temple, which runs on a desktop PC or digital dome.

       Tools:  Unreal Engine, 3DS Maxx, Photoshop, Unreal Script, and CaveUT.

       Team: Egyptologist, artist, animator, educator, educational research scientists.

       Proved superior learning of the architectural space with VR, the first published study of its kind.


Medical Virtual Reality Center (MVRC)   University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Pittsburgh, PA,

1999-2002, & 2006-2007 

       Built the MVRC lab and a VR simulator for research and treatment of balance disorders.

       Team:  Trained staff in operations and how to build their own virtual worlds.

       Tools:  LabView, Unreal Engine, Windows Shell Script, Perforce, CaveUT.

       The MVRC lab continues to support high quality research and treatment to this day.

OTHER WORK______________________________________________________

Executive Director, PublicVR, Boston, MA

2004 – 2014,

Founded this 501(c)(3) for VR software and research in education. Raised funds and wrote grants (NEH, NSF, NFF, private). Conceived, and managed projects (see above). Mentored interns.

Strategic and Technical Advisor, Curtin University, Perth, Australia   

December, 2013,

Advised them on the best uses for their new VR lab, future programs, and later expansion.

The Egyptian Oracle Performance, PublicVR, Boston, MA, & Nat. Endowment for the Humanities


Recreation of an ancient Egyptian religious celebration in mixed reality (MXR), with life-sized puppet/avatar, live actor, and audience participation.

Invented CaveUT, PublicVR, Boston, MA


CaveUT was free software for immersive VR displays with the Unreal Engine. Used in educational and experimental projects, attracting many contributions. Over 500 citations in scientific literature.

System Software Engineer and Configuration Manager, Honeywell, Minneapolis, MN

1987-1991, Helped write the core of a new computer operating system.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS____________________________________________

For the full list, see   

Jacobson, J. (2013). Digital Dome Versus Desktop Display; Learning Outcome Assessments by Domain Experts, International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, IGI Global, 4(3).  PDF

Schloss, A., Jacobson, J., and Handron, K. (2012). Active Learning in a Digital Dome with the Living Forest, Journal of Immersive Education, Inst. of Immersive Education, 1(1).  PDF

Handron, K., Jacobson, J. (2010). Extending Physical Collections Into the Virtual Space of a Digital Dome, The 11th International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (VAST), A. Artusi, M. Joly-Parvex, G. Lucet, A. Ribes, and D. Pitzalis (Editors), Paris, France, September. PDF


Ph.D. Information Science (2008) – University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

BA in Computer Science (1986) – University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX