top of page


Laura Axle.jpg

Laura Shackelford

I am a Professor of Anthropology and an affiliate in the Department of Informatics and Game Studies & Design at UIUC and a Professor of Biomedical and Translational Sciences and the Anatomy Director for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. My research focuses on the evolution of our species, Homo sapiens, as a background to understanding recent human diversity. I have a geographic focus in Southeast Asia, and since 2008 I have co-directed ongoing field research in northern Laos. More recently, my research explores virtual reality and technology in education in an effort to make human prehistory and archaeological field work accessible to more students.

You can find out more about my research and



Wen-Hao David Huang

I study how individuals and organizations make informed decisions across learning and development contexts. By understanding how decision-making processes are made, it becomes feasible for me to design motivational and engagement systems to facilitate favorable decision-making behaviors by individuals and organizations. I work with a variety of learning environments, ranging from technology-enriched and enabled learning environments (TEELE) to community-based learning environments. Regardless of the characteristics and purposes of the learning environments, my work informs the underlying theoretical and empirical foundations in motivations, engagements, and design thinking.

For the Game-Based Virtual Reality Archaeology project, I am responsible for designing and implementing research and evaluative activities to delineate the relationships among motivational support, cognitive processes, and learning outcome perceived by study participants. I believe the output of this project can meaningfully inform the design and implementation of VR-based learning environments in terms of their instructional efficacy, accessibility, and scalability for learning and development applications across contexts.

Illinois News Bureau article:

My full faculty bio is linked here:

My LinkedIn profile:


Alan B. Craig

I serve as an involved advisor for this project.  I have written several related books including: Understanding Virtual Reality (first and second edition), Developing Virtual Reality Applications, and Understanding Augmented Reality.  I currently hold three patents.


Dan Matis

I am a graduate student in Anthropology with an interest in photogrammetry and 3D modeling applications in archaeology. I was invited to join this project in the spring of 2019 as a part-time student employee and am very excited to be able to take part in making this project a (Virtual) reality.


David Hopping

David is a recent graduate of UIUC with a degree in Anthropology+Computer Science. He will pursue a graduate degree in Informatics at UIUC in Fall 2022. 


Robbie Sieczkowski

Robbie is a recent graduate of UIUC with a degree in Media and Cinema Studies where he was also the president of the VR Club and the Illini Esports VR Community Coordinator. He will pursue a graduate degree in Informatics at UIUC in Fall 2022. 


Nan Kang

Nan is an undergrad at UIUC studying Computer Engineering and Statistics. 


Zade Lobo

Zade is an undergrad at UIUC studying Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Game Studies and Design. He is currently (Summer 2022) working as an XR Research Intern for Play Station's VR/XR group.  



Alexandra (Allie) Zachwieja


Jamie Arjona


Janny Chen


Monika Janas


Alice (Xuehui) Chao


Aaron Stocks


Isaac Smith


Cameron Merrill


Rajee Shah


Jin Jang

golden VR1.jpg

Emma Verstraete

bottom of page