The RETRO Laboratory is a research and development group housed in the University of Central Florida‘s Institute for Simulation & Training. RETRO stands for, “Recent and Emerging Technology Research Organization,” and specializes in the academic study of serious games as well as the canon of virtual/interactive training and learning systems. The lab is co-directed by UCF Faculty members Dr. Janis Cannon-Bowers of IST and Dr. Clint Bowers of the UCF Psychology Department, and focuses on blending best practices and innovations in interactive media product development with human-computer interaction psychology. Our team includes both students and professionals across many disciplines that compose our two teams, which includes researchers and interactive product developers.
RETRO specializes in the development of light-weight Flash games for training and education. We’ve also been involved all sorts of interactive media projects, from developing an MMO to teach undergraduate students about physics to creating fun iPad apps to be used as tools during therapy. You can read more about our development work, as well as our current gaming research, on our Projects page.
RETRO Lab Directors
EMAIL: jancb at mail.ucf.edu
Dr. Cannon-Bowers holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from the University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. As the team leader for Advanced Training Research for the Navy, she was involved in a number of research projects directed toward improving performance in complex environments. These included investigation of training needs and design for multi-operator training systems, tactical decision-making under stress, the impact of technology on learning and performance, training for knowledge-rich environments, human-centered design, human performance modeling and development of knowledge structures underlying higher order skills. At UCF, Dr. Cannon-Bowers is continuing her work in technology-enabled learning and human performance modeling. Her goal is to leverage and transition DoD’s sizable investment in modeling, simulation and training to other areas such as entertainment, workforce development and life-long learning and education. To date, she has been awarded several grants to support this work, including a recent award by the National Science Foundation under their Science of Learning Center program. Dr. Cannon-Bowers has been an active researcher, with over 100 publications in scholarly journals, books and technical reports, and numerous professional presentations. She is a Fellow of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Division 14 of the American Psychological Association).
Dr. Clint Bowers | RETRO Lab Co-Founder & Co-Director
EMAIL: clint.bowers at ucf.edu
Dr. Bowers holds a Ph.D in Psychology from the University of South Florida. His chief interest is in the use of technology to facilitate teamwork. This takes several forms. The first includes basic research on the nature of effective teamwork and the factors that influence it. A second research thrust involves the training of teams. He is especially interested in the use of training technologies and simulation in training team skills. Finally, he is interested in the use of technology to assist teams in their day-to-day tasks. This includes research in information visualization, groupware, and other hardware/software systems. Besides his interest in team performance, he is also involved in several student projects. These include the use of virtual reality to teach deaf children, the neuropsychology of spatial abilities, and the use of warnings to manage predictable non-compliance.
Graduate Research Assistants
RETRO also has several graduate research assistants from a variety of programs here at the University of Central Florida, including the Applied Experimental and Human Factors Psychology doctoral program, the Clinical Psychology doctoral program, the Modeling and Simulation doctoral program, and the Industrial/Organizational Psychology masters program.
Paul Barclay | Graduate Research Associate
EMAIL: paul.barclay86 at gmail.com
EMAIL: ntjames21 at gmail.com
Maddie Marks graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Psychology and a minor in Psychology from the University of Connecticut (UCONN) in 2012 and was designated a University Honors Scholar as well as a Babbidge Scholar. She is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at the University of Central Florida. Maddie is a member of the Recent and Emerging Technology Research Organization Lab (RETRO Lab) and the Center for Trauma, Anxiety, Resilience and Prevention. She is interested in integrating technology into clinical research and practice pertaining to current and former military service men and women, athletes, and healthcare providers. Her prior research has involved investigating stress, anxiety and performance, including mental health issues, for returing OEF / OIF Veterans. Maddie and her dog Waldo are originally from Connecticut. While they are excited for the warm weather, they will certainly miss the snow. Two fun facts about Maddie: She has a national championship ring, which she received during her four year tenure with the UCONN Women’s Basketball Team managing staff; and her other car is an ambulance as she is an active EMT.
Waldo | Research Dog
EMAIL: Not availableWaldo is a Tibetan Terrier whose research interests include playing in the snow, running, chasing squirrels, and going for walks.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
RETRO also provides opportunities for those seeking experience in research as volunteers.
RETRO has several UCF undergraduate students who volunteer in the lab. Most, but not all, are majoring in Psychology. Their names are: Amanda Tan, Katy Odette, Soraya Allen, Emily Gonzalez-Holland, Larry Van Lue, Yasmine Moolenaar, and Mery Cruz. Some of our student volunteers have even completed independent research projects as a part of their honors theses.
Pictured above David Garcia and Christine Kreutzer. Also pictured is our former administrative assistant and undergraduate research assistant Jenny L. Vogel and former undergraduate research assistants Latasha White and Katherine Huayhua.
The following are former members of the RETRO team. If you’re a RETRO alumnus and you would like your name to be listed here, please Contact Us.
- Yinghua Hu
- Rachel Joyce – former Lab Manager
- James Bohnsack
- Benjamin Repkay
- Katie Levy
- Alyssa Singer
- Alen Chao
- Patrick Saikas
- Ryan Yordon
- Austyn Tempesta
- Brian Eddy
- Arun George
- Debbie Saber
- Jenny L. Vogel – former admin assistant / programmer / researcher
- Greg Pardo – former Lead Programmer
- Julian Montaquila
- Yeonsil Song
- Leah Kuffner – former admin assistant and QA editor
- Derek Rosa – former programmer
- Lucas Blair – former Lead Game Designer and Lab Manager
- Danielle Chelles – former Lead Artist
- Kristina Thani
- David Do
- Kara Colley
- Jen Loglia
- Michael Schwartz
- Skilan Ortiz
- Christopher “Kai” Wong
- Stephanie Formanek
- Katelyn Procci- former Research Coordinator and Lab Manager