Computer Science and Applications, PhD (Virginia Tech, 2017)Computer Science and Applications, MSc (Virginia Tech, 2015)Human Centered Computer Systems, MSc (University of Sussex, 1998)Electrical Engineering, BSc (TEI of Western Greece, 1996)

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." Borrowing this quote from George Bernard Shaw, I strongly believe learning should be fun and playful in order to be effective. This motto drives me personally but also the way I structure my classes and the types of topics I research. If you have a fun and potentially impactful idea, bring it to me!"


Research interests include:

HCI, Audience Interaction, Informal Learning with Technology, 3D User Interfaces, User Experience Design



Panagiotis Apostolellis is a full-time Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Virginia. He received his PhD in Computer Science & Applications from Virginia Tech in 2017. He also holds a MSc in Computer Science from Virginia Tech and an MSc in Human-Centered Systems from the University of Sussex (UK). Additionally, Panagiotis has a Graduate Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction from Virginia Tech (2015). While a graduate student at Virginia Tech (2011-2017), he worked at the Center for Human-Computer Interaction under the guidance of Dr. Doug Bowman, researching the impact of audience interaction using serious games and VR on young student audiences visiting informal learning spaces. His teaching experience involves being an Adjunct faculty member and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech, serving as a Teaching Assistant in multiple CS courses, and teaching diverse audiences about IT and New Media Technologies. His dissertation received the Outstanding Research award for 2017-2018 from the CS department at Virginia Tech. Panagiotis has also extensive experience as a Senior Interactive Systems Designer and Developer at a cultural institution in his home country, Greece (2000-2011).


  • Henry Kinnier Award, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences 2020-2021
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award, CS department at Virginia Tech 2017

Research Interests

  • HCI
  • Audience Interaction
  • Informal Learning with Technology
  • 3D User Interfaces
  • User Experience Design
  • Computer Science education
  • Computational Thinking

Selected Publications

  • Supporting Social Engagement for Young Audiences with Serious Games and Virtual Environments in Museums. In: Vermeeren A., Calvi L., Sabiescu A. (eds) Museum Experience Design. Springer Series on Cultural Computing. Springer. Apostolellis, P., Bowman, D. A., & Chmiel, M. (2018).
  • Audience involvement and agency in digital games: effects on learning, game experience, and social presence. In Proceedings of the The 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (pp. 299-310). ACM. Apostolellis, P., & Bowman, D. A. (2016, June).
  • Evaluating the effects of orchestrated, game-based learning in virtual environments for informal education. In Proceedings of the 11th Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (p. 4). Funchal, Portugal: ACM. Apostolellis, P., & Bowman, D. A. (2014, November).
  • RabBit EscApe: A Board Game for Computational Thinking. In Proceedings of the 13th Interaction Conference on Interaction Design and Children, pp. 349-352. Aarhus, Denmark: ACM Press. Apostolellis, P., Stewart, M., Frisina, C., and Kafura, D. (2014, June).
  • Poster: Exploring the integrality and separability of the Leap Motion Controller for direct manipulation 3D interaction. In IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces (3DUI), pp. 153-154. Minneapolis, MN: IEEE. Apostolellis, P., Bortz, B., Peng, M., Polys, N., & Hoegh, A. (2014, March).

Courses Taught

  • CS 1110 Introduction to Programming Fall 2018
  • CS 3205 HCI in Software Development