Colin Potts
Professor Emeritus

Research Areas:
Professional ethics, Social implications of information technology, Requirements engineering, Design thinking


Dr. Colin Potts, the vice provost for undergraduate education oversees offices and programs affecting undergraduate education including the Center for Career Discovery and Development (C2D2), the Honors Program (HP), the Center for Academic Enrichment (CAE), Center for Academic Success (CAS), and the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS).

Dr. Potts sits on the President’s Cabinet and represents Georgia Tech’s undergraduate academic affairs to the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and the Association of American Universities (AAU), among other constituencies. He also evaluates and approves academic policies affecting undergraduate students and proposals for all undergraduate courses and programs.

After earning a Ph.D. from Sheffield University in psychology for performing research in text memory and comprehension, and then working as a software engineer and ergonomics consultant, Potts joined the Department of Computing at Imperial College. Later, he moved to the Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation as a senior technical staff member. Potts joined the Georgia Tech College of Computing in 1992 as a faculty member in what is now the School of Interactive Computing. His research over the past 25 years has spanned the fields of requirements engineering, software design methods, human-computer interaction and information privacy. All his research has been interdisciplinary and has emphasized the human element in technology design and use. Potts is best known for design methods that start not from technology innovation but from user needs and envisaged scenarios of use.

Potts has been responsible for designing and teaching courses in software engineering, human-computer interaction design and evaluation and the social and ethical implications of information technology. He has taught at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels; professional development seminars; and evening courses. His passion, however, is undergraduate education- for which he received the 2010 William “Gus” Baird Faculty Teaching Award and the 2012 Eichholz Faculty Teaching Award. He frequently teaches introductory courses in computer science to non-majors.

He has taught in study abroad programs in Barcelona and Oxford, led a ThinkBig living learning community and participated in the development of the X-Degree and TechArts- initiatives that emerged from the institute’s 25-year strategic plan and seek to broaden the academic experiences of students.

Potts is a photographer with several one-man exhibits to his name and is a keen but rusty chess player (lifetime high of USCF 2050 but now languishing in the low 1800s). He was born in London, which explains his oddly spelled sense of humor and his lifelong support for Tottenham Hotspur FC. He is married to a professor and poet, has two cats and an adult son.