Les Nelson is a researcher at the Palo Alto Research Center of Xerox working on innovations for how people use technology to do things. His work considers how existing technologies get adapted to meet changing needs and practices. Les joined PARC in 2004, studying information sharing and collaboration support tools used in system engineering. Currently Les is looking at how people perceive the usefulness of augmented and virtual reality.
Les’ involvement with Xerox goes back to 1995, where he was the first researcher hired into the FX Palo Alto Laboratory. His work in human-computer interaction lead to both product and open source software contribution, 32 patents, and peer reviewed publications in social computing, mobile computing, and tangible computing.
Before PARC and FXPAL, Les worked for Lockheed R&D on a variety of projects in systems and software engineering for very large systems, software reengineering, and software reuse. Les started out in corporate life with the IBM Federal Systems Division as a software engineer on large scale, mission-critical, real-time systems.
Les received an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Computing from Trinity College, Hartford, CT, and a MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His master’s work was in mathematical programming and systems science.