Dr. Maria Roussou is an Associate Professor in Interactive Systems at the Department of Informatics & Telecommunications, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Her research interests span across various areas including Human-Computer Interaction, eXtended Reality, Games, and Data Visualization.

With over two decades of experience in the field, Maria has specialized in projects combining interactive technologies with education and culture. She founded in 2003 and co-directed makebelieve, an experience design and consulting company. Previously, she established (in 1998) and directed (1998-2003) the Virtual Reality Department at the Foundation of the Hellenic World (FHW), a cultural heritage institution based in Athens, Greece. At FHW, she was responsible for recruiting a team of artists and programmers, setting up the VR exhibits & infrastructure, and managing the research, design and development of the VR programs and related visitor experiences. For most of the nineties (1993-1997), during her extensive work with the CAVE® at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory in Chicago, she focused on the design, application, and evaluation of virtual and digital media environments for education and the representation of cultural information. Maria also collaborated with many museums, such as the Acropolis Museum and the Walker Art Center, where she helped to design and create interactive art education material for the Web.

Maria's projects and collaborations have been featured internationally at events such as ACM SIGGRAPH (1993-2002) and the Ars Electronica festival (in the 90s, with her artwork as part of the permanent collection of the museum). She has been a regular member of the program and organizing committees of numerous exhibitions and conferences, has lectured extensively, and serves as Expert Evaluator to the European Commission FP5, FP6, FP7, H2020, and Horizon Europe funding programmes. She is a member of the Steering Committee of Interaction Design and Children and on the Editorial Boards of journals, including ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage, International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, and Multimodal Technologies and Interaction.

At the University of Athens, Maria teaches several graduate courses, including Interactive Systems (eXtended Reality), Data Visualization, Digital Technologies for Cultural Applications, and  ‘Museums and New Technologies’ (since 2004). At the undergraduate level, she has been teaching the 4th year course in Human-Computer Interaction since 2008 and the 2nd year core course Design and Use of Database Systems since 2017. Maria has also taught graduate-level Web Design and Development courses, Advanced Web Development with Content Management Systems, and User-Centered Design for the Digital Communication and Social Media Master's program at the American College of Greece.

She has been involved in numerous EU-funded research projects, most notably: BRIDGES H2020 Innovation Action (2020-2023) as the PI for the UoA, EUGAIN COST Action (2020-2024) as Science Communication Manager, EMOTIVE (2016-2019), the CHESS Project (2011-2014), in which she led the User-Centred Design & Scenarios work, and the MAGELLAN Project (2013 – 2016), in which she worked on location-based mobile application evaluation.

She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science (with a research focus on Virtual Reality and Human-Computer Interaction) from the University of London (UCL), a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Electronic Visualization from the School of Art and Design, University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Science (M.Sc) in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from the same university, and an undergraduate degree in Applied Informatics from the Athens University of Economics and Business

She is an active member of several professional organizations since the mid-'90s, such as the ACM (Senior Member since 2020, Greek ACM SIGCHI Professional Chapter Chair 2011-2019 and Vice Chair since 2020, Greek ACM-W Chapter Vice Chair since 2018), IEEE, and ICOM. In recognition of her contributions to Digital Heritage and Virtual Archaeology, she received the Tartessos Award in 2013.