Arthur  Karshmer

Arthur Karshmer

Professor Emeritus

Arthur Karshmer, former Chair of USF’s Analytics and Technology Department, is a visionary academician, teacher and developer of innovative assistance technologies for individuals with special needs. His work exemplifies USF’s core values of compassion and service work in the community. As the former Program Director for the Jesuit Foundation’s Program for Persons with Disabilities ­– as well as the recipient of multiple research grants from the National Science Foundation – Dr. Karshmer is regularly called upon to present his research in the U.S., Asia, Europe and South America.

Dr. Karshmer was the Department Chair of Analytics and Technology and has spent his career researching assistive technologies for individuals with special needs, focusing mainly on blind people. He has written extensively on the topic of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), a critical software application that enables those with specific needs to continue living in their preferred environment. His software demonstrates how technology can empower the specially abled, seniors, their family and caretakers. Dr. Karshmer has also extensively researched how to help blind students and professionals master mathematics by using computer-based tools, which he develops with his research group.

The San Francisco Bay Area is not only one of the key centers of our emerging digital world, it is also home to many minority, economically and physically challenged population sectors. Professor Karshmer encourages his students to explore and develop technologies and businesses that serve greater humanitarian purposes, improving the quality of life of those in our communities. 

In early 2013, Dr. Karshmer received two lifetime achievement awards, the Fred Strache Award and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Outstanding Achievement award. As of summer 2013 he has retired from his work as a professor. He is still doing research and writing grant proposals with colleagues, and is simultaneously exploring his many technological hobbies and interests. He has applied to Apple for a job at one of their genius bars. One of his running projects is putting together cruiseship entertainment that focuses on Hollywood’s take on specific destinations, the “Your Ports of Call as Seen Through the Lenses of Hollywood” program singling out which movies were made in or about popular tourist destinations. 


Ph.D., Computer and Information Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1978
Post-doctoral studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Einstein Institute of Mathematics, Computer Science Department, Israel, 1979 – 1980
M.S., Computer and Information Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
B.A., Political Science, Rutgers University, NJ


The following list is a selection of recent publications and does not represent the entire body of research.

“Efficient Generation of Large Amounts of Training Data for Sign Language Recognition: A Semi-Automatic Tool,” (with Y. Ruiduo, S. Sarkar & B. Loeding), Proceedings of the International Conference on Computers Helping People, Linz, Austria, 2006

“Translating MathML into Nemeth Braille Code,” (with P. Stanley), Proceedings of the International Conference on Computers Helping People, Linz, Austria, 2006

“Living Assistance Systems: An Ambient Approach,” (with J. Nehmer, M. Becker & R. Lamm) Proceedings of the 26th International Conference on Software Engineering, Shanghai, 2006

“Adapting Assistive Technologies for Use by the Elderly,” (with R. Lamm, J. Karshmer & D. Archambault) International Conference on Aging, Disability and Independence, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2006

Honors and Awards

Fred Strache Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013

University of Massachusetts at Amherst Outstanding Achievement Award, 2013

Fulbright Fellowship to Finland, 2007

Fulbright Fellowship to France, 2005

Fulbright Fellowship to Ireland, 2004

Art Karshmer, University of San Francisco School of Management