Murray Turoff

Contact Info

Title: Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Office: 4206 GITC
Hours: by appointment; user to make appointment or contact
Phone: 973-596-3399
Dept: Information Systems Department

About Me

Murray Turoff, PhD, is a distinguished professor emeritus in the Information Systems Department at New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has been engaged in research and development of computer-mediated communication systems since the late 1960s. He was the designer of the Emergency Management Information System And Reference Index (EMISARI), which was the first group communication-oriented crisis management system and which was used for the 1971 Wage Price Freeze and assorted federal crisis events until the mid-1980s.

Turoff has been at NJIT since 1973 and developed the Electronic Information Exchange System (EIES) in 1976 as a computer-mediated communication system to support research in new applications of computer-based communications technology. He was instrumental in the formation of the Information Systems Department at NJIT and was its first chairperson. He has worked in such application areas as decision support systems, scientific communications, planning and technological foresight, the Delphi Method, and the development of the Virtual Classroom System on EIES at NJIT in the mid- to late 1980s. He teaches courses in Human Computer Interaction Design, the management of information systems, and emergency management information systems. He received the Electronic Frontier Foundation´s Computer Pioneer Award.

Turoff is co-author of the award-winning book The Network Nation: Human Communication via Computer that predicted all the current Web based communication systems in 1978. He is a cofounder of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) and was program chair of their third international meeting in May 2006. He has published a number of recent papers on the design of information systems for all aspects of crisis planning and emergency management.


  • B. A. (Mathematics and Physics), 1958, University of California at Berkeley, Honors in Math and Physics, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Ph.D. (Physics), 1965, Brandies University

Professional Experience

Former Faculty Appointments:

  • Information Systems, College of Computing Sciences
  • School of Management, NJIT
  • Rutgers Graduate School of Management

Prior Academic Administration Experience:

  • Chair of Information Systems Department
  • Chair of Computer and Information Science Department
  • Program Director for Information Systems PhD and Information Systems program in a Management PhD program in Rutgers
  • Director of the Computerized Conference and Communication Center at NJIT for fifteen years

Prior Work Experience:

  • IBM Systems Engineer
  • Institute for Defense Analysis, Research Scientist
  • Office of Emergency Preparedness, Executive Office of the President, Operations Research Analyst and Systems Designer

Professional, Research, and Consulting Areas:

  • Information Systems, Computer Mediated Communication Systems
  • Emergency Preparedness and Management Information Systems
  • Learning Systems, Online Learning methodologies
  • Delphi Design, Policy Analysis, Planning Methodologies
  • Interface Design, Systems Evaluation
  • Collaborative Systems and Group Decision Support Systems
  • Management Information Systems
  • Social Impacts of Computer & Information Systems
  • Management of Computer and Information Systems



Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses:

  • IS 413 Requirements Analysis for Emergency Management Information Systems
  • IS 455 Management of Computer Systems
  • IS 477 Human Computer Interface Design
  • Same Syllabus and course notes as for IS 732 (see below)

Graduate Courses (can include senior undergraduates or honor upper division undergraduates in a graduate offering)

  • IS 613 Design of Emergency Management Information Systems
  • IS 679 Management of Information Systems
  • IS 732 Design of Interactive Systems



Research Interests

Major Accomplishments

Originator of the Policy Delphi technique, which is an extension of the Delphi Method for use in Policy and Decision Analysis. Designer of seven Delphi studies and consultant on numerous others. Member of the Design team on the Delphi dealing with the Social, Ethical and Legal Implications of Biomedical Research for the National Commission on the Protection of Human Subjects. Designer of a Delphi on the Future of the Steel and Ferro-alloy Industry for the National Materials Advisory Board. First to automate and conduct Delphis in real time on time-sharing computer systems in 1970.


While at the Office of Emergency Preparedness, designed the nationwide Management Information System that was used for the 1971 Wage-Price-Rent Freeze (EMISARI). This system and others that I designed (RIMS, IRIS, PREMIS) were used for a decade by the U. S. Government for crisis management monitoring most economic disruptions (e.g., coal strikes, transportation strikes) and commodity shortages (e.g., oil, gas, fertilizer).


Introduced the concept of Computerized Conferencing and am responsible for the implementation, utilization and early evaluation work on this unique combination of an information and communication system. Developed and Implemented the first Computer Mediated Communications System (CMC) tailored to facilitate group communications (Delphi Conference in 1970). Have been responsible for the design of four of these systems and have advised on the development and design choices for a number of others in both industrial and governmental organizations.


Led the formation of a new Information Systems Department at NJIT in 2000. Served as head of the Division of IS for one year prior to the formation of the department and for two plus years as its initial chairperson.


Prior Research at NJIT

Have accomplished fundamental methodological developments in the area of Structural Modeling for Planning and Forecasting and in the area of consistency estimation of subjective probabilities.


Responsibilities and accomplishments under the National Science Foundation grants have included:


  • Development and Design of the Electronic Information Exchange System (EIES).
  • Developed an evolutionary approach to the development of computerized conferencing systems tying on going evaluation methodologies in to the evolutionary design of the system.
  • Design of software facilities to support the implementation of Computerized Conferencing Systems.
  • A state of the art review of the use of computers to facilitate human communications.
  • Design of specialized communication structures for human problem solving, office automation, management augmentation and educational applications.
  • Design of the first fully electronic information marketplace, providing the ability of buyers and sellers to accomplish all marketplace functions within one information system.
  • Participated in the design and execution of three controlled experiments for exploring the impact of computerized conferencing designs on individuals and groups and associated cognitive process.
  • Designed a Delphi study for a comparative analysis of design principles among the designers of various computerized conferencing and electronic message system.


Over twenty-five years of basic and applied research at NJIT in computer based communications covering design, implementation, application, evaluation and assessment as well as incorporating controlled experimentation, field trials and methodological development.


Involved with the design and development of a new generation of Computer Mediated Communications system facilities to support group oriented applications: EIES and WEBEIES. These new facilities are dedicated to supporting the frequent user who would use this technology to support their daily work. It incorporates many structures and tools for handling information overload problems for both individuals and groups.


Current facilities under exploration and development include Group Graphics, Collaborative Composition, Group Hypertext, Gaming Systems, and various Group Decision Support tools (e.g., voting mechanisms).


Responsible for the design of the initial features in the software that comprised the Virtual Classroom functionality in both the original EIES and the current EIES2 system. Have been employing EIES and EIES2 to augment regular course delivery since the early eighties.



Selected Publications


Turoff, Murray, On Delphi Design, in progress

Turoff, Murray, On the Design and Evaluation of Interactive Systems, in progress.

Harasim, Linda, Hiltz, Roxanne, Teles, Lucio, & Turoff, Murray, Learning Networks: A field guide to teaching and learning online, MIT Press, 1995.

Hiltz, S. R. & Turoff, Murray, The Network Nation, Revised Edition, MIT Press, 1993.

Hiltz, S. R., & Turoff, Murray, The Network Nation: Human Communication via Computer, Reading, Massachusetts, Addison Wesley Advanced Book Program, 1978. The Network Nation received the 1978 TSM Award of the Association of American Publishers for the Best Technical Publication of 1978. It was also nominated for an award as the best book in Information Science for 1978. Fourth printing of paperback edition, 1983.

Linstone, Harold & Turoff, Murray editors: The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications, Addison Wesley Advanced Book Program, 1975. This is considered the standard reference text for those interested in doing Delphi studies.

Turoff, Murray, A Computer Model for Planetary Nebulae, Thesis in Physics, Brandies University, 1965, University Microfilms.

Book Chapters:

Turoff, Murray, The Evolution of Online Learning, Sloan Workshop 2004, Olin College, Mass., August 2004 (accepted for a new Sloan Monograph, 2005)

Hiltz, S.R., Fjermestad, J., Ocker, R. and Turoff, M. Asynchronous Virtual Teams: Can software tools and structuring of Social Processes enhance performance? Chapter for Volume II: Human Computer Interaction in Management Information Systems: Applications, Dennis Galletta and Ping Zhang, editors, Forthcoming Spring 2005.

Turoff, M., Howard, C. and Discenza, R. "Technology’s Role in Distance Education" Khosrow-Pour, Mehdi (editor) Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology. Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing. 2005, pp. 2777-2783.

Discenza, R. Howard, C. and Turoff, M.” Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Education,” in Howard, Caroline, Judith Boettcher, Lorraine Justice and Karen Schenk (editors) Encyclopedia of Online Learning and Technology Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing. Forthcoming Spring 2005.

Turoff, M., Hiltz, S. R., Li, Z., Wang, Y., Cho, H. "The Delphi Process as a Collaborative Learning Method." In (edited by J. C. Moore) Elements of Quality Online Education: Into the Mainstream: Wisdom from the Sloan Consortium, 121-134. Needham, MA: Sloan-C, September 2004.

Turoff, M., Undergraduate Majors in Information Sciences and Information Systems, in The College Board Book of Majors, first edition, fall 2004, Invited Contribution, (one of 180 professors invited to write up majors in different fields).

Turoff, M., R. Discenza, Caroline Howard, How Distance Programs will affect Students, Courses, Faculty and Institutional Future, invited initial chapter in the book: Distance Learning and University Effectiveness: Changing Educational Paradigms for Online Learning, Idea Group Incorporated, Hershey, Pa., Spring 2004.