Michael Hoffmann, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Member Of:
  • School of Public Policy
  • Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center
Office Phone:
Office Location:
DM Smith G04

Dr. Michael Hoffmann is an Associate Professor for Philosophy in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech. His research focuses on tools and educational approaches to foster students’ ability to cope with “wicked problems.” For Rittel and Webber, who coined the term, problems are “wicked” if there is not even a definitive formulation of what the problem is. For example: “Should humanity try to engineer the Earth’s climate?” Or: “Should we develop autonomous lethal robots for the military?” Since we always approach problems from a certain point of view, those problems will be perceived and specified differently as a function of varying knowledge, conflicting interests, world-views, and values.

Supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Hoffmann developed the interactive and web-based argument visualization tool "AGORA-net" (see http://agora.gatech.edu). Currently, the project "Fostering self-correcting reasoning with reflection systems" -- a collaboration with Dr. Richard Catrambone (School of Psychology) and Dr. Jeremy Lingle (CEISMC) -- is supported by a grant from the NSF "Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies" program. The goal is to transform AGORA-net into "Reflect!," a new deliberation platform for student teams who work in problem-based learning environments on wicked problems (for details see http://agora.gatech.edu/node/52). Parts of this project will be realized in the VIP Digital Deliberation, a collaboration with Chris LeDantec which is supported by a grant from the Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center (DILAC; more at http://agora.gatech.edu/node/50. For publications see http://works.bepress.com/michael_hoffmann/

  • Dr. phil. habil., Philosophy, Technical University of Dresden, Germany, 2003
  • PhD, Philosophy, Ludwig-Maximilians Universit
Awards and
  • Gold Star Award in recognition of the highest level of accomplishment in research. Awarded 2011by Georgia Tech
Areas of
  • Abduction
  • Argument Mapping
  • Argumentation Theory
  • Assessment Of Critical And Ethical Thinking Skills
  • Computer-supported Argument Visualization
  • Diagrammatic Reasoning
  • Digital Deliberation
  • Digital Humanities
  • Ethics
  • Philosophy Of Technology
  • Pragmatism
  • Reflection Tools
  • Semiotics
  • Wicked Problems