Vetter received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from North Dakota State University and his PhD in computer science from the University of Minnesota. He has published more than 120 journal, conference, and technical papers and has served as the PI or Co-PI on grants and contracts exceeding $6 million dollars. His research has been supported by the USWEST Foundation, NSF, USDA, NASA, US Department of Justice, and others.
Over the past twenty-five years, he has held numerous leadership and academic positions, as well as starting two technology companies (Mobile Education in 2007 and PowerPlay Mobile in 2010). From 2013-2018, Dr. Vetter served as the Associate Provost for Research (Chief Research Officer) and Dean of the Graduate School at UNC Wilmington. One of his primary areas of responsibility included oversight of the university's technology transfer and commercialization efforts, including a public-private research & development millennial campus with startup biotechnology tenants and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), a business startup incubator and meeting/events facility. During Vetter's tenure, more than 100 companies were incubated in the entrepreneurship center and the millennial campus. He successfully raised venture capital for his own businesses, as well as negotiated startup financing for affiliated tenants within the CIE.
Dr. Vetter is editor-in-chief emeritus of Computer, the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society and has served on the editorial board since 1995. He is currently the department editor for the monthly "Spotlight on Transactions" column. He previously served on the editorial advisory board of Communications of the ACM, the flagship publication of the ACM, from 1996-2008, and was an ACM Distinguished Lecturer. He was selected as the 2001-2002 ACM Outstanding Lecturer of the Year.
Vetter is a frequent consultant to business and industry on technology commercialization, patent litigation, and other computer science related topics.
Current research focuses on building mobile applications, including those based on the Short Message Service, web applications/systems development, computer and network security, cyber-physical systems, and parallel & distributed systems.