Social Cognition and Interactive Expertise in Natural and Computational Environments
Our research focuses on Social Cognition and Interactive Expertise in Natural and Computational Environments, hence SCIENCE Lab.
Areas as diverse as finance and business intelligence, education, transportation safety, freedom from crime and the threat of terrorism, public health, and environmental protection among others require the creation of information systems that support human cognitive processes such as learning and discovery, insight, creativity, reasoning and problem solving, coordination, and communication and that enable those innately human abilities to function at their best in information spaces that may include large volumes of data that are confusing, complex and uncertain.
These applications require technologies that support the blending of human cognitive abilities with computational processes. This in turn demands design methodologies that encorporate and advance a new translational cognitive science of human-information interaction. This new science must address research questions that emerge from field studies of "cognition in the wild'-- at different stages of cognitive development, by aging and handicapped individuals, as well as by expert decision makers across a broad range of domains and situations. It must be precise enough to effectively guide technology builders, interaction designers, managers and trainers of a new generation of computationally-sophisticated decision makers. Finally, it must be operationalized in new design methodologies that SIAT, SFUs innovative design school, is uniquely capable of creating.
SCIENCE Lab conducts the field studies and laboratory experiments to understand how humans can use information and communication technologies to achieve cognitive goals: understanding and knowledge-building, collaboration and coordination of activities. Much of this work falls under the label of visual analytics "the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces".