Human Performance in the Complex Workplace: Implications for Basic Research in Cognitive Science
Valerie Shalin Principal Investigator
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The objective of this workshop is to assist in the development of an integrated perspective on the scope, achievements, and promise of Cognitive Science. An applications perspective on Cognitive Science furthers this goal in three respects: First, the ability to address applications problems provides one standard for recognizing progress and for identifying absent areas of scientific understanding. Second, applications problems generally require the integration of multiple scientific disciplines, but drive integration with a common goal and context for interdisciplinary discussion. Third, complex applications problems may assist in clarifying the boundaries of Cognitive Science, by introducing research needs that are clearly outside the basic research agenda for the community. This workshop will assemble twenty-four prominent researchers from the basic Cognitive Science research community; they have been chosen for their eagerness to generate the mapping between their basic research activities and applications, while strengthening their own understanding of applied problems. The workshop will be conducted over a two-day period and will center on the theme of Human Performance in the Complex Workplace. It will include representatives from the basic research community, NSF, the applied research community, and application-domain specialists from government and industry. The morning sessions will consist of brief presentations by domain specialists. The afternoon sessions will consist of small working groups, each analyzing a complex applications problem according to the lines of relevant Cognitive Science research. The conclusions from each working group will be assembled and preserved in the form of a publishable report. The expected outcomes include increased awareness by both the scientifically- and practically-oriented participants of the potential relevance of the Cognitive Sciences to applications concerns. The workshop is also likely to promote interest in uninvestigated aspects of Cognitive Science that serve as barriers both to greater scientific understanding as well as to societally useful applications.