Experience
Education
Bio
Alex Kirlik is Professor in the Department of Computer Science with additional appointments in the Department of Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and the Information Trust Institute. He previously served as acting head of Illinois's Human Factors program in the Institute of Aviation from 2006-2010. Alex earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial & Systems Engineering (Human-Machine Systems) at The Ohio State University. His Ph.D. thesis, "The organization of perception and action in complex control skills" earned the George Briggs Award from APA's Division of Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychologists, as the best dissertation of the year. During his academic career, in addition to positions held with his home institutions at the University of Illinois (2002-date) and Georgia Tech (1989-2001), Alex has held visiting positions at Stanford University and NASA Ames Research Center (ASEE-NASA Stanford Summer Faculty Fellow, 1989, 1990), Yale University, Haskins Laboratory and the University of Connecticut (Visiting Scholar, 2001-02 academic year), Draper Laboratory, Cambridge, MA (Sabbatical Research, 2012-13 academic year), and the Liberty Mutual Institute for Safety (Visiting Scholar, summer 2015). Alex's research interests include human-computer interaction, human factors visual analytics to support judgment and decision making, human-robot interaction, social computing, human-automation interaction and decision support is sociotechnical systems such as aviation, space, intelligence analysis, severe weather forecasting, disaster and emergency response, healthcare and medicine, autonomous vehicles, education and so forth. Alex's approach to teaching and mentoring students is naturally dependent of the level of instruction involved. Perhaps one notable aspect of his educational approach is that no crisp line can be drawn between his interests and activities in research and teaching. For example, he has advised 2 PhD dissertations on the development and evaluation of new techniques and technologies for teaching engineering design.His research and educational activities also dovetail in the realm of his graduate seminars, which are intensively group- and project-based, typically involving students in actual research projects to motivate and animate the course material. For example, in 2010 Alex seized on an opportunity afforded by a U.S. “Challenge.gov” Health and Human Services competition that required competing project teams to design a Facebook app that would be useful to people in the aftermath of natural disasters and emergencies. This project not only involved the students, working as a design team, to create a conceptual design for the app, but to also create a working software prototype and a video demo. The competition was open to any group who wanted to enter – it was not specifically targeted to the educational community or to educational institutions. The students’ design earned 3rd place nationally: www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/02/20120223b.htmlHis current (Spring, 2017) syllabus for his graduate course "Experimental Methods for HCI and Interactive Technologies in Engineering" can be found at: courses.engr.illinois.edu/cs598ack.html