Thomas Hewett, PhD

Professor Emeritus

Thomas Hewett
Office: Stratton 310
Phone: 215.895.2461
Curriculum Vitae: Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Research Interests

  • Human computer interaction

  • Cognitive engineering
  • Design of computing systems to support creative work


Tom Hewett is Professor of Psychology and Computer Science at Drexel University where he teaches courses on Cognitive Psychology, The Psychology of Human Computer Interaction (HCI), The Psychology of HCI Design, and Problem Solving and Creativity. He has been visiting fellow, visiting professor or visiting researcher at the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland, Twente University, Hengelo, The Netherlands, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK, University of the Aegean, Syros, Greece, and the Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA. More recently, Tom was Visiting Professor at the Creativity and Cognition Studios, Faculty of Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and Cognos Distinguished Visiting Scientist at The Human Oriented Technology Laboratory, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Tom regularly offers a professional development tutorial on cognitive aspects of interactive system design to interaction designers at both conferences and in-house training sessions. For some years he also taught a weeklong course on Human Problem Solving for the User System Interaction program at the Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

In addition to being a published courseware author Tom has made several conference presentations and worked on development and evaluation of interactive computing projects. Some papers describe the structure and implications of a taxonomy for instructional computing and the pedagogical and institutional implications of universal student access to computers. Other papers focused on tevaluation of interactive systems and the impact of evaluation on design. One recent paper proposed functional requirements for design of software environments to support creative work. Tom has been an observer in studies of artists at work and in studies of Intelligence Analysts. Other recent projects have involved collaboration on projects a) to develop a scientific Problem Solving Environment (PSE) integrating symbolic and numeric computing, b) a project to develop tools for networked engineering design environments, and c) a project to develop symbolic computing tools for online mathematics tutors. One of Tom’s most recent project involved evaluating the impact of embedded wireless communication devices and situational awareness software in field exercises conducted by Police Emergency Response Teams. Currently he is working on the problem of understanding the role of cognitive biases in Forensics.

Tom is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Human Interaction (SIGCHI), the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (SARMAC), the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and the IEEE Computer Society. Tom chaired the ACM SIGCHI Curriculum Development Group that wrote recommendations for undergraduate curricula for Human Computer Interaction and has participated in several other curriculum development activities. He served four years as Vice Chair for Operations of SIGCHI and was a general co-chairs for the CHI '94 conference. More recently Tom was a papers and program co-chair for the 4th and 5th Creativity and Cognition conferences, and has served on a number of other conference committees.