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Ellen Bass


Information Science

Ellen Bass has over thirty years of human-centered systems engineering research and design experience in air transportation, healthcare, meteorology and other domains. The focus of her research is to develop theories of human performance, quantitative modeling methodologies, and associated experimental designs that can be used to evaluate human-automation interaction and human-human collaboration in the context of total system performance. The outcomes of the research can be used in the systems engineering process: to inform system requirements, procedures, display designs and training interventions and to support system evaluation.

Dr. Bass's research contributions can be decomposed into four synergistic areas:

  • Characterizing human judgment and decision making
  • Modeling human judgment when supported by information automation
  • Computational models of human-human and human-automation interaction
    • These computational models are instantiated via mathematical formulations, simulation, and formal verification methods
  • Design and evaluation of interventions to improve human judgment and decision making


  • PhD, Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • MS, Advanced Technology, State University of New York at Binghamton
  • BS Eng., Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania
  • BS Econ., Finance, University of Pennsylvania

Research/Teaching Interests

Human-centered design, human-computer interaction, human factors, human performance modeling , judgment and decision making, medical informatics, systems engineering

Select Publications

  • Abbate, A.J., Throckmorton, A.L., & Bass, E.J. (2016). A formal task analytic approach to medical device alarm troubleshooting instructions. IEEE Transactions on Human-machine Systems, 46(1), 53-65.
  • Baumgart, L.A., Bass, E. J., Voss, J., & Lyman, J. A. (2015). Effect of pooled comparative information on judgments of quality. IEEE Transactions on Human-machine Systems, 45(6), 773-781.
  • Bass, E.J., Baumgart, L.A. & Shepley, K.K. (2013). The effect of information analysis automation display content on human judgment performance in noisy environments. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, 7(1), 49-65.
  • Bass, E.J., DeVoge, J.M., Waggoner-Fountain, L.A., & Borowitz, S.M. (2013). Resident physicians as human information systems: Sources yet seekers. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 20, 736–742.
  • Bolton, M.L., Bass, E.J. & Siminiceanu, R.I. (2013). Using formal verification to evaluate human-automation interaction, a review. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems, 43(3), 488-503.
  • Bolton, M.L., Bass, E.J. & Siminiceanu, R.I. (2012). Generating phenotypical erroneous human behavior to evaluate human-automation interaction using model checking. The International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 70(11), 888-906.
  • Colligan, R.L. & Bass, E.J. (2012). Interruption handling strategies during paediatric medication administration. BMJ Quality & Safety, 21, 912–917.
  • Wohlauer, M., Arora, V., Horwitz, L.I., Bass, E.J., Mahar, S., & Philibert, I. (2012). The patient handoff: A comprehensive curricular blueprint for resident education to improve continuity of care. Academic Medicine, 87(4), 411–418.

Research Activities

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): Information Needs of Homecare Nurses During Admission and Care Planning (R01HS024537)
  • Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN): Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Research Enterprise (iCARE) for Healthcare
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Human Factors Lead for Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE)
  • NASA: Scenario-Based Verification and Validation of Autonomy and Authority (NNX13AB71A)
  • National Institute of Nursing Research: A Wireless Device to Monitor and Track Fluid Consumption in At-Risk Older Adults (1R41NR015191‐01)
  • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC): Mid-Atlantic HIT Workforce Training for Health Care Professionals

Awards & Recognition

  • Fellow, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES)

Professional Activities & Associations

  • Board on Human-Systems Integration (BOHSI) in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) of the National Research Council of the National Academies
  • Associate Editor for the Sociotechnical System Analysis department, IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering
  • Editorial board for Human Factors
  • Editorial board for IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors
  • Program committee for the HFES Symposium on Human Factors & Ergonomics in Health Care, 2012-present