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Thomas Hewett

Thomas Hewett, PhD

Professor Emeritus
Department of Psychology

Curriculum Vitae:

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Research Interests:

In doing Cognitive Engineering, I apply Cognitive Psychology to the evaluation and design of computing and technology support tools for knowledge workers. This has involved working with experts as diverse as digital artists, mathematicians, police force emergency first responders, and forensic document examiners. I also am engaged in international collaborations that work on simulation tools to teach project management skills (Avriham Shtub, The Technion, Israel) and on practice based research with creativity support tools (Ernest Edmonds and Linda Candy, The University of Technology, Sydney, Australia).


Tom Hewett is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Computer Science at Drexel University where for many years he taught 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. For several years, Tom regularly offered a professional development tutorial on cognitive aspects of interactive system design to interaction designers at both conferences and in-house training sessions. In some of those 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 a variety of 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 the evaluation of interactive systems and the impact of evaluation on design. Tom has had experience working on field studies of creative work. He served as an observer in studies of artists at work and in studies of Intelligence Analysts. Other projects have involved being part of a team of researchers working 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 more recent field research projects involved evaluating the impact of embedded wireless communication devices and situational awareness software in training exercises conducted by Police Emergency Response Teams. He continues to collaborate on research projects with colleagues in Computer Science and in Civil Engineering.

For many years, Tom was 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’s professional service including chairing the ACM SIGCHI Curriculum Development Group that wrote the first recommendations for undergraduate curricula in Human Computer Interaction and participation 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. In addition, Tom served on a number of conference committees and most recently was papers program chair for the 2013 Creativity and Cognition conference held in Sydney, Australia.