Graduate Seminar Series (Dr. Catherine Burns)

Date(s) - February 24, 2023
10:40 am - 11:30 am


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Catherine Burns
Date : Friday, February 24, 2023
Mode : Virtual (Join Via Zoom)
Affiliation: University of Waterloo
Bio: Visit Page


Title: Cognitive Work Analysis Models of Human-Tech Possibility

Abstract: This talk will explore how human factors can contribute to the design and understanding of how current and future technologies will impact human decision-making.  Part of the talk will review and present Cognitive Work Analysis, (unless I get feedback from the audience that they are familiar with the approach and don’t want this!), and the second half of the talk will examine how we are using Cognitive Work Analysis in our current research program to look at how to design and understand the impact of new technologies on work.  While many of our projects currently relate to AI, the approach we are taking is useful for designing or understanding any decision support technology.  Further, while Cognitive Work Analysis will be the foundational approach in this talk, the overall philosophy is that the work modelling approaches of human factors engineering have prepared us well for the next generation of technology.

Bio: Catherine M. Burns is Professor in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Canada and Associate Vice President, Health Initiatives at the Office of Research at the University of Waterloo. In her past administrative roles she has been engaged with institutional and tri agency funding programs, research partnerships, Waterloo’s equity in research action plan, and research computing. Catherine was the founder of the Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology at Waterloo and led the centre from a faculty to an institutional centre over 8 years. In 2020 she chaired Waterloo’s Health Initiatives Task force to develop a health strategy in response to Waterloo’s 2025 Strategic Plan. In her role as AVP, Health Initiatives she is responsible for advancing Waterloo research in health and health technology. Catherine holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Human Factors and Healthcare Systems, has contributed over 300 publications and is the co-author of seven books and the PI on an NSERC CREATE Training program in biomedical technology and entrepreneurship which has trained over 40 graduate students from various faculties across campus.

Catherine is well known for her work in Cognitive Work Analysis, Ecological Interface Design and the development of decision support systems. She is a Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Catherine’s recent research projects have been exploring the design of early warning systems for the detection of sepsis, the design of predictive diagnostic systems for glaucoma detection, and clinician driven tools for dementia assessment.

List of Spring 2023 Graduate Seminar Series : Click Here