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Barrett Caldwell, PhD: Communication and Information Alignment for Coordinated Mission Management: From Rocket Surgery to Brain Science



Effective sharing of information, context, and goals is an essential element of team performance in distributed expert coordination settings.  Determination of current task demands, event detection and response priorities, and requirements for knowledge sharing is enabled by effective information presentation, understanding of system dynamics, and demands for performance stability, robustness, and resilience.  This talk presents concepts of information alignment and distributed supervisory coordination as associated with team-based mission management. Based on work with spaceflight mission control coordination, the author discusses needs for team-based anomaly detection, dimensions of shared as well as individual domains of expertise, and challenges to respond to information flow latencies and task coordination delays.  This work has a variety of applications ranging from cybersecurity and network operations management to complex infrastructure coordination; this talk focuses on current efforts to apply these principles to the design of communication and coordination centers (“mission control”) for healthcare delivery in Indiana.

About Barrett S. Caldwell

Prof. Caldwell conducts research in applying human factors and industrial engineering principles to team performance in complex task environments.  His early research examined the potential social and technological effects of internet multimedia communications, even before the release of the Mosaic browser in 1993.  Prof. Caldwell’s discovery of the importance of information delay with increasing bandwidth has been meaningful since the growth of internet file sharing, which demonstrated that delay remains a concern to ensuring satisfactory quality of service.  A central and fundamental component of Prof. Caldwell’s work in this area was the application of engineering feedback control models of information freshness, cost of access, and value of information gain.   Prof. Caldwell’s research group is known as the Group Performance Environments Research (GROUPER) Laboratory.  The mission of the GROUPER Lab is to be a premier research group in the areas of analysis, design and improvement of how humans work with, and share knowledge through, information and communication technology systems on Earth and in space.  His work, and that of GROUPER, is internationally recognized for integrating social and technical considerations in human task coordination and team performance.  Over 25 of his former graduate students (MS and PhD) have achieved success in academic, government, industry, and military positions.