Engineering 5, 6th Floor
519-888-4567, Extension 32600
- BSc, Chu Kochen Honors College, Zhejiang University
- MEd, Zhejiang University
- PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Keywords: human factors, perception, decision making, skill learning, fatigue, controlled experiments, computational modeling, artificial intelligence, discrete event simulation, cognitive engineering, ACT-R, QN-ACTR, wearable devices, environment-aware devices.
Human factors and cognitive ergonomics (driving, healthcare, aerospace)
Dr. Cao conducts experiments to measure human performance and mental workload and study the effects of human factors such as experience, multitasking, and fatigue. His work examined human multitasking performance in simulated driving scenarios and simulated medical decision making scenarios. The results from these empirical studies bring insights into the underlying mechanisms of human performance and provide human data for human performance modeling and interface design.
Human performance and mental workload modeling, cognitive modeling
In his theoretical research, Dr. Cao develops an integrated cognitive architecture that has the capability to computationally model human performance and mental workload in complex cognitive multi-task scenarios. The QN-ACTR architecture integrates two previously isolated but complementary cognitive architectures – Queueing Network (QN) and Adaptive Control of Thought-Rational (ACT-R). The benefits of this integration have been examined and demonstrated in the simulation of a wide range of multi-task scenarios. QN-ACTR models were able to generate both human performance and mental workload results similar to the human data.
Human-computer interaction, interface evaluation and design
Using the QN-ACTR architecture, Dr. Cao develops cognitive engineering tools that support human-computer interface evaluation and design by simulating and predicting human performance and mental workload under different design options. Dr. Cao also has design projects that apply cognitive ergonomics theories and techniques to human performance optimization, for example, through innovative systems design with wearable and environment-aware devices such as Google Glass and Google Tango.