My academic career has taken a path of AI research and teaching that started in Engineering, through Architecture and Design Computing, and now Computer Science and Information Studies. My leadership opportunities have led to administrative roles in academia and government. My research and teaching have centered on computational models of design and creativity. A consistent focus of my research is on human cognition and AI models related to curiosity, novelty, and surprise. With symbolic and connectionist AI we can look for patterns and trends that lead to a better understanding of creativity as a combination of novelty, value, and surprise. From an HCI perspective, I am interested in how different modes of interaction affect creative cognition such as conversational, gesture, and tangible interaction designs.
In 2012 I joined the College of Computing and Informatics as the Chair of Software and Information Systems. I am the Director of the Center for Education Innovation and lead efforts in studying the impact of active learning in CS education and the use of learning analytics to better understand diversity and inclusion.
While at NSF, 2006-2010, I started a funding program CreativeIT and co-chaired the Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation Program. I was a Program Director in the Human-Centered Computing Cluster. In 2008 I became a member of Senior Executive Services was appointed as Deputy Director of the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems.
While Professor of Design Computing and Co-Director of the Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition at the University of Sydney, I developed and implemented an innovative Bachelor degree in design computing, I was Chair of the Department of Architectural and Design Science, as Co-Director of the Key Center I led a group of 11 academics in developing teaching and research in design computing and cognition, and I taught research methods in the School of Information Technology and in Design Computing. I assisted in the development of a research program for the Collaborative Research Centre for Construction Innovation and in the start up of the Humans Understanding Machines group at National ICT Australia.