Cognitive Engineer @
Brad Paley
Cognitive Engineer @
The speaker

Brad Paley is a Cognitive Engineer with more than three decades of experience optimizing financial transactions, as well as improving analytical processes in domains from insurance to scientific research. Starting with computer graphics in 1973, he has coded in more than thirty computer languages.

He holds four US patents in computer/human interface work and has given keynote/plenary talks at every major Information Visualization symposium, as well as conferences/symposia in many other fields. He was appointed Adjunct Associate Professor in the Columbia Wu School of Engineering to teach a graduate class about his own methodology; his Phi Beta Kappa degree in Economics was earned at UC Berkeley. His work has won numerous international design awards, and has been featured in scores of books and publications, including the New York Times, I.D. magazine, and the journal Nature. Though always functional, his work has been recognized in both the design and art worlds: exhibited in MoMA, commissioned into the permanent collection of the Whitney; he is a NYSCA grantee and a NYFA fellow. He founded Digital Image Design Incorporated (didi) in 1983.

The talk
Cognitive Engineering: Reverse-Engineering the Mind to Fit It and Extend It

Cognitive Engineering is the application of scientific findings and engineering principles and patterns to cognition. If we understand how people perceive and think we can engineer interfaces that engage minds in a more natural and effective manner. The Cognitive Engineering Design Methodology, parallel to and distinct from convention-driven UX and commercially-driven branding, have resulted in significant--almost--paradoxical improvements: 6,000 nodes and 20,000 links in a digraph that shows both global trends and individual connections; 20:1 speedups that people find more comfortable; 50x the data density in visual representations which nonetheless evoke insights better; data tools that telegraph meaning yet draw crowds in art museums

This talk will show examples of these results and teach a bit of how they work. It will also present a case that coupling human minds with computers this tightly extends our intellectual reach--perhaps to problems we currently think intractable--much as a geometer's pencil enables solutions the geometer (and the pencil!) could not arrive at alone.