David Mendonça

Email: mendod@rpi.edu
Phone: (518) 276-4222
Fax: (518) 276-8227
Postal Address:
    Industrial and Systems Engineering
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    CII 5111
    110 8th St.
    Troy, NY 12180
Brief Bio
I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. I hold a Ph.D. in Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. from University of Massachusetts/Amherst. I have been a visiting scholar at University of Lisbon (Portugal) and at Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands). I recently completed a two-year period (2015-2017) working as a Program Director in the National Science Foundation's Engineering Directorate.

Curriculum vitae (as of September 2017). Links to selected recent papers are below. For older work, check out my pages on Google Scholar or Research Gate. Alternatively, email me for copies: mendod@rpi.edu.

Research Interests
My work develops and applies systems engineering methods to understand and extend human decision making processes in high-stakes, time-constrained conditions. This has resulted in three inter-related programs of research: foundational descriptive work on resilience in human/machine systems, particularly for interdependent critical infrastructures exposed to hazards; computational and statistical modeling of key cognitive, behavioral and mechanistic processes in these systems; and development of interactive computer systems to support integrated human/machine decision making within target systems. A brief video on a recent NSF-supported project is here.

Openings for PhD Students
I am currently looking for PhD students, particularly those with undergraduate- and/or master's-level training in industrial/systems engineering, cognitive science/cognitive engineering or computer science (including human-computer interaction). If you speak Portuguese, even better!

Current Projects
Individual- and Team-level Learning and Performance at Massive Scales With Wayne Gray (RPI's Cognitive Science Department) and a number of PhD students, this project is taking a big data perspective on exploring how individual and team performance unfold over fairly long time scales in relation to exogenous and endogenous changes. Data are provided through the League of Legends online gaming environment, and include comprehensive records on competitions involving millions of teams. Support for this work is provided in part by the Office of Naval Research, as well as a Presidential Graduate Fellowship to CogSci PhD student Matthew Sangster. ISE graduate students Josh Eaton and Molly Renaud are also participating in this work.

Linking Team Fluidity to Organizational Performance in Team-Centric Organizations (National Science Foundation Grant [NSF] Grant CMMI-1363513). The central goal of this research is to extend and test theories that link team-level phenomena to organizational outcomes, using as data records of the removal of debris following a large-scale tornado storm in the State of Alabama in 2011 This work is in collaboration with ISE faculty member Martha Grabowski, as well as ISE PhD student Xin Zhang. Recent ISE PhD graduate James Brooks is a past contributor.

Community Response and Resilience to the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake (NSF Grant IIA-1322548). This work is investigating community-level response to the 1755 Lisbon earthquake (in collaboraiton with Ines Amorim of Univ. Porto, Delta Sousa of LNEC, and Maria Louisa Sousa of LNEC).

Past Projects
Network Improvisation in Post-disaster Debris Removal Operations (NSF Grant CMMI 1313589). This work (with James Brooks and Xin Zhang) investigated the relationship between improvisation and performance for the post-Sandy debris removal mission in New York State.

Improvisation in response to extreme events (NSF CAREER Grant CMS-0449582). This work examines team decision processes in highly non-routine situations, based mainly on observational studies with emergency response personnel.

Synthetic Environments for Examing Organizational Resilience. This work employs advanced information technologies for observing and supporting teams undertaking post-disaster infrastructure restoration in a simulated setting. This is in collaboration with Barb Cutler (RPI CS Dept.) and Al Wallace (RPI ISE Dept.), with the cooperation of RPI's EMPAC facility and support from RPI.

Selected refereed journal and conference publications:
Eaton, J., M. Renaud, M. Sangster, D. Mendonça, W. Gray. "Carrying the Team: The Importance of One Player's Survival for Team Success in League of Legends." Accepted to Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 Annual Meeting.

Zhang, X., D. Mendonça, M. Grabowski and C. Holmes. "Improvising Organizational Structure and Process: The Case of Post-disaster Debris Removal Operations." Accepted to Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2017 Annual Meeting.

Sangster, M-D. D., D. Mendonça and W.D. Gray (2016). "Big Data Meets Team Expertise in a Dynamic Task Environment." In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner and J. Trueswell (eds.), Proceedings of the 60th Annual Conference of the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, 19-23 September, Washington, DC.

Brooks, J.D., K. Kar and D. Mendonça (2016). "Allocation of Flows in Closed Bipartite Queueing Networks." European Journal of Operational Research 255(2) 333-344.

Brooks, J., D. Mendonça, X. Zhang, and M. Grabowski (2016). "Estimating Computational Models of Dynamic Decision Making from Transactional Data." Group Decision and Negotiation Conference, 20-24 June, Bellingham, WA.

Mendonça, D. and W.A. Wallace (2015). "Factors Underlying Organizational Resilience: The Case of Electric Power Restoration in New York City after 11 September 2001." Reliability Engineering & System Safety. 141 (September) 83-91.

Mendonça, D., W.A. Wallace and B. Cutler and J. Brooks (2015). "Synthetic Environments for Investigating Collaborative Information Seeking: An Application in Emergency Restoration of Critical Infrastructures." Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management 12(3) 763-784

Mendonça, D., G. Webb, C. Butts and J.D. Brooks (2014). "Cognitive Correlates of Improvised Behavior in Disaster Response: The Cases of the Murrah Building and the World Trade Center," Journal of Crisis and Contingency Management 22(4) 185-195.

Mendonça, D. J.D. Brooks (2014). "Linking Team Composition to Team Performance: An Application to Post-Disaster Debris Removal Operations," IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems 44(3) 315-325. link

Osatuyi, B. and D. Mendonça (2013). "Group Information Foraging under Time Constraint: An Application to Emergency Response Organizations." Information Processing and Management 49(1) 169-178. link

Brooks, J.D., D. Mendonça (2014). "Equity-Effectiveness Tradeoff in the Allocation of Flows in Closed Queueing Networks." 2014 IEEE International Systems Conference, 31 March-3 April.

Brooks, J.D., D. Mendonça (2013). "Simulating Market Effects on Boundedly Rational Agents in Control of the Dynamic Dispatching of Actors in Network-based Operations," Winter Simulation Conference (Invited Paper), 7-10 December, Savannah, GA. link

Brooks, J.D., K. Kar, and D. Mendonça (2013). "Dynamic Allocation of Entities in Closed Queueing Networks: An Application to Debris Removal," Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, 12-14 November, Waltham, MA. link

Brooks, J.D. and D. Mendonça (2013). "Optimizing Hauling Vehicle Mix for Debris Removal: A Queueing Theory Approach," Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, 12-14 November, Waltham, MA. link

Current Student Researchers
Doctoral: Xin Zhang, Josh Eaton, Molly Renaud, Matt Sangster (CogSci)
Undergraduate: Hanley Carter

Prior Student Researchers
James Brooks: "Dynamic Resource Allocation in Complex Human Systems Through Market-Based Control" (RPI: completed, spring 2014)
Madhavi Chakrabarty: "Visualization and Visual Tools for the Management of Complex Systems" (NJIT, 2009)
Peishih Chang: "Customer Cognition and Behavior in Online Shopping Environments" (NJIT, 2007)
John M. Lacontora: "Live, Virtual and Constructive Environments for Performance Support" (NJIT, 2004)
2017-present: Hanley Carter
2015-2017: On leave
2014-2015: Christian Pedroso, Courtney Lang, Sonia Kumar, Victor Muniz
2013-2014: Jason Chang, Kathleen DiMilia, Ron Nipay, Cintia Martins de Oliveira Reis, Daniel Souza
2012-2013: Gabriele Cruz, Maira Kagohara, Olivia Von Nieda, Jon Sevilla
2011-2013: Jane Braun, Zal Mirza (SUNY), Christian Pedrosa

Course Offering: Fall (annually)
Human Performance Modeling and Support: Applications in Competitive Sports (ISYE-4961)
This course introduces methods, tools and technologies for describing human performance via various types of models, and supporting this performance via tools and advanced technologies. The course is hands-on, involving student projects that investigate human performance in challenging domains (e.g., competitive sports), as well as direct engagement with technology. A short promo on the course is here.

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