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
David Mendonça is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has 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 am currently (fall 2015) on leave to the National Science Foundation as Program Officer for the Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events Program. Contact me there at mendonca@nsf.gov.

Curriculum vitae (as of March 2015). 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 research focuses on understanding and supporting individual- and group-level cognition in high stakes, time-constrained decision making. The main domain of inquiry is post-disaster emergency response and restoration. This research employs data collected from laboratory, field and archival sources, yielding both statistical and computational models, including computer-based decision aids. A brief video on some of this work 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
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 Martha Grabowski.

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).

Network Improvisation in Post-disaster Debris Removal Operations (NSF Grant CMMI 1313589). This work is investigating 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 work being done at RPI's EMPAC facility with Barb Cutler (RPI CS Dept.) and Al Wallace (RPI ISE Dept.)

Cognition in Jazz Improvisation. Building on prior work, we are taking an in-depth look at planning and idea generation processes in small jazz groups.

Selected recent publications:
D. Mendonça, G. Webb, C. Butts and J.D. Brooks (to appear). "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. pre-publication version

D. Mendonça, 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

J.D. Brooks, 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

J.D. Brooks 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: Caroline Hsia, Xin Zhang
Master's:: Courtney Lang
Undergraduate: Victor Muniz Ribeiro

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)
2013-2014: Kathleen DiMilia, Ron Nipay, Cintia Martins de Oliveira Reis, Daniel Souza.
2012-2013: Gabriele Cruz, Olivia Von Nieda, Jon Sevilla, Maira Kagohara
2011-2013: Jane Braun, Christian Pedrosa, Zal Mirza (SUNY)

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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