William J. Clancey

William J. Clancey, PhD

Chief Scientist,
Human-Centered Computing, Intelligent Systems Division
NASA Ames, Mountain View, California


William J. Clancey is Chief Scientist, Human-Centered Computing, in the Intelligent Systems Division of NASA/Ames in Mountain View, California. He is also a Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola.
He received a B.A. in Mathematical Sciences at Rice University in 1974 and a Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford University in 1979. During the late 1970s and 1980s, he designed the expert system NEOMYCIN and instructional program GUIDON for teaching medical diagnostic strategy.

Dr. Clancey is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and the American College of Medical Informatics. He was founding Editor-in-Chief of the AAAI Press, a Senior Editor of Cognitive Science and a founding member of the Institute for Research on Learning.
His Ames research group has received a NASA Honor Award and the Johnson Space Center Exceptional Software Award (the first granted outside Houston) for automating transfer of files containing logistic, scientific, and medical data between the International Space Station and ground support personnel in an agent-based workflow system.

He has published six books, including Situated Cognition: On Human Knowledge and Computer Representations (Cambridge, 1997). His comparative ethnographic study of field scientists on Earth and during the Mars Exploration Rover missions is presented in Working on Mars (MIT Press, forthcoming). Dr. Clancey’s current research in NASA’s Aeronautics Directorate uses work practice simulation to design and evaluate varying configurations of roles and responsibilities for people and automated systems in safety-critical situations.