Professor Chris Baber PhD FBCS FCIEHF

Professor Chris Baber

School of Computer Science
Chair of Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing

Contact details

Address
School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Chris Baber is Chair of Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing. He joined the University of Birmingham in 1990 and, after working in several Engineering schools, joined the School of Computer Science in 2018. His research concerns human interaction with technology – specifically, in terms of human people form teams with intelligent technology, and in terms of sensor-based human-technology interaction.  He has published over 100 papers in international journals, as well as over 400 conference contributions and half a dozen books.  His research has been funded by the UK Ministry of Defence, RCUK, European Union and various industries. He has supervised around 30 students to the completion of their PhD.

Qualifications

• PhD Human Factors of Speech Technology in 1990
• BA (Psychology / English) in 1987

Fellowships

  • Fellow of the British Computer Society
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors

Biography

Chris graduated from Keele University with a BA (Hons) in Psychology and English Literature. He decided to pursue a PhD and joined Aston University’s Applied Psychology Unit to research speech technology.  He joined the University of Birmingham in 1990 to lecture on the MSc Work Design and Ergonomics programme (initially in the School of Production Engineering before it moved to the School of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering). In 2002 he moved to the School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, partly to continue his research on wearable computers and partly to deliver courses on the MSc Human-Centred Systems. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor before becoming Head of School in 2013. In 2019 he moved to the School of Computer Science, in connection with work on human-machine teaming.

Teaching

  • Small Embedded Systems (in the School of Engineering)

  • Evaluation Methods and Statistics

Postgraduate supervision

Chris has supervised around 30 students to completion of their PhDs.

Research

His PhD concerned the application of speech technology (still quite a novel thing back in the late 1980s, where he worked with a Marconi Macrospeak speech recogniser, learning the rudiments of Unix to get the thing working), which was part-sponsored by a National electricity distribution company. So, he spent time visiting power stations and distribution centres to get an idea of how people did their work. During his PhD, he became interested in supporting speech recognition for mobile workers – which resulted in a large laptop, running the speech recogniser, in a rucksack, together with GPS antenna, and a small head-mounted, monocular television display, to read the words that had been recognised. Naturally, this led to working on wearable computers. Since then, he has shifted the sensors from the person onto everyday tools and objects in order to study the development and retention of human skill. Related to the wearable computers work, he developed technology for crime scene examination – which led to work on sense-making (that is, how crime scene examiners interpret a crime scene and select evidence), which led to work with Police and Intelligence analysts. This has led to work on how human decision making is supported by Artificial Intelligence, and to the study of human-machine teams. In all of this work, he combines an interest in studying human behaviour ‘in the field’ with the design and making of gadgets to measure or support activity.

Other activities

• Panel Chair for EPSRC and Member of EPSRC College
• External Examiner for Loughborough University

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Yusuf, SM & Baber, C 2022, 'DIMASS: A Delaunay-Inspired, Hybrid Approach to a Team of Agents Search Strategy', Frontiers in Robotics and AI, vol. 9, 851846. https://doi.org/10.3389/frobt.2022.851846

Yusuf, SM & Baber, C 2022, 'Formalizing distributed situation awareness in multi-agent networks', IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems. https://doi.org/10.1109/THMS.2022.3142109

Baber, C & Young, MS 2022, 'Making ergonomics accountable: reliability, validity and utility in ergonomics methods', Applied Ergonomics, vol. 98, 103583. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2021.103583

Johannessen, CM, Longcamp, M, Stuart, SAJ, Thibault, PJ & Baber, C 2021, 'The look of writing in reading. Graphetic empathy in making and perceiving graphic traces', Language Sciences, vol. 84, 101363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2021.101363

McLean, S, Read, GJM, Thompson, J, Baber, C, Stanton, NA & Salmon, PM 2021, 'The risks associated with artificial general intelligence: a systematic review', Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence. https://doi.org/10.1080/0952813X.2021.1964003

Baber, C & Janulis, K 2020, 'Purposeful tool use in early lithic technologies', Adaptive Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1177/1059712320941543

Starke, SD & Baber, C 2020, 'The effect of known decision support reliability on outcome quality and visual information foraging in joint decision making', Applied Ergonomics, vol. 86, 103102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2020.103102

Conference contribution

Aljammaz, K & Baber, C 2022, Human-centred principles for the design of shape- changing tangible user interfaces. in T Ahram & R Taiar (eds), Human Interaction & Emerging Technologies (IHIET-AI 2022): Artificial Intelligence & Future Applications. AHFE international, vol. 23, Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE) International, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Human Interaction & Emerging Technologies, Lausanne, Switzerland, 21/04/22. https://doi.org/10.54941/ahfe100865

Yusuf, SM & Baber, C 2021, Distributed situation awareness for multi-agent mission in dynamic environments: a case study of multi-UAVs wildfires searching. in The Thirty-Fifth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-21). Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, no. 18, vol. 35, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 15740-15741, 35th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2021, Virtual, Online, 2/02/21. <https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/AAAI/article/view/17867>

McCabe, F & Baber, C 2021, Feature perception in broadband sonar analysis - using the repertory grid to elicit interface designs to support human-autonomy teaming. in Z Hammal, C Busso, C Pelachaud, S Oviatt, AA Salah & G Zhao (eds), ICMI 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 International Conference on Multimodal Interaction. ICMI: International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces, Association for Computing Machinery , pp. 487-493, 23rd ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, ICMI 2021, Virtual, Online, Canada, 18/10/21. https://doi.org/10.1145/3462244.3479918

McCabe, F, Baber, C & Stone, B 2020, Classifying Vessels Using Broadband Sonar: Considerations for Future Autonomous Support. in Contemporary Ergonomics & Human Factors 2020 Conference Proceedings., 7, pp. 78-85.

Yusuf, SM & Baber, C 2020, Conflicts resolution and situation awareness in heterogeneous multi-agent missions using publish-subscribe technique and inferential reasoning. in A Rocha, L Steels & J van den Herik (eds), ICAART 2020 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence. ICAART 2020 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, vol. 2, SciTePress, pp. 846-851, 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, ICAART 2020, Valletta, Malta, 22/02/20.

Yusuf, SM & Baber, C 2020, Handling uncertainties in distributed constraint optimization problems using Bayesian inferential reasoning. in A Rocha, L Steels & J van den Herik (eds), ICAART 2020 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence. ICAART 2020 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, vol. 2, SciTePress, pp. 881-888, 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, ICAART 2020, Valletta, Malta, 22/02/20.

Yusuf, SM & Baber, C 2020, Human-agents Interactions in Multi-Agent Systems: A case study of human-UAVs team for forest fire lookouts. in A Rocha, L Steels & J van den Herik (eds), ICAART 2020 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence. ICAART 2020 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, vol. 1, SciTePress, pp. 347-354, 12th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence, ICAART 2020, Valletta, Malta, 22/02/20.

Paper

Baber, C, Schwirtz, A, Hartley, T & Cousins, T 2020, 'Using RFID, bar-code and speech technology to support context-aware maintenance with wearable computers', Paper presented at 20th British Computer Society Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Engage, HCI 2006, London, United Kingdom, 11/09/06 - 15/09/06 pp. 79-83.

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