Applied Decision Science
Co-Founder and CEO
Laura Militello, M.A., is a co-founder and CEO at Applied Decision Science. Laura is a leading authority on cognitive task analysis (CTA) methods – the tools and techniques for uncovering human cognition. She has extensive experience conducting CTA across a broad range of military and healthcare domains. Laura has been instrumental in the advancement of CTA methods, including the development of the applied cognitive task analysis (ACTA) suite of methods for use by practitioners. She coauthored Perspectives on Cognitive Task Analysis: Historical Origins and Modern Communities of Practice, an important textbook detailing approaches for studying decision-making in complex settings. She has spent decades teaching others to conduct CTA via workshops, mentoring, and most recently through the CTA Institute. Laura coauthored the Handbook of Augmented Reality Training Design, exploring the potential of augmented reality to enhance training experiences and improve performance in critical settings. She cohosts the Naturalistic Decision Making podcast and is an active member of the Naturalistic Decision Making Association. Laura received her Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology and Human Factors from the University of Dayton in 1995.
Co-Founder and VP of Finance
Steve Wolf, MBA., is a co-founder and VP of Finance at Applied Decision Science. Prior to forming ADS, Mr. Wolf served as the Chief Information Officer at Bridge Worldwide, a member of the WPP network. Bridge Worldwide is a digital marketing services firm specializing in customer relationship marketing. Mr. Wolf came to his role with ADS backed by more than 10 years of cognitive psychology and market research expertise. He received a portion of his training at Procter and Gamble as a Consumer and Market Knowledge Manager. In this capacity, Mr. Wolf constructed and executed market research, including pioneering the use of the Internet as a research tool for P&G, to understand consumer brand perceptions. Prior to joining P&G, Mr. Wolf researched the human factors of decision-making at Klein Associates, working with Dr. Gary Klein and with Ms. Laura Militello. While there, he led the redesign of new human-computer interfaces for the US Army, Air Force, Navy, and the Federal Aviation Administration. Mr. Wolf has published numerous articles in the area of Naturalistic Decision Making on a range of topics including: new models of cognition and information processing, principles for improved user interface design, and new methodologies for capturing and representing expertise. Mr. Wolf holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Electronic Commerce from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive and Human Factors Psychology from Wright State University.
Heather Kinsman, M.P.A., is a research administrator with over 15 years of experience in sponsored programs administration. As Applied Decision Science’s proposal manager, she supports the team in all aspects of research administration including proposal and budget development and submission, project coordination, financial reporting and projections. Heather received her Master of Public Administration from San Francisco State University in 2005.
Christen Sushereba is a research associate at Applied Decision Science, specializing in the application of human factors psychology and cognitive systems engineering to training design and evaluation. Her work includes utilizing augmented reality to enhance recognition skills for medical treatment and developing training frameworks, such as one application developed to support Emergency Medicine Technicians in recognizing and recovering from tourniquet errors. She coauthored the Handbook of Augmented Reality Training Design Principles, showcasing her expertise in this field. Beyond training design, Christen has applied her knowledge to a variety of research domains. These include military pararescue, emergency response, cybersecurity, electronic health record design, air traffic control, workload management, and human-automation teaming. Her diverse experience demonstrates her ability to apply human factors principles and cognitive systems engineering and contribute valuable insights and solutions to improve performance and safety across different industries and domains. Christen obtained her Master of Science degree in Human Factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Wright State University in 2018. Her educational background has provided her with a strong foundation in understanding human behavior, cognition, and the interaction between humans and technology.
Julie DiIulio, M.S., leads design and usability efforts at Applied Decision Science. With a background in human factors psychology, perception, and cognition, Julie applies user-centered and user-experience design principles to create designs that support human performance. Examples include prototypes of decision support applications, virtual assistants, and augmented reality applications. Complementing her design work, Julie has over 15 years of experience conducting usability testing on a range of technologies including electronic health records, voice-user interfaces, and handheld devices. Julie came to ADS after a career in telecommunications and digital marketing. Julie received her Master of Science in Human Factors Psychology from Wright State University in 2004.
Human Factors Engineer
Katie Ernst, M.S., is a human factors engineer with Applied Decision Science. Katie leads the advanced rotorcraft and advanced air mobility efforts at Applied Decision Science. She leverages her experience in military operations with methods from human factors and cognitive systems engineering to analyze and design for military, healthcare, and transportation applications. Examples include conducting cognitive task analysis and cognitive work analysis to design new methods of human-machine teaming and cognitively complex training scenarios. Prior to joining Applied Decision Science, she served 13 years in the U.S. Air Force in both active and reserve capacities in a mix of intelligence and engineering roles. Her assignments included an MQ-1B Predator reconnaissance squadron, the National Security Agency, Headquarters Air Force, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. Katie received her Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in 2017.
Research Assistant II
Rachel Morris, M.S., is a research assistant at Applied Decision Science. In her role, Rachel supports applied research by applying human factors methods to understand decision making in complex environments such as healthcare and aviation. Recent projects include: conducting cognitive task analysis to inform the design of a course of action analysis tool for U.S. Space Force mission planners and investigating infection prevention and control in operating rooms to identify potential interventions that enhance patient and healthcare worker safety. She also contributed to the design of cockpit display concepts for future rotorcraft, focused on creating displays that assist pilots in interpreting critical information, reducing pilot workload, and supporting decision-making during flight. Rachel obtained her Master of Science in Human Factors and Industrial Psychology from Wright State University in 2022.
Michelle Wang Whitlock
Research Assistant II
Michelle Wang Whitlock, M.S. is a research assistant at Applied Decision Science. Her role involves data collection, analysis, designing solutions, evaluating designs, and project management. Michelle’s research experience includes the design of clinical decision support systems to aid in patient-provider decision making, understanding the impact of advanced automation on pilot decision making for future rotorcraft, and exploring the use of automation designed to support petrochemical plant control room operators. Michelle completed her Master of Science degree in Human Factors and Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Wright State University in 2019, with a focus in auditory perception, both in real-world and virtual environments. Her experience allows her to investigate how different sensory cues and environmental factors influence human performance and decision making. Prior to joining Applied Decision Science, Michelle worked as a research assistant at the Air Force Research Laboratory for six years, establishing a solid foundation for applying human factors methods within military contexts.
Complementary Network of Collaborators
Emily Patterson, PhD
With Emily Patterson, from The Ohio State University, we develop cognitive engineering and patient safety solutions for military and civilian health care fields.
Working together with HF Design works, we use cognitive task analysis to inform IMPRINT workload models for the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift program.
In collaboration with MacroCognition, we apply Naturalistic Decision Making methods to study problems in domains such as aviation and multinational trust.
Partnering with Marimo, we emphasize ethnography and participatory design to generate insights and design opportunities for healthcare and military clients.
Alongside Perigean Technologies, we seek to disseminate Naturalistic Decision Making research through the NDM podcast series and Cognitive Task Analysis Institute.
Roth Cognitive Engineering
In cooperation with Roth Cognitive Engineering, we integrate cognitive task and work analysis to inform Future Vertical Lift programs for the U.S. Army.
Partnering with Shadowbox, we use cognitive task analysis methods to create scenario-based training for expertise in domains such as child welfare & aviation.
Shilo Anders, PhD
Teaming with Shilo Anders, from Vanderbilt University, we focus on human factors and informatics solutions to support decision making in health care.
Teaming with Stottler Henke, we provide usability and user-experience design expertise to software systems and artificial intelligence products and solutions.
In a joint effort with Unveil, we use the Recognition Primed Decision model to guide development of mixed-reality training for combat medics & medical students.