U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Dr. Leslie Blaha

Analysis in Motion Chief Scientist
Dr. Leslie Blaha
(509) 371-7792

Leslie Blaha is a Senior Cognitive Scientist in PNNL’s National Security Directorate. Leslie imagines a future where Smart Adaptive Interfaces will transform the way we use cognitive models to support and enhance human decision making, not just to study cognitive behaviors in laboratories.  She holds a Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies (focus in Cognitive Science) and a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics & Statistics from Miami University. She completed her PhD in 2010 at Indiana University-Bloomington with a joint degree in Psychology and Cognitive Science. Her expertise is in mathematical psychology. In her jargon-filled dissertation, “A Dynamic Hebbian-style Model of Configural Learning,” she developed a model to capture and characterize how visual decision-making training changes the way people process information – the kinds of changes observed in visual experts (such as latent fingerprint examiners). For the last five years, she has led an in-house basic research team in the Battlespace Visualization Branch at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, developing research at the confluence of information visualization, human information processing modeling, and human-computer interaction. For more on her research, visit http://sai.mindmodeling.org. She has also served on the Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Psychology for Wright State University and thesis committee advisor for the Air Force Institute of Technology. Leslie is a founding member of the Women of Mathematical Psychology group and co-organizer of their annual Professional Development Symposium – part of her commitment to mentoring and promoting young female scientists.

Role: The chief scientist of AIM has overall responsibility for the science and technology vision, research and engineering activities, technical goals, and measures of success for AIM. The chief scientist works with AIM's initiative lead and domain representatives to create and oversee a unified R&D plan and project portfolio that achieves PNNL's institutional and S&T goals for AIM. The chief scientist provides technical leadership for AIM's project integration and evaluation strategy, IP approach, transition planning, and partnerships. The chief scientist works with the AIM leadership team to make sure that all AIM-funded projects deliver high-quality technical performance.

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