Research Interests

I investigate:
how people carry out complex cognitive tasks of learning and thinking, particularly in novel situations;
how technologies can better support those tasks by capitalizing on human strengths and complementing vulnerabilities.
Because an individual's thinking occurs in a social as well as technological context, I explore how solutions emerge through interaction among individual, group, and community levels.


My recent work investigates collaborative intelligence analysis, aiding information problems concerning chronic disease, diagnosing failures through a simulation of the space station power system, and ecologists using tools for modeling ecosystem dynamics. These projects have been conducted at ISLE/ CSLI and PARC. I am particularly interested in the problem solving activities and needs of laypeople concerned with chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Recent Work

Billman,D.,Bridewell, W., & Borrett, S. R. (in review). Model Revision in Science: Human-Computer Partnership Viewed through Prometheus.

Convertino, G., Billman,D., Shrager, J., Masur, JP., & Pirolli, P (2008) The CACHE Study: Group Effects in Computer-Supported Collaborative Analysis. Computer Supported Cooperative Work , 17, 353-393.
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Billman, D., Schiano, D., & Gugerty, L. (2008). Patient Problem-Solving on the Web: How do Patients Use Web Forums to Cope with Chronic Disease? September 2008. Medicine 2.0 Toronto, Canada.

Billman,D., & Bier, E. (2007) Medical sensemaking with entity workspace. Proceedings of the 25th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2007). 2007 April 28 - May 3, San Jose, CA. NY: ACM, 229-232. Download the PDF

Gugerty, L., Billman, D., Pirolli, P., & Elliot, E. (2007). An exploratory study of the effect of domain knowledge on internet search behavior: The case of diabetes. Proceedings of the 51st Annual Conference of the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society. Download the PDF

Bridewell, W. Sanchez, J., Langley, P., Billman, D. , (2006). An interactive environment for the modeling and discovery of scientific knowledge. International Journal of Human–Computer Studies, 64, 1099–1114.
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Billman,D., Shapiro, D., & Cummings, K. (2005) Processes in Diagnostic Reasoning: Information Use in Causal Explanations. In. Program of the Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society , Pp. 262-267, Erlbaum: Hillsdale, NJ.
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Billman,D., & Davies, J. (2005) Consistent Contrast and Correlation in Free Sorting , 181, 353-384, Erlbaum: Hillsdale, NJ.
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