Andrew Howes

HowesA at bham dot ac dot uk

Andrew Howes
Professor and Head of School
School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
UK B15 2TT

About me

I am a Computer Scientist who is interested in the application of computational thinking to explaining human behaviour. I am also interested in how to design tools that help people make better decisions. I am currently Head of the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham. I am also an Associate Editor of Cognitive Science journal.


My career started at the University of Lancaster where I was trained in Computer Science and where my Ph.D. supervisor was Professor Stephen J. Payne (1986-1989). I then moved to the MRC Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge and to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where I conducted post-doctoral research on cognitive architectures under the supervision of Professor Richard M. Young (1989-1994). I subsequently held posts at Cardiff University (Psychology) and University of Manchester (Informatics and Business), before moving to Birmingham in 2011. I have made sabbatical visits to NASA Ames Research Centre and during the winter of 2016, I was the inaugural Marshall Weinberg Visiting Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Michigan.

I have been fortunate enough to work with a number of outstanding PhD students. These include Dr Stuart McGregor, Dr Suzanne Charman (EuroRAP), Dr Duncan Brumby (UCL), Dr Yuan-Chi Tseng (NCKU, Taiwan), Dr Stelios Lelis, Dr Sam Waldron, Dr Joanne Hinds (University of Bath), Hana Ishak, Hussain Al-Arrayed, Dr George Farmer (University of Cambridge), Dr Xiuli Chen (University of Birmingham), Dr Siti Rohkmah, and Aditya Acharya.

Ph.D. Opportunities

I very much welcome applications from potential Ph.D. students who have a background in Computer Science, Decision Sciences, Electronic Engineering, or a related discipline. Please email me if you are interested in studying human decision making or human-computer interaction. I am particularly interested in the application of machine learning techniques to understanding and improving human decision making.

Selected Publications

Oulasvirta, A., Kristensson, P.O, Bi, X., & Howes, A. (Eds.).(2018). Computational Interaction. Oxford University Press. [Publisher Site]
Computational Interaction

Chen, X., Starke, S.D., Baber, C., & Howes, A. (2017). A cognitive model of how people make decisions through interaction with visual displays. In Proceedings of the ACM CHI’17 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM Press. Best of CHI Award: Honorable Mention.
Howes, A., Warren, P., Farmer, G., El-Deredy, W., & Lewis, R. L. (2016). Why contextual preference reversals maximize expected value. Psychological Review, 123(4), 368–391.
Payne, S.J. & Howes, A. (2013). Adaptive Interaction: A utility maximisation approach to understanding human interaction with technology. Morgan Claypool. [Publisher Site] [Amazon]
Howes, A., Lewis, R.L. & Vera, A. (2009). Rational adaptation under task and processing constraints: Implications for testing theories of cognition and action. Psychological Review, 116, 4, 717-751. [pdf]
Lewis, R. L., Howes, A., & Singh, S. (2014). Computational rationality: linking mechanism and behavior through bounded utility maximization. Topics in Cognitive Science, 6(2), 279–311.

All publications

See Google Scholar.