John Gersh has worked at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on human interaction with complex, automated and autonomous systems since 1980. He has been the Principal Investigator for several research projects investigating human interaction with automation and with systems acting autonomously. Application areas have involved combat systems, ground control systems for autonomous spacecraft, and mixed-initiative intelligence analysis and reporting. Much of this work focused on the contextual depiction of automated and autonomous systems’ state, actions, and expected behavior.
Mr. Gersh was involved in the design and engineering of human interaction with the Navy’s Aegis Weapon System’s rule-based automation, and chaired several Navy working groups on the design and coordination of shipboard weapon system automation. Mr. Gersh did similar design work for other DoD shipboard and intelligence analysis systems. Recent work has focused on human interaction with systems which include artificial intelligence and machine learning components, in particular investigating how people form mental models of system function and capability.
Mr. Gersh has been a Hertz Foundation Fellow and a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer. He received degrees in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T (S.B. 1973, S.M. 1973, E.E. 1979) and also studied philosophy at Harvard. He served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve.
- B S Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- M S Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Electrical Engineer Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Principal Professional Staff, JHU Applied Physics Laboratory
Mark. Shelhamer and John R. Gersh, “A Mission Architecture to Integrate Human and Spacecraft Functional Performance,” 2023 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, 2023
Glasgow, K., Kopecky, J., Gersh, J., Crego, A. (2022). Won’t you see my neighbor? User predictions, mental models, and similarity-based explanations of AI classifiers. In: Tareq Ahram, Jay Kalra and Waldemar Karwowski (eds) Artificial Intelligence and Social Computing. AHFE (2022) International Conference. AHFE Open Access, vol 28. AHFE International, USA.
Bos, N., Glasgow, K., Gersh, J. R., Harbison, I., & Paul, C. L. (2019). Mental models of AI-based systems: User predictions and explanations of image classification results: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 63(1), 184-188
Bos, N., Paul, C. L., Gersh, J. R., Greenberg, A., Piatko, C., Sperling, S., et al. (2016). Effects of Gain/Loss Framing in Cyber Defense Decision-Making. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 60(1), 168–172.
Arendt, D.L., Burtner, R., Best, D.M., Bos, N.D., Gersh, J.R., Piatko, C.D., Paul, C.L., “Ocelot: user-centered design of a decision support visualization for network quarantine,” Visualization for Cyber Security (VizSec), 2015 IEEE Symposium on , vol., no., pp.1-8, 25-25 Oct. 2015
Gersh, J. R., & Bos, N. (2014). Cognitive and Organizational Challenges of Big Data in Cyber Defense (pp. 4–8). Proceedings of the 2014 Workshop on Human Centered Big Data Research, New York, NY, USA: ACM Press.
John Gersh: Guest Editor’s Introduction, Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest, 30(1), pp. 2-4, 2011 (Special issue on Human Dynamics)
D. Dvorak, M. Ingham, R. Morris, and J. Gersh, “Goal-Based Operations: An Overview,” AIAA Journal of Aerospace Computing, Information, and Communication, vol. 6, pp. 123-141, March 2009
Russell Turner, Sharjeel Hooda, John Gersh, George Cancro, “ExecSpec: Visually Designing and Operating a Finite State Machine-based Spacecraft Autonomy System,” 9th International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation for Space (i-SAIRAS’08)
J. Gersh, R. Turner, and G. Cancro, “Visualizing Spacecraft Autonomy in Context and Across Time,” AIAA Infotech@Aerospace 2007 Conference, Rohnert Park, California, May, 2007
George Cancro, Russell Turner, Lilian Nguyen, Angela Li, Deane Sibol, John Gersh, Christine Piatko, Jaime Montemayor, Priscilla McKerracher, “An Interactive Visualization System for Analyzing Spacecraft Telemetry,” Proceedings of IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2007.
Jaime Montemayor, Andrew Freeman, John Gersh, Thomas Llanso and Dennis Patrone, “Information Visualization For Rule-Based Resource Access Control.” Poster presented at Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security, July 12-14, 2006, Pittsburgh, PA
J. Gersh, B. Lewis, J. Montemayor, C. Piatko, and R. Turner. “Supporting insight-based information exploration in intelligence analysis,” Communications of the ACM 49 (4) pp. 63-68 (April 2006).
John R. Gersh, Jennifer A. McKneely, Roger W. Remington, “Cognitive Engineering: Understanding Human Interaction with Complex Systems,” Johns Hopkins APL Technical Digest, 26(4), pp. 377-382, 2005
John Gersh, Kevin Cropper, William Fitzpatrick, Priscilla McKerracher, Jaime Montemayor, Daniel Ossing. “ ‘And You Did That Why?’—Using an Abstraction Hierarchy to Design Interaction with Autonomous Spacecraft,” in Persistent Assistants: Living and Working with AI: Papers from the 2005 Spring Symposium, ed. Daniel Shapiro, Pauline Berry, John Gersh, Nathan Schurr, Technical Report SS-05-05. American Association for Artificial Intelligence, Menlo Park, California, pp. 22-25
Daniel Shapiro, Pauline Berry, John Gersh, Nathan Schurr, editors, Persistent Assistants: Living and Working with AI: Papers from the 2005 Spring Symposium, Technical Report SS-05-05. American Association for Artificial Intelligence, Menlo Park, California.
Karlson, A., Piatko, C., Gersh, J., “Semantic Navigation in Complex Graphs,” interactive poster and demonstration, IEEE Information Visualization Symposium Seattle, WA, 2003. Abstract published in Symposium Poster Compendium, pp. 84-85.
Gersh, J. R., and Waltrip, C. F., “Task Support Through Total Ship Information Management,” Proceedings of the 44th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2000
Goldfinger, A., Silberberg, D., Gersh, J., Hunt, J., Weiskopf, F., Spisz, T., Mou, Z.G., Rogers, G., Semmel, R. (1999). “A Knowledge-Based Approach to Spacecraft Distributed Modeling and Simulation,” Advances in Engineering Software vol. 31 (2000) pp. 669–677
John R., Gersh, ” ‘Get Me My Agent!’ Concepts in Human Interaction with Autonomous Spacecraft,” Proc. Proceedings of the 1999 American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space Technology Conference. AIAA Press, Sept. 1999
J. R. Gersh and B. W. Hamill, “Effects of controls and displays on the use of rule-based supervisory control systems,” Proc. 1993 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, v. 3, 76-381, (1993)
J. R. Gersh and B. W. Hamill, “Cognitive engineering of rule-based supervisory control systems: Effects of concurrent automation,” Proc. 1992 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 1208-1213 (1992)
B. W. Hamill and J. R. Gersh, “Decision-making performance in rule-based supervisory control: Empirical Development of a cognitive process model,” Proc. 1992 Symposium on Command and Control Research, Joint Directors of Laboratories, 100-106 (1992)
J. R. Gersh and B. W. Hamill, “Cognitive engineering of rule-based supervisory control systems: Observations concerning users’ task performance,” Proc. 1991 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, 1937-1942, (1991)
B. W. Hamill and J. R. Gersh, “Understanding rule-based supervisory control,” Proc. 1991 Symposium on Command and Control Research, Joint Directors of Laboratories, 270-279 (1991)
J. R. Gersh, “Doctrinal automation in naval combat systems: the experience and the future,” Naval Engineers Journal, 99(3), 74-79 (May, 1987 [Comment and discussion in 99 (4), 107-110 (July 1987)]
G.E. Frishkorn and J.R. Gersh, “Response depiction for automated combat systems,” Proceedings of Eighth M.I.T./O.N.R. Workshop on C3 Systems, 111-114 (December 1985)
J.R. Gersh, “Rule-based automation of command action in naval combat systems,” Proceedings of Seventh M.I.T./O.N.R. Workshop on C3 Systems, 85-88 (1984)
D.H. Staelin, J.R. Gersh, J.H. Lang, “How to control a satellite antenna electrostatically,” Electronics and Power, 25, 249 (1979)
J.H. Lang, D.H. Staelin, J.R. Gersh, “Electrostatically-controlled wire-mesh antenna,” Electronics Letters, 14, 665 (1978)
Honors and Awards
- Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer (2005)
- JHU/APL Hart Prize for Research (2003)
- Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Fellow (1977)