Stephen M. Fiore, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephen M. Fiore is Director, Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, and Professor with the University of Central Florida's Cognitive Sciences Program in the Department of Philosophy and School of Modeling, Simulation, and Training. He maintains a multidisciplinary research interest that incorporates aspects of the cognitive, social, organizational, and computational sciences in the investigation of learning and performance in individuals and teams. His primary area of research is the interdisciplinary study of complex collaborative cognition and the understanding of how humans interact socially and with technology.  In 2018, Dr. Fiore was nominated to DARPA's Information Sciences and Technology (ISAT) Study Group to help the DoD examine future areas of technological development potentially influencing national security.  He has been a visiting scholar for the study of shared and extended cognition at École Normale Supérieure de Lyon in Lyon, France (2010) and he was a member of the expert panel for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) which focused on collaborative problem-solving skills. He has contributed to working groups for the National Academies of Sciences in understanding and measuring "21st Century Skills" and was a committee member of their "Science of Team Science" consensus study, as well as a member of the National Assessment of Educational Progress report on "Collaborative Problem Solving". He is recipient of UCF's Luminary Award (2019), as recognition for his work having a significant impact on the world, and UCF's Reach for the Stars Award (2014), as recognition for bringing international prominence to the university.  As Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator he has helped to secure and manage approximately $25 million in research funding. He is co-author of a book on “Accelerating Expertise” (2013) and is a co-editor of volumes on Shared Cognition (2012), Macrocognition in Teams (2008), Distributed Training (2007), and Team Cognition (2004).  Dr. Fiore has also co-authored over 200 scholarly publications in the area of learning, memory, and problem solving in individuals and groups.

To stay up-to-date with Steve's research, follow him on Researchgate dot net and Academia dot edu.



Current Students

Olivia B. Newton, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant

Olivia B. Newton is a a McKnight Doctoral Fellow in the Modeling and Simulation Ph.D. program at the University of Central Florida.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a graduate certificate in Cognitive Sciences, and a Master of Science in Modeling and Simulation. Her research focuses on participation and coordination in open collaborations in sociotechnical systems. Her published works have won awards in the Cognitive Engineering technical group of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and she has participated in workshops with the Santa Fe Institute in the area of Computational Social Science. Currently, she is investigating the effects of group composition and coordination processes on collective outcomes in open source software development projects. In the lab, she assists with research evaluating the efficacy of uncertainty visualization for complex decision making, the effects of social cues and signals in human-robot interaction, and the development of artificial social intelligence for human-machine teaming. 


Jihye Song, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant

Jihye Song is a Ph.D. student in Modeling and Simulation at the University of Central Florida and a recipient of the UCF Trustees Doctoral Fellowship. She received her M.S. in Modeling in Simulation and a graduate certificate in Cognitive Sciences from the University of Central Florida following completion of her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in French from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on social technology and human-machine interaction, with a particular interest in how cognition and collaboration are altered through interaction with physical and digital environments. Her work in the lab has covered topics including persuasive technology to promote environmental sustainability, social cues in human-robot interaction, interactive visualizations to support decision making under uncertainty, and modeling information spread in online social networks.




Sam F. Warta, Graduate Research Assistant

Sam Warta was a graduate research assistant in the Cognitive Sciences Lab at the University of Central Florida's Institute for Simulation and Training. She is currently a student in the Modeling and Simulation Ph.D. program at the University of Central Florida. Sam completed her undergraduate work at Stetson University and received her B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Applied Statistics. After she transitioned from working as a post-baccalaureate research assistant in the Cognitive Sciences Lab, she completed a Master's of Science in Modeling and Simulation at the University of Central Florida. Samantha has published papers in the areas of: college students' volunteering, serious games, human-robot interaction, artificial social-cognitive architectures, and decision making under uncertainty. Her current work includes the continued development and validation of a robotic perception scale, mental state attribution for effective social human-robot interactions, and the design of a novel robotic sensor system for the perception of social cues and signals.


Katelynn Kapalo, Graduate Research Assistant

Katelynn Kapalo was a graduate research assistant working in the Cognitive Sciences Lab at IST. Katelynn graduated with her Masters of Science in Modeling and Simulation, and has recently transitioned into the Modeling and Simulation PhD program at the University of Central Florida. Katelynn is an NREIP award recipient and prior to joining the Cognitive Sciences Lab, she completed an internship with the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. There, she assisted the principal investigator in conducting research on human-robot teams and coordinating field exercises as part of the Joint Interagency Field Experimentation project (JIFX). She has published papers in the areas of human-robot interaction, and mental state attribution for effective social human-robot interactions.


Andrew Best, Research Technician

Andrew Best was a visiting researcher from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working in the Cognitive Sciences Lab at IST. Andrew received his B.S. in Computer Science with a focus in Cognitive Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is pursuing his PhD in Computer Science with a focus in data-driven, multi-agent simulation. Andrew has published papers in the areas of density-dependent pedestrian behaviors, pedestrian locomotion, microscopic aircraft simulation, and real-time robotics. His current work includes human-robot interaction for connected/autonomous vehicles, and mental state attribution for effective social human-robot interactions.

Travis Wiltshire, Graduate Research Associate

Travis J. Wiltshire, completed his Ph.D. in Modeling and Simulation at the University of Central Florida in 2015 and worked as a Graduate Research Associate in the Cognitive Sciences Lab at the Institute for Simulation and Training. In 2012, he completed his M.S. in Human Factors and Systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and previously worked as an Instructional Systems Designer. His work encompasses a diverse set of basic and applied research skills cutting across a number of domains and methodologies. Central to his research is furthering the embodied and ecological approaches to social and team interaction dynamics as they span the boundaries of both humans and machines. His research topics so far include examination of social-cognitive processes in human-human and human-robot interaction, team cognition and collaborative problem solving in space flight teams, educational practices and strategies for adaptive expertise development in air traffic control, and embodied music learning processes with augmented reality systems. For his dissertation research, which he began Summer 2014, Travis studied the interaction dynamics inherent to effective collaborative problem solving teams by examining the relationship between interpersonal synchronization, team knowledge building communications, and problem solving performance.

Elizabeth Sanz, Graduate Research Assistant

Elizabeth Sanz completed her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Central Florida in 2014. Elizabeth has earned her Master of Arts degree in General Psychology and a Bachelors of Science in Psychology at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. Elizabeth’s research interests include team cognition (mental models and transactive memory), team science, personality, and diversity. She has published in Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, & Practice, and has two published book chapters. She plans on pursuing a position in industry upon completion of her degree in 2014.

Emilio J. C. Lobato, Research Assistant

Emilio Lobato studied Psychology and Cognitive Science at UCF and worked as a research assistant at IST's Cognitive Sciences Laboratory. There, he contributed to research on social cognition, dual-process theories of cognition, and human-robot interaction as part of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional Robotics Collaboration Technology Alliance. He also collaborated extensively with the Applied Cognition And Technology (ACAT) lab in the Department of Psychology at UCF, contributing to research on predictors and correlates of belief in pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, social cognition, anthropomorphism, and human-animal interaction.

Patricia Bockelman Morrow, Graduate Research Assistant

Patricia left a career in Middle School education to seek her PhD in Modeling and Simulation at UCF. Her research interests are primarily in Cognition, Linguistics, and Communication. Her projects include work with cognitive load, gesture and communication, and human-robot teams.

Amy S. Bolling, Research Assistant

Amy was a graduate student at UCF in the Cognitive Science certificate. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech and five years of experience in freight car engineering. She is interested in how we interact with technology and how studying this interaction can lead to better designs in lifestyle and education. Her interests include human-robot interaction, human factors, linguistics, embodiment, cognition, and informal science learning.

Melyssa Allen, Research Assistant

Melyssa was entering her fourth and final year at UCF to obtain her Bachelor's degrees in Biology and Psychology in hopes of pursuing a doctorate degree in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Sciences. After participating in the U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program as an animal care and training intern during the summer of 2010, she completed a rotation with the research crew and gained an immense interest in the field of marine mammal cognition. She was also actively involved in conservation efforts and is serving as the President for the Knights for Marine and Wildlife Conservation for the 2011-2012 school year.

Jonathan Streater, Visiting Faculty-Research Associate

Jonathan joined the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory at IST to do research under the Human-Robot-Interaction thrust of the interdisciplinary, multi-institutional Robotics Collaboration Technology Alliance. Before this, Jonathan received his B.A. in Philosophy and graduate certificate in the Cognitive Sciences from the University of Central Florida and he received his MSc. in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh. His interests include computational creativity, human-centered computing, embodied and social cognitive sciences, and all kinds of AI and machine learning. He is an avid surfer and scuba-diver, has backpacked alone from Spain and Morrocco to Greece, has studied Spanish in Leon, Nicaragua while living with a local family, has worked on a farm in the mountains of Costa Rica through the World Wide Organization of Organic Farmers, and as of August 2011, has Summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. He begins his PhD in Human-Centered Computing at Georgia Tech in Fall 2012.

John Z. Elias, Graduate Research Associate

John completed his BS in Molecular Biology and BA in English at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and his MS in Modeling and Simulation at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He was pursuing his PhD in Philosophy as a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire. His research interests include embodiment, social interaction, normativity, and language.

Sarah Daugherty, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Sarah was an Undergraduate Psychology student with a minor in cognitive sciences in her Junior Year at UCF. She was a research assistant at the Cognitive Sciences lab at the Institute for Simulation and Training during 2012. Her career plans for the future are to attend graduate school to study neurological disorders, specifically Alzheimer’s disease, and continue with research throughout her life.

Anna Wedell, Undergraduate Research Assistant

Anna Wedell was a third year undergraduate student at UCF, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Cognitive Science. She plans to graduate with her B.S. in 2014 and later pursue a doctoral degree in cognitive science or cognitive neuroscience. Her research interests include attention, visual and auditory perception, psychopharmacology, and the neurobiology of consciousness.