College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Nathan McNeese appointed to National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Board on Human-Systems Integration


Nathan McNeese of Clemson University is stepping into two roles that will continue to elevate him as one of the globe’s top experts in how artificial intelligence and human beings can best work together.

McNeese began a three-year term this month as a member of the Board on Human-Systems Integration (BOHSI), which is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, one of the most prestigious academic organizations in the world.

Nathan McNeese of Clemson University began a three-year term this month as a member of the Board on Human-Systems Integration.

Being recognized as a National Academies board member is considered a significant career honor, and McNeese is one of the first faculty members to be recognized at Clemson. In addition, he is also the founding director of the newly approved Clemson University Center for Human-AI Interaction, Collaboration, and Teaming (CU-CHAI).

He said it is a tremendous honor to be selected for the board and to lead the center.

“Clemson is basically on a rocket ship,” McNeese said. “I couldn’t be more proud to be here because the leaders of this institution at the highest level see how important this research is and the impact that it can have on students, the local community, the state community and the nation. They are providing the resources that we need to continue to build on the foundation that we have. It’s pretty special to see how Clemson has invested in this area.”

McNeese serves in several roles at Clemson. In addition to leading CU-CHAI, he is the McQueen Quattlebaum Endowed Associate Professor of Human-Centered Computing and the founding director of the Team Research Analytics in Computational Environments (TRACE) Research Group in the School of Computing.

As a member of BOHSI, McNeese will work with fellow board members to identify some of the most critical questions in human-systems integration. McNeese’s role will be specific to advising on artificial intelligence. The board has issued reports on topics ranging from virtual reality’s scientific and technology challenges to needs in human-factors research.

National Academies’ reports often play a crucial role in setting national policy, guiding the direction of research and developing curriculum.

Robert Jones, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, congratulated McNeese on his selection as a board member and on securing approval for starting the center.

“Nathan’s leadership in the field of human-AI interaction and human-centered AI is a testament to Clemson University’s commitment to pioneering research and interdisciplinary collaboration,” Jones said. “His work is helping elevate Clemson’s reputation as a hub of innovation in shaping the future for how humans and AI work together.”

McNeese said that he has been working toward starting the center since he joined Clemson in 2017.

Clemson’s Board of Trustees approved the center in a Feb. 2 meeting, opening the door for McNeese to begin assembling a team in earnest. The center has allocations for research scientists, postdoctoral fellows and staff support.

McNeese said he envisions a one-of-a-kind center and that he is looking for partners on the faculty, in industry and in the community.

What makes the center unique is its broad scope, with a focus on human-AI interaction, collaboration and teaming, he said.

“Clemson is already an international leader in this space,” McNeese said. “This is just doubling down and allowing us to build on the strong foundation we’ve already laid– and I’m going to build a mansion. We are going to push this pretty hard.”

The center will start by conducting research and will later branch out into community outreach to educate the community on human-AI interaction, collaboration and teaming, he said. Outreach could include workshops, conferences and inviting world-renowned speakers to Clemson, McNeese said.

Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, said that McNeese’s selection as a board member confirms his position as a pioneering leader in human-AI interaction and that CU-CHAI will provide opportunities to apply his expertise at Clemson.

“Nathan’s leadership will help bring recognition to the college in a critical area of importance, while fostering new collaborations and outreach opportunities,” Gramopadhye said. “I offer him my wholehearted congratulations and look forward to continuing our work together.”

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