Aleksandra Sarcevic, Ph.D.
College of Computing and Informatics, Drexel University
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Aleksandra Sarcevic is an Associate Professor of Information Science in the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University. Her research interests lie in the areas of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), human-computer interaction (HCI) and health informatics. She received her PhD from the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University.


31 Mar - 3 Apr, 2019
iConference 2019
Washington, DC

3 - 7 Nov, 2018
CSCW 2018
Jersey City, NJ

21 - 26 Apr, 2018
CHI 2018
Montreal, Canada

21 Mar, 2018
Next Gen EHR Workshop
Copenhagen, Denmark

7 - 10 Jan, 2018
GROUP 2018
Sanibel Island, FL


3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
P: 215.
E: aleksarc [@] drexel dot edu

Current Research Projects
The goal of my research is to understand how individuals within collocated teams interact, communicate and make decisions while solving complex problems under time pressure. Through the analysis of information seeking, communication, team cognition, collaboration, and decision making, I aim to identify inefficiencies in problem solving and opportunities for technology support. I seek to broaden existing theoretical frameworks on error causation and inform technology design, development, and deployment to support teamwork in time- and safety-critical domains. My approach is multidisciplinary. I combine theories, models and frameworks from the fields of computer-supported cooperative work, cognitive science, human-computer interaction, communication, and information science to explain group behavior in time-critical situations.
TRU-IT: Developing Technology to Support Trauma and Emergency Medical Resuscitation Teams

The goal of this research program is to lower the potential for medical errors during emergency (trauma or medical) resuscitation by providing an integrated information capture and display system to be used during resuscitations. Current work includes comprehensive user studies leading towards in-depth understanding of collaboration, information sharing, communication, and decision making in the resuscitation rooms. We are employing the principles of ethnographic approach (observations of real and simulated trauma resuscitations, focus groups and interviews with trauma team members) to identify current problems and the points where errors are critical. Findings from these studies are then used to inform the design of a computerized decision support system for trauma resuscitation and other fast-paced, high-risk critical care settings that monitors workflow for deviations and provides alerts to these deviations, allowing remedial actions to be taken to prevent adverse outcomes.


National Science Foundation, CISE Directorate, IIS Division Award
"CHS: Medium: Collaborative Research: Activity Recognition for Reducing Delays in Fast-Response Teamwork"
10/01/2018-09/30/2022: $1,199,974
Drexel University [IIS-1763509]: Aleksandra Sarcevic (PI: $270,000)
Children’s National [IIS-1763355]: Randall S. Burd (PI)
Rutgers University [IIS-1763827]: Ivan Marsic (PI)

Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ)
"R03: Analysis of Factors Associated with Clinical Checklist Compliance" [1R03HS026057-01]
10/01/2018-9/30/2020: $100,000
Drexel University: Aleksandra Sarcevic (PI)

National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine
"R01: Automatic Workflow Capture and Analysis for Improving Trauma Resuscitation Outcomes" [1R01LM011834-01A1]
August 2014 - July 2018: $1,355,456
Children's National: Randall S. Burd, MD (Lead PI)
Rutgers University: Ivan Marsic (PI for Rutgers)
Drexel University: Aleksandra Sarcevic (PI for Drexel)

National Science Foundation, CISE Directorate, IIS Division Award
"CAREER: Supporting Fast-Response Medical Teams Through Interactive Information Displays" [IIS-1253285]
February 2013 - January 2018: $522,985.
Drexel University: Aleksandra Sarcevic (PI)

National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine
"R21: A Paper-Digital Interface for Time-Critical Information Management" [5R21LM011320-02]
September 15, 2012 - September 14, 2014: $412,607
Children's National: Randall S. Burd, MD (PI)
Drexel University: Aleksandra Sarcevic (Co-PI)
University of California, San Diego: James D. Hollan (Co-PI), Nadir Weibel (Research Scientist)
Rutgers University: Ivan Marsic (Co-PI)

National Science Foundation, CISE Directorate, IIS Division Award
"HCC: Small: Collaborative Research: Assessing Technology Requirements For Preventing Teamwork Errors in Safety-Critical Settings"
September 2009 - August 2012: $ 503,019
Rutgers University [IIS-0915871]: Michael Lesk (PI), Ivan Marsic (Co-PI)
Drexel University [subaward to Rutgers]: Aleksandra Sarcevic (PI)
Children's National [IIS-0915899]: Randall S. Burd (PI), David Stockwell (Co-PI)
UMDNJ-RWJ Medical School [IIS-0915812]: Meredith Tinti (PI)

National Science Foundation, CISE Directorate, IIS Division Award
"HCC: Medium: Collaborative Research: Multimodal Capture of Teamwork in Collocated Collaboration"
September 2008 - August 2011: $ 650,000
Rutgers University [IIS-0803732]: Ivan Marsic (PI), Ahmed Elgammal (Co-PI)
Children's National [IIS-0929705]: Randall S. Burd (PI)

For more information, see our project TRU-IT page.

Faculty members:

Aleksandra Sarcevic, DREXEL
Ivan Marsic, RUTGERS (ECE)

CNMC/CHOP members:

Randall S. Burd, MD, PhD, CNMC
Sage R. Myers, MD, MSCE, CHOP


Leah Kulp, PhD Student, DREXEL
Swathi Jagannath, PhD Student, DREXEL
Alyssa Klein, BA Biological Design, DREXEL
Keegan Cannon, BS Info. Technlogy, DREXEL

Past faculty members:

Michael E. Lesk, RUTGERS (SC&I)
Ahmed Elgammal, RUTGERS (CS)
James D. Hollan

Nadir Weibel, UCSD

Past medical collaborators:

Meredith Tinti, MD, RWJUH


Students alumni:

Zhan Zhang, PhD
Nina Multak
, PhD
Diana Kusunoki
, PhD
Brett Rosen, BS Soft. Eng., DREXEL
Hanya Moharram,
BA Product Design, DREXEL
Nicole Ferraro, BS/MS Biomed Eng., DREXEL
Maria Yala, BS CS,

Past Research Projects

Finding Happiness: Indexing Emotions in Digital Video

In this research, we proposed a novel way of searching large video data collections semi-automatically for instances of people expressing emotions. This could be done by engaging the user’s intelligence in the search process in conjunction with an automated search assistant (agent) that would not only perform searches but also help the user phrase queries and define new search concepts. Research plan includes extensive user studies followed by the software development in collaboration with researchers from SIEMENS Corporate Research, Inc., Princeton, NJ.

This work was funded by the National Science Foundation [IIS-0441172]


Slow Tetris: Collaboration across Heterogeneous Computer Platforms

My early research investigated the performance and communication patterns in collaborative work when co-workers use unequal computer platforms. This research was motivated by the spread of wireless communication and the desire to facilitate collaboration between mobile workers using portable data assistants (PDAs) and office-based co-workers using PCs.

As part of a large research team, I studied the effects of differences in problem representations on the social aspects of collaboration. This question was investigated through a controlled experiment in which participants worked together on solving 2- and 3-dimensional variations of the popular Tetris™ game. The findings indicated that platform differences affect communication and social behavior between collaborators. Collaboration amongst partners using small handhelds was the most cooperative and friendly because of the problem difficulty. Conversely, mixed platform collaboration put both people in an uncomfortable situation; no jokes were exchanged and tension could be felt in the verbal responses of the PC partner who was needed to direct the solution. This research resulted in a set of design recommendations for developing groupware that can accommodate computer platform disparities while effectively supporting collaboration.

This work was funded by the National Science Foundation [CNS-0123910], New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, and by the Rutgers Center for Advanced Information Processing (CAIP) and its corporate affiliates.

For the purpose of this study we developed a video game called Slow Tetris:



© 2004—2018 Aleksandra Sarcevic. All Rights Reserved.
Last updated: October 1, 2018