David Schuster

David Schuster



What research questions currently preoccupy you?

How do we leverage the strengths of people to improve cyber security? My research focuses cyber security professionals as part of the solution. What knowledge, skills, and attitudes help cyber professionals perform the difficult task of keeping our computer networks secure? I am also interested in how video games change the brain and whether we can systematically leverage their effects to improve cognitive performance.

What personal factors contributed to your research?

I've always been interested in technology and fascinated by people, so psychology and a career in human factors were the right path for me. We tend to think of cyber security as a technological problem, but it's also a problem in which people play a critical role. Yet, we are only just starting to learn how people can facilitate or hinder cyber security.

What has been most challenging in your research?

Speaking across disciplines is always a challenge and evolving skill. We are trained to speak the language of our disciplines and approach problems in a particular way. For my research to be impactful, I must incorporate expertise from multiple domains. And, as human factors is a relatively small field, we need to be able to explain what we do and the benefits of our work to a wide audience.

How has your position in SJSU contributed to your research?

My research is where it is today because of the support and mentoring of my SJSU colleagues and the talent and dedication of my students. I continue to be impressed by both groups.

A hidden (research) talent:

I find it very satisfying to write code to automate the most tedious parts of research. As a graduate student, I wrote an image processing program to generate experimental stimuli. After a few bug fixes, my program crunched all the stimuli for our study in about 12 hours. Previously, undergraduate research assistants had to edit the images manually for weeks.

One book that changed your life (or research) & why:

John W. Creswell's Research Design helped me get unstuck during my dissertation because it provided a blueprint for developing a research topic and presenting it clearly in a proposal. It's a research methods book that guides you instead of telling you what to avoid. I recommend it to all my thesis students.

A website/journal/newspaper (in your field?) you follow without fail:

I follow the journals Human Factors and Ergonomics, but the popular press helps me keep up with rapidly evolving technology. For that purpose, I like slashdot.org and reddit.

Advice you’d give to newer faculty or students:

Take experienced people, whether colleagues or professors, up on their offers for mentoring. I've found it to be immensely valuable.

RSCA Accomplishments

Schuster, D., Still, M. L., Still, J. D., Lim, J. J., Feria, C. S., & Rohrer, C. (2015). Opinions or algorithms: an investigation of trust in people versus automation in app store security. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Heidelberg: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-20376-8_37 [Web]
Keebler, J., Jentsch, F., & Schuster, D. (2014). The effects of video game experience and active stereoscopy on performance in combat identification tasks. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. doi:10.1177/0018720814535248 [Web]"