Resiliency is our Mission

Enabling advanced decisions is our passion

RCS has codified 35 years of decision support science into a methodology that cuts through complexity in the most challenging environments. Our team of certified cognitive systems engineers, software developers, human-factors specialists, and visual designers are masters at enabling advanced decisions.


Overview

To make smarter, faster decisions within high-stakes, fast-paced environments, you must combine two forms of intelligence that don’t easily mesh:

Human Computer Venn Diagram

RCS focuses on the point where these two intersect, which is also where the toughest problems appear. Time after time, people make bad decisions because they are:

  • Overwhelmed by data
  • Drowning in well-intentioned alarms or alerts
  • Viewing data in formats designed for computers rather than information designed for human beings

To put it simply, we are ergonomic specialists for the brain. Using our proprietary Cognitive Resilience Model™, we help organizations escape data analysis and decision-making complexity by adapting computer intelligence systems so they are comfortable for users. We make your current systems conform to your preferences, rather than forcing you to think like a computer.

We work with many different systems created by large technology companies. These offerings have many extraordinary capabilities, but most lack that final essential piece: conforming perfectly to the way you and your colleagues think.

Leadership

William C. Elm

Founder, President, CSE Fellow

Bill Elm’s career began as a Cognitive Systems Engineer designing Advanced Control Rooms for commercial nuclear power plants, including an alarm management system that still defines the state of the art. He is one of the longest practicing Cognitive Systems Engineers, combining over 34 years of applied CSE experience in domains ranging from process control to national intelligence. Currently he is focused on Advanced Decision Support using Big Data Analytics to team effectively with corresponding advances in decision-making tradecraft.

Mr. Elm’s military career includes an ROTC Commission in 1977 from Carnegie-Mellon University as a Distinguished Military Graduate, with further military education including Airborne, Ranger, Military Intelligence Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, CAS3, and Command and General Staff College. He has held leadership positions up to MI Battalion Command, Brigade S3, as well as Intelligence Staff Officer Positions at various levels up to Joint Command, receiving numerous decorations and awards including the Meritorious Service Medal. His military career spanned 27 years of active and reserve service, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, Military Intelligence in 2004. Mr. Elm now applies his background in ISR asset management, All Source and SIGINT Analysis, and Intelligence Operations to the design of advanced decision support systems for national and commercial customers.

Education

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Distinguished Military Graduate, 1977
  • BS and MS in Electrical Engineering
  • Westinghouse B. G. Lamme scholar
  • PhD coursework in Artificial Intelligence
  • United States Army
  • Airborne, Ranger, Command and General Staff College
  • Intelligence Staff Officer (Joint Command)
  • MI Battalion Command, Brigade Operations Officer
  • Lieutenant Colonel, Military Intelligence

Designations

  • Military awards and decorations up to Meritorious Service Medal
  • Cognitive Systems Engineering (CSE) Fellow
  • Westinghouse B. G. Lamme Scholar
  • Holds several patents and published articles

Samantha Szymczak

Director of Cognitive Systems Engineering

Samantha Szymczak oversees the design and execution of decision-support systems across a number of mission-critical client domains. Her work spans Cyber Operations, Intelligence Collection and Analysis, Enterprise Mission Management, Tactical and Strategic Military Operations, and Command and Control. Samantha specializes in knowledge elicitation and user observation techniques, cognitive work/task analyses, functional modeling, and user-centered design to support advanced decision-making within complex decision environments. She is skilled at designing systems that help organizations understand big data, overcome data overload, improve attention focusing, and team with technology.

Samantha’s experience in transforming command and control rooms into advanced decision-making centers is at the heart of her work. She has designed user interfaces for the United States Intelligence Community, Air Force, Army, Navy, and numerous commercial clients. She led multiple project teams in a joint effort to re-envision intelligence cyber operations to improve analysts’ ability to find, analyze, and capture useful cyber information. The solution doubled analyst efficiency while increasing analyst trust in data automation. Samantha has been seminal in designing cognitively-based work-centered dashboards. One solution for a tactical intelligence agency took analyst task time from 11,000 clicks (13 hours) to 50 clicks (15 minutes) resulting in revolutionary improvements for the real-time decision-maker.

Prior to working for RCS, Samantha practiced human-computer interface design at the National Center for Super Computing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

Education

  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • B.S. Systems Engineering
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Engineer in Training Certificate

Co-Authored Publications

  • Integrating CSE Throughout the Systems Engineering Process. Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making. (2008)
  • Improved Performance and Reduced Performance Variability of a Joint Cognitive System – a Method of Technology Design. Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making. (2007)
  • Cognitive System Engineering-Based Design: Alchemy or Engineering. (2005)
  • Designing of Decision Support Systems Using Results of a Cognitive Work Analysis. Workshop presented at the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society 49th Annual Meeting. (2005)

Paul Durbin

Director, Principal Software Engineer

Mr. Durbin brings nearly 30 years of software engineering experience to RCS clients, including all phases of the software life cycle. He oversees the RCS software development team, working jointly with the cognitive systems engineering team and end clients to simplify complex decision-making system challenges. Paul has broad experience in writing, testing, and maintaining high-functioning software database applications – many with continuous, multi-threaded back-end processing in near real-time.

Paul’s software development experience for analyst and executive decision-support covers a broad range of applications, including Situational Awareness Dashboards, Data Repository Search Displays, Enterprise Situational Awareness Views, Warfare Combat Assessment Tools, Early-Warning Systems, Joint Human/Machine Data Automation Systems, University Research Engines, and Patient Tracking Systems.

He has developed software applications for military aircraft, including a real-time, multi-functional display for the F-16, infusion pump software for controlling medication flow to patients, and an early-warning system for police operations.

Prior to working for RCS, Paul held software engineering roles for Verdix Corporation, GTE Government Systems, and General Dynamics.

Education

  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.S. Electrical Engineering
  • Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH)
  • Technology Experience
  • C, C++, Java, Visual Basic, PERL,
  • JavaScript, Node.js, D3.js, ExtJS, ActionScript/Flex,
  • HTML5, JSP, XML,
  • Accumulo, Solr

Our People

RCS has assembled an interdisciplinary team of certified cognitive systems engineers, senior HADOOP-certified software developers, human-factors specialists, and visual designers who are all aligned around one mission: bringing resiliency to high-stakes, fast-paced decision-making environments. Our best-in-class people, technology, and Cognitive Resilience Model™ deliver results that consistently exceed our client expectations.

Our Clients

We are fortunate to work with some of the best and brightest organizations in the world. From defense to finance, healthcare to energy, we bring greater simplicity and effectiveness to command and control for executives and analysts working within critical, challenging decision-making environments.