Representational Systems Lab

Creative Technology Research Group, Department of Informatics, University of Sussex

The Representational Systems Lab conducts research on the nature and use of representational system from the perspective of Cognitive Science.  Representational systems are symbolic systems that encode knowledge, for example: diagrams, graphical user interfaces, information visualization, formal notations, maps and natural language.  Cognitive Science is the science of how the mind functions by processing information.  So, the Lab's research applies theories and methods from Cognitive Science to study how representational systems shape cognition and to create new representational systems and technology to enhance how we think and learn. 

RepSys Lab Members

  • Peter Cheng Professor of Cognitive Science / RepSys Lab Director
  • Ronald Grau Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • Grecia Garcia Garcia Research Fellow
  • Frances Aldrich Associate
  • Noorah Ablehaijan PhD research student
  • Munirah Alwhibi PhD research student
  • Felix Yanzie Liu PhD research student

Current RepSys Lab research areas:

  1. Knowledge visualizations / Representational Epistemology
    • Diagrammatic notional systems for problem solving and learning; e.g., logic, mathematics, physics, dance
    • Graphical user-interfaces: e.g., planning/scheduling, cyber-security user access control
    • Diagrammatic intelligent tutoring systems
    • Automatic representation selection for human-like AI system
  2. Micro behaviour analysis of chunk processing
    • Competence measurement; e.g., mathematics, programming, natural language
    • User-authentication
    • Cognition of writing and drawing
    • Individual differences and the control of behaviour
  3. Cognitive science of tactile interaction and graphics
    • Tactile graphics for people with visual impairment
    • Reading diagrams and notations by touch
    • Graphic design of tactile material

Current and recent Research Grants include:

  • How to (re)represent it? (2018-2019) Project home page. Funded by the EPSRC Human-Like Computing research programme  EP/R030642/1
  • Cognitive Science of tactile graphics. (2016-20) Project home page.  Funded by the RM Phillips Endowment. 
  • Cyber-security visualization: collaborative graphical tools for security policies.  (2020-24) Qatar National Research Fund (NPRP),  Lead-PI Dr Noorah Fetais

Key publications

PhD Students: Current, past and prospective

Peter Cheng's brief biography.

To Creative Technology Group Web pages


Peter Cheng, Professor of Cognitive Science
Department of Informatics,
University of Sussex
Falmer, Brighton,
BN1 9QH,  UK

Email: p.c.h.cheng@sussex.ac.uk
direct line: +44 (0)1273 873652
Dept office:   +44 (0)1273 678030


Peter Cheng    (22/11/19)