Missy Cummings

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Mary (Missy) Cummings is an Associate Professor at Duke University and director of the Humans and Automation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was one of the United States Navy's first female fighter pilots.[1]

She attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating with a B.S. in mathematics in 1988; she received her master's degree in Space Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1994 and her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2003.

Dr. Cummings spent eleven years (1988–1999) as a naval officer and military pilot, earning the rank of lieutenant, and was one of the Navy's first female fighter pilots, flying an F/A-18 Hornet. She became a fighter pilot shortly after the Combat Exclusion Policy was repealed in 1993, and her book, Hornet's Nest, recounts her experience with discrimination and hostility as one of the first women in the fighter community. Her first callsign was Medusa [2] and her second was Shrew.[3] In an interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart she described her callsign as "Awesome - I am so Kate from The Taming of the Shrew".

She was an instructor for the U.S. Navy at Pennsylvania State University and an assistant professor at Virginia Tech in their Engineering Fundamentals Division.

She is currently the Boeing Associate Professor in the Aeronautics & Astronautics Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Director of the Humans and Automation Lab.

Her research interests include human interaction with autonomous vehicle systems, humans and automation, decision support, human-computer interaction, and the ethical and social impact of technology. She has published papers on the role of human operators in system control loops.[4]

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