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Research profile

Heleen Rutjes brings together people and data, as Postdoctoral Researcher in Human-Technology Interaction. In her research, she explores ways in which people and (AI-)technology can effectively collaborate. By combining qualitative and quantitative research methods, she seeks to understand people’s perceptions on technology, and how technology should be designed to meet their needs. More specifically, she is interested in explainable AI (XAI), mental models of AI, intelligent and interactive systems; with a human-centered focus. Heleen applies these concepts mostly in the health domain.


Having a background in both psychology (BSc) as well as mathematics (MSc), Heleen’s research is sensitive to the strengths and limitations of both people and data-driven models. For example, in her PhD work, Heleen has focused on the value of health data for health coaches, and she tested transparent and interactive interfaces that combine the complementary forms of knowledge that human coaches and data-driven models bring in.


Before her PhD, Heleen worked as statistical consultant at CQM, Eindhoven, and before that as a high school teacher in mathematics. In these roles too, she has been focusing on how people understand abstract concepts in mathematics and statistics, and explaining it accordingly.


Heleen also volunteers as guest lecturer at primary schools to encourage children to critically reflect on AI, and to inspire especially girls to engage in the research and design of AI, aiming for more diversity in the development of the technology of the future.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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