Contact Information

Email: scastro39 [at] ucmerced [dot] edu

Dr. Spencer Castro

Assistant Professor

Management of Complex Systems (MCS)

School of Engineering

University of California, Merced


Spencer Castro is an assistant professor at the University of California Merced in the Management of Complex Systems Department in the School of Engineering. He was formerly a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Underrepresented and Disadvantaged Scholars Program and a former National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Graduate Research Fellow (GRFP) at the University of Utah, working with Dr. David Strayer. Spencer was awarded the NSF GRFP for research on the capacity of attention under cognitive workload, particularly in the context of technology and multitasking. He focuses on the validity of reaction time and accuracy as measures of different aspects of workload, as well as quantifying the risk of adverse outcomes due to these workload metrics in driving. He employs advanced cognitive modeling techniques to examine the mechanisms of attentional capacity, multitasking, and performance. In a recent publication in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Performance and Perception, Spencer and collaborators propose new mathematical models for analyzing reaction time data that capture the classically difficult tradeoff between speed and accuracy.

As a member of the Paiute and Southern Sierra Miwuk Nations, Spencer was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship for Underrepresented and Disadvantaged Scholars from the University of Utah to support his on-going research on cognitive modeling. Spencer is a strong advocate for minoritized groups and is the president of the Diversity G.A.P. (Graduate Application Preparation) at the University of Utah, which prepares underrepresented students to apply to graduate school.
| Former UDS Postdoctoral Fellow | Former NSF GRFP Predoctoral Fellow | Former UCSC Regents Fellow