Orlando meeting highlights work about making systems, tools, and products safe and easy to use

September 23, 2005

ORLANDO, FL--The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's 49th Annual Meeting will be held September 26-30, 2005, at the Royal Pacific at Universal Orlando in Orlando, Florida. More than 500 papers will be presented, many of them featuring current research and application on topics of major relevance for the public, legislators, and business leaders. Below are abstracts on just a few of these topics.

To obtain copies of the papers noted below, request a press pass to the meeting, or reach the speakers, contact Lois Smith (310/394-1811, lois@hfes.org, in Orlando: 407/503-3000).


Up from the Rubble: Lessons Learned about HRI from Search and Rescue
Robin R. Murphy and Jennifer L. Burke, University of South Florida
Thursday, September 29, 10:30AM-12:00PM
As first responders work in the search and rescue tasks that accompany disasters, technology is finding its way into assistance efforts through the use of robotics. Murphy and Burke discuss work performed by the Center for Robot Assisted Search and Rescue in such situations as destruction of the World Trade Center, Hurricane Charley, and the La Conchita, California, mudslide. In particular, they discuss how people continue to be the crucial element in human-robot interaction (HRI).

A Sociotechnical Systems Analysis of the Toronto SARS Outbreak
Andrea Cassano Piché, University of Toronto
Friday, September 30, 8:30AM-10:00AM
A risk management framework published in 1997 explained many of the reasons for the 2003 spread of SARS in Toronto. In that February outbreak, 438 probable SARS cases were reported, 44 people died, and more than 25,000 people were quarantined. University of Toronto researchers found that during the SARS outbreak, several items described in the 1997 framework - including the failure of different levels of government to work together - came to pass.


Helping Analysts Deal with Data Overload: Profiling Profilers

Cynthia Dominguez, Klein Associates, et al.
Wednesday, September 28, 1:30PM-3:00PM
Intelligence analysts provide an invaluable service for national security by supplying the knowledge bases that inform the decisions of our nation's leaders. Because the information is vast and requires the use of complex software, there is potential for these analysts to become overloaded. Dominguez and colleagues present the early stages of work that is geared toward addressing issues such as search strategies and general analyst needs.


Development of the Internet Clinical Communication Centre: A Patient-Centered Application for Prostate Cancer Follow-up

Jennifer Wong, The Center for Global eHealth Innovation, et al.
Thursday, September 29, 1:30PM-5:00PM
Internet technology is being used increasingly by doctors to assist them in their work. In the treatment of cancer patients, Wong and colleagues have developed an Internet-based system to provide test results to prostate cancer patients. The researchers identify strengths and obstacles associated with a system that can preserve patients' security and privacy.


Intersection Behavior of Novice Teen Drivers and Experienced Adult Drivers

Erik Olsen, National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, et al.
Wednesday, September 28, 10:30AM-12:00PM
Research has shown that young novice drivers run the greatest risk of being involved in traffic accidents, but few know exactly why. Olsen and colleagues have begun to address this research gap by demonstrating that teen drivers are less conservative when stopping at a stop light. These effects are further complicated by the use of cell phones: 28% of these young drivers simply failed to stop at an intersection while talking on the phone.

Effects of Haptic Brake Pulse Warnings on Driver Behavior During an Intersection Approach
Sarah B. Brown, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, et. al.
Tuesday, September 27, 10:30AM-12:00PM
Drivers who receive haptic warnings are 38 times more likely to stop before entering an intersection than those receiving no warning, according to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study. Driver distraction is the cause of 37% of intersection crashes and the top cause of intersection violations that lead to crashes. Virginia Tech researchers developed a series of haptic pulse warnings that warn drivers of impending intersection violations via the car's brake uprights.

Crew Resource Management Training and Young Driver Safety
Michael Regan, Monash University Accident Research Centre, et. al.
Friday, September 30, 10:30AM-12:00PM
The application of crew resource management (CRM) training may improve the performance of young drivers, a population that is at the highest risk of being involved in a car crash. Originally designed for personnel in the aviation field, CRM training programs develop skills that enhance collaborative or team-based performance. Such skills may be of key importance in helping change behaviors of young drivers.


An Overview of NASA's Space Exploration Vision: The Human Systems Integration Challenges

Terry Allard, NASA Headquarters, et al.
Wednesday, September 28, 1:30PM-3:00PM
The U.S. Vision for Space Exploration There is an evolving vision of space exploration in the United States. Although the development of technology continues in importance, humans are increasingly recognized as THE critical component of this vision. Allard and Kaiser discuss human roles in mission control, spacecraft operations, Martian/lunar vehicle control, and technical support systems in order to optimize human-robot teaming.


Virtual Field Trips: Synthetic Experiences and Learning

Alicia D Sanchez, University of Central Florida, et. al.
Friday, September 30, 8:30AM-10:00AM
With many school systems strapped for funding, field trips and other real-world experiences have borne the brunt of education cuts. However, with the application of advanced, interactive software borrowed from military training communities, Sanchez and colleagues are hoping to leverage the entertainment and materials science and technology resources in central Florida to produce alternatives to field trips. Recent advances in virtual environments and technology-enhanced classroom environments offer the possibility of interactive learning for Florida's students.

Improving Usability and Effectiveness of Online Learning: How Can Avatars Help?
Hua Wang, University of Toronto & University of Tokyo, et al.
Thursday, September 29, 1:30PM-3:00PM
In an increasingly complex world, technology is finding its way into many aspects of everyday life - including education. In order to facilitate the development of effective online education programs, researchers are seeking ways to make aspects of the online learning environment more interactive for users. Wang and colleagues have developed a prototype of such an interactive system that may help users concentrate better and thereby learn better.


Older Adults and Attitudes Towards Computers: Have They Changed with Recent Advances in Technology?

Sankaran Nair, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, et al.
Wednesday, September 28, 10:30AM-12:00PM
Older adults still experience the most difficulty in using computers. In order to understand why, researchers look at the differences between older and younger adult computer users. Nair and associates at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine demonstrate that even after long-term usage, older adults still feel they have no better ability to control the technology.


Impact of Environmental Design Features: Does Color Scheme Influence Transputed Attributions?

Sae Lynne Schatz, University of Central Florida, et al.
Thursday, September 29, 1:30PM-5:00PM
Businesses invest millions in their environmental design, hoping to influence consumers' perceptions and behaviors through the use of color. However, a study by University of Central Florida researchers found that although beliefs about the role of color in consumer choice are widespread, consumers impressions diverge from expectations. Schatz and her colleagues examined the responses of both interior designers and consumers to gauge the impact of room color in restaurants.


Development and Evaluation of a System for Wearable Audio Navigation

Bruce N. Walker, Georgia Institute of Technology, et. al.
Thursday, September 29, 3:30PM-5:00PM
A new automated navigation aide uses audio information to provide navigation in settings where vision may be unavailable. The System for Wearable Audio Navigation (SWAN) is designed to provide audio cues about location and optimal navigation routes for the visually impaired and for those whose vision may be denied because of environmental factors, such as a firefighter in a smoke-filled building.

Canine Factors: Bridging the Gap Between Human Factors and Comparative Psychology
William S. Helton, Michigan Technological University
Tuesday, September 27, 1:30PM-3:00PM
Dogs are unique among nonhuman animals for their ability to adapt to human culture, sometimes even serving as human surrogates. Human factors researchers are using the study of canines to better understand the relationships between humans and their environments while performing occupational tasks. The study of working canines may be much more relevant to human factors research than previously thought, providing clues about human factors research topics such as expertise development and sustained attention.
HFES is a multidisciplinary nonprofit professional organization of 4300 persons in the United States and throughout the world. Members include psychologists, engineers, designers, and scientists, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems, tools, consumer products, and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. HFES is the largest human factors/ergonomics organization affiliated with the International Ergonomics Association.

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

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