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Florida Schools Take Top 3 in RoboBoat Competition
Of the 13 teams competing at Virginia Beach, six made it to the final showdown on Sunday, July 13. Embbry-Riddle Aeronautical University came out on top and the University of Florida placed second. This is the second year in a row the Florida trio has nailed the top three spots, although in a different order.
RoboBoats is an autonomous robotics competition requiring teams to build a surface vehicle capable of channel navigation through buoys, docking, light sequence detection, and underwater acoustic pinger localization. During the challenges, this years' entry, "Classic Boatname," was required to communicate wirelessly to a mission control server that provided dynamically changing mission criteria including which channel to navigate and what pier to dock with, while reporting real-time status updates such as the GPS location of the underwater acoustic pinger.
Sponsored by Army Research Lab's (ARL) Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC), IST and UCF's Student Government Associate, the Robotics Club at UCF is a completely student run organization and a truly interdisciplinary group of individuals from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer sciences. Competition winners bring home cash awards that help offset expenses and fund future competitions. This year the club brought back $3,500 in winnings.
Every year RoboBoats becomes more and more competitive, and for 2014 organizers upped the ante with additional challenges and a brand new course based on the upcoming Maritime RobotX Challenge, announced only six months prior to the event. The Robotics Club adapted to the new challenges and also took home an "Innovation Award" for a novel 3D LIDAR system constructed in house.
And "Best of Show" Goes to...
Rogers's mobile application project, Enhancing the User Experience of Mobile Augmented Reality for Army Combat Medics, earned METIL the recognition. Brenda Enders of the UCF/IST spin-off company, Moving Knowledge, and an eLearning Guild affiliate, presented the award. Sponsor of the project is Dr. Christine Allen of the Army Research Lab's Simulation Training Technology Center (STTC).
UCF Computer Programmers Do It Again
UCF scored 21st overall out of 122 teams invited to the finals, its best finish since 2000. New York University was crowned North America champion.
Read more about the programming team below...
Humanoid Robot Purchase Will Help Advance Healthcare, Teaching Training
The award was one of five research grants to UCF from the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP). Read more about these grants to UCF.
NY World's Fair Pavilion Targeted for Laser Scan
Walters is doing the project voluntarily with the help of the non-profit organization CyArk which has set a goal of digitally preserving 500 of the world's most renowned historical sites within five years.
"Giving a new generation of students access not just to the wonders of the Fair but to the wonders of cutting edge technology is beyond exciting," Walters said. The researcher has been interested in the Fair since she was a child. She studied history to satiate her thirst for knowledge about the 1950's and 1960's, especially the technological advances that occurred during that time.
Her work took a technological leap of its own when she affiliated with IST to reconstruct historical sites such as the launch pads of Cape Canaveral and the World's Fair in an online format, making them accessible to the world.
For this latest project Walters will bring her FARO Focus 3D laser scanner to New York, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fair this summer, and teach the middle school students from neighboring Nassau County how to accurately capture the entire Tent of Tomorrow area of the New York State Pavilion. FARO is also providing the team use of one of their new Focus X 330 scanners that has the capability of capturing data as far as 330 meters. A representative from CyArk will assist in scanning and the piecing together or "stitching" of the scans to complete a digital model.
Her unique work has attracted the attention of media focused on the Fair's anniversary, most recently in the May 27 Wall Street Journal.
Walters plans to give the data to the New York Parks Department to help preserve the authenticity of the structure should the city decide to either renovate it and to serve as a historical representation if it is ultimately torn down. "Whatever happens to these historical structures future generations will always have access to them in the form of these scans," Walters said.
IST's Michael Carney a Presenter at Experiential Learning Symposium
Michael Carney, Associate Director of IST's E2i Creative Studio, presented insights from the research lab's expeience with student interns during a session of the spring symposium held by UCF's Office of Experiential Learning. E2i, says Carney, "employs" on average 15 to 20 interns each semester," exposing them to"a professional environment where they can build hard skills that prepare for the gaming, simulation and training industries, and professional workplace skills such as working in a team with dynamically changing priorities and hard deliverables."
Convention Center Hall of Fame Honors Simulation Pioneers
The 10 inaugural inductees are UCF President Hitt; former U.S. Rep. Lou Frey; UCF alumni Albert Henry Marshall and Patricia Getchell; scholarship donor and honorary degree recipient Vince Amico; Rear Adm. Luis de Florez, who institutionalized synthetic training with the Navy during World War II; Richard C. Dehmel, a scientist who developed and implemented the first mathematical flight models for simulations; Retired Gen. Paul Francis Gorman, who revolutionized Army training and the effective use of simulators; Retired Gen. John P. Jumper, the 17th chief of staff for the Air Force who set distributed mission training policies for the Air Force; and Edwin Albert Link, the "father" of simulation technology and the inventor of the Link Trainer flight simulator. -- More about the ceremony and sponsors --
Is a 1964 "home of the future" still buried beneath the New York World's Fair site? IST researcher and historian Dr. Lori Walters badly wants to know. So badly that she has been digging earnestly for funds to conduct a formal search for the Underground House.
Dr. Walters also has no little above-ground interest in the World's Fair site. She's been heading a multi-year project to recreate digitally, the fair's major showcases and using the resultant interactive virtual fairgrounds as a game to help young people learn more about science, technology, engineering and math. You don't have to be a kid to explore the '64-'65 World's Fair. Download the game (free) from our Synthetic Reality Lab's special Web site.
Research Computing Day Showcases High Performance Computing
UCF researchers and invited speakers explained how high performance computers and a growing global network to support information interchange is changing the face of advanced research. A standing room only gathering of faculty and other members of Central Florida's research and technology community attended the half-day series of presentations held at IST's STOKES Advanced Research Computing Center headquarters in the Central Florida Research Park.
Special guest Dr. Daniel A. Reed, Vice President for Research and Economic Development and University Chair in Computational Science and Bioinformatics, Professor of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Medicine at the University of Iowa, and an innovator in cloud computing, related how high-powered computers and super-speed networks have made recent scientific advances possible. Go HERE for more details and copies of presentations given during the day.
Rebecca Grossman Honored with I-O Fellowship
The SIOP (Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology) Foundation has recognized Becky Grossman's work in industrial and organizational psychology with a fellowship designed to support her quest for a doctoral degree specializing in areas of training and development in the field. Grossman works in IST's Human Systems Integration department. The lab conducts research toward better ways to train people to act and interact in complex environments where stress is high and mistakes potentially life threatening.
Go to the College of Science news page for a complete story.
Greg Welch Appointed to Florida Hospital Endowed Chair
IST lab Receives Governor's Award for M&S Virtual Classroom
This year IST's Synthetic Reality (SREAL), the College of Education and College of Engineering and Computer Science brought home the Governor's trophy for innovation in team training represented by the teacher training project, TeachLivE™. Go to the UCF Today story for more about the award here and for more details on TeachLivE™ go to the SREAL web site, here.
IST at I/ITSEC 2013 — Booth 1127
IST partnered again this year with the National Center for Simulation, Florida High Tech Corridor Council, Enterprise Florida, MetroOrlando Economic Development Commission, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, Duke Energy and the International Council on Systems Engineering to showcase Florida as The National Center for Simulation.
IST's Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab (METIL) showed off their work in cross-platform 3D visualizations for medical applications. Their research includes high resolution 3D scanning capabilities and effective, low-cost motion capture techniques.
Also represented at the booth were the UCF M&S graduate program, mobile learning and games, and Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy. Representatives from UCF economic development, the National Center for Simulation, High Tech Corridor and MetroOrlando EDC rounded out the "Florida is THE national center for simulation" theme with facts and figures on the local business and research climate.
David Metcalf Honored by Nova University
UCF's programming team will again challenge the best in the world at the Association for Computing Machinery's International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals to be held June, 2014, in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
The team (Antony Stabile, Danny Wasserman and the IST's own Travis Meade) placed first in the regional contest held the first of November at Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, competing against teams from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. UCF entered five teams (plus two developmental teams made up of first-year students and women) at this year's regionals. The teams carried home 1st, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 16th and 35th place finishes.
IST's Dr. Glenn Martin, who heads the Interactive Realities Lab at IST, has coached programming teams to no less than third place regional finishes since 1994. In 2012, he was recognized by competition sponsor IBM with the Distinguished Coach Award for having teams reach World Finals 15 or more times.
Conference on "Awe and Wonder" an IST International First
The 58 conference attendees came from backgrounds in philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, and art history and traveled from all of over the United States, Germany, Italy, and more. Conference organizers presented a symposium session of findings from their John Templeton Foundation project: Space, Science, and Spirituality. Dr. Jessie Prinz, a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Committee for Interdisciplinary Science Studies at the City University of New York, and Dr.Michelle Shiota, Assistant Professor in Psychology at Arizona State University, delivered keynote addresses. The 23 resultant papers are expected to publish as a special issue.
IST Researchers Take First Place at Space Tech Conference Poster Competition
The poster, titled Understanding Astronaut Experience: Interdisciplinary Integrations, focused on the application of neurophenomenological methodology to examine the experience of awe, wonder, humility, and curiosity in a simulated space environment. Neurophemenological methods apply measurements from psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy to subjectively and objectively understand the experience of an individual. Psychological measures included questionnaires of self-report experience. Neuroscience measures included electroencephalography (EEG), electrocardiogram (ECG), and functional Near-Infrared Oximetry (fNIR). Philosophy measures included phenomenological interviews with hermeneutical analysis applied. Results showed that differences exist between those who experienced awe and wonder in a simulated environment and those who did not experience awe and wonder in all three categories of measures. Dr. Bockleman defended these results a month later when earning her dissertation from the Modeling and Simulation Interdisciplinary Graduate Program led by IST and UCF (see story above).
METIL's Combat Lifesaver App Is a Learning App Challenge Winner
IST's Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab (METIL) has carried home gold for Best Academic App. The announcement was made via a webinar scheduled by the Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Lab in Orlando.
METIL's lead scientist Dr. David Metcalf and research associate Dr. David Rogers accepted the award.
Robotics Club Plays Wild Card for 2nd Place Finish at AUVSI Roboboat 2013*
UCF's Robotics Club team fought bravely against tall odds to even qualify for the finals at this year's autonomous surface vehicle competition. Initially not among the final six teams, the team managed a come-back with a wild-card second-chance opportunity.
Florida MS&T Industry a Success Says Florida TaxWatch Report
"Investing in our state's MS&T sector presents Florida government and businesses with an opportunity to save money while diversifying our state economy and bringing high-wage, high-skill STEM jobs to Floridians," reported Dominic M. Calabro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog.
The assessment was part of the non-partisan institute's June Economic Commentary. IST is noted in the report as an "integral part of the MS&T cluster surrounding Orlando" and an important link between UCF and surrounding government and industry.
The TaxWatch report concludes that MS&T is not only an important part of the state's economy, but also has potential to develop further in spite of—and perhaps even as a result of—government cutbacks and a money-tight economy. Read the full report at the link above.
Elearning! 100 Award Goes to METIL Team ... Again!
Dr. David Metcalf and his
Mixed Emerging Technology Integration team for the second year in a row have garnered one of the 40 spots reserved for Elearning! magazine's top 100 learning organizations worldwide. This year IST's RAPTER group, led by Ron Tarr, shares in the honor. Metcalf's and Tarr's teams earned the recognition for their collaboration on the MyLearn Portal project.
Eduardo Salas to Explore Space Crew Health Issues with NASA/NSBRI Awards
Dr. Eduardo Salas, Pegasus Professor and head of IST's
Human Systems Integration Research team, will receive funding from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute and NASA to study astronaut health and performance issues during lengthy missions to deep space, according to a joint announcement by NSBRI and NASA.
Stephen Fiore Appointed to National Academy of Science Panel on Team Science
Dr. Stephen Fiore, who directs IST's Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, has been selected as a committee member for a National Academy of Science consensus study on "The Science of Team Science." Team science is an interdisciplinary field that examines how research centers and similar groups conduct research. The goal is to understand and improve collaborative processes in pursuit of scientific breakthroughs.
ACTIVE Lab Director, Stephanie Lackey, Ph.D., Is a 2012-13 UCF
Dr. Stephanie Lackey joins a select group of UCF researchers honored with the incentive, which rewards faculty
for outstanding research and a record of scholarly or creative work that advances their field's body of knowledge. UCF typically limits the awards to 20 or fewer faculty each year.
Her lab also leading research on standards for human-robot communication and interaction.
An ACTIVE lab testbed that simulates an unmanned system, and is used for human-robot interaction experiments, was named a "Top 5 Technology Demonstration" at a 2012 NATO conference.
E2i Creative Studio Director selected as Florida High Tech Corridor Pioneer
Eileen Smith, who directs research activities at IST's E2i Creative Studio, is among 20 "Faces of Technology" selected by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council for its 2013 corridor guide, "florida.HIGH.TECH." Ms. Smith joins a select group of men and women who use their experience and talent to advance technology's state-of-the-art in their field.
Virtual Reality Research a Hit at FLAVR Showcase
ChronoLeap, an interactive educational game that features the 1964-65 New York World's Fair as its playing field, was on display at the March 18 Florida Academic Virtual Reality Showcase at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Pacific A Ballroom. UCF and the University of Florida teamed up to present
The showcase was part of the IEEE Virtual Reality 2013 conference, which ran from March 16 through 23.
UCF sponsors of the event were IST, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, Office of Research & Commercialization and EECS Division of Computer Science. More than 20 demonstrations of VR-related research were on display. More information on the various demos is available at the demo page.
Center for Success of Women Faculty Honors IST's Andrews
The ink has barely dried on IST's Dr. Anya Andrews's 2012 recognition by the Orlando Business Journal (see below). Now the UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty has announced her selection as one of the "31 UCF amazing women who have helped and continue to help guide our university toward greatness." the women's center's recognition is part of its Celebration of Women's History Month. Dr Andrews is a senior research scientist and Instructions systems architect at IST. She earned her master's degree in Media Communication ('01) from the Nicholson School of Communication and Ph.D. in Instructional Technology ('06) from the College of Education.
Space Innovation Summit
There is more to space exploration than just launching a rocket. Attendees at IST's September 2012 Florida Space Innovation Summit explored just how much more during the day-long conference.
Organized by the IST, Florida Space Institute and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International — Florida Peninsula Chapter, the summit provided an opportunity to build interdisciplinary relationships and to reflect on paths that have led to space innovation.
Co-founder and CEO of Moon Express Dr. Robert Richards, keynote speaker, shared his vision for an off-Earth economy, and explained how he and others are working toward attaining a multi-planet civilization. Successful leaders during the dot-com era, he said, have recognized potential in the space industry and begun to propel commercial space ventures. Read more about other summit presenters and their interests here.
IST Senior Researcher Drives Electric Tesla Vehicle to World Record
Ever wonder how far those fast (0-60 in 5.6 seconds) and fancy ($87K+) Tesla all-electric vehicles will actually go on a tank of batteries? Ever wonder what it would be like to leave Merritt Island in the middle of the night and drive all the way around Lake Okeechobee at 37 mph or less?
Dr. David Metcalf, a Senior Researcher and head of IST's Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab, found out. With his son, Adam, along for company, Metcalf answered the automaker's challenge and eased his Tesla Signature S sedan into an early Saturday morning in December and, after 17 hours of conservative driving, electric-motored to a record 423.5 miles. Read the NY Times story here.
Simulation Science's Debt to Arts & Humanities (UCF Forum)
Guest columnist Eileen Smith, director of IST's E2i Creative Studio, makes a case for equal treatment of art and humanities in a STEM-conscious (science, technology, engineering and math) environment. Read it here on the UCF Today Forum.
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