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The Home of Simulation & Training Research and Your Portal
to Modeling & Simulation at the University of Central Florida

The Florida High Tech Corridor boasts of the highest concentration of simulation and training
related activities in the nation. IST's primary focus is on human-in-the-loop simulation and
modeling of human activity. Other UCF departments focus on science-based simulation;
we can help you find those appropriate for your needs.

   What's Happening...


Beth Phillips, Nerd Nite's Selected Speaker

Beth Phillips

Doctoral candidate, Beth Phillips, has been invited to speak at a national event about an area of research that was an outgrowth of her involvement with the RCTA (Robotics Collaborative Technology Alliance) project. Beth recently gave a presentation on the future of human relationships with robots and robotic technologies for a community event called Nerd Nite, Orlando. Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in 80 cities globally, in which speakers give fun and informative presentations on interesting topics in science and technology to community audiences, with the goal of disseminating recent developments in science and tech to broad audiences. Now, Nerd Nite is teaming up with The Smithsonian for an event called "The future is here: Science meets science-fiction, imagination, inspiration, and invention." Beth’s talk was selected to represent the Orlando chapter of Nerd Nite as one of only 10 invited presentations for the event. She will be giving this talk at The Smithsonian in DC in May.

Congratulations Lt. Joe Mercado

Marcado Oath in Office

Congratulations to Dr. Joe Mercado on his recent commission as an officer in the United States Navy. Joe is a 2014 graduate of the Modeling and Simulation Doctoral Program under the direction of Drs. Lauren Reinerman-Jones and Peter Hancock. He has worked on Dr. Reinerman-Jones' team for the past 3.5 years at the Institute for Simulation and Training where he completed his dissertation on sponsored work for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission informing regulation policy. Simultaneously, he has held positions at the United States Army Research Institute and Army Research Laboratory. He will be relocating to Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

FLORIDA TODAY Highlights Use of Laser Scan to Preserve Glass Bank

FLORIDA TODAY Highlights Use of Laser Scan to Preserve Glass Bank

FLORIDA TODAY covered Lori Walters' efforts to preserve the Glass Bank that is now being demolished in Cocoa Beach with the use of a three-dimensional laser scan model. While the outside of the building has already been scanned, Lori is now working to find photographs people may have of the inside of the building so she can recreate how the building looked in the 1960s before additional modifications were made. For more about the project and Lori's efforts, read the article in FLORIDA TODAY.

WFTV also covered the demolition and use of the laser scan efforts to preserve the building.

Announcing Prodigy, IST's Newest Lab

Dr. Lauren Reinerman-Jones will direct Prodigy, IST's New Lab

IST is pleased to announce that it has started a new lab called 'Prodigy'. Prodigy will report to IST's Executive Director focusing on research using various physiological measures to assess the state of an individual or individuals in various situations. Dr. Lauren Reinerman-Jones will direct Prodigy which grew out of IST's ACTIVE Lab. Creation of this laboratory reflects increasing levels of sponsored research activity and accompanying student thesis and dissertation activity in how physiological measures can be used as an indicator of performance. Prodigy will both lead research efforts and welcomes collaborating with others.

For more information, please contact Dr. Reinerman-Jones at 407-882-1140 or lreinerm@ist.ucf.edu.

UCF Knight Rider Returns for Florida Automated Vehicles Summit

UCF Knight Rider Returns for Florida Automated Vehicles Summit

In support of making Florida and UCF a leader in automated vehicles, on December 14th and 15th Dr. Daniel Barber, Don Harper, and Andrew Watson participated in the Florida Department of Transportation's 2nd Annual Automated Vehicles Summit at the Walter Disney World Speedway on December 15th. The purpose of this event was to showcase the state-of-the-art in automated vehicles and collision avoidance sensors.

The UCF team demonstrated the Knight Rider autonomous car previously used in the DARPA Grand Challenge and DARPA Urban Challenge races. As one of two autonomous vehicles at the event, Knight Rider was the only car giving event guests a smooth computer driven ride around the speedway race track, traveling at speeds up to 45 MPH. This demonstration showcased the many innovations the UCF DARPA team developed to compete in a nationwide challenge and how UCF still has a strong future in driverless cars. For more information about the summit, please visit http://www.automatedfl.com/events/2014summit/.

UCF Knight Rider Returns for Florida Automated Vehicles Summit

Mark Darty Awarded Certified Information Systems Security
Professional (CISSP®) Certification

Congratulations to Mark Darty for being awarded with CISSP Certification!

According to DoD Policy Mark Darty needed to have credentials as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) by January for NAWCTSD to officially appoint him as IST's Information Systems Security Engineer. Mark crammed for an 8 week course, passed the exam the first time, and UCF's Security Officer Chris Vakhordjian agreed to endorse him. The (ISC)² has approved his application and he is now official. Congratluations to Mark Darty for being awarded with his CISSP Certification!

UCF Modeling and Simulation Graduate Program Dominates
Best Paper Competition I/ITSEC 2014

Congratuations to students of UCF and the Modeling and Simulation Graduate Program for dominating the best paper competition at the recent Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) in Orlando, Florida. A best paper was chosen through an exhaustive review process for each of six technical areas. Three PhD graduates and one PhD student from UCF's Modeling and Simulation Graduate Program were authors of three of these papers and the overall winning paper was authored By Dr. Sae Schatz and Dr. Patricia Brockelman, both UCF M&S graduates. The best paper competition winner is considered the highest award at this conference, which is the largest, and generally considered the best simulation technical conference and trade show In the world.

Congratulations to Rebecca Leis, recipient of The Vince and Beth Amico Scholarship for Modeling and Simulation!

Congratulations to Rebecca Leis, recipient of The Vince and Beth Amico Scholarship for Modeling and Simulation!

The Amico Scholarship committee was unanimous in awarding Rebecca Leis, a Ph.D Candidate in Modeling and Simulation at UCF's Institute for Simulation and Training (IST), with a $2,500 Vince and Beth Amico Scholarship for the Spring 2015 semester. The award was presented to her by Lt. Gen. (Ret) Tom Baptiste, The National Center for Simulation President/CEO.

The Best Students Make The Best Papers

CEDM Awards
Beth Phillips (Top Left), Emilio Lobato (Top Right)
Presenting on their research and accepting their
award for Best Student Papers.

Beth Phillips and Emilio Lobato presenting on their research and accepting the awards for best student papers from the Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making Technical Group at this year's Human Factors and Ergonomics Society meeting. These papers are based upon collaborations between IST, UCF Psychology, UCF Modeling & Simulation, and UCF Cognitive Sciences. This research was partially supported by the Army Research Laboratory and was accomplished under Cooperative Agreement Number W911NF-10-2-0016. Along with Emilio and Beth, pictured at the bottom are co-authors of the other winning paper, Stephan Huber and Michael Weng of the University of Wuerzburg.

Lobato, E. J. C., Wiltshire, T. J., Hudak, S., & Fiore, S. M. (2014). No time, no problem: Mental state attributions made quickly or after reflection do not differ. Proceedings of 58th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp. 1341-1345). Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Phillips. E., Ososky, S., & Jentsch, F. (2014). Leveraging Features of Human-Technology Teams to Support Mental Models in Future Soldier-Robot Teams. Proceedings of 58th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp. 1179-1183). Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Florida Schools Take Top 3 in RoboBoat Competition

Left to Right: Jon Spychalsky, Anthony Mazza, Therese Salas,
John Millner, Andrew Watson, Sam Drucker, Lucas Pasqualin
UCF's Robotics Club brought home third place at the 7th annual International RoboBoat Competition held at Virginia Beach the week of July 7, 2014. A team of mostly novice students faced more competition and more complex challenges this year, but proved equal to the task.

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...

David Rogers
Dr. Rogers
Dr. David Rogers, of IST's METIL group shared "Best of Show (non-vendor category)" honors at the 2014 mLearnCon DemoFest, a conference of mobile learning professionals. The eLearning Guild, a community focused on advancing mobile learning technology and practices, sponsors the annual event.

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).

More news in the IST archives...


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This home page was last updated on: March 2, 2015