1st Quarter 2000
Former Director honored
Advancement is real for IST
Army sponsors non-line-of-sight simulation testing
Eduardo Salas to edit Human Factors journal
Far out learning not that far off
IST Director honored for "lifetime achievement"
Former Institute for Simulation & Training
(IST) Director A. Louis Medin, Ph.D., was the recipient of a
Lifetime Achievement Award at the 21st Interservice/Industry
Simulation, Training and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) recently
held in Orlando.
Conference officials honored Dr. Medin for his
more than 20 years of educational leadership to I/ITSEC and the
simulation industry. Medin and his wife, Julia, who also holds a
Ph.D., serve as academic advisors to the conference. Presented at
the closing banquet, the award is only the third such honor given in
the conference’s 21-year history.
I/ITSEC is the largest conference held in the
simulation, training and education field. This year approximately
15,000 scientists, educators and military attended the weeklong
program of seminars, workshops and trade show activities.
Dr. Medin is credited as having been a driving
force behind the growth of the high-tech simulation industry in
Central Florida, which now accounts for roughly a quarter of the
simulation dollars earned in the U.S. In 1987 he left a 22-year
career at IBM to become executive director of IST.
The institute, at that time consisting of only
a dozen or so staff, had been created by the University of Central
Florida to help establish the region and the university as a
Department of Defense Center of Excellence for simulation research.
Under Medin’s leadership, IST grew to over 100 scientists,
engineers, instructional technologists, UCF faculty members and
Since relinquishing command of IST, Medin has
served as a consultant to the university on simulation issues. He
and Julia have returned to Washington D.C. where he is working with
government and other national and international organizations to
bolster the DoD budget in research and development.
Joint Faculty Appointment…
Advancement Is Real for IST Simulation Researcher
Dr. Robert Franceschini, a Senior Research
Computer Scientist at the Institute for Simulation & Training
has been appointed Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of
Computer Science. The one year, renewable appointment is a joint
faculty position with IST and the college. Beginning in January Dr.
Franceschini will divide his responsibilities between the two
A UCF alumnus, Dr. Franceschini earned his BS
and Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1992 and 1999 respectively. He has
been with IST since 1994, where he leads research projects related
to multi-resolution simulation. In 1997 IST named him Researcher of
the Year for his leading edge advances in Computer Generated Forces
research. Also that year the Link Foundation awarded him a
fellowship for graduate studies in the simulation sciences.
As a student at UCF, Franceschini was founding
vice president of the UCF Delta Chapter of the Upsilon Pi Epsilon
Computing Sciences Honor Society. He later served as president from
1991 to 1994.
Dr. Franceschini will teach courses in
computer science during the spring, summer and fall terms while
continuing his research at IST.
A. Louis Medin, Ph.D.
Robert Franceschini, Ph.D.
Army project spurs
non-line-of-sight simulation research
Advanced weapon systems designed for
future combat soldiers will be capable of hitting targets that are
not in the line-of-sight.
One of these weapons, the Objective
Individual Combat Weapon, or OICW, can fire either kinetic energy
projectiles (bullets) or explosive, air-bursting munitions. This
weapon will enable the soldier to defeat enemy forces hiding in
trenches and behind barriers. The OICW is expected to replace the
M16 rifle in the Army’s 21st Century Land Warrior program.
IST and the U.S. Army Simulation,
Training and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM) are researching the
development of Advanced Tactical Engagement Simulations (A-TES), an
Army Science and Technology Objective (STO).
"Developing a weapons system
with this capability is challenging enough," says Dan Mullally,
one of IST’s research scientists assigned to the project.
According to Mullally, accurate training simulations of the effects
of this indirect fire will require new technologies.
Field Exercise Use
The expense of training with live rounds is constantly being driven
upwards by escalating costs of sophisticated weapons. One of the
goals of the A-TES STO is to allow the introduction of test and
training simulations into live, virtual and constructive domains.
The research focuses on providing an accurate and inexpensive means
to simulate indirect "live" fire into field exercises
where the training is performed with live "friendly" and
"opposing" forces using simulated weapons.
Although the OICW was chosen for the
initial testing, A-TESs’ design is scalable to any indirect live
A-TES STO will use such emerging
technologies as ultra wide band radio communication to link weapon
firing data to a central processing facility (CPF) during field
training. The CPF will process location data transmitted from
shooters and targets, determine the resulting casualties and
transmit hit, miss or kill data back to the players. One of IST’s
tasks is to develop a visualization of this data to aid analysis.
The institute also is developing a Web-based encyclopedia to
familiarize the interested reader with the A-TES program and other
TES-related subjects. The two-part encyclopedia provides information
related to the evolution of the A-TES program and presents
information and results generated during A-TES program testing and
Material available for reference
includes simulation descriptions, results, visualizations and
analyses for the various Testbed Implementation Exercises (TIEs).
TIEs bring together all aspects of the A-TES STO initiative in a
series of focused activities.
For example, one TIE might evaluate
the applicability of a particular weapon aim-point instrumentation
package, whereas another TIE might develop an actual or simulated
prototype A-TES system.
A-TES STO logo
Salas to edit human
Eduardo Salas, Ph.D. has been
selected to be the next editor of Human Factors (the official
journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society). Dr.
Salas holds a joint appointment with IST and the University of
Central Florida’s psychology department.
Human Factors, considered by
many psychologists to be the most prestigious of peer-review
journals, publishes articles on and reviews of basic and applied
research on the interface between humans and systems. According to
IST’s director, Dr. Dennis McBride, Salas’ appointment reflects
positively on the university’s standing in human factors research
Dr. Jack McGuire, chair of the
university’s Department of Psychology, referred to the appointment
as "…a great honor for Dr. Salas and [one that] will bring
tremendous visibility to UCF, as human factors professionals and
students continue to associate the field with UCF."
Recognition from the appointment is
expected to increase applications from high quality graduate
students, ultimately augmenting research programs at both IST and
Dr. Salas came to the university in
June 1999 from the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems
Division (NAWCTSD) where from 1984 he managed team training and
performance research projects and was head of the Training
Technology Development branch. During this period Dr. Salas served
as a principal investigator for numerous R&D programs focusing
on teamwork, team training and performance assessment. He is widely
published and has served in editorial capacities in at least 26
journals and other professional publications.
Dr. Salas has co-authored over 150
journal articles and book chapters and has co-edited eight books and
has two in preparation. He is on the editorial boards of Human
Factors, Personnel Psychology, Military Psychology,
Interamerican Journal of Psychology, Transportation Human Factors
Journal, International Journal of Aviation Psychology, Group
Dynamics, Journal of Organizational Behavior and Training
Research Journal. He currently edits an annual series, Human/Technology
Interactions in Complex Systems (JAI Press).
Dr. Salas has held numerous positions
in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society during the past 15
years. He is the current chair of the Cognitive Engineering and
Decision Making Technical Group, past chair of the Training
Technical Group, member of the Jerome H. Ely Human Factors Articles
award committee, and served on the Alphonse Chapanis Best Student
Paper Award Committee. In addition, he has edited two Human
Factors special issues. He is also very active with Society for
Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He is currently the Series
Editor for the Professional Practice Book Series and has served on
numerous committees throughout the years.
His expertise includes helping
organizations to foster teamwork, implement team training
strategies, facilitate training effectiveness, manage decision
making under stress, develop performance measurement tools, and
design learning environments. He is currently working on designing
tools and techniques to minimize human errors in aviation, law
enforcement and medical environments. He has consulted to a variety
of manufacturing, pharmaceutical laboratories, industrial and
Dr. Salas is a Fellow of the American
Psychological Association (SIOP and Division 21), the Human Factors
and Ergonomics Society, and a recipient of the Meritorious Civil
Service Award from the Department of the Navy. He received his Ph.D.
degree (1984) in industrial and organizational psychology from Old
Eduardo Salas, Ph.D.
out learning not that far off with ADL
The premise is simple: it’s too
expensive and time consuming to send people away to be trained. It’s
also too expensive and not practical to transport the trainers to
One solution is to use Internet
technology to deliver the training. Not so simple is making sure
that (1) the delivery system—both software and hardware—is
generic enough to be useable on the widest variety of target
platforms, and (2) the content is designed to provide the intended
To meet the increasing need for
on-demand training and education services, the White House Office of
Science and Technology and the Department of Defense in 1997
launched the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) initiative. Its
goal is to ensure access to custom-tailored, high quality education
and training materials whenever and wherever they are needed.
Business, education and government
entities are collaborating in an ADL effort that focuses on
developing and delivering instructional content through the
establishment of a common technical framework and reusable,
With its emphasis on training and
education research, IST has a strong interest in both ADL content
and technical issues. Current ADL efforts at IST include development
of a prototype Web-based course under the sponsorship of the Florida
Department of Education and the Navy that will enable public school
teachers statewide to meet English as a second language
The project’s goal was to
demonstrate the advantages, capabilities and flexibility of
Web-based instruction within the logistical and financial
constraints of the public education system. The prototype includes
capabilities for tracking and testing learners. Forum and chat
capabilities augment the instructional content. The prototype is
platform independent and designed to run on hardware already in
place in the schools.
IST’s Performance Technology Group
has developed an in-house course to teach training and instructional
design professionals how to convert curricula to a Web-based format.
The five-day course covers the integration of digital media, network
issues, course and network administration, information management
systems and related topics.
As curriculum developers gain new
insights from applying the latest technology, ADL’s concept and
content are maturing and changing. IST is employing its
multidisciplinary expertise and experience to develop a seamless,
on-demand ADL learning environment.
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