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IST Review
1st Quarter 2000


Former Director honored
Advancement is real for IST researcher
Army sponsors non-line-of-sight simulation testing
Eduardo Salas to edit Human Factors journal
Far out learning not that far off with ADL
Former 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 support staff.

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.

Undergrad, Ph.D., 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 positions.

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 training.

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.

A-TES Encyclopedia
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 evaluation.

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.

Art Cortes




A-TES STO logo








































Salas to edit human factors journal

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 and teaching.

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 the university.

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 governmental organizations.

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 Dominion University.


Eduardo Salas, Ph.D.




















































Far 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 distant classrooms.

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 learning results.

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, platform-neutral software.

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 certification requirements.

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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