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).


UCF Computer Programmers Do It Again

Dr. Martin
After several high-pressure days of competition UCF's computer programming team came home with a highly respectable 3rd in the USA and North America, outcoding MIT, Stanford and Carnegie Mellon at the World Programming Finals held in Ekaterinburg, Russia in June. IST's Dr. Glenn Martin, Steven Zielinski and Matt Fontaine, all of the Interactive Realities Lab, are among the team's coaches. Team member Travis Meade also works in the lab. Other team members were Antony Stabile and Danny Wasserman.

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.

Humanoid Robot Purchase Will Help Advance Healthcare, Teaching Training

Dr. Welch (right)
Professor Greg Welch (IST, the College of Nursing and the College of Engineering and Computer Science) received $178,000 from the Office of Naval Research to purchase specialized humanoid robots with computer-rendered or rubber "skin" faces that allow the robots to perform as surrogate humans. The work he is conducting with professors Arjun Nagendran at IST and Charles Hughes (IST and the College of Engineering and Computer Science) will create an integrated platform for testing and developing these surrogate humans and associated computer graphics and animation to assist in training for the military, healthcare and teaching.

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.

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