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Stories from our 1st Quarter '01 newsletter

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IST joins multi-agency exhibit for 22nd I/ITSEC
$1.7 million award will create technology center
IRT3 creates laser targets in the mist
Readability software is from researcher's formula
Salas honored by psychological association
New departments improve research focus
IST joins multi-agency exhibit for 22nd I/ITSEC

IST joined forces with the National Center for Simulation, UCF and the Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida, Inc. representing the Florida High-Tech Corridor to produce a partnership exhibit at the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) held in Orlando last November.
    The end of the year conference drew more than 14,000 participants and 3,000 conference attendees. According to I/ITSEC figures, 392 companies and agencies exhibited during the event's four days.
    Traditionally, IST's most ambitious efforts to showcase current research projects have been at I/ITSEC. This year was no exception; the island booth was packed with high technology demos reflecting the conference partnership theme.
    Randall Williams, IST's assistant director for information and publications, coordinated the multi-agency participation and designed the exhibit using hardware from the Economic Development Commission, UCF's Office of Research and IST.
    The EDC's marketing and communications vice president Maureen Brockman, and business development director Geoff Brown partnered in that effort and also designed, and produced banners and graphics for the display.
    While exhibitors showed off their bells and whistles on the exhibit floor, IST researchers shared their expertise at tutorials and paper sessions.
    Executive Director Dennis McBride with Jose Sepulveda, UCF Professor of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, presented a tutorial on M&S economics.
    Christopher Stapleton, Director of Entertainment Research, teamed with Michael Moshell, Professor of Digital Media and Computer Science, in a tutorial on experience based entertainment.
    Dan Mullally and Thomas Clarke of IST and Glenn Boreman of UCF's Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers presented a paper on intelligent infrared targets.
    Cheryl Hamel was the lead researcher for a paper on Internet-based instruction. 
    Guy Schiavone and Brian Goldiez presented their paper on extending terrain models to simulations on low-cost visual systems. Goldiez also served as session chair for a team training strategies session and sat on the Training and Live/Virtual Simulation subcommittee.
    UCF and IST have long been an integral part of the conference's educational component. Assistant Vice President for Research, Mark Yerkes, served as Academic Advisor for the conference and will continue in that role at I/ITSEC 2001.





$1.7 million Enterprise Florida award creates technology center  

Renovations to the Central Florida Technology Development Center are nearly complete.
   The building will enhance UCF/ISTís capability to provide research facilities mutually beneficial to the university and the U.S. Army. The Army began its move to the new building on March 6, 2001.
    The Florida Legislature appropriated $1.7 million for the project through Enterprise Florida, Inc. The funding will enhance research in modeling, simulation and training technologies of vital interest to both the military and State of Florida. 
    The Armyís Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM) Technology Development Center, now housed in ISTís building, will share the laboratories. In return for laboratory space, STRICOM will share its modeling and simulation experience and valuable simulation equipment with UCF/IST faculty and students and industry partners.
    The Army and UCF/IST have worked together on simulation research for more than 18 years. This new Central Florida Technology Development Center will provide cooperative research and learning opportunities for the M&S community. Over 6,000 sq.ft. is reserved for incubator companies that can help link technology to product development.
    UCF coordinated with Enterprise Florida, Inc., Central Florida Research Park and the Economic Development Commission of Mid-Florida, Inc. to obtain the funding.

Theresa L Landwirth, CFO and Associate Vice President of the UCF Foundation, Inc., hands the "key" to the new research center to IST Director Dennis McBride (center) and Robert Sottilare, head of US Army STRICOM's Technology Development Center, primary tenant of the building.

Renovations to UCF's newest addition in Central Florida Research Park began early in January. The project adds 39,000 sq.ft. of space for simulation labs and offices.

IRT3 creates laser targets
in the mist

Shooting at targets on a live-fire range is expensive, especially if the trainee hits the target with an explosive or penetrating round designed to destroy a tank. It's also time consuming to rebuild targets, not to mention the danger posed by nearby unexploded rounds and sharp metal fragments.
    A team of researchers from IST and CREOL (UCF's Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers) assembled an unlikely combination of laser beams and water fountains to see if they could create a non-perishable target visible to targeting sensors.
University and IST staff and student researchers have demonstrated that the theory is valid; a prototype may soon be on the horizon.
    The project is called Infrared Targets for Testing and Training, thus the IRT3 designation. The Marine Corps Project Office at the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division is the sponsor, under its Live Fire Test and Training Program.
    Dr. Glenn Boreman, at CREOL, developed an infrared projector compatible with FLIR (forward-looking infrared radar). Boreman and IST's Dan Mullally and Dr. Tom Clarke helped develop the concepts for a liquid screen that can bounce the infrared laser beam back to the training vehicle's sensors.
    CREOL and IST combined forces to demonstrate a working demo at the recent Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando. The researchers envision tying everything together over a distributed network that will link geographical location information, computer generated forces databases and target command and control.



IST Research Scientist, Dan Mullally.






Dr. Glenn Boreman, Professor of Optics and Electrical
Engineering, School of Optics/CREOL


Software to measure readability comes from IST researcher's formula

If you used the grammar checker in Microsoft Word to check your last memo, you activated a formula based on research by IST principal scientist Dr. Peter Kincaid.
    The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level formula used by MS Word to check your work comes from research Kincaid did for the U. S. Navy in 1974.
     From the results of his study of 600 Navy enlisted personnel at Mayport Naval Air Station, he modified the original Flesch Reading Ease Score developed in the '40s by Rudolf Flesch, author of Why Johnny Can't Read. The US Department of Defense adopted the standard and has used it for 25 years to test the readability of training manuals developed for military personnel.
    Flesch-Kincaid is the most common of more than a dozen methods communicators use to check readability. The formula compares the average sentence length with the average number of syllables per word to arrive at a grade level for reading comprehension.
    According to Flesch-Kincaid, the first three paragraphs of this article require a 12th grade reading level, a bit high for the average American who, according to studies, reads at an 8th grade level.
    Although not without controversy, Kincaid's research has stood the test of time. Word processing industry leader Microsoft considers it to be a reliable measure of how well a piece of writing communicates.
    "That's because it's based on solid research," says Kincaid. He acknowledges, however, that computer-based grammar checkers are at best a basic guide to sentence structure and choice of words.
    Kincaid, whose background is in human factors psychology, helps IST apply simulation research to improve training programs.


IST principal scientist Dr. Peter Kincaid is an
experimental psychologist human factors 

Some of Dr. Kincaid's other projects: 

Emergency Management Exercise

Emergency Management Training

E-mail: pkincaid@ist.uct.edu 

Salas honored by American Psychological Association

The American Psychological Association has conferred its prestigious Franklin V. Taylor Award on IST program director and psychology professor Eduardo Salas.
    Head of IST's Department of Human Systems Integration Research, Dr. Salas holds a joint appointment with the UCF Psychology Department. 
    Dr. Salas joins the ranks of prominent psychologists honored by the APA's Division of Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology since 1962. The Taylor award was based on Salas' "outstanding contributions to the field of applied experimental and engineering psychology."
    Dr. Salas came to the university and IST from the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division where from 1984 he was head of the Training Technology Development branch and a senior research scientist.
    During this period he served as principal investigator for numerous R&D programs focusing on teamwork, team training, decision-making under stress, performance assessment and advanced training technology.
    At IST he leads a "human factors" team of computer scientists, engineers, psychologists and educators in designing tools and techniques to minimize human errors in aviation, law enforcement and medical environments.

Dr Salas

Dr Eduardo Salas is Program Director, Department
of Human Systems Integration Research, with a
joint appointment in the UCF Psychology Department.

More about the Department: DHSIR







New departments improve research focus

Director, Dr. Dennis McBride has reorganized ISTís research unit structure to be even more responsive to the instituteís project partners. Three new departments combine the strengths of ISTís already established laboratories with new initiative areas to focus selectively on simulation research.
    The Department of Applied Research and Technology, headed by Art Cortes, develops and applies modeling and simulation technologies to the specific needs of sponsors. Ongoing research includes visual systems, distributed simulation, media convergence, real-time computing, digital graphics, computer generated forces, algorithm development and testing methods.
    Led by Dr. Eduardo Salas, members of the Department of Human Systems Integration Research conduct research toward a better understanding of how people and technology interact and evolve in a modeling, simulation and training setting. Continuing research includes cognitive modeling, human factors, mathematical algorithms, multi-resolution systems, team training/team dynamics, simulator sickness and modeling paradigms.
    ISTís former Information Technology Service Center added the responsibilities of the Performance Technology Group to become the Department of Information and Learning Technologies. Directed by Robert Reed, DILT personnel develop and promulgate innovative ways to disseminate information needed by the modeling, simulation and training community. More than 20 staff members are schooled in providing solutions to client communication challenges through development and application of Internet-based information and learning systems.

Interdepartmental cooperation is common and encouraged on research projects that cross departmental lines. IST is thus able to bring together the best mix of experts from all areas.









updated: 1/01

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