Media Convergence Lab director gets "Pegasus Professor Award"
from a story by Tom Evelyn, UCF News
The Pegasus Professor Award is UCF's top honor for excellence in teaching, research and service. One of this year's three recipients is Dr.
Charles Hughes, director and chief scientist of the Media Convergence Laboratory,
located at IST and working with emerging technologies in entertainment, education and training.
His research has been applied to uses as broad as cognitive rehabilitation,
military training, preschool vocabulary learning, museum displays and forest conservation.
Hughes, who joined UCF in 1980, is a professor and graduate coordinator of Computer Science in
the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He has joint appointments in the School of Film and
Digital Media, the Institute for Simulation and Training and the Text and Technology Program in
the English Department.
“Dr. Hughes career at UCF demonstrates how
expertly and effortlessly teaching, research and service can be blended to produce great things and great
people,” said Eileen Smith, an MCL researcher and former vice president of the Orlando Science Center.
Hughes helped develop MeasureMe, an interactive exhibit at the Orlando Science Center that gathers data to demonstrate how each of us is different, unique and important.
He has received $9 million in research grants from various industry partners and federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. Hughes has a talent, much favored by research sponsors, for putting together multidisciplinary teams with the capability to see a project from many angles.
Hughes has produced interactive exhibits for the Zora Neale Hurston Festival and developed a Web
site for the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of the Arts. He also worked with the Association
to Preserve the Eatonville Community to build a digital archive for the Carol Mundy collection
of African-American historical artifacts.
UCF Professor Teams Up With University of Miami to Help Military Medical Personnel
from a story by Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala, UCF News
Psychology professor and IST research director Eduardo Salas recently visited Miami's Jackson Memorial
Hospital Ryder Trauma Center to evaluate its trauma training programs. It’s the first of several
visits Salas and his team will make to provide a snapshot of how well the center encourages teamwork.
U.S. Army medical teams headed to Iraq and Afghanistan receive their final two weeks of training
at the trauma center. Last year the center handled 3,800 cases and is regarded as one of the
best in the country for preparing medical professionals for high-stress situations.
Military and industry leaders often bring in Salas as a consultant because he’s an expert in
encouraging, nurturing and creating an environment of teamwork. The trauma center entered into a partnership with the U.S. Army Trauma Training Center in 2001 to use its facility as a training ground. More than 900 military medical personnel have been trained
since then. What doctors face at the trauma center closely mimics what soldiers will see on
A $4 million-plus grant from the Department of Defense and other entities keeps the program going.
Salas will evaluate the training the medical staff give the soldiers based on best practices that
foster teamwork and communication, which are critical in battle conditions. Other members of the trauma center team are looking at the medical training itself
to determine the best way to use technology in those M.A.S.H. settings.
Jeffrey Augenstein, director of the trauma center and a professor of surgery at the University
of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said Salas is “the world’s leading expert” in his field.
“We know we provide good medical training, but you could have the world’s best surgeon, and if
he can’t work efficiently with his team, then we’re not going to have a good outcome,” Augenstein
said. “We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to guarantee these teams can work well together to save lives.”
“We rely more and more on teams to get things done,” Salas said. “With the layers of complexity
in medicine, teamwork is not something that’s so easy to foster or maintain. You have to work at it.
What we do is provide people best practices and strategies for doing the training.”
Salas spent 15 years with the Navy as a research psychologist and head of the Training
Technology Development Branch in Orlando. While there, he worked on research and development
projects that focused on teamwork, team training, advanced training, decision making
under stress and performance assessment. He has authored more than 300 journal articles and
books on the subject.
At UCF, Salas conducts research to figure out the best strategies to turn around work places
that may have low morale because of poor management and create best practices that can be used from the board room to the operating room.
Salas has been called upon to help create team environments in the airline industry, but
these days hospitals and medical schools are his most frequent callers.
“Patient safety is huge,” Salas said. “The medical industry is going through what the airline
industry went through. And it’s the same with military medical teams. They need to work together
well to save lives in some very trying conditions.”
Shadows of Canaveral launches Website improvements
When it "opened for business" last year, www.capehistory.org
offered a brief look at an emerging interactive Website that promised to bring back memories
of Cape Canaveral's glory days at the beginning of America's space flight program.
Shadows is an interactive 3D journey back in time to February 20, 1962, the day astronaut John Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 "Friendship 7" spacecraft on the first U.S. manned orbital mission.
The larger effort is the UCF Space Coast History project. Major sponsors include WD-40, Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation, IST, Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources and the Kennedy Space Center.
Navigate to the Virtual Heritage splash page to see a wealth of choices for gathering information about the project and its supporters. The Shadows of Canaveral and 64-65 New York World's Fair buttons offer links to, so far, the most interactive pages of the Website.
On the Shadows welcome page you'll be invited to step back to 1962 to the Starlite Motel room on Cocoa Beach, FL, pretty much as it was 45 years (that's right, 45!) ago.
You'll browse around the motel room over the shoulder of a reporter from astronaut John Glenn's home town. Guided by the reporter's note book, you'll get a glimpse of some of the memorabilia representing the space coast of nearly a half century ago.
You'll also have an opportunity to tour the launch complex, guided by the voice of Cal Fowler, one of the team who helped put Glenn into space and now a consultant for the Shadows project.
Still under construction, Shadows of Canaveral and other Virtual Heritage projects—a site devoted to the 64-65 New York World's Fair for example—offer something new virtually every time you revisit the URL.
Historian Lori C. Walters, Ph.D. is project director. IST's Media Convergence Lab and the UCF
Department of History also support the effort.
Orlando hosts international simulation in healthcare conference
The International conference on Simulation for Healthcare held in Orlando in January attracted more that 1250 participants. Majority of the participants were MDs from some of the top medical schools in US and around the world.
IST's Bala Jaganathan, MD attended on behalf of UCF and IST.
"It was a great opportunity to interact with them," says Dr. Jaganathan.
Notable points that came out of the conference were:
Medical education accrediting agencies such as ACGME (key note speaker: Ms. Ingrid Philibert) are promoting simulation for teaching and assessment of competencies in medical education
Based on their presentations, leading medical schools ( Harvard, Mayo, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Washington to name a few...) have started to integrate simulation into their curriculum
Tremendous interest to incorporate newer technologies into to medical education.
As an editorial board and abstract committee member Dr. Jaganathan was pleased to see four of UCF "work on progress" research abstracts selected for publication. Post-conference, e-mails from other medical schools/simulation centers indicate an interest in simulation research at UCF.
Links to other stories
Ultra wide band sensor research
Research on UWB sensors moves to phase 2 with follow-on funding from
Office of Naval Research.
See story in the Winter 06 newsletter
to the pdf on the projects page
Florida Dept. of Transportation
support for commercial driver certification study
"Virtual Check Ride" research continues with Raydon simulator assistance and FDOT grant for $185K.
See story in the Summer 05 newsletter