IST Joined Industry, Government Partners for I/ITSEC 2012

IST, the National Center for Simulation (NCS), Florida High Tech Corridor Council Enterprise Florida, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission, Progress Energy, Florida Hospital's Nicholson Center and the International Council on Systems Engineering joined forces in early December to represent Florida as THE national center for simulation.

The event is the annual Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (say "it-sec" for short), the "world's [and possibly the galaxy's] largest modeling, simulation & training conference."

The partners shared booth 1113 at the Orange County Convention Center from December 3 through 6. IST had representatives and demonstrations from several of its labs and university staff with information about M&S education opportunities.

The conference is billed as a professional development event for the military services and other branches of government that use modeling and simulation in the training of their people. Over the years government, academia and industry have recognized the conference as the most prestigious in the M&S community. Last year some 20,000 registered for the event, including 4,000 conference delegates, 8,500 exhibit personnel and nearly 600 exhibiting companies. Two thousand registrants from 56 foreign countries were among the attendees.

Begun in 1966 as a U.S. Navy-oriented conference, I/ITSEC has evolved along with the M&S industry and the technology that supports it. For more than a decade Orlando and the Orange County Convention Center have been home for the event.

UCF Programming Teams Sweep Regionals

UCF programming teams came back from the Nov. 10, 2012, Southeast Regionals Programming Contest with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, 16th and 21st place wins. The 1st place team is guaranteed a spot at the World Finals to be held July 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. IST's Dr. Glenn Martin helps coach the teams.

IST Lunch 'n' Learn Series: Informal Talks on Recent Research

IST's Lunch 'n' Learn talks foster communication about the considerable amount of research currently taking place at IST. Our goal is to foster an exchange of ideas and cultivate possibilities for collaboration. Click on the brain at the right side of your screen to see upcoming talks.

30-yr Anniversary Technology Showcase

IST continued its months-long celebration of "30 years of Achievement in Simulation & Training" with a Technology Showcase of current research in its many labs. The showcase, held October 18, revealed some of the latest advances at the institute.

Eduardo Salas Recognized for 'Lifetime Achievement' by INGRoup

The Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research (INGroup) at its July 2012 conference honored UCF Trustee Chair and Professor of Psychology, Dr. Eduardo Salas with the group's Joseph E. McGrath Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Study of Groups. The award recognizes the recipient for "scholarly contributions to the understanding and improvement of team performance." Dr. Salas holds a joint appointment at IST where he is program director of human systems integration research.

The INGRoup selection committee based their selection on four ways in which Dr. Salas's research record is noteworthy: (1) the "sheer number of ... co-authored journal articles and books," (2) the quality of contributions, based on citations produced, (3) the multidisciplinary reach of contributions across disciplines and (4) practical application of scholarship in military and industry.

Award recipients are granted lifetime membership in INGRoup plus an invitation to address the group at a subsequent meeting.

Another IST faculty member, Dr. Stephen Fiore, UCF Associate Professor of Cognitive Sciences, Department of Philosophy, is Chairman of the Board/President of the INGRoup Board of Directors.

IST's Andrews Is an OBJ '40 Under 40' Awardee

Anya AndrewsThe Orlando Business Journal, which periodically celebrates Central Florida's most successful and influential people under 40 years of age, recently selected IST's Dr. Anya Andrews as a "40 Under 40" awardee. The recognition was based on Dr. Andrews's professional accomplishments and community involvement as the president of Erudition Corporation and as a senior research scientist at IST. Check out the August issue of OBJ for an up close and personal interview with Anya and other outstanding honorees.

 


 

"Physical-Virtual" Avatar Research Caught on Fox 35 Orlando News

Gregory Welch In June, 2012, WOFL Fox 35 Orlando reporter Tom Johnson visited IST to learn about and gather footage on the Physical-Virtual Avatar (PVA) project. Research Professor Gregory Welch (right) put together this YouTube video using footage from the final news story that aired on Fox 35 Orlando at 10p.m., July 2, 2012.

The IST PVA project is in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Naval Postgraduate School and Nanyang Technological University. Click on Dr. Welch's picture to go to his IST Faculty page.

"Gray Goose" Snags 4th Place and $3K at Roboboat 2012

The Gray Goose team (left to right): Tuyen Do, Andrew Watson,  Brandon Parmeter, Jacob Carr, David Adams (captain), Jonathan Mohlenhoff, and Daniel Barber

The UCF Robotics Club's 2012 entry into the Office of Naval Research's (ONR) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) 5th International RoboBoats competition ran into a serious obstacle that kept it from garnering the points necessary to get to the top of the competition.

The snag in this case was a large blue floating marker that, yes, literally, snagged the Goose and wouldn't let go. Stalemate was the word as the boat's thrusters churned away at the unmovable blue sphere, unable to drag it from its mooring or push it out of the way. (Sadly, the Goose didn't even know it was caught... and you can bet next year's team will come up with a contingency fix for that.)

Sponsored by Army Research Lab (ARL) Simulation and Training Technology Center (STTC) and IST, students from the Robotics Club designed and built an autonomous surface vehicle capable without human intervention of channel navigation, obstacle avoidance and such other advanced tasks as spraying water onto shoreline targets.

The vehicle, the Gray Goose, repeatedly found its way through the departing gates and along a winding channel of red, green, and yellow buoys using a suite of sensors including digital compass, laser range finder, and digital camera. This year's event was extremely competitive with multiple teams improving drastically from past performances with at least 8 teams capable of navigating the buoy channel somewhat reliably under varying light conditions.

The final rankings were extremely close with UCF losing 3rd place by 3 points simply because the Goose was slightly heavier. Overall, this year's entry improved significantly over the club's previous boats in structural stability, design and electronics.

More information about the event, including video recaps and pictures, can be found at http://www.roboboat.org, and the team at http://robotics.ucf.edu and Robotics at UCF on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/groups/ucfroboticsclub/). The team has also posted several videos on YouTube highlighting the Gray Goose, including a team introduction.

E2i Director Featured as UCF Expert

Eileen SmithEileen Smith, director of IST's E2i Creative Studio uses her science center and theatre backgrounds to generate excitement in and passion for learning. Digital technology and simulation are a large part of the learning environments generated in the studio.

A recent e2i installation for Ft. Lauderdale's Museum of Discovery and Science adds that digital, mixed reality (the merging of real and virtual worlds so that physical and digital objects seem to coexist in real time) dimension to the museum's new exhibit wing devoted to the Everglades in south Florida.

Read more at UCF Today then check out the E2i Creative Studio's projects here.

TeachLive™ Virtual Classroom Software to Get Support from Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to help producers of TeachLive™ avatar classroom simulation extend the program's reach to more than 30 sites across the U.S.

Research professors Charlie Hughes, Dan Mapes and others in IST's Synthetic Reality lab developed the teacher trainer to help teachers learn to deal with challenges of innercity middle school classroom discipline. You can read more in the College of Education story on UCF Today.

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