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Highlights from IST                                                                       Winter 2001

PREP scholars assist UCF/IST research faculty

Aided by an assist from Provost Research Enhancement funds, IST is sharing in the expertise of two world-renowned scholars, Dr. Peter Hancock from the

Peter Hancock

University of Minnesota and Dr. David Kaup from Clarkson University (NY). 
   Dr. Hancock obtained his PhD in motor performance from the University of Illinois, Champaign. An associate professor and director of the Human Factors Research Laboratory, Hancock also has been a researcher for

David Kaup

the Center for Transportation Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
   He has worked in the fields of transportation, sports and exercise, gerontology, cognitive sciences, aging, safety and systems, and
kinesiology. He is the author or co-author of eight books, covering human factors psychology, ergonomics, human mental workload, stress, workload and fatigue.
   Dr Kaup obtained his PhD from the University of Maryland. He is a mathematical physicist with research interests in the soliton* theory, nonlinear optics, nonlinear wave propagation, nonlinear dynamics, and plasma physics. He has over 195 publications in these areas. Dr. Kaup.s many groundbreaking achievements include the Ablowitz-Kaup-Newell-Segur (AKNS) papers, which put the Soliton Theory on solid ground and solving the first integrable cubic system, now called the Kaup system or the Kaup equation.

*A soliton is a stable solitary wave form that behaves like particles.


ALT team takes learning technology to higher levels

IST's new Advanced Learning Technologies (ALT) team is focused on improving training quality by developing and manipulating leading-edge technologies as well as optimizing overall human cognition and performance.
   By applying advanced technologies and human performance sciences to new concepts of education, the team is able to create unique or customizable learning environments for all types of learners.
   It's no mystery to simulation and training researchers that if you merely throw technology at learners their chances of striking out are high.
   Effective computer-based learning programs, whether offered locally or
over the Internet, must tailor content and presentation to a variety of learning styles and environments.
   Adding the distributed learning standards issues initiated by the White House creates a complex delivery system for learning products. 
  This is a long way from your grandma's one-room schoolhouse. Today's "lesson plan" requires a multidisciplinary effort with contributions by human factors psychologists, curriculum and media designers and information technologists.    
   The real change for the ALT Team is the focus on using human performance and learning as the measure of success instead of measuring success through the presentation of content.
   People train and learn in different ways and in different environments and with varied backgrounds both in terms of prior experience and knowledge.
   By matching the type of training to the learner and then using the new technologies to transfer knowledge in the most optimal way, we can assure the outcome of his or her performance is truly effective for any given situation.
   A second measure of success is how these new technologies address the needs of educators. When educators use advanced distributed learning, they can design decentralized models for instruction.
   These models provide educational resources and services that reach beyond any single institution or discipline. The new learning technologies make resources more flexible and re-usable because they link instructors and learners allowing frequent interaction. This allows instructors to adjust to learner requirements in novel ways. 
   As you can see, these new technologies, when teamed up with a shared vision, science, and a team of experts, can help all learners and educators achieve success in learning.
   Teaching and learning styles can be so enhanced as to move to new dimensions.
   We now have the technology to support all kinds of learners. It is up to us to strategically assess and implement the technology, and derive processes by which we will be prepared for new and upcoming teaching techniques, technologies, and even new learner styles.


Glenn Martin takes IST "Researcher of the Year" honors

Research Associate Glenn A. Martin recently garnered IST's "Researcher of the Year" award for his outstanding contributions to the institute's research in networked virtual environments.
   Martin has led an assisted in several networked environment research projects over the past few years. For the Army Research Institute's Virtual Environment Research Testbed project he supervised a distributed team training experiment and led a team in enhancing the Fully Immersive Team Training system by integrating gesture recognition, intelligent tutoring and a new distributed simulation network protocol.
   Martin earned his B.S. and M.S. in computer science from UCF. He has worked in various research capacities for the institute since 1992.
   This year he helped coach the UCF Programming Team to first and second place honors in regional computer programming competition. The team went on to a 13th place position among U.S. teams competing internationally.
   Martin works in the Department for Applied Research Technology at IST.



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