Human Factors and Systems (HFS)

Human Factors Courses

HFS 500  Systems Concepts, Theory, and Tools  3 Credits (3,0)

The ability to think at a systems level will be developed. Formal systems principles; systems requirements analysis; knowledge acquisition techniques; information modeling; information management; decision support; systems evaluation.

HFS 510  Research Design and Analysis I  3 Credits (3,0)

Foundation and procedures of research techniques, tools, and methods. Course reviews the principal concepts of research design and evaluation. The application of experimental, case study, survey, and non-experimental techniques are explored. Identification, isolation, and treatment of dependent and independent variables covered. Existing published research or data used to highlight principles. Lab is a required part of this course.

HFS 515  Ergonomics  3 Credits (3,0)

This class will address the basic concepts of ergonomics and their application to the design of human-machine systems and products. Consideration of human physiological, biomechanical, and biological capabilities and limitations in design for human efficiency, safety, and comfort; anthropometry. Ergonomic issues related to the design of control and display systems, instrument panels, workplaces, seating, and tools will be addressed.

HFS 520  Team Performance  3 Credits (3,0)

The performance of teams and groups working collaboratively is crucial to achieving and optimizing organizational goals and objectives. This class focuses on understanding the dynamics of team behavior from formation to dissolution through review of the theory and research in team psychology and performance. Particular emphasis will be given to team functioning in technologically advanced environments, such as aviation, aerospace, gaming and defense.

HFS 521  Modeling Humans in Complex Systems  3 Credits

This course exposes students to concepts in modeling and simulating human and human behavior through experience with programming applications and software architecture. Practical applications for the modeling human complex mental and physical behavior are provided through a variety of software, including MATLAB, ARENA and state-of-art ergonomics/biomechanics tools. Topics of digital human modeling, human learning and decision making, and neural network will be introduced. Students will get hands-on experiences to become familiar with contemporary software approaches to modeling human in realistic situations to aid in system design, improve efficiency and safety.PREREQUISITE: Permission of Instructor.

HFS 525  Human and Social/Organizational Factors in Emerging Technologies  3 Credits (3,0)

Individuals today are immersed in a world full of rapidly evolving technology. Mobile devices, tablet computers, on-line gaming, and virtual worlds are just a few of the options we now have in our work and leisure environments. This class focuses first on how humans think about and relate to emerging technologies and how the interaction of humans and technology creates new and interesting behavior. The second part of the class will emphasize how emerging technology shapes social, organizational and cultural behaviors, in domains such as work, ethics, education, leisure and interpersonal relations. Last, the class will discuss what a future of technological immersion and continuous enhancement may look like and how it will continue to shape behavior at both micro (human) and macro (organizational and societal) levels. Readings for the class will be drawn from current theory and research related to human behavior and emerging technology.

HFS 526  Aerospace Physiology  3 Credits (3,0)

This course emphasizes the adaptability of physiological systems to unique aerospace environments. The student will learn the structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems, cardiac and pulmonary systems, as well as muscular and sensory neuroscience. The impact of acceleration, hypo and hyperbaric environments, microgravity, and spatial disorientation on human capability will be discussed. This course brings together the operational demands of physiology, medicine, and behavioral science. The student will learn the effects of environmental conditions (lighting, noise, heat, cold, humidity, air movement) and of shift work (day, evening, and night work; shift schedules) on task performance in order to improve human productivity in the workplace. The student will understand the limitations of human life as well as the ingenuity required to design systems capable of creating artificial life-sustaining support systems.
Prerequisites: PS 107.

HFS 527  Drugs in Aviation and Society  3 Credits (3,0)

The aim of this introductory course is to familiarize the student with the impact of psychoactive drugs on the body and their importance to medicine. A general review of neurophysiology will precede basic pharmacological principles of agonist/antagonist interaction. The course will focus on psychoactive drugs, drugs of abuse, and therapeutics in medicine, particularly aerospace medicine. Graduate students will be required to give a lecture expanding on any lecture topic from class or some other realm of aerospace medicine. They will also have additional readings from related journal articles for which they will have to write a brief (4-5 page) report.

HFS 590  Graduate Seminar  3 Credits (3,0)

A study of current topics and advancements in human factors, aviation psychology, and related areas as determined by the instructor of the course. The course will have a different topic each time it is offered depending on the varied interests of the faculty, students, or availability of visiting professors.

HFS 600  Human Factors in Systems  3 Credits (3,0)

Survey of human factors literature. Introduction to topics including human capabilities and human interfaces with human-machine systems, workload, anthropometrics, perception, workspace design, and visual momentum. The course will study human limitations in the light of human engineering, human reliability, stress, and human physiology. The course will discuss human behavior as it relates to the aviators adaptation to flight, air traffic, and maintenance environments.

HFS 610  Research Design and Analysis II  3 Credits (2,0)

This course is the advanced program in experimental design and analysis. The focus is the design, planning, and considerations involved in complex, multivariate experiments. Major areas of examination will include factorial designs, nested variables, linear models, multiple regression, measures of covariance, and Latin square designs. Considerations in selecting the appropriate experimental design is the focus of this course. Examination of appropriate statistical techniques is integrated with the theoretical and practical concepts of experimental design. Lab is a required part of this course.
Prerequisites: HFS 510.

HFS 612  Human Factors Methods  3 Credits

The course involves the introduction and application of advanced measurement, design, and evaluation of core human factors performance, This analysis will include theoretical frameworks and technical methods to analyze domains that may include but are not limited to workload, error measurement, situation awareness, job and task analysis, cognitive behavior, time and motion studies, or additional factors that influence behavioral work performance.
Prerequisites: HFS 600.

HFS 615  Sensation and Perception  3 Credits

This class will address advanced issues in human information processing with specific regard to the physical and psychological variables associated with sensory and perceptual phenomena. Attention will be paid to all the human sensors, with particular focus on perceptual issues related to system design, evaluation, and certification. Although all the senses will be covered, special attention will be paid to the visual and auditory senses. Lab is a required part of this course.

HFS 620  Memory and Cognition  3 Credits (3,0)

This course will examine the tremendous gains in memory and cognition research to obtain an understanding of how these theoretical and empirical advances have been, or might be, applied to problems of human-machine interactions and system design. Topics include the total range of memory and cognitive processes and their potential application to systems design: sensation perception, pattern recognition, attention, language, memory, concept formation, thinking, decision making, problem solving, timesharing, reaction time, action, manual control, and the impact of automation. Lab is a required part of this course.

HFS 625  Applied Testing and Selection  3 Credits (3,0)

Issues in selecting and testing applicants for a broad range of positions in aviation and related industries are the focus of this course. An examination of the methodologies used since World War I through the present is covered. The change in methodologies used and the level of sophistication of assessment techniques involved is examined across pilot, air traffic controller, maintenance, and aviation security screener personnel. A significant portion of this course is devoted to an understanding of the performance assessment techniques used to evaluate selection systems as well as the personnel selection instruments used. Problems in both criterion and assessment measurement are discussed in detail.
Prerequisites: HFS 510 and HFS 610.

HFS 630  Applied Cognitive Science  3 Credits (3,0)

Cognitive Science has a fundamental focus on the mind and its ability to process information. In order to understand information processing, cognitive science draws from the fields of philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience and other areas. Drawing from research and theory in the diverse areas comprising the field of cognitive science, this class will explore how humans acquire, represent, reason about, and use information. Special emphasis will also be given to how knowledge in the discipline has been applied in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, probabilistic modeling, and understanding human mind and consciousness.
Prerequisites: HFS 600 and HFS 620.

HFS 635  Human-Computer Interaction  3 Credits (2,0)

This course stresses the importance of good interfaces and the relationship of user interface design to human-computer interaction. Other topics include interface quality and methods of evaluation interface design examples; dimensions of interface variability; dialogue genre; dialogue tools and techniques; user-centered design and task analysis; prototyping and the iterative design cycle; user interface implementation; prototyping tools and environments; I/O devices; basic computer graphics; color; and sound. A lab is a required part of this course.

HFS 637  Managing Human Errors in Complex Systems  3 Credits

Given that completely eliminating human error is not possible, managing error becomes a staple of any human factors professional. This course will describe the history of human error management, theories behind accident causation, and offer a foundation for identifying, mitigating, and/or reducing human error. This course is not specific to any domain. Instead, examples from a variety of transportation, medical, and industrial settings will be used to illustrate fundamental concepts.
Prerequisites: HFS 600.

HFS 640  Aviation/Aerospace Psychology  3 Credits (3,0)

This survey course covers the primary areas of work in the aviation psychology specialization. Topic areas may include the effects of alcohol on performance, aviation safety and accident investigation, cockpit and air traffic control automation, display and control issues and design, personnel selection, task analysis, workload assessment, training research and development, scale development methodologies, and crew resource management. The topic areas change from semester to semester depending on the focus of the current research environment. This course has a strong emphasis on methodological issues, problematic research concerns, and statistical issues. Most of the coursework involves extensive readings in the specialization from conference proceedings, journal articles, and training manuals. A critical analysis of research is the focal point for this course.

HFS 650  Human Factors of Aviation/Aerospace Applications  3 Credits (3,0)

This class will address the basic concepts of the application of human factors principles and theories to the effective design and operation of various aviation/aerospace applications. It will address these areas from a historical perspective and in relation to the future operational concepts of the applications. Issues to be addressed could include function allocation between human and machine, human-computer interface, work environment (for example, stress circadian rhythms), person-to-person communications, performance measurement, and research and development needed.

HFS 675  Multivariate Statistics: Factor Analysis and Data Reduction  3 Credits

Building on the first course in multivariate statistics, this course provides an introduction to several widely-used methods in the analysis of social science data. Topics include introductory treatments of structural equation models (path analysis, multiple latent variable models, confirmatory factor analysis, and latent growth models), principle components analysis, and exploratory factor analysis. Additionally, students will also be introduced to canonical correlation and clustering techniques (cluster analysis). Consideration will be given to the basic logic and application of covariance structure analysis as well as limitations and criticisms of the practice of latent variable modeling.
Prerequisites: HFS 510 and HFS 610.

HFS 690  Graduate Student Capstone  3 Credits

This seminar-style course involves an in-depth investigation of one or more influential bodies of research and theory in human factors and systems, integrating skills obtained in prior coursework into a capstone project. This course will provide evidence of the student's ability to critically think about complex domains of inquiry and demonstrate written and oral skills.

HFS 696  Graduate Internship in Human Factors and Systems  1-3 Credit (3,0)

Supervised placement in an industrial, governmental, or consulting setting. The student completes a specific project under the supervision of an organizational sponsor and a faculty member.

HFS 699  Special Topics in Human Factors and Systems  1-6 Credit

Completion of an area of study under the direct supervision of a faculty member. The course requirements and area of study are negotiated between the faculty member and the student with the approval of the department chair.

HFS 700  Thesis  1-9 Credit

The performance and a written description of a master-level research project. The topic of the thesis will be approved and supervised throughout its preparation by the students major professor and thesis committee. This project will provide evidence of the students ability to perform applied research at the graduate level.