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Human Factors Engineering Short Course Begins

July 25, 2010

Professionals from a wide range of disciplines will converge at U-M this week for the second week of the annual Human Factors Engineering short course. The intensive, two-week course attracts engineers, psychologists, medical professionals, managers, and others interested in designing systems, products, and services to make them easier, safer, and more effective to use.

Paul Green, research professor in UMTRI's Driver Interface Group, serves as course program coleader. He said that what distinguishes the program is the "tremendous cross-section of people who attend" and the wide variety of application environments they bring to the course--from aircraft cockpits, to nuclear power plants, medical environments, motor vehicles, and military settings, to name just a few.

The course features lectures by experienced instructors from several universities and companies, complemented by small group activities and hands-on design experience.

Week one will provide an introduction to human factors and an overview of topics important to designers and researchers. Some of the topics include manual task analysis, visual displays, motor skills and manual controls, workload, and human error.

Week two will present an overview of major trends in human computer interaction, including usability testing, cognitive task analysis, and web interface design, among others.

This year, forty-five people are scheduled to attend the first week of the short course, and thirty-five are scheduled to attend the second.

The course is offered through the University of Michigan's Center for Professional Development. For more information, see Human Factors Engineering.