Archives—November 2019

CLS Faculty and Students Attend Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Conference

Nine faculty and students at conference
Pictured left to right: Samantha Smith (Fac), Margo Woller-Carter (alum), Kelly Steelman (Fac), Alexandra Watral (MS Stud), Abigail Kuehne (UG Stud, Accelerated MS), Shruti Amre (Ph.D. Stud), Susie Amato-Henderson (Fac), Lavanya Rajesh Kumar (Ph.D. Stud). Missing from photo: Dr. Beth Veinott (Fac), Kaitlyn Roose (Ph.D. Student)

The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences supported the travel of 9 faculty and students to attend this year’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Conference in Seattle October 28 – November 1, 2019.

We are beyond proud of this group of fine people, and ESPECIALLY love that we are not the “typical” faces of scientists in this field, or at Michigan Tech.

Six Tech undergraduate and graduate students attended and met folks from a variety of government and industry research labs, presented the ACSHF department poster, and all around enjoyed Seattle.

Dr. Elizabeth Veinott organized a panel on Training and Transfer: Exploring issues of embedded training in complex systems with industry and Coast Guard partners.  As systems become smarter, development cycles are accelerated, and operational requirements are more dynamic, new ET models, methods, and evaluation strategies are needed.  Dr. Veinott talked about her research developing embedded decision training for different operational teams.  Kaitlyn Roose, one of her PhD students, also attended HFES before heading off to have Esport discussions at BlizzCon.

Dr. Samantha Smith served as co-chair of a session on the use of physiological measures in cognitive engineering and decision making and also presented a research lecture on the relationship between cerebral hemodynamics and sustained attention. In addition to the keynote presentations, Dr. Smith particularly enjoyed attending discussion panels centered around systems and strategies for promoting human factors teaching and learning, and strategies for enhancing equality in the field of human factors and ergonomics.

Dr. Kelly Steelman served as the chair of a session on Perception and Safety on the Roads. As a 2019 HFES Science Policy Fellow, she also attended trainings with the HFES Government Relations Committee and Lewis-Burke Associates to learn more about government affairs and opportunities to impact the policy process. A highlight of the trip was attending a VIP tour of the Boeing Everett Factory to see the many aspects of human factors in aircraft manufacturing and workplace safety.


Kaitlyn Roose Discusses The Psychology of Esports in APA Podcast

Russell Shilling, PhD, guest host for Speaking of Psychology and chief scientific officer for the American Psychological Association, sat down at APA2019 to talk with Shawn Doherty, PhD, and Kaitlyn Roose, MS, to discuss the psychology of esports, the benefits of gaming on higher level cognition and the culture of video games.

If you would like to listen to the full podcast, click here.  The link also provides a full transcript and video of the interview.


Kaitlyn Roose named Director of Esports at Michigan Tech

 

Kaitlyn Roose has been named the Director of Esports at Michigan Tech, Director of Athletics Suzanne Sanregret announced on Monday (Nov. 4). Roose is the current President and Co-Founder of the Esports Club at Michigan Tech, and a mentor for the Husky Game Development Enterprise. She is pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors Psychology.

“Kaitlyn brings vast experience in gaming—including scouting, analysis, research and competitive play—to her new role as the Director of Esports. Additionally, she was a softball student-athlete during her undergraduate collegiate career,” Sanregret said. “I would like to thank the search committee for recruiting such an excellent candidate. We are thrilled to welcome Kaitlyn to the Michigan Tech Athletics family, and I look forward to working with her as we grow our esports program.”

“I firmly believe that video games are changing our world,” Roose said. “I came to Michigan Tech to do game research, and I feel blessed to have been heavily supported in this endeavor. I love the interdisciplinary work my department is doing, I appreciate the collaborative and empowering environment it has provided. I intend on creating that culture within the Esports program, inspiring students to challenge themselves and each other while succeeding inside and outside of the classroom. Suzanne and Joel (Isaacson) have done an incredible job doing industry research, interfacing with other programs, and evaluating the potential impact of the program at MTU.”

Roose has over seven years of competitive gaming experience and has achieved respective ranks in the top 10 percent of the player base in Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends. She has scouted opponents for two playoff contender teams, analyzing both individual and team levels. She also has experience writing about, streaming and shoutcasting Esports while also serving as the primary spokesperson and visionary for the Esports Club. Under her term as President, the club has doubled in active members and number of games.

“I’ve always wanted to work in a position that allows me to be a leader, serve in a mentorship capacity and continue doing meaningful research,” added Roose. “I am honored to have been chosen, and I thank the committee for having confidence in me and allowing me to finish my degree in the process. What people say is true: You never leave Michigan Tech, and being a Husky is always a part of you. I’m excited to begin my career with the support of my Michigan Tech family and spearhead this program as a demonstration of how Michigan Tech is truly paving the way for a better future.”

Roose completed her Master of Science in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors in December 2018 from Michigan Tech. She conducts her research as a part of the Games, Learning, and Decisions Lab in the Cognitive and Learning Sciences Department. She has conducted multiple studies investigating decision making, problem solving and attention in games and has disseminated the results at several international conferences (CHI Play, Naturalistic Decision Making, APA). Roose has been on an Esports panel and interviewed by the Chief Scientific Officer of the APA about psychology in Esports (LINK).

Roose played two seasons of varsity softball and two seasons of club rugby at Gannon University while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She earned NCAA DII Individual and Team Academic Achievement Honors, as well as National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar-Athlete Honors, and was named a PSAC Scholar-Athlete while playing third base. She earned Gannon’s Presidential Scholarship, graduated Summa Cum Laude and was one of 10 finalists for Gannon’s Medal of Honor.

Michigan Tech became the first public school in the state to announce a varsity Esports team in August 2019. Competition will begin with the 2020-21 academic year. Current Michigan Tech students or prospective students interested in being a part of Esports at Michigan Tech should click here.