Category Archives: News

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.

 


Psychology Students Named University Innovation Fellows

Congratulations to Abigail Kuehne (Psychology and Communication, Culture, and Media/ Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors ’21), Sam Raber (Psychology ’22), Lindsay Sandell (Biomedical Engineering ’21), and Gary Tropp (Computer Network and System Administration ’22), who have been named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). This global program trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, and creativity.

Michigan Tech’s team of University Innovation Fellows support student interests, create an ecosystem for innovation, and encourage environmentally sustainable practices on campus. They aim to preserve a culture of inclusion, encourage creativity and self-authorship, and help students create lasting connections. Current UIF proposals include a university-sanctioned gap year program, updates to campus wellness opportunities, student ambassador programs, and creating a space to reduce waste and encourage students to share and reuse common school items.

University Innovation Fellowship logo


ACSHF Students Present Research at Society for Neuroscience Convention

Dr. Kevin Trewartha, Director of the Aging, Cognition, and Action Lab, accompanied by two of his current PhD candidates, Bridget Durocher and Isaac Flint, attended the Society for Neuroscience convention to present their research. This year represented the 50th annual convention, and it was held in Chicago, IL. This convention is one of the largest international conventions for the study of neuroscience with speakers and exhibitors from all around the world. Opportunities to meet Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine in 2000 Eric Kandel for his work on signal transduction in the nervous system, global industry leaders in neuroscience technology, and leaders on the forefront of brain research were all part of this year’s experience.

Bridget Durocher presented preliminary findings of her research investigating whether acquisition, and short- and long-term retention measures of motor learning can distinguish between amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzehimer’s disease (AD), and healthy aging. The ultimate goal of this work is to potentially supplement existing neuropsychological measures for diagnosing AD. The need for additional or new techniques to diagnose AD in its earliest stages is essential in extending the quality of life for our future generations. The current standard testing procedures often miss the early onset phase of the disease process, leading many years of missed opportunities to manage the disease effectively. In the current project we are investigating whether the early stages of motor learning are affected by MCI and early AD, and whether those patients exhibit additional impairments in short-term (i.e., within session) and long-term (after a 24-hour delay) retention of a newly acquired motor skill. Initial results are encouraging, and support our hypothesis, but it should be stressed that these data are very preliminary.

Isaac Flint presented findings from work investigating whether younger and older adults differ in the ability to make optimal corrective actions for collision avoidance during reaching movements. This work showed that when making motor corrections in response to visual feedback perturbations, both older and younger adults are equally able to make optimal decisions when correcting their movements to avoid collisions with obstacles. However, older adults make less efficient movements indicated by longer movement times, exhibit increased rates of collision, and delayed electrophysiological responses to the visual feedback perturbations. The efficiency with which older adults made corrective actions was also correlated with cognitive measures of executive control, and processing speed. 

In addition to attending the conference Bridget and Isaac took some time to explore the city, learning to navigate Chicago’s public transportation, and visiting various spots including the Harold Washington Library Center of the Chicago Public Library, Little Italy, Millennium Park, downtown shops, and the lakefront. Having a diverse population to network with along with the unique cultural opportunities Chicago has to offer made this convention an excellent opportunity to explore both cognitive neuroscience and human factors. 



Dr. Stacy Keynote Presenter at Childhood Development Conference in Germany

Dr. Peter Stacy received and accepted an invitation to provide a keynote presentation at the 18th Annual International Conference on Attachment and Early Childhood Development.  The conference took place in Ulm, Germany between Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, 2019.  It attracted over 900 attendees from throughout Europe. In introducing Dr. Stacy, the conference administrator spoke of his 20+ year research effort as gaining national and international recognition due to its unique approach of using an intrafamily research design in identifying the role that early childhood attachment plays in differentiating a resilient sibling from his/her non-resilient sibling.

Dr. Stacy’s presentation included a review of his research findings followed by discussion of effective treatment strategies that seek to address early childhood attachment disorders.  The presentation closed with a brief question and answer session.


Psychology Undergraduate Honored as Departmental Scholar

At the end of each academic year, each department nominates one student to represent them as their Departmental Scholar. The Provost’s Award for Scholarship is given to a senior who best represents student scholarship at Michigan Tech. This outstanding student is considered excellent not only by academic standards, but also for participation in research scholarship activity, levels of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and communication skills.

This year, the Departmental Scholar award was given to psychology undergraduate student Hannah Kariniemi. Hannah may only be finishing her second year but has already accomplished a lot. She has achieved Junior status with an impressive GPA of 3.64 overall and 3.7 in the Major. Dr. Veinott who has Hannah in the Research Methods II course says “Hannah is motivated and diligent to chase down problems and figure them out”. She is also interning at the 97th Regional Treatment court and doing research with Dr. Amato-Henderson. Dr. Amato-Henderson says she hopes to guide Hannah through writing a manuscript to be submitted for publication. Hannah has also recently been inducted into Psi Chi (the International Honor Society in Psychology) and is also active in the Association for Psychology Students (APS). It is amazing how quickly Hannah is advancing here and she plans to continue in graduate school where she will continue working toward clinical psychology with an emphasis on judicial corrections and community health. Congratulations Hannah!

 


Art Therapy

As the semester is winding down, stress is ramping up. The Association for Psychology Students (APS) and the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences hosted an “art therapy” session in the Makerspace on Monday, April 22. Everyone had a great time getting to know each other, creating art, and making a mess. It was the perfect way to de-stress before finals.


New Inductees into the National Honor Society in Psychology

The Department of the Cognitive and Learning Sciences inducted five new members into Psi Chi, the international Honor Society in Psychology: Hannah Kariniemi, Lavanya Rajesh Kumar, Rose Hildebrandt, Shurti Amre, and Via Ouellette Ballas. The Induction ceremony took place at the Harold Meese Center on Tuesday, April 16. The Michigan Tech Chapter of Psi Chi is led by Abby Kuehne (President) and Caden Sumner (Treasurer) and advised by Dr. Kelly Steelman. For more information on Psi Chi, visit: https://www.psichi.org/default.aspx