ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)


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"ACM SIGCHI General Interest Announcements (Mailing List)" <[log in to unmask]>
Penelope Sanderson <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 21 Jun 2002 23:47:58 +1000
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Penelope Sanderson <[log in to unmask]>
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The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

The Cognitive Engineering Research Group (CERG) at The University of
Queensland is Australia's leading university-based research group in the
area of cognitive engineering. We invite applications from suitable
candidates wishing to complete PhD research in cognitive engineering, human
factors, or engineering psychology, with a focus on real-time,
mission-critical sociotechnical systems. We have funded research projects
in several exciting areas.

See for details of our activities
and for how to apply.

The following information is included in this email:

1. Research areas for PhD studies with CERG
2. Equipment and resources
3. Preparation sought
4. How to make an application for place and scholarship
5. Useful websites and application forms
6. About The University of Queensland and the Key Centre

1. Research areas for PhD studies

Research areas for PhD studies in cognitive engineering at The University
of Queensland include but are not limited to the following. PhD students
associated with CERG may wish to have shared supervision with UQ faculty
members in other faculties, centres, or schools.

1.  Information representation for complex real-time domains, such as power
plants (esp hydro), command-and-control environments, and critical care
medicine (eg anesthesia and intensive care). Our focus is on theoretical
and applied issues relating to the use of visualisation and/or sonification
(auditory display) to support human-system coordination in such environments.

2.  Teamwork in complex operations environments. We juxtapose modeling and
simulation with empirical studies of teamwork, both in the field and with
laboratory microworlds. If you have a strength in discrete-event
simulation, intelligent agent-based modelling of teamwork, and/or
distributed cognition, there are many potential PhD projects in this area.

3.  Formal modeling of human-system interaction, using techniques such as
cognitive work analysis, cognitive task analysis, or any of a variety of AI
techniques for modeling complex systems. Use of such models through the
systems development process (requirements, instrumentation, team design,
system design, test and evaluation, etc.). Focus especially on large-scale

4.  Psychology of human visual and auditory attention as it relates to the
use of multi-modal displays in complex dynamic worlds. Design of displays
to create best fit of attentional phenomena to information needs.

(For any defence-funded projects within the general areas above, Australian
citizenship would be required).

International travel and intellectual exchange is strongly supported within
the group. PhD students associated with CERG join an international
community of cognitive engineering and human factors professionals, where
they flourish. For example, Anne Miller won the Human Factors and
Ergonomics Society's Alphonse Chapanis Award for the best student paper at
the HFES/IEA International Congress in 2000.

2. Equipment and resources

CERG was granted significant Strategic Research Initiative funding from
University of Queensland in late 2001. We are completing (projected
occupancy late July/early August) the building and equipping of a
state-of-the-art usability laboratory--the University of Queensland
Usability Laboratory (UQUL). The UQUL is a flexible space (one control
room, two test rooms) in which a wide variety of observational studies can
be performed.

In addition, we are acquiring ambulatory eye-tracking equipment for use
both in the laboratory and in the field, as well as a large-format (A0)
color printer. Moreover, we are accumulating powerful hardware and software
tools in support of our sonification research. We work primarily in a
Windows environment, but we also use top-end Macintosh systems for key
audiovisual-intensive needs and for observational data analysis.

The Key Centre for Human Factors, where we are located, has a further suite
of five individual participant testing rooms. It also provides
administrative, business, and further technical support.

3. Preparation sought

Candidates with the following skills are most likely to succeed at PhD
studies in cognitive engineering:

1. Basic undergraduate training in human factors, engineering psychology,
cognitive engineering, HCI, or allied areas of inquiry.
2. (Commonwealth countries) An honors degree at 2A- or 1st-class level in
psychology, computer science, or engineering. (Elsewhere) High GPA in these
3. Good familiarity and experience with computer programming, especially
with a current programming language (eg C++, Java, VB, etc.)
4. Basic knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics.

Cognitive engineering research often requires immersion in a particular
domain. Therefore, knowledge from prior educational or professional
experience in any of the following general areas can help your research.
However it is not essential.

1. Engineering (systems, software, power, computer, industrial, or mechanical)
2. Health sciences (physiology, medicine, nursing, etc)
3. Operational areas (command and control, emergency response, process
control room operations, stock trading environments, network management, etc).
4. Air traffic control (a strong interest in the Key Centre for Human
Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology, where CERG is housed).

4. How to make an application for place and scholarship

Applications for PhD places and applications for scholarships to support
PhD studies must be made separately. If you are applying from overseas,
please be aware that the academic year in Australia runs from March to

Always talk with potential supervisors before making an application. As
noted above, supervisors are available within the CERG group (see People
for CERG personnel and interests). In addition, PhD students associated
with CERG may wish to have shared supervision with UQ faculty members in
other faculties, centres, or schools.

Applications for PhD places in cognitive engineering can be made through
either of two schools principally involved in the cognitive engineering
initiative (other schools may be appropriate also).

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
Continuous admission
PG Academic Coordinator is Professor Maria Orlowska: ph +61 7 3365 2989
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PG Admin Officer  is Ms Kathleen Williamson: ph +61 7 3365 2906

School of Psychology
Deadline 30 August, 2002
PG Academic Coordinator is Dr Julie Duck: ph +61 7 3365 6203
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PG Admin Officer is Ms Dianne Muller: ph +61 7 3365 6220

5.  Useful websites and application forms

For details of applications procedures:
For specific information about PhD applications:
For scholarships (Deadline 31 October 2002):

See details of APA and UQPRS awards for Australian citizens. See details of
IPRS awards for international students.

6. About The University of Queensland and the Key Centre

The University of Queensland is one of Australia's top research
universities (in the so-called Group of Eight) as well as a member of the
international Universitas 21 consortium. The Queensland state government is
a strong backer of university research, with its Smart State initiative and
various large-scale biotechnology initiatives.

The University of Queensland is in the city of Brisbane, in a picturesque
location on the Brisbane River. Located in southern Queensland, Brisbane
enjoys a warm, sunny climate. The city is the gateway to such attractions
such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Gold Coast.

The ARC Key Centre for Human Factors was founded in 1999 through a grant
from the Australian Research Council. The Key Centre is a national
consortium of university-based human factors laboratories or "nodes".
University of Queensland is the headquarters of the centre and includes two
nodes: (a) the Centre for Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology
and (b) the Perception and Motor Systems Laboratory within UQ's Department
of Human Movement Studies.

The University of Queensland therefore provides a unique vantage point for
the student wishing not only to pursue PhD research in cognitive
engineering, but also to be exposed to a wide variety of human factors
issues. Moreover, in Semester 2 2002 the centre initiates a suite of
postgraduate courses in human factors to be taken by online distance education.

Professor Penelope Sanderson
ARC Key Centre for Human Factors and Applied Cognitive Psychology
McElwain Building
University of Queensland,  QLD   4072

Tel: +61 (0)7 3365-6778 or -6076
Fax: +61 (0)7 3365-6171   Mobile: +61 (0)407 107 707
Email: [log in to unmask]