I never really talk about what I study in school or what I do at work. The latter is due to the nature of my job (i.e., I shouldn’t really talk openly about the work I do for the government). But why don’t I talk more about what I study in school? *scratches head*
Recently, GumpB shared a great article with me. It was a post Drew Conway wrote: 10 Reasons Why Grad Students Should Blog. After reading his post I realized that I should talk more about what I learn in grad school. I need to blog about Human Factors more because it is important to me. It is a huge part of my life. I chose to dedicate at least five years beyond my undergraduate education to study this topic. I am married to grad school, after all. The name of this blog has “grad school” in the title! I have a page dedicated to Human Factors. Why not share this information with people outside of academia who are also interested in human-technology interaction?
The answer, in simple terms: I write and read about these topics all the time. ALL the time. I have found my blog to be a bit of a respite from endless science, statistics, research and academic writing. It is nice to write about non-academic things in my life.
Still, I am going to give this a go. I thought I would start this Human Factors series with portions of a seminar I’m hosting this week. So if you’re interested in learning more about what I do, stay tuned! I hope to write something related to Human Factors once a month.
Oh, I’m sorry. Can’t remember exactly what I’m talking about?
Human Factors (and Ergonomics) is a unique scientific discipline that systematically applies the knowledge of human abilities and limitations to the design of systems with the goal of optimizing the interaction between people and other system elements to enhance safety, performance, and satisfaction. ~ Eric Shaver
It is a multidisciplinary field incorporating contributions from psychology (not clinical), cognitive science, engineering, industrial design, statistics and anthropometry. Human Factors covers a wide range of topics including, but not limited to: Human skills, capabilities and limitations; task analysis; automation; user error and performance methodology and statistics; training; usability; modeling and simulation; occupational safety; ergonomics; anthropometrics; alarms; display and interface design.