PhD student honored for life-saving research

Ferguson, John  |  Oct 05, 2017

News Image: 
Kolina Koltai award
Awards & Recoginition
PhD

Texas iSchool doctoral student Kolina “Koko” Koltai is being honored for research into technology that helps save the lives of military pilots.

Koltai and six co-authors received the 2016 Best Ergonomics in Design Article Award from the nonprofit Human Factors and Ergonomics Society for their paper, “Trust-Based Analysis of an Air Force Collision Avoidance System.”

The case study analyzed the factors that influence trust and acceptance among test pilots using the Air Force’s Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS). 

Human error is a leading cause of airplane crashes that result in loss of life. To protect its pilots, the Air Force developed the technology to assume control of aircraft that is 1.5 seconds from the point of no return from a collision with a mountain, body of water or other terrain. Once the collision has been averted, the system returns controls to the pilot.

“A system like Auto-GCAS that takes control away from the pilot is something that is not typically accepted within the pilot community,” said Koltai, who worked on the project when she was a master’s student of experimental psychology at California State University, Northridge. “They are typically very distrustful of not only new technologies but ones that ‘impede’ on their control of the aircraft.”

In 2014, the Air Force introduced automated system to its F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet. Deployment of Auto-GCAS has already saved lives, including a student pilot who lost consciousness from his aircraft's rapid acceleration in September 2016.

While the Air Force was still developing the automated system, Koltai and her co-authors studied how test pilots, engineers and managers developed trust with it. Through years of surveys, interviews, field visits and a grounded-theory approach, they found that test pilots’ trust depended on a number of factors, including:

  • the development of a nuisance-free algorithm
  • designing fly-up evasive maneuvers consistent with a pilot’s preferred behavior
  • using training to assess, demonstrate and verify the system’s reliability

The study was part of a larger, multiyear project investigating how cultural, organizational, and automation capability factors influence how different groups develop trust with automated systems. For pilot acceptance of Auto-GCAS, the factors are consistent with previous literature on trust in automation and could lead to best practices for automation design, testing and acceptance, Koltai said.

As Koltai’s doctoral adviser, Texas iSchool Associate Professor Ken Fleischmann, explains, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society has been a leading professional organization for human factors researchers and professionals for the past 60 years. “It is an unusual and remarkable honor for any scholar to receive a best paper award from a major journal, let alone as a doctoral student starting her third year in the doctoral program,” he said, “so I am very proud that Koko’s research has been recognized with this significant honor, and that she was able to accept the award and present her research at the HFES International Annual Meeting here in Austin.”

PHD Info Session

On Friday 17 November at 9-10am Central US Time we will have an online information session (short presentation + text Q&A) for the Texas iSchool PhD program. Panel will consist of a current doctoral student, Kolina Koltai, the assistant dean Carla Criner, and director of doctoral studies, James Howison. Applications for the Fall 2018 start are due Dec 15. Visit this URL to attend the session: https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/phd-info-session

Invitation to Apply to the PhD Program

Alumna earns ASIS&T Best Dissertation Award

Ferguson, John  |  Oct 05, 2017

News Image: 
Sarah Buchanan
Alumni
Awards & Recoginition

Dr. Sarah Buchanan, a 2016 doctoral graduate of the Texas iSchool, was recently awarded the ASIS&T ProQuest 2017 Best Dissertation Award for her contribution to information science research.

Now an assistant professor with the University of Missouri’s Library and Information Science program, Dr. Buchanan wrote her dissertation on “A provenance research study of archaeological curation,” which investigates how data accompanies objects as we excavate, catalog, conserve and eventually exhibit them in a museum.

“People visit museums to connect with others and experience a past, through objects and stories about objects,” she said. “Who writes those stories, and what are their sources?”

Dr. Buchanan said her interests in archaeology began both in the archives and on a dig, and she wanted to discover more about how information is created and presented to the public. “I found that multiple parties have something to contribute, especially archivists in communicating the story,” she said.

In addition to Dr. Buchanan, all of the Texas iSchool’s recent doctoral graduates are experiencing success in a range of academic and business settings, Associate Professor James Howison said. Of the eight students who completed the School of Information’s PhD program in the past two years, all have found employment as educators or researchers in the public and private sectors. 

Three recent graduates are tenure-track assistant professors: Drs. Julia Bullard, University of British Columbia; Daniel Carter, Texas State University; and Dr. Buchanan.

Dr. Brandon Wiley is the president of Operator Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on security, privacy and open access to information, while Dr. Eryn Whitworth is a user-experience researcher for Oculus Rift.

Dr. Dan Sholler is a postdoc fellow with the University of California, Berkley rOpenSci Project, and Dr. Jeanine Finn is a Council on Library and Information Resources Data Services Postdoctoral Fellow supporting student and faculty research at Claremont Colleges. Dr. Eunyoung Moon is a visiting assistant professor.

“As a faculty we’re very proud of our doctoral students; we think they are going on to great things,” said Dr. Howison, the iSchool’s deputy graduate advisor. “Students put in years of time, showing truly impressive commitment and energy. At times, no doubt, the endpoint of obtaining a PhD and moving on to contribute to a career in research seems a long way away, but the success of our doctoral graduates show the value of their hard work and the iSchool doctoral community. As faculty, we applaud them and look forward to them coming back to visit the school to share their research in the future.”

PHD Info Session

On Friday 17 November at 9-10am Central US Time we will have an online information session (short presentation + text Q&A) for the Texas iSchool PhD program. Panel will consist of a current doctoral student, Kolina Koltai, the assistant dean Carla Criner, and director of doctoral studies, James Howison. Applications for the Fall 2018 start are due Dec 15. Visit this URL to attend the session: https://www.ischool.utexas.edu/phd-info-session

Invitation to Apply to the PhD Program

Law library association honors the late Karl Gruben

Ferguson, John  |  Jul 17, 2017

News Image: 
Karl T. Gruben
Karl Gruben
Alumni
Awards & Recoginition

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has awarded the late Karl T. Gruben with its highest honor.

Mr. Gruben, a School of Information alumnus, passed away in November 2016. This summer, he was one of four recipients of the 2017 Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes outstanding, extended and sustained service to law librarianship, the association or for contributions to professional literature.

By winning the award, Mr. Gruben was automatically inducted into the AALL’s Hall of Fame.

“During Karl’s long career in law libraries, the world of information science changed dramatically,” one of his nominating colleagues noted, “and Karl enthusiastically mastered the nuts and bolts of the new technologies, evolving into a self-taught expert on the new infrastructure of legal research.”

Mr. Gruben earned his Master of Library Science degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1975. He went to work for the Texas State Law Library as a government law librarian before joining the private sector, where he was director of Vinson & Elkins LLP’s law libraries.

In 2004, Mr. Gruben entered academia as law library director and associate professor of law at St. Thomas University Law School in Miami, Florida. He later joined the faculty of the University of San Diego as associate dean for library and information services, professor of law, and director of the legal research center.

A past president of the Houston Area Law Librarians, Mr. Gruben also served in leadership positions for the AALL, including the executive board as member and secretary.

Pages

glqxz9283 sfy39587stf02 mnesdcuix8
sfy39587stf03
sfy39587stp14