(INFT 803-4; Fall 2006)


Instructor: Dr. Leonard Adelman

Office: S&T II, Room #325; Phone # 993-1624

Office Hours: Thursdays, 6:30 - 7:10 (or by appointment)

E-Mail Address:




Wickens, C.D., & Hollands, J.G. Engineering Psychology and Human Performance (3rd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000.


Prequisite:  Permission of Instructor.



The purpose of this course is to help students design better information technology by taking into account the abilities of the human operator. The course will include topics such as judgment, decision making, perception, memory, attention, and workload. Our goal is improved the performance of information technology by taking a "user-centered" design orientation.


There is a mid-term exam and a final exam. Each is worth 30% of your grade. I use the full grading scale, including A- and B+. The exams will be based on questions that I handout in class. The questions will cover material presented in the text and class. The exams are closed-book and closed-notes. I will tell you which questions have the highest probability of being on the exams during the review period. I will not review written answers to questions prior to the exams. So, please use the review period to make sure you know the answers to questions that might be on the exams.  Laptops can not be used to take the exams.


I expect students to read the material for each week’s class before the class so that they can answer questions about it. Since I will use a seminar format, class participation is critical to its successful implementation. Therefore, I will grade class participation after each class session. Please notify me if you are not able to attend class. You are permitted to miss 2 classes, with notification. After that, you will receive an “F” for a missed class session. Class participation is worth 20% of your grade.


Finally, students are required to prepare a 20-minute presentation on material relevant to the class. The material can be in the form of (1) a case study you have done or (2) an experiment you have performed. In both cases, I want to see you generate hypotheses and collect and analyze data to test them. The presentation will be given during the last class session prior to the final exam. The presentation is worth a total of 20% of the grade. You should discuss you presentation topic with me to make sure it is acceptable. It is fine to discuss a project you are performing at work or your dissertation topic as long as your presentation is clearly tailored to cover the course material.



Week   1  (8/31)      Introduction (Ch. 1)


Week   2  (9/7)        Signal Detection, Information Theory, & Absolute Judgment (Ch. 2)


Week   3  (9/14)      Attention (Ch. 3)


Week   4  (9/21)      Spatial Displays (Ch. 4)


Week   5  (9/28)      Navigation (Ch. 5)


Week   6  (10/5)      Language and Communication (Ch. 6) and Review for Midterm Exam


Week   7  (10/12)    Mid-Term Exam


Week   8  (10/19)    Mid-Term Review and Memory, Learning, and Training (Ch. 7)


Week   9  (10/26)    Decision Making  (Ch. 8)


Week  10  (11/2)     Action Selection (Ch. 9)


Week  11  (11/9)     Manual Control (Ch. 10, pp. 386-392) and Attention, & Workload (Ch. 11)


Week  12  (11/16)   No Class (I expect to be at a conference)


Week  13  (11/23)   No Class (Thanksgiving)


Week  14   (11/30)  Stress & Human Error (Ch. 12)   


Week  15  (12/7)     Student Presentations and Review for Final Exam


Week  16  (12/14)   Final Exam  (only on material after the mid‑term)