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SEMINAR: Quantifying the Qualitative: Defining and Evaluating Measures of Human Performance and Human-Machine Fluency

February 26 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

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In many domains, human motor performance is assessed visually by subject matter experts. However, there are scenarios where direct visual observation is not possible. In my research we enhance the ability to make decisions when the person is not observable (e.g., an astronaut in a spacesuit), the subject matter expert is not present (e.g., telehealth), the action is fast (e.g., military readiness), or there is a responsive system (e.g., exoskeletons) by enabling wearable sensors to quantify these qualitative assessments. These quantified measures are key for augmenting human performance, mitigating injury risk, and providing relevant feedback to subject matter experts. This talk will overview some of the ongoing projects and studies in my lab, whose research lies at the intersection of biomechanics, human factors, and wearable technology.


Dr. Leia StirlingDr. Leia Stirling is the Charles Stark Draper Assistant Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Associate Faculty of the Institute for Medical Engineering & Science, Co-Director of the Human Systems Lab, and Member of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology Faculty. Her research quantifies human performance and human-machine fluency in operational settings through advancements in the use of wearable sensors. She applies these measures to assess human performance augmentation, to advance exoskeleton control algorithms, to mitigate injury risk, and to provide relevant feedback to subject matter experts across many domains, including clinical, space, and military applications. Currently, Stirling is a member of the ASTM F48 Committee on Exoskeletons and Exosuits, developing standards and guidelines for evaluating these systems with a human factors perspective. Stirling is a 2015 recipient of the NSF CAREER award and 2019-2020 AAAS Leshner Fellow. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2008-2009, she was a postdoctoral researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. From 2009-2012, she was on the Advanced Technology Team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. In 2013, she joined the faculty at MIT.


February 26
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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EB3 3122