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By taking Human Systems Engineering, students get an opportunity to study human learning, memory, decision-making, group behavior, communication, emotion and motivation. Students will become experts in human performance. They apply the methods of experimental psychology and cognitive science to a wide variety of domains such as product usability, sports performance, and workplace and learning technology/education. Students also work directly with Faculty on research project that directly apply knowledge and skills from coursework. Such experiences distinguish honors students from other students and help them gain entrance to graduate programs or garner sought-after jobs. Any Barrett student who is considering majoring or minoring in Human Systems Engineering should contact the lead FHA, Dr. Scotty Craig.
A typical thesis within Human Systems Engineering consists of experimental research that is either lab based or applied or a systematic/meta-analytic review of a body of knowledge. The thesis topic is not limited but it must be relevant to the research area of the thesis advisor (primary reader) and be approved by that reader. The final thesis will normally consist of a written document that presents the research question and rational for the study, a brief literature review and hypotheses, Detailed methods section, Results section, Discussion section, and any needed additional sections. A typical thesis committee consists of HSE faculty members and a potential third reader if needed.
1. Prerequisites to the thesis process
• Completed HSE 230, HSE 290, and HSE 390 with at least a grade of B
• Completed a minimum of six (6) credit hours of upper division HSE content courses (more is recommended) with at least a grade of B
• Completed some empirical research experience (beyond a HSE 290-type research experience). Research in HSE 290 or projects embedded in other HSE course work do not satisfy this requirement. Examples completion possibilities include taking HSE 484, HSE 499 (as Research with an HSE Faculty member), a faculty certified volunteer experience, a paid undergraduate research position, or internship.
• HSE 390 and 430 are highly recommended.
• It is strongly recommended that students find a potential thesis advisor at least three semesters before graduation.
It is recommended that student follow the follow timeline
Fall Freshmen year (First semester) - Take HSE 101
Fall Sophomore year (third semester) - Take HSE 290
Spring Sophomore year (fourth semester) - Get involved in research lab with a faculty member (Look into FURI program)
Fall Junior year - Find Thesis advisor
Spring Junior year (three semesters before graduation) - Start the Thesis process (writing prospectus/propose research to committee)
Fall Senior year (two semesters before graduation) - start data collection
Spring Senior year (last semester before graduation) - Finish data collection, data analysis, and defend Thesis
Honors sections and contracts will potentially be offered within Human Systems Engineering. Honors sections for classes are currently under review and could change from semester to semester. Honors contracts can be created on a case by case bases. Students are encouraged to use all HSE contracts to directly explore some aspect of their thesis that is related to the class. An example of this would be working on a literature review to explore potential thesis topics or working on an initial study design if the topic is selected for HSE 290, Experimental Methods in Human systems Engineering. For HSE 324: Applied Cognitive Science, a contract could be expanding on the thesis’s literature review by conducting a review of the literature (and brief summary) on a relevant cognition topic.