SPEAKER 1: This is a production of Cornell University.
ALAN HEDGE: Human factors and ergonomics deals with the design of products that we use every day. It deals with the design of information, behavioral information on how people use products, cognitive information on how people understand products, safety information on how to create products that are not going to cause injuries. And I'm flexing muscles to bring the arm forward. It takes a systems view of how people do work in a physical, social, organizational context.
And we're actually unique because we're one of the few undergraduate programs anywhere in the world that actually deals with this discipline.
SPEAKER 2: --the third one.
SPEAKER 3: [INAUDIBLE]
SPEAKER 2: Oh, that was the link.
ALAN HEDGE: The idea behind this course is to be very different, it's to let students actually use some of the methods that ergonomists use in the real world, and do that in the context of some real-world projects.
SPEAKER 4: Seven and eight.
SAMANTHA BERG: The research that we're doing is testing four different computer mice and determining which is the most ergonomic-- the most comfortable, easiest to use. It's actually really cool. The one that group had, there's only five of them in the world right now. So that was a pretty cool thing. They felt very VIP.
SCOTT BRENNER: Doing research is a huge part of my education. Instead of sitting, listening to a professor lecture, I'm actually doing research on these mice and seeing which one is the best. And we could read about this in textbooks, but when when you're actually doing the research, there's something different to it.
I'd rather see it first-hand. I mean, who knows? Maybe in a few years, we'll see some of our own ideas being put to practice.
SAMANTHA BERG: Human-computer interaction, mice and keyboards-- they're all things that people use every day now, and that need to really start to be designed better. This class is definitely preparing me because part of every design is the research that goes into it, and deciding what's a good design and why. So it's helping me to understand all the research and thinking that has to go into the design process. I [? heard ?] that.
ALAN HEDGE: This is the [INAUDIBLE]. The best part about teaching is really seeing how students learn information and get to then apply that. They become real problem-solvers. Students here at Cornell are just exceptional individuals. They're extremely talented.
And what this course does, it allows them to actually own a project area in dealing with some real-world clients, and they can really go to town on that. They determine what the end product's going to be. So all I'm doing is I'm giving them a framework, I'm giving them skeleton, and they're actually designing the bodies. They're creating forms that are completely unique and creative. And that, to me, is really rewarding, because those students are going to go on and contribute a great deal to society.
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Professor Alan Hedge and students Scott Brenner and Samantha Berg discuss the benefits of research in the classroom and career applications for the field of ergonomics.
In the College of Human Ecology, more than one third of undergraduates conduct research, either independently under the guidance of faculty mentors, or directly on faculty research teams. And the number of students conducting research continues to grow, because Human Ecology is committed to the integration of research methods, principles and outcomes into the delivery of its academic mission.