News

  • Sophie Mallaro highlighted in UI Dare to Discover Program

    January 31, 2018

    Undergraduate lab member Sophie Mallaro is being highlighted by the UI Office of Research and Economic Development's Dare to Discover program: https://dare.research.uiowa.edu/mallaro-sophia/. Her picture will be on a banner in downtown Iowa City. Great work, Sophie!

  • Elizabeth O'Neal Selected to Receive SAFER-SIM Student of the Year Award

    December 1, 2017

    The Hank Virtual Environments Lab is pleased to announce that graduate student Elizabeth O'Neal has been selected to receive the Safety Research Using Simulation (SAFER-SIM) Student of the Year Award.

    SAFER-SIM is comprised of a multidisciplinary, synergistic team of researchers in human factors, engineering, computer science, and psychology who will use innovative simulation approaches ranging from microsimulation to human-in-the-loop simulation to promote safety. SAFER-SIM sponsors research, outreach activities in STEM areas, and aid workforce development efforts in transportation safety.

    Elizabeth will be honored at the Council of University Transportation Centers reception in Washington, D.C., along with the recipients from the other University Transportation Centers.  Elizabeth's dissertation is supervised by Professor Jodie Plumert

  • Elizabeth O'Neal Talks With Iowa Public Radio About Child Injury

    October 23, 2015

    A new paper from the University of Iowa has found that parents tend to talk to sons and daughters differently after an injury.

    Research shows boys are more prone to injury than girls. Elizabeth O'Neal, a Ph.D. candidate at UI's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, says a contributing factor could be the way children are socialized after an injury.

    Read the article and listen to the clip.

  • Beyond looking both ways

    National Science Foundation features research conducted by Hank Virtual Environments Lab

    June 29, 2015 - 7:30am

    SBE-funded researchers in the Hank Virtual Environments Lab ask a fundamental safety question: What are kids thinking when crossing the street?

    Crossing the street is one of the first experiences in a child's life where the concept of taking steps to be safe--looking both ways, listening for danger--comes into play. The researchers in Iowa are looking to learn more about that decision-making process with ultimate goals that include giving parents information that could help them when they're discussing safety with young children. The risks children face on the road are real: 531,340 people were treated in emergency rooms in 2013 after being injured on a bicycle, according to the National Safety Council, an advocacy group aimed at reducing injuries that celebrates June as National Safety Month.

    Most of the data the Hank Virtual Environments Lab team has collected focus on children crossing the street on bicycles. Researchers record when kids believe it's safe to cross the street--the point at which they think they see a big enough gap in traffic--and how well that matches up to adults' responses. Children in the 10- to 12-year-old range often are actually close to college students and older adults in terms of the gaps they deem safe to cross, Dr. Jodie Plumert said. The problem is how well they are able to act on those judgements.

    "Their timing of movement is not as good as adults," Plumert said. "They delay when they start crossing, and as a result they actually have less time to spare before the next car comes."

    Find out more about the research by reading the full article on the NSF website:  Beyond looking both ways.