How can we model human task performance? How do our brains combine visual and auditory information? What is the ideal interface for a tired air traffic controller?
Please note: as of September 2021, the name of this programme has changed to Computational Cognitive Science.
The Master's degree programme in Human-Machine Communication (HMC) focuses on Cognitive Science and its applications. HMC provides you with insights into human cognition and teaches you to use this knowledge in applied settings, such as tutoring systems, speech technology and human-computer interaction. For example, by leveraging knowledge of human cognition, you can improve the communication between humans and complex computer systems, use language and speech technology, or develop simulation models of users.
Two questions form the basis for this programme:
To answer these questions, you have to know how humans perform specific tasks and how this performance limits and affects task performance. How do humans acquire new skills and how do they learn to adapt to a new task? In addition, it is important to think about how humans communicate and apply this to human-machine communication. While language is the most natural way of human communication, this might not always be the best to communicate with a machine.
My job is as multifaceted as the programme is
'I got a job at the UMCG after writing a thesis on anaesthesia monitors. Anaesthesiologists view graphs on monitors during surgery. We wanted to develop a monitor that translates graphs into statistical patterns. It proved that anaesthesiologists cannot recognize these patterns. Maybe a computer can? Could a model predict what's going to happen next? This is the focus of my research.
I also analyse data for the anaesthesia department. There is too much data for the physicians to process. You need to find the right balance of drugs for each patient, which is why it is important that physicians can make good use of the available data. My job is as multifaceted and practical as the programme was. I get to do research and I’m also involved in various projects!’
It is good to see that as a student I can already play a role in research and business
The Master Human-Machine Communication appealed to me because of its combined practical and fundamental programme. By studying the human mind and formalizing theories in computer models, you can test theories on a lot of aspects relatively easy.
At the moment I work on a project to create a computer game in which players learn social skills. My role is to develop a digital teacher who can assess your level of skill for different training objectives and uses this to dynamically personalize the training. Besides the interesting topic of digital learning, the project is also very interesting as it is done together with a lot of companies. Knowing both some psychology and technology, helps me to play a bridging role between the different partners.