Systems Approach to Modeling and Studying Human Learning

Oct 28

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm


Dr. Jesse B. Hoagg, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky

Humans learn to interact with many complex dynamic systems. For example, humans learn to ride bicycles, operate cranes, and fly helicopters. Our research seeks to address questions of human learning and control: How do humans learn to control unknown dynamic systems? What control strategies do humans learn? What characteristics make a system difficult for a human to learn to control? How can we enhance the learning process?

This seminar will present results from experiments in which human subjects learn to control unknown dynamic systems. We use control-system techniques (e.g., subsystem identification) to identify the control strategies that humans learn. These identification results provide new insights into how humans learn to interact with dynamic systems, and what characteristics make systems difficult for humans to control. The study of human-learning science has application to human-in-the-loop technologies such as robotic-assisted surgery, active prostheses, robotic-therapy devices for motor rehabilitation, and active exoskeletons.

This seminar will also provide a brief overview of our other research efforts including, flocking control for UAVs, orientation control of microrobots, and control of highly uncertain systems.


Jesse Hoagg is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. His current research focuses on: studying and enhancing human learning; cooperative control of UAVs for studying atmospheric physics; orientation control of microrobots; and control of highly uncertain systems. Dr. Hoagg’s previous research includes adaptive, robust, and decentralized control, and system identification with applications to aerospace technology and flow control.

Prior to joining the University of Kentucky, Dr. Hoagg was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan from 2009 to 2010. He worked for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company from 2006 to 2009. Dr. Hoagg received the Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan in 2006. He also received an M.S. in mathematics and an M.S.E. in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan, and a B.S.E. in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University.