Dr. Ben D. Sawyer, presently a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT’s AgeLab, is fascinated by successes and failures of attention in human-machine systems. His driving distraction evaluation of Google Glass has been covered by media outlets including Forbes, Reuters, Fast Company, and The BBC. The press has also covered his work using virtual reality to investigate Déjà vu.
Dr. Sawyer holds a PhD in Applied Experimental and Human Factors Psychology from the University of Central Florida, where he was advised by Dr. Peter Hancock. His award winning dissertation was titled “Effects of Signal Probability on Multitasking-based Distraction in Driving, Cyberattack & Battlefield Simulation”. Dr. Waldemar Karwowski advised Dr. Sawyer in a concurrent MS in Industrial Engineering, where they explored the neuroergonomic feasibility of electroencephalography (EEG) in an applied motorcycle conspicuity task. Dr. Sawyer’s BS in Psychology at Colorado State University was accompanied by cognitive research leveraging driving simulators and goggle based virtual environments to investigate the underpinnings of distraction, situational awareness, and deja vu. Dr. Sawyer is a past member of the MIT^2 Laboratory in conjunction with The Institute for Simulation and Training. A two-time Repperger Scholar with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), he performed research with the 711th Human Performance Wing in both their Applied Neuroscience and Battlefield Acoustics (BATMAN group) divisions. While president of UCF’s HFES Student Chapter, and assisted in founding UCF’s APA Division 21 chapter. He reviews for Human Factors, among other journals, and is involved in Human Factors consulting, and the entrepreneurial business community.
Dr. Sawyer has been the recipient of multiple awards for work in both Engineering and Psychology, including the triennial K.U. Smith Award for best HF/E journal article, an APA Division 19 Student Research Award, and the Intelligence Community Academic Excellence Scholarship. Cambridge, Massachusetts is Dr. Sawyer’s present home, where addition to his scientific interests, Ben is enjoys reading, sailing, hackathons, and adventure travel. He does not enjoy writing about himself in the third person, and will now stop.
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