Cornell University Ergonomics Web


DEA 6520: HUMAN FACTORS - Ambient Environment

Instructor: Alan Hedge, 2415 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Phone: 255-1957
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-11:00 am or by appointment

T.A.: Gourab Kar, 4110 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall,
Phone: 832-732-3411
Office Hours: By appointment in DEA  grad office 4110 MVR

Credit: 4 units
Time + Room:  DEA 3500 syllabus and course notes  - Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:40am - 9:55am MVR G73

Graduate Section: Monday 3-4pm: Room: Mallot 205

Required Texts:

Course readings for DEA6520 - each week these should be brought to class for critical discussion.

Course Description:

Students take the DEA 3500 lectures, and complete the DEA 3500 Homeworks and exams plus an additional graduate hour and a semester project. This course extends the breadth and depth of coverage of DEA 3500. Coverage includes review and discussion of published journal articles on human factors aspects of thermal conditions, ventilation and air quality issues, lighting, and acoustics.

Course Objectives:

This course aims to develop the student's ability to critically appraise knowledge of human factors aspects of indoor ambient environmental conditions. Upon completion of this course the student should:

  1. Understand key concepts and be familiar with key papers in each of the major topic areas covered i.e. indoor climate (thermal conditions, ventilation and air quality), indoor lighting, and indoor acoustics.
  2. Understand the benefits and limitations of  environmental measurement techniques and research methods.
  3. Understand the conceptual rationale for undertaking a human factors/ergonomics analysis of indoor ambient conditions.

Course Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course:

  1. Students will be able to critically analyze research papers on the effects of ambient conditions on human comfort, health and performance and critically appraise environmental measurement techniques and research methodology, and prepare a literature review on a relevant topic.
  2. Students will be able to define key concepts in each of the major topic areas covered i.e. indoor climate (thermal conditions, ventilation and air quality), indoor lighting, and indoor acoustics.
  3. Students will be familiar with measuring indoor environmental conditions and with some relevant software and be able to conduct a human factors analysis of an indoor environment.

Course Format:

The course meets for DEA 3500 classes and then once each week for an additional hour. This time will be used for a combination of discussions and review work.Two readings are assigned prior to each class for discussion. Assessment of course performance will be based on class participation in the discussions and a semester project.

Semester Project:

Unless otherwise instructed, for this project students will prepare a literature review (max. 5000 words) on the human factors and ergonomics research pertaining to an indoor environment issue. 

DEA 6520 Semester Project Guidelines and submission deadline - Tuesday December 5 before 5pm

Grading Scheme:

The following grading scheme will be used. Your performance will be assessed relative to the course objectives and to your peers.

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