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Lawrence Ambs
Erin Baker
Stephen de Bruyn Kops
Yossi Chait
Kourosh Danai
Abhijit Deshmukh
James A. Donovan
Donald Fisher
Robert Gao
Joseph Goldstein
Ian R. Grosse
Robert W. Hyers
Karl Jakus
Byung H. Kim
Sundar Krishnamurty
Stephen Malkin
Jon G. McGowan
Ana Muriel
Shantikumar Nair
Corrado Poli
Blair Perot
James R. Rinderle
Jonathan Rothstein
David P. Schmidt
J. MacGregor Smith
Janis Terpenny

Picture of D. Fisher
Donald Fisher



  • A.B., Philosophy, Bowdoin College, 1971
  • Ed.M., Education, Harvard University, 1973
  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Michigan, 1982

Research Interests:

Design and Manufacturing: rapid prototyping of consumer products, workstation and workplace design, occupational biomechanics, human-computer interface design (especially with the older adult in mind), training Dynamics and Control: driving simulation, transportation ergonomics, testing of intelligent transportation systems technologies Production Systems: computer and quantitative models of the person-machine systems; optimal shift work scheduling; optimal rate-rest scheduling Quality Engineering: visual inspection, medical decision making

Current Focus of Research:

Professor Fisher is the director of the Human Performance Laboratory, a newly remodelled, 1000 square foot space easily accessible to older and younger adults. Sixteen students, 9 at the doctoral and 7 at the master's degree level, form the nucleus of the research team. Projects in the laboratory are ongoing in at least three different areas. Project MIDAS: The goal of Project MIDAS (Massachusetts Interactive Driving and Acoustic Simulator) is to test the safety and useability of many of the new technologies that will form the backbone of Intelligent Transportation Systems. The central element of this project, a new, half- million dollar driving simulator, is an actual car (Saturn) in which experimental participants sit, activating the controls (brake, accelerator, steering wheel, lights, etc.) just as they would normally. The research now being undertaken is focused on collision warning systems, electronic variable message signing (for advanced parking management systems), wrong way entries, and accidents at signalized left turn intersections. Project PROTO: The goal of Project PROTO is to develop the tools for rapidly prototyping the visual and auditory interface between users and new and evolving products such as audio remote controls, cellular phones, voice mail, ATMs and so on. Advanced eye tracking equipment can pinpoint at each moment in time where an individual is looking on a display. Project CARE: The goal of Project CARE (Cognitive Aging Research and Engineering), a campus wide effort, is to undertake the basic research needed to improve the physical and mental well-being of older adults. In our laboratory, studies of decision making, memory, learning and the visual system are currently underway. For example, in one project training techniques are being employed which promise to reduce greatly the time that it takes older adults to learn new material, to the point where the differences between older and younger adults may entirely disappear.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Labs:

Research Sponsors:

  • AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Liberty Mutual Research Center
  • Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project
  • Bose Corporation
  • Centers for Disease Control
  • Digital Equipment Corporation
  • General Electric Fund
  • Governor's Highway Safety Bureau
  • Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health
  • Link Foundation
  • Massachusetts Highway Department
  • Massachusetts Port Authority
  • Michigan Department of Mental Health
  • Millitech
  • Motorola
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • National Science Foundation
    • Research on Learning and Education
    • Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence
    • Human Resource Development
    • Bioengineering and Environmental Systems
    • Information Science and Technologies
  • National Institute of Aging
  • New England University Transportation Center
  • Precision Systems, Inc.
  • U.S. Army Human Engineering Laboratory
  • U.S. Army Research Institute for the Social and Behavioral Sciences


Contact Information:

210B Marston Hall
Donald Fisher
MIE Department
220 ELAB
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003-2210
(413) 545-1657
(413) 545-0724

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