Hernandez’s ISE Research Projects Continue to Aid Cybersecurity, Medical Fields

Posted: October 12, 2021
Olivia Hernandez

While Dr. Olivia Hernandez, PhD, ISE ’21; master’s, ISE ’09, was earning her doctorate in Human Factors and Operations Research from The Ohio State University, she was simultaneously developing two innovative projects that have led to additional cybersecurity applications and training technology that can be used in medical school and combat medic training.

“Optimal Offline Experimentation for Games” involves planning and executing experiments including more than one decision-maker. Advice is provided for participants in upcoming games as well as insights for game or system designers. Dr. Hernandez says, “The method also assists decision-makers in designing policies. Our theoretical method combines design of experiments, game theory, simulation and regression.”

She says the project “employed game-based active learning where participants are able to determine the best action to take when faced with an opponent.”

Her second project, “Simulation-Based Active Learning Using Augmented Reality,” looks at “the application of augmented reality (AR) and how it can support medical students’ learning without the life-and-death consequences of the real world for various patient conditions, including a gunshot wound, a superheated airway and tension pneumothorax.”

She says the simulation activities offer “realistic training without putting real patients in harm’s way, reduced risk of illness transmission among students/staff, reduced need for expensive manikins and logistic coordination, while providing the ability to choose ailment and severity level.”

By training with remote AR, video clips are used to offer a provider’s perspective. The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command funded the project, which was coordinated with industry partner Unveil, LLC.

Both projects align with Dr. Hernandez’s dissertation, “Designing Simulation-Based Active Learning Activities Using Augmented Reality and Sets of Offline Games.”

“A central theme of these projects was the enhancement of training techniques for different complex settings utilizing simulation to advance learning in low-cost, low-consequence environments,” Dr. Hernandez says.

Since earning her PhD, she now works as a post-doctoral researcher in the College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel University where she is focusing on the development of an operational concept for home caregivers in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.

“All of her doctoral research and her current residency relate to novel methods to educate people,” says ISE Associate Professor Dr. Ted Allen, who served as her advisor for her PhD. “Playing games can lead you to rewards for different strategies.”

He says AR offers additional insights and low-cost training methods that lead to better performance in the field and provides “a similar response to a human rather than a textbook.”

Dr. Hernandez credits the ISE Department with exposing her to quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques, offering her the ability to join national associations that provided networking and leadership opportunities, as well as the opportunity to build a “hybrid” PhD degree in both Operational Research and Human Factors.

“I received funding so that I could focus on my studies and make progress toward completing my degree,” Dr. Hernandez says. “I am grateful for the support and encouragement, mentoring, community, and the personal and professional relationships I have formed at Ohio State. Go Bucks!”

Story by Nancy Richison

Category: Alumni