Blog Post 1: Hello World!

         Hello! Welcome to my ENP 162 Portfolio. ENP 162 is a Tufts University course named “Human-Machine System Design.”

         My name is Blake Williams, and I am a master’s student studying human factors engineering. I’m from Florida, but I have lived in a host of places in the past: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Madrid. In my free time, I like to stay active through a host of activities: soccer, tennis, running, gymnastics, CrossFit, and I’ve been part of two dance groups while I’ve been at Tufts.

Tufts University

         I graduated from Tufts University this past year with a degree in Economics and certificate in nutrition and food policy. During the end of my undergraduate years, I was exposed to the field of human factors and was fascinated by finding user-centered solutions to a wide range of problems. In the future, I would like to combine my interests for analyzing business processes with creating the best possible user-experience.

         This website will show my projects and blog posts from ENP 162. I hope that this website will serve as a public way to present my work throughout my time in ENP 162. In addition, I previously used this blog to post about the wide range of careers in human factors. I have kept these blog posts visible on the website so that others can still learn about the endless amount of possibilities in the field of human factors.

The Da Vinci is a robotic surgery assistant that allows for minimally invasive surgery.

         In the course, we learn frameworks and methods to analyze human-machine system designs. Because there are so many different human-machine systems (look around, how many can you count right in front of you?), we get to explore many different types of systems in the course. Whether it be IoT, automated services, or medical device systems, the class will give me a deeper understanding of the mechanics behind the machines I interact with daily.

Computers are an example of a human-machine system.

         I think the class is an exciting opportunity to learn more about how I can better design complex systems; for example, a central question to human-machine systems is whether something should be automated and the factors that we must take into consideration. For example, if a specific feature is automated, will it result in more or less human errors? What is the effect on the older population’s mental health due to decreased social contact? Even if a task has the capacity to be automated, it does not necessarily mean that the task should be automated. By looking at systems through different lenses (e.g. physical, ethical, and cognitive), we are able to better design human-machine systems.  

The future of automation in the manufacturing industry. Click here for more information/source.

         Whether we like it or not, automation and the complexity of human-machine systems will continue to grow increasingly fast in the future, which is why it is so imperative that the field of human factors be studied.


  1. Great website Blake! You made this look very well polished and professional, and I liked the progression of your post. It felt very natural the way you flowed from personal information and “Brand” to goals and the topic at hand. Good use of graphics and images to support your narrative and points.

  2. Hi Blake,

    I got my undergrad in Economics as well! Like you mentioned, I keep coming back to the ethics behind the automation of the job market – my other blog review for Wenyi posed similar questions about how it will affect the job economy and what is ethical to automate or not. For example, I work for the Army and new technology is rapid target acquisition via night vision goggles. But they couldn’t possibly automate the pull of a trigger for ethical reasons. Anything can be automated but SHOULD it be automated is a question I never really anticipated to face in this course. Where is the line for ethics? What are we comfortable with a machine doing? Nice page!

  3. Me encantan estos blogs llenos de sabiduria y genios.Ojala todo el mundo trabajara con esta mentalidad tan agraciada y sobre todo para ayudar a la humanidad en general.Gracias y adelante con esos conocimientos infinitos en la materia.

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  15. Oi . Sou americano mas vivo no Brasil há alguns anos e conheci do seu blog por causa de um amigo que
    mora fora 🙂 . adorei seus posts e sempre que possível irei
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