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    Graduate study in hand biomechanics and motor control

    at The Pennsylvania State University

    The Biomechanics Laboratory at Penn State University is seeking a highly
    motivated Ph.D. student interested in hand and finger biomechanics and motor
    control of hand function. The research is conducted together with the Motor
    Control lab and is performed under the guidance of Prof. V. M. Zatsiorsky
    (biomechanics) and Prof. M.L. Latash (motor control). The applications are
    for the Fall semester of 2009.


    The current research program is aimed at understanding of the hand
    biomechanics and finger coordination/control in prehension tasks involving
    several digits, force sharing among fingers as a model of the redundancy
    problem, biomechanics and control of manipulation in elderly and in patients
    with central and peripheral motor disorders, e.g. in carpal tunnel syndrome
    patients. A continuing focus for many of the research projects will be
    analyzing the biomechanical aspects of motor control problems especially
    during manipulation of the hand-held objects. This direction of research
    combines biomechanics, motor control, robotics and clinical disciplines. The
    Laboratory has unique equipment to perform this research.

    The Laboratory is highly productive with a total number of publications a
    year exceeding 15 papers in peer reviewed journals. The research projects
    have been funded mostly by the grants from the National Institutes of


    This unique and rigorous program includes advanced coursework in
    biomechanics and neighboring fields of science, weekly colloquia and
    seminars, apprenticeship in the biomechanics laboratory and instructional
    mentoring. Students develop a coherent area of expertise by designing an
    academic program that includes introductory and advanced graduate courses in
    classes such as Experimental Methods in Biomechanics and Motor Control,
    Advanced Biomechanics of Human Movement, Modeling in Biomechanics, Sports
    Biomechanics, Locomotion Studies, Musculoskeletal Mechanics, Motor Control,
    Motor Learning, Neurophysiological Basis of Movement, Psychophysiology of
    Movement, Movement Disorders, Skeletal Physiology, Advanced Exercise
    Physiology, Engineering of Human Work, and others. In addition to the
    courses offered by the Department of Kinesiology, students take classes in
    other areas, such as Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and
    Psychology. Additional advanced courses, including research seminars, are
    also offered.


    Applications for admission and financial aid should be received by

    the Graduate School Admissions Office no later than December 20, 2008. The
    available assistantships are $15,705.00 for a ten-month period and include a
    tuition remission. In addition, students who do their research during summer
    periods are financially supported during this period of time.

    For admission of a student into the Program, the main considerations are:
    (a) the course background of the student (science courses, including
    Physics, Mechanics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Anatomy, Physiology,
    etc.); (b) the student's mathematics ("quantitative") GRE score, which
    should be at least in the high 600's, and preferably in the 700's (the
    verbal and analytical GRE scores are less important, although the University
    requires combined scores in two of the three measures (verbal plus
    quantitative) above 1000; and (c) the student's record of interest and

    academic performance in the biomechanics of human movement.

    Some background in the biological sciences is desirable for this curriculum;
    a good aptitude for math/mechanics is crucial. Experience with LabView and
    MatLab, as well as experience in biomechanical and neurophysiological
    measurements (e.g motion analysis, EMG) and background in the control of
    human motion would be advantageous. Outstanding students from the biological
    and engineering sciences are encouraged to apply.

    Fluent English is required. All applicants whose primary language is not
    English and who graduated from a university where the language of
    instruction and examination was not English must demonstrate facility in the
    English language.

    For more information about the program, please visit our lab homepage at the
    address "".

    Candidates should send a letter of interest to: Prof. Vladimir M.
    Zatsiorsky, Biomechanics Laboratory, 39 Recreation Hall, University Park, PA
    16802, Phone: (814) 865-3446, Fax: (814) 865-2440, E-mail (preferred):

    If you are seriously considering Graduate Work at Penn State, please request
    Department and University information from:

    Dori Sunday
    Dept of Kinesiology
    The Pennsylvania State University
    275 Recreation Bldg
    University Park, PA 16802
    phone: 814-863-0847