Travel Information


All students attending the class will be mailed a registration packet that contains much of the information given below. However, in case you need this information immediately, lose it, or otherwise cannot access this information, it is provided on this page.

There are 3 hotels recommended for those attending the Human Factors Engineering Short Course. They are about 2 miles from UMTRI, a bit long for a walk. Two of the hotels have shuttles to the Chrysler Center. Contact the hotels for the current rates and the rooms available. You are urged to register early as there will be a plumbers convention requiring a significant number of rooms at the same time of the short course. To reduce conflicts, the Center for Professional Development has reserved blocks of rooms at each hotel. When you register, mention the College of Engineering or the Center for Professional Development to get access to those blocks.

Hampton Inn North (734-996-4444), Shuttle

The overwhelming majority of students will stay at 1 of these 3 hotels, but there is also a Howthome suites and Red Roof Inn nearby and several other hotels in town. Those who stay elsewhere will spend more time traveling and feel left out of many class activities. For those who do live in Southeastern Michigan, but not in the Ann Arbor area, we strongly urge you not to commute. Because of the travel time, you will find yourself missing many of the evening activities, or pulled away to address job-related activities. As a consequence, your short course experience will be incomplete.

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To get to Ann Arbor by COMMERCIAL AIRLINE, use Detroit Metropolitan airport (DTW), the main airport for Detroit. It is located midway between Ann Arbor and Detroit. Delta handles about 70% of the Detroit flights. If you are traveling with Delta, allow for extra time to check in and make it to your gate when departing from Detroit.

In selecting flights, realize the first week includes a half day on Saturday. Allowing for travel time, we would not recommend a flight departing any earlier than 4:00 PM. For week 2, flights on Friday should be no earlier than 4:30 PM.

To get to Ann Arbor from the airport by car, take the I-94 west (towards Chicago) to US-23 north (towards Flint) and get off at Plymouth Road, Exit 41 (heading west or to the left). Most of the hotels are by the exit. The drive takes about 40 minutes.

There are also shuttles (vans) from the airport to the hotels in Ann Arbor as well as taxis and a Metro Car service (luxury sedans). For information about transportation from DTW, check out the DTW web site:

The following map is provided to show the described route from the airport to Ann Arbor.

Travel Map

The second map (shown below) provides additional details and directions from the hotels to the Center for Professional Development (the Chrysler Center). If you should get lost, tell people you are looking for the Chrysler Center on North Campus, which is located between the Duderstat Center (Library) and Pierpont Commons. For note, there is a second building on campus called the Crisler Arena which is better known since it is the the venue for basketball. The Crisler Arena in on the athletic campus, and is several miles from the Chrysler Center. If you simply ask someone for directions to the Chrysler Center, they may think you mean the Crisler Arena, so be sure to mention that the Chrysler Center is next to the Duderstat Center. Most people will know where the "Dude" is. Once you find the Duderstat Center, you will find it is connected to the Commons (a collection of shops, offices, and a cafeteria) by a walkway. The entrance to the Chrysler Center is off of this walkway.

Travel Map

There are about 35,000 students enrolled at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and it is about 6 miles from the far end of North Campus to the Stadium. The campus is also host to a significant level of research activity. The University of Michigan brings in more research revenue than any other public university in the U.S. To travel between and within campuses there are free University Buses. Other locations in Ann Arbor can usually be reached using the AATA buses which cost $1.00 per ride. A new addition to Ann Arbor is the availability of Zipcars. Click the link to find out more about how to rent these cars by the hour or day. These cars are a good option for day trips to local attractions such as downtown Detroit, The Henry Ford, or if you just want to explore Ann Arbor. There are currently 2 ZipCars located on NorthCampus, and an additional 4 across town so access to one is easy!

To avoid getting lost, some knowledge of the campus may be helpful. The main location of the University of Michigan consists of 4 adjoining campuses in Ann Arbor, (1) the North Campus (where the short course is taught and engineering, music, art, and architecture are located), (2) the Main Campus (where the major academic part of the University is located), (3) the Hospital Campus, and (4) the Athletic Campus (where the football stadium and other venues are located). Campus and area maps can be found on the University of Michigan's News and Information Services web site.

Generally speaking, you do not need a car when here, but about just under half of those attending WILL HAVE one, because of a desire for additional mobility. Although the city of Ann Arbor has a decent public transportation system, aside from ZipCars, no systems exist outside the city or to destinations in Detroit or the surrounding area. As noted previously, there are shuttles both from the airport to the hotels, and from some of the hotels to the classroom building (Chrysler Center).

For those who will have a car, you cannot park at the classroom building but can park at the commuter lot about 1/2 mile from there. A parking permit for the commuter lot will be in your registration packet. To park closer, the Red Visitor Lots near the building will cost about $5 each day assuming that you can find a free space. Parking around town is also scarce and most lots costs upwards of 80 cents per hour. Generally, U of M lots on North Campus are free of restrictions (unless otherwise posted) after 5 PM and all day on weekends. U of M lots on Central Campus and Ann Arbor parking meters are generally free after 6 PM, Monday through Saturday, and all day Sunday. If you park illegally, expect a ticket every few hours.

Since you will be traveling to and from the same places (same classes, same hotels) as others in the class, after a few days, you will know others quite well. Therefore, arranging transportation for other discretionary activities is easy.

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What to Bring

The Human Factors Engineering Short Course in intended to be very intensive. We start promptly at 8:30 AM, including Saturday of the first week. Most days there is a dinner break and activities that run into the evening, sometimes as late as 10 PM. You will find it extremely difficult to complete any other work during the week or 2 weeks you are here, so do not bring any. In fact, some students have said a vacation after the course would be nice.

We believe strongly in networking with your colleagues and create many situations to encourage interaction. We also believe that learning should be fun. We believe that students have a great deal to contribute and learn from each other. One source of interactions is through sports and other recreational activities. The University has excellent athletic facilities, including a gym 2 blocks from the classroom. Bring your running shoes, tennis rackets, racquetball paddles, golf clubs, swimming trunks, or other sporting attire or equipment you might like.

The north campus gym has basketball/volleyball courts, a 1/10 mile indoor track, courts for racquetball/handball/squash, a pool, and a weight room with various exercise machines. There are also several other large gyms on the main campus with more extensive facilities. Given the number of students in the class, there are certain to be a few people that share your recreational interests. We do our best to accommodate the broad range of interests and activity levels. Because much time is spent in class, some level of outside physical activity is welcome.

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Weather and Attire

The dress for class is business casual, which at the end of 2 weeks can shift to more casual. The weather is typically sunny and humid with highs in the 80s and 90s (Fahrenheit). In the 2 weeks, about 1 day of rain is typical, though there have been years of 3 or 4 days. Just in case, a portable umbrella is recommended. Lake effects result in rapidly changing weather patterns.

Classes are held inside an air-conditioned classroom, but with many people in class, it is difficult to find a temperature that is ideal for everyone. For that reason, we suggest you bring a sweater. If you forget, you can go next door to the bookstore and buy a Michigan sweatshirt. We do not get a cut from the bookstore on sales.

Because Ann Arbor is a college town, the attire when people go out is casual. There are no dress codes for local restaurants other than requiring a shirt and shoes.

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Spouses and Families

The number of students who are accompanied by a spouse or their family is usually small. Because the course is so intense, spending time with them during the week is difficult. The best solution is to generally spend time with them over the weekend. Michigan is a beautiful state, and because of the Great Lakes, much of it is quite green, even in August. Families and spouses often visit University museums, go to local parks, canoe on the Huron River, go to Greenfield Village, visit the Henry Ford Museum (in Dearborn), and now that there is a new ballpark, watch a Detroit Tigers game.

For information about Ann Arbor, the following link has been provided to the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau:

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Advance Preparation

No advance preparation is required. However, the most commonly used textbook is Sanders, M.S. and McCormick, E.J. (1993). Human Factors in Engineering and Design (7th ed.), New York: McGraw-Hill. That reference is best connected with the first week. For the second week, no single text covers all of the topics, but Neilsen, J. (1993). Usability Engineering, Boston: AP Professional, provides a good start.

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Posted by Grason on May 8, 2017