I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Ayanna Howard, for her invaluable support and patience during my years as member of the Human-Automation Systems Lab and to my lab- and class-mates who made my experience at Georgia Tech the source of many memories that I will cherish for many years to come. I would also like to thank my doctoral committee for the recommendations and discussions aimed at improving this manuscript. I would also like to thank Mr. Vincent Pickett, to all the team of the International Fulbright Science and Technology Program at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State and to the corresponding members of the Institute of International Education; among these I thank very especially Ms. Anna Rendon and Ms. Sarah Boeving. I want to thank the Cultural Office of the United States Embassy in Caracas, in particular I would like to highlight the support and trust offered to me by Ms. Sally Hodgson, Mr. Angel Garcia, Ms. Elena Broszkowski and Ms. Tatiana Escobar since before my application to the prestigious Fulbright scholarship that allowed me to conduct my doctorate at Georgia Tech. I want to thank my entire family, which increased greatly in size during these years. In particular, I want to thank my parents, whose support made the difference in various challenging moments these four years. I would also like to thank Dr. Russell Kerschmann for his support, mentorship and friendship since his visit to Caracas in 2007. Finally, but very importantly, I want to thank my wife Tracie, who over these years also became my editor, reviewing multiple manuscripts for conferences, journals, and for deliverables of the academic program. All of them had a very special role to play during my studies at Georgia Tech, and I am sure they will continue to do so in the years ahead.
Gregorio E. Drayer Andrade
October 24, 2013