Originally Posted by Ollie123
I'd look into I/O programs first, that seems to be (by far) where most of the human factors research I've seen is occurring. I know you asked for the "best" programs but you're likely to have to come to terms with the fact that clear rankings don't really exist at that level of specificity. You just need to find good mentors.
That said, I'll second the recommendation of the group at UC. Attended a week-long workshop with them over the summer - awesome research and they seemed like really great people.
Was this the nonlinear dynamics training? I am going to that this summer. Shockley is my old prof, great guy. They have recruited a lot of awesome new faculty too, and have some large NSF grants for their work.
To answer what is human factors... well here is the Cognition, Action and Perception website from UC, check out each of these faculties work
and the experimental program
I actually hope to work with some of these guys in the future.