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Simon Buckingham Shum <[log in to unmask]>
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Simon Buckingham Shum <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 7 Jul 2008 21:38:58 +0100
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The Open University (UK) and NASA Ames Research Center (USA)

PhD Project: Human-Agent Collaboration for Distributed Sensemaking and

This exciting PhD project is a collaboration between the Hypermedia
Discourse research programme at the Knowledge Media Institute, Open
University UK, and the Brahms agent-based Work Systems Simulation activity
in Human-Centered Computing at NASA Ames Research Center. The successful
candidate will join a team with an international reputation and established
collaboration track record, based at the Knowledge Media Institute,
receiving world class doctoral training, and working closely with NASA using
e-PhD collaboration tools, including funding for NASA placements.

The project leaders and supervision team are Simon Buckingham Shum (KMi),
Paul Mulholland (KMi) and Maarten Sierhuis (NASA).

The Challenge

In many fields, cross-disciplinary teams must collectively making sense of
complex, changing, potentially ambiguous information, often under time
pressure (e.g. in scenario analysis, collaborative learning, space
exploration, science teams, emergency response, strategic planning,
intelligence analysis). As we tackle problems of an unprecedented scale and
complexity, new tools are needed to bring stakeholders together for
effective dialogue, analysis and coordinated action.

What will scientific publishing, collaborative modelling, or internet
argumentation look like when ideas might be agents, arguments can be
monitored, and agents can provide active support to analysts working over
time and space? What are the human and computing challenges, how would you
investigate them, and how would you validate your work?

You are...

...passionate about developing tools for mapping human knowledge, and
inventing and understanding new kinds of user experience with software
agents. You will have a keen interest in human-centred computing, bringing
Java and/or Web programming skills, and a relevant background in one or more
of: multi-agent systems, conceptual modelling, argumentation, knowledge
engineering, collaboration tools, user interface design, usability
evaluation. You will be a team player, capable of working collaboratively at
a distance and across timezones, able to initiate new ideas, and work to
agreed objectives.

To apply...

We invite candidates to read the linked resources, and write a research
proposal following the guidelines.

Full details of how to apply for this position are at:

Studentship for 3 years: 12,978 (2008/09) with annual increments, plus
laptop, travel to present papers, and NASA placements.

We are aiming to fill this position as soon as possible. Please let us know
if you intend to apply with an informal email outlining your background and

Application deadline for next review: 1700 GMT Monday 18th August 2008

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