Making the Future: putting people at the centre of the Internet of Things
Supervised by Yvonne Rogers and Nicolai Marquardt (University College
London) and Phil Stenton (BBC)
Apply now: https://www.prism.ucl.ac.uk/#!/?project=123
Applications are invited for a BBC sponsored PhD studentship at the UCL
Interaction Centre (www.ucl.ac.uk/uclic) in the areas of human-computer
interaction, user experience, and Internet of Things (IoT).
Learning about computation and coding has become central to the future
of creativity in an increasingly digitally connected world. Inspired by
the Maker movement and creative potential of maker-spaces, activities of
making, such as digital fabrication or learning about electronics, are
also starting to become popular in schools and U3A groups throughout the
country. A number of electronic platforms are appearing as building
blocks for making interactive machines, including Arduino, RaspberryPi,
Makey Makey and LittleBits. The BBC is also committed to a programme of
activities to Making it Digital (see
It is in the process of developing Micro Bit - a give away platform for
learning basic programming and electronics. At UCL, we have also
developed our own toolkit called CodeMe (see http://www.codeme.io).
A goal is often not just the conveying of engineering and electronic
principles, but also to foster creative crafting, tinkering, and
re-appropriation of the basic building blocks to form new creations.
With the Internet of Things - where there is huge potential for millions
of devices to be connected via the internet, and embedded with various
sensors that can send and pass on data to one another - the need to
understand how to scale up and create for complexity is even more
challenging. However, this is easier said than done. There remains a gap
as to how we ease new learners into using electronics and making,
without immediately moving to the stage asking them to code software or
re-program microcontrollers and robots. What are adequate learning
activities for uncovering the potential of electronics that are
accessible, engaging, and understandable for wide audiences?
This joint BBC/UCL iCase PhD studentship will investigate how new
toolkits can encourage a different way to coding and creating that can
engage people of all ages. The student will be expected to develop and
evaluate prototype toolkits for the Internet of Things together with
conducting in-depth user studies of how groups use them during
collaborative making and programming activities. For the collaborative
research with the BBC groups, the student will also spend several months
in the BBC research labs at the MediaCityUK in Salford/ Manchester
(http://www.mediacityuk.co.uk/occupiers/bbc) and One Euston Square in
Funding: Full University tuition fees and an enhanced tax-free stipend
(ca. £19,000 per year) plus research/travel budget and allowance for
Funding Body: BBC, EPSRC and University College London.
Start Date: End of September 2015 for 3 years
Application Deadline: The review for applications begins May 15th, 2015
(please submit your application until this date for full consideration).
Supervisors: Yvonne Rogers (UCL Interaction Centre), Nicolai Marquardt
(UCL Interaction Centre), and Phil Stenton (BBC R&D)
Applications are invited from students with a Master’s degree or good
first degree (First, 2:1 or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Doctoral
scholarship funding is available for up to three years full-time study
starting October 2015 and provide a bursary of ca. £19,000 pa in
addition to University tuition fees. To be eligible for the full
scholarship award, the student must have been living in the UK for the
last 3 years (applies to both UK and EU citizens). A master's degree in
human-computer interaction or closely related area is highly desirable.
Candidates without a master's degree may be admitted in exceptional
cases where suitable research experience can be demonstrated.
Candidates must have a clear interest in human-computer interaction and
the design, implementation, and evaluation of novel technologies.
Experience with physical computing toolkits (e.g., Arduino, Spark Core)
is desirable. Candidates should have strong programming and
implementation skills as well as excellent written and oral
HOW TO APPLY
Applicants must submit an application on the UCL Prism website
(https://www.prism.ucl.ac.uk/). You can use the direct link for the
application https://www.prism.ucl.ac.uk/#!/?project=123 or search for
‘Making the Future: putting people at the centre of the Internet of
Things’ on the main Prism website.
The application must include the following: the contact details of
applicant and names and contact details of at least two referees who can
provide information about your suitability for the studentship; a
two-page document containing a personal statement and research proposal
based on the project description; a CV; and a copy of transcripts of
your BSc, MSc, and/or most recent academic qualifications.
The review for applications begins from May 15th, 2015 (please submit
your application until this date for full consideration).
Interviews with short-listed applicants will be on May 22nd, 2015.
If you wish to discuss the post informally or if you have any questions
about the position, please contact Yvonne Rogers ([log in to unmask]) or
Nicolai Marquardt ([log in to unmask]).
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON, INTERACTION CENTRE
BBC RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
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