I joined the Computer Science department at Aston University as a lecturer and designer/director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab in June, 2009. I am also an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of New Brunswick, Canada. For almost 7 years prior to moving to Aston University, I worked as a Research Officer with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) where I designed and managed a state-of-the-art mobile human computer interaction evaluation lab within the NRC facility.
I obtained a B.Sc. (1st Class Hons) in Software Engineering from Glasgow University in 1996, from where I also later graduated with a Ph.D. in HCI in 2001. Both during and subsequent to my Ph.D. term, I worked as a research assistant within the Department of Computer Science at Glasgow University.
Qualifications & Education
B.Sc. with First Class Honours in Software Engineering, Glasgow University, Scotland, 1996
Ph.D. in Human Computer Interaction, Glasgow University, Scotland, 2001
Diploma in University Teaching, University of New Brunswick, Canada, 2006
2015 – current: Reader & Director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University
2012 – 2015: Senior Lecturer & Director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University
2009 – 2012: Lecturer & Director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University
2002 – 2009: Research Officer and Mobile HCI Lab Manager, National Research Council of Canada
1996 – 2002: Research Assistant, Department of Computer Science, Glasgow University
Aside from supervision of final year undergrad and Masters-level individual projects, I am responsible for all HCI teaching at Aston:
CS2260: Human Computer Interaction (10-credit, second-year module)
CS3040: Mobile Design & Development (20-credit, final-year module)
CS4040: Mobile Design & Development (15-credit, MSc module)
CS3410: Interaction Design (10-credit, final-year module)
CS4650: Interaction Design (15-credit, MSc module)
CS4655: Advanced HCI (15-credit, MSc module)
DC2260: Human Computer Interaction (10-credit, second-year, degree apprenticeship module)
DC3410: Interaction Design (10-credit, final-year, degree apprenticeship module)
Various bespoke graduate level modules (University of New Brunswick)
My research activities cover a number of aspects of human computer interaction. Most recently I have been focusing on: design and evaluation of mobile assistive technologies for individuals with special needs and disabilities; audio feedback design and how we can use audio feedback to enhance or completely replace visual-based I/O, especially in non-standard contexts of use (e.g., motor racing); mobile human computer interaction design and associated evaluation techniques; and on trust in e-Commerce/m-Commerce. I also have an interest in decision support systems. The majority of my research is multi-disciplinary in nature, representing collaborations across many different domains including pharmacy, ophthalmology, GIS, and geodesy and geomatics. I am actively involved with ARCHA (Aston Research Centre in Health Ageing). I am also on the steering committee for ARCHY (Aston Research Centre for Children's & Young People's Health).
Kimrendeep Basi: Self-Monitoring Mobile Technology for Medication Adherence in Elderly People with Dementia (co-supervisor, Ian Maidment (LHS))
Semui Salawu: Detection and Prevention of Cyberbullying on Online Social Networks (co-supervisor, Yulan He)
Maria Dolores Arteaga Revert: Big Data Analytics (supervisory committee member, University of New Brunswick)
Lilit Hakobyan (2015): Engaging Older Adults with Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Design and Evaluation of Mobile Assistive Technologies [Aston University, UK; associate supervisors R. Shaw (LHS, Aston University) & D. O’Sullivan (City University, London)]
Victoria Lush (2014): Visualisation of Quality Information for GIS Data [Aston University, UK; associate supervisor L. Bastin]
Will Plant (2013): Effective Search for Colour Images [Aston University, UK; co-supervisor I. Nabney]
Linda Duffett-Leger (2011): Developing a Web-Based Approach for Promoting Cervical Health in Young Women [University of New Brunswick, Canada; co-supervisor B. Paterson]
I am always interested to hear from well-qualified students who are dedicated to pursuing a Ph.D. or Masters by Research in a research area aligned with my interests. Students with strong backgrounds in computer science, human-computer interaction, and/or psychology and who have empathy with users and excellent communication skills are encouraged to contact me. In particular, I would be very keen to hear from prospective students or post-docs who have an interest in all aspects of research associated with the design, delivery, and evaluation of mobile assistive technologies.
Aside from foundational-level research and that which is funded via PhD studentships (see above), I am currently engaged in a number of externally-funded projects.
SWiFT: this Innovate UK-funded project is a collaboration between Aston University, Lincoln University, Bestway Cash & Carry, and project lead RNF Digital Innovation Ltd.This project aims to deliver market-leading navigation technology that combines pre-existing lists of items (points of interest), known item (point of interest) locations, positioning systems, and user preferences to generate navigational pathways which both enhance and streamline environmental negotiation and, where applicable, primary task completion. This interdisciplinary project links expertise in computer vision and human computer interaction as well as academia and industry to deliver innovation in location-based services, and enhanced user access to such services, especially for users with sensory or age-related impairments. At Aston our objectives are to design and evaluate novel user interaction techniques whereby navigational cues and indicators of points of interest can be delivered to users, and attended to by users, without the need for users to visually and solely focus on a graphical user interface, allowing users to remain more engaged with (and safe within) the physical environment in which they are navigating. These techniques will be multimodal and enhance service accessibility for users with sensory or age-related impairments.
ALIVE (Aston Lab for Immersive Virtual Environments): this project aims to develop a state-of-the art research environment to support interdisciplinary and innovative research. In progress, this project has already received infrastructure support from a variety of sources including the Wolfson Trust and HEFCE.
Making Bid Data Exploration Work: Traceability & Usability: this TSB-funded project is a collaboration between Aston University, IGI Ltd., and Daden Ltd. The project aims to develop prototype tools to support extraction of valuable information from big data where the prototypes will (a) maximise the efficiency of data import, cleansing and annotation, (b) integrate novel 2D and 3D visualisation methods ensuring fidelity, and (c) maximise usability and capture workflows and interpretations for the exploration of big data in a generic manner which can be readily customised to specific applications.
I established and lead the AIM Team - a team of enthusiastic, skilled researchers based in the AIM Lab working in the field of human computer interaction. Current team members include Kimrendeep Basi (PhD student), Lilit Hakobyan (post doc researchers/teaching fellow), Victoria Lush (post doc research associate), Nicholas Powell (PhD student), and Semiu Sawalu (part-time PhD student).
Member of Professional Bodies
Member of the British Computer Society
Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Mobile HCI (IJMHCI) – the only journal dedicated to the design and evaluation of the user interface aspects of mobile technologies
Reviewer for NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
Reviewer for NIHR (National Institute for Health Research)
Adjunct Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of New Brunswick, Canada