Job: PhD Scholarship on Multimodal Interaction and Museum Learning at University of Strathclyde

PhD Scholarship on Multimodal Interaction and Museum Learning – Supporting Engagement and Learning with Novel Museum Technologies

The Mobiquitous Lab at the University of Strathclyde, UK invites applications for a 3-year PhD position funded by a University scholarship.

Research theme / project description

Museums worldwide are experimenting with novel interface technologies to increase both entertainment and educational benefits for visitors. But while many installations support hands-on activity, this often just consists of frantic button-pushing. It seems much harder to support intellectual-emotional engagement with the content and meaningful learning.

This project will investigate how different multimodal interaction techniques support mindful engagement and learning in museums and how novel interaction modalities can enhance the traditional museum experience, for example by augmenting exhibit artefacts. Different sensory modalities provide different affordances for interaction and learning. The project will focus on what kinds of engagement different modalities support, and how these might be more powerful when combined (or on their own, e.g. using only tactile output). The student will study existing installations in museums as well as conduct focused experiments. Ideally, for the latter the student will develop small-scale installations that for example use different modalities to represent information. We aim to establish collaboration with local Scottish museums within this project.

Candidate profile

  • an excellent (First or upper Second Class honours) degree in a relevant subject (Master preferred), such as interaction design, HCI, psychology, cognitive science, museum or heritage studies
  • an interest in interdisciplinary work
  • a good level of written and spoken English is essential
  • the ability to work independently as well as in a team
  • some experience of running user studies or observation is beneficial, but not crucial
  • nationality of an EU country (we cannot cover fees for non-EU citizens)

Benefits

  • Successful applicants will be enrolled as PhD students, with all fees covered, and receive an annual living allowance of £13590
  • Glasgow has a vibrant cultural life and is very friendly for newcomers. It is the 3rd biggest UK city, located in the south of Scotland, with good transport connections and easy access to the outdoor pursuits of the Highlands.
  • CIS at Strathclyde is part of the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance SICSA. The PhD student would join SICSA’s multimodal interaction theme and be able to participate in SICSA events and PhD student activities.

The Mobiquitous Lab (http://mobiquitous.cis.strath.ac.uk/) investigates user behavior in the context of mobile devices, ubiquitous computing, and novel multimodal interaction mechanisms. The lab provides a multifunctional space for building systems, data analysis and running user studies. The PhD will be supervised by Dr. Eva Hornecker (http://www.ehornecker.de/), who has conducted several research projects investigating visitor interaction with museum installations. Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde is home to a vibrant community of over 70 academic and research staff with a strong and diverse portfolio of research.

Applicants should submit their application until June 30th. The scholarship has to start before October 2011, and students are required to primarily live in Glasgow.

To apply, please send the following documents (pdf only) to eva.hornecker@cis.strath.ac.uk with the subject line ‘museum PhD application’:

  • Letter of introduction, describing your motivation
  • Statement of research interests in relation to the project described above (1-2 pages)
  • Full Curriculum vitae, including list of publications and other works or related experience
  • If applicable, portfolio of works (pdf or online)
  • Copies of degrees and diplomas, or transcripts of courses taken so far
  • Names and contact addresses of 2 academic referees (for letters of reference)
  • If applicable and relevant to the topic: description of undergraduate and/or master project (1 page each)

For updated information see:
http://mobiquitous.cis.strath.ac.uk/Main/DetailsHere

Further information can be obtained from:

Eva Hornecker: eva.hornecker@cis.strath.ac.uk
Dept. of Computer and Information Sciences
University of Strathclyde
26 Richmond Street, Livingstone Tower
Glasgow G1 1XH
UK

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