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Northumbria academics head stateside to present latest research

5th May 2017

Academics from Northumbria University, Newcastle specialising in the interaction between humans and computers will present their latest research at a prestigious international conference next week.

The team of 12 researchers will travel to Denver, Colorado to speak at the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) – an annual event which sees experts from around the world gather to share their latest findings.

Out of the 358 cities across the world represented at the conference, Newcastle is the third highest in terms of the number of research papers being presented, demonstrating the global influence the city’s universities and academics are having in this field, with only Seattle and Pittsburgh in the United States producing more.

The team from Northumbria have been involved in a total of 24 new research papers, addressing issues of Human-Computer Interaction in a wide variety of application areas, such as support for ageing and care settings, home technology use, civic participation and new design methods for developing interactive devices.

Professor David Kirk is among the Northumbria contingent and has co-authored five new research papers, which will be presented for the first time at CHI.

He said: “The ACM CHI conference is one of the most important events for academics working in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and gives researchers the opportunity to discuss new ideas and cutting-edge developments in technology in this very exciting and fast-moving area.

“At Northumbria we have developed really innovative ways of working with colleagues across different faculties and departments to combine our research power and expertise, and our work in the area of Human-Computer Interaction is a great example of this.

“We have academics specialising in areas such as participatory design, social computing, cybersecurity, digital identities, sustainability and the Internet of Things. We are exploring both the design of new technologies and the ways in which we live and work in the digital age.

“The fact that Newcastle as a city has produced the third highest number of papers at the conference is a great indication of the innovative work going on in the North East in this field and the reputation the region is developing for digital technology.”

Northumbria University is home to the Northumbria Technology for Humanity Lab (NORTH Lab) – one of the largest Human Computer Interaction research groups in the UK. NORTH Lab brings together a community of researchers from across the University’s different faculties and departments, including Design, Psychology and Computer and Information Sciences.

Interdisciplinary research is at the heart of Northumbria’s work and the university has recently established eight multi-disciplinary research themes (MDRTs). Each MDRT includes academics from across different departments, with the aim of sharing knowledge and expertise to find innovative solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Academics from both the Digital Living and IDEATE MDRTs are attending the CHI 2017 conference. Researchers within Digital Living explore the human-centred design of smart cities, practices of living and working in the digital age, big data, digital identities and the security of digital information. The researchers within IDEATE are exploring how creative design can be put into practice to realise and explore possible futures, and, in turn, foster innovation.

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