Lecturer in Cognitive Science
I’m a Lecturer in Cognitive Science and Senior Laboratory Manager for the Cognitive Science Research Laboratories. My academic work is primarily based around understanding the cognitive aspects of information processing with the aim of improving usability and accessibility. This encompasses investigating how people interact with audio-visual stimuli, whether through mainstream broadcasts, social media, or directly in face-to-face communication and dialogue, combined with their use of different technologies. I also strive to emphasise the importance of considering and accommodating the human user when designing technology. In turn, I use advanced technology in my experiments on human behaviour, language and perception to monitor psycho- and bio-physical reactions, such as eye-tracking, electroencephalography and heart rate. This multidisciplinary combination of social and computing science is reflected in my joint position at Edinburgh University, striding both the College of Humanities and Social Science and the College of Science and Engineering. The words logic, philosophy, statistics, cognitive, science and psychology all appear in my degree titles. In the emerging field of Neuropolitics I analyse emotional engagement, visual attention and affective responses to contemporary news and political events. For Design Informatics, I teach user-centric design and research methodology, enabling an optimal fusion of art and science in product development and data visualisation.
Previous multinational projects have covered human-robot interaction, AI mobile phone tour guides and facilitating the post-editing of machine translated text. Currently I’m working on ESRC “The UK in a Changing Europe” neuropolitics projects and I have an EPSRC grant on human-like computing and explainable artificial intelligence (XAI). Perhaps ironically, given everything you’ve just read, the title of the latter is “Start Making Sense”.
Huge benefits in transportation can be gained if Intelligent Transportation Systems such as automated vehicles are enabled to communicate between each other, and their surrounding infrastructure in ways that are simple, reliable, and widely acceptable for human operators. At the same time, it is imperative that the security and privacy of such communications are considered. This project will demonstrate the potential of distributed ledgers such as blockchain as a method of securing the integrity of such systems.
Ox-Chain is a major research project between the Universities of Edinburgh, Northumbria and Lancaster, and research partners Oxfam, Zero Waste Scotland, Volunteer Scotland and WHALE Arts, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. It brings together experts in digital design, cryptography, business and international development. Through collaborative research, we will design a Blockchain for Oxfam to better support the circulation and re-circulation of valuable items within its business model – hence ‘Ox-Chain’.
Understanding how to manage issues of trust, privacy and consent in future pervasive environments