M-ITI Seminars

Madeira-ITI organises seminars and invited talks in the areas of Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction. On this page you find an overview of the most recent seminars. Click the title of a seminar for more detailed information.

Digital innovations for financial inclusiveness: ICTs and crowdfunding in emerging economies

Endrit Kromidha
Wednesday, 16 November, 2016 - 17:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

Abstract:

Digital payment options and financial instruments have a direct impact on entrepreneurship in each country and globally. In recent years, according to the World Bank’s Financial Inclusion Index (Findex) or the Doing Business report, trends in this sector have been deeply influenced by technological advancements in the financial sector. A major difference between developed and developing regions remains the strong reliance on banks in the former group, and on mobile payment instruments in the latter. Following these two directions of digital innovations, the level of financial inclusiveness in both developed and developing regions is expected to be balanced by 2025; however, although 80% of adults in emerging economies had a mobile phone in 2014, and 55% had financial accounts, only 3% of the population uses digital payment options in these largely cash-based societies (McKinsey 2016). This presentation will explore some of the complex changes related to digital innovations for financial inclusiveness by looking at current research, focusing more specifically on online crowdfunding and the use of ICTs for entrepreneurship in emerging economies.

 

Short Bio:

Dr Endrit Kromidha is a lecturer in entrepreneurship and innovation and the director of the Master in Entrepreneurship programme at Royal Holloway University of London. He has published in Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Government Information Quarterly and a number of other outlets on success factors in entrepreneurship crowdfunding and e-government in developing countries. Endrit is trying to deepen his understanding in this area by conducting more research on the alternative uses of digital innovations, platforms and ICTs for entrepreneurship in emerging economies. He is a Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy, a member of the British Academy of Management, and the editor of the ICT4D Briefings of the UNESCO Chair in ICT for Development in his university.

Transforming the self - Body ownership and agency illusions in immersive virtual reality

Mel Slater
Wednesday, 2 November, 2016 - 17:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

Abstract:

Immersive virtual reality (IVR) has been successfully exploited in the study of body ownership illusions - a topic that contributes to the question of how the human brain represents the body. Embodiment with a life-sized virtual body seen from first person perspective in IVR typically leads to the perceptual illusion of ownership and the illusion agency with respect to the virtual body. Since the real body can be replaced by a virtual body, the virtual body may be designed to have quite different characteristics from the real one - for example, be a different age or race. Here we report how different types of body can at least temporarily influence aspects of perception, attitudes and behaviours of participants, lead to illusory agency, and the consequences of these findings for rehabilitation at both the personal level (psychological rehabilitation) and the social (e.g., reducing outgroup prejudice).

 

Short Bio:

Mel Slater is an ICREA Research Professor at the University of Barcelona in the Faculty of Psychology. He became Professor of Virtual Environments at University College London in 1997 in the Department of Computer Science. He has been involved in research in virtual reality since the early 1990s, and has been first supervisor of 36 completed PhDs in graphics and virtual reality since 1989. In 2005 he was awarded the Virtual Reality Career Award by IEEE Virtual Reality ‘In Recognition of Seminal Achievements in Engineering Virtual Reality.’  He has been involved in and led several international projects in this field. He held a European Research Council grant TRAVERSE. He has contributed to the scientific study of virtual reality and to technical development of this field, and also contributed to the use of virtual reality in other fields, notably psychology (in relation to clinical psychology - studies of paranoia - and also social psychology) and the cognitive neuroscience of how the brain represents the body. His current publications can be seen on http://publicationslist.org/melslater.

 

Hacking happiness: the emergence of Positive Technology

Dr. Andrea Gaggioli
Wednesday, 19 October, 2016 - 17:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

Abstract:

The increasing diffusion of smartphones, wearable sensors and augmented/virtual reality is enabling a new range of services and applications. However, the pervasive presence of computers in our lives leads to a fundamental question: Do technologies make us happier? Recently, an international group of scholars has started to address this issue, by developing a new field of study called “Positive Technology”. This approach combines the the scientific study of wellbeing with advances in interactive technologies. In this talk, I will present recent developments of PT, describing with practical examples how emerging technologies can be used to support positive thoughts and emotions, foster the development/expression of personal resources (i.e. knowledge, proactive coping, positive engagement modes, ecc.) and promote optimal experiences in individuals and groups.

 

Short Bio:

Dr. Andrea Gaggioli is Professor of Psychology in the Faculty of Psychology at Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy. His main focus is on Positive Technology, a field at the intersection of interaction design, neuroscience and positive psychology, which investigates how interactive technologies can be used to empower cognition and foster mental wellbeing. Andrea has authored many peer-reviewed papers concerning the applications of emerging technologies in mental health and neurorehabilitation. For his scientific work, he received several international acknowledgements, including the Prize of the European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Theatre, projection mapping and a chocolate factory

Taavi Varm
Wednesday, 12 October, 2016 - 14:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

Abstract:

Taavi Varm will present his works in the field of video for theatre, projection mapping and interactive installations. He will discuss lessons learnt in these different areas.

 

Short Bio:

Taavi Varm (1979, Estonia) is a visual artist interested in combining spatial design with projection-based media. He is currently a Master degree student at Media Lab Helsinki, Aalto University. Along the way he has been teaching video, art and technology related courses for past 13 years in different Universities in Estonia. That has lead him to be the expert in consulting different government and national projects. He runs the hybrid design company Varm Studio with his wife, industrial designer Anni Varm, which has developed work for the many big scale projects to introduce Estonian design worldwide. He has done stage video design for numerous theatre plays in Estonia, where also combining hi-tech solutions to narrow the gap between technology and real time performance. Taavi is also specialised in large-scale projection mapping projects. Lately, he has been working with electronics and installations, heading the development of interactive installations of the new Fazer Museum in Helsinki.

An Island is a World

Kaiton Williams
Thursday, 8 September, 2016 - 16:30
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira


Abstract:

Within its effort to promote tech entrepreneurship, Jamaica’s diversity of culture & material infrastructure is often a source of anxiety. But that heterogeneity yields significant potential, both for its budding tech entrepreneurs and for those of us seeking alternatives to dominant ideas of technical praxis.

The work in these tech spaces---often as much focused on the individual and national self as on the artifact---involves a navigation of a radical and seemingly incoherent variety of cultural forms, discontinuities, and allegiances. While this negotiation challenges rote acceptance of the imported "Silicon Valley" methodology, as an orientation it offers instructive alternatives to dominant ideas of technical prowess and the figure of the entrepreneurial engineer. In this regard, islands like Jamaica are among the vanguard, allowing access to alternative futures with global resonance.
 

Short Bio:

Kaiton Williams is PhD candidate Cornel University's Information Science program, completing his dissertaion with renowned HCI scholar Dr. Phoebe Sengers. Prior to his PhD he spent 12 years working in online services for Microsoft in Silicon Valley. 

Williams' current research focuses on the role of technical capability and imagination in national and individual self-making and dialogs of entrepreneurship. In this talk, he will discuss his ethnographic participatory research done with island developers in Jamaica over the last 2 years, including work done as an instructor & consultant within tech entrepreneurship training programs run by the World Bank. He will also present two cases that illustrate the entangled political and technical environments from which these budding entrepreneurs must work to produce their future.

Exploring physiological data in smartwatches for workload management.

John Muñoz
Monday, 1 August, 2016 - 11:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

 

Abstract:

The active monitoring of workload levels has been found to significantly reduce work-related stress. Heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) measurements have shown a strong potential to accurately describe daily workload levels. We develop a prototype that employs HR data and presents feedback in glanceable form, by highlighting workload levels and physical activity over the past hour.  A field study with 9 participants and 3 variations of our prototype attempts to quantify the impact of the HRV feedback over subjective and objective workload as well as users’ engagement with the smartwatch. 

The results suggest that HRV from wearables can effectively be used to monitor workload levels during work hours. 

 

Short Bio:

John Muñoz is a PhD student and researcher in the NeuorehabLab of M-iti. His research has been focused on the development of software tools for processing physiological signals related with Electrocardiography (ECG), Electrodermal Activity (EDA) and Electromyography (EMG) in order to provide relevant features of interest about the human physiological, physical and emotional state. Currently, he is an assistant researcher in the AHA project which aims to promote non-sedentary behaviors through the use of novel serious games for health approaches.  

The work he is going to present is a result for an Independent Study carried out with the Prof. Evangelos Karapanos and it will be presented in the IEEE HealthCom'16.

 

Pixels, Pencils, and Poems: Ethnographic Methods for Making Futures

Laura Watts
Thursday, 16 June, 2016 - 15:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

Abstract:

Poems, video pixels, art books, landscape installations, podcasts: these are some of the materials I have made to intervene, and make a difference, into how the future is imagined and made in high-tech industries. I have worked with industrial designers in mobile telecoms, to biologists in marine renewable energy. This presentation will perform, and reflect on, some of the objects and materials I have made. It will also reflect on: why?

I am also an ethnographer, a Science & Technology Studies (STS) scholar, where methods for intervention are often more textual, made in academic journal articles and books. There is curiosity but concern. Always, I am asked, why? In STS it is understood that academic arguments are stories with a particular literary form. And other forms– other methods– might just make other kinds of stories and futures. These methods draw on critiques from social sciences and humanities, but do more than just critique. They intervene, diffract, make the world and its futures otherwise– creative futures that are academically rigorous. Donna Haraway, maker of the cyborg, calls it ‘SF’ – not just Science Fiction but Speculative Fabulation. So, let me tell you a story, a poem, and a little ethnographic SF…

 

Short Bio:

Laura Watts is a writer, poet, and Associate Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen. Her work explores how the future is imagined and made in high-tech industries – how different landscapes and places make different futures. For the last seven years she has collaborated with the marine renewable energy industry in the Orkney islands, Scotland, both as an ethnographer and artist. Her most recent book, Ebban An’ Flowan (co-authored with artist, Alec Finlay), is the world’s first poetic primer to marine renewable energy. This year she is Writer-in-Residence at the Seedbox Environmental Humanities Collaboratory. More on her work and practice can be found at www.sand14.com

Does culture matter?

José Abdelnour Nocera
Thursday, 2 June, 2016 - 15:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

Abstract:

Culture is a difficult and elusive concept to define partly because of the pluralistic interest that it has gained from various academic disciplines with each of them having its own focus. The impact of culture on software development and interaction design poses many challenges that cannot be exposed in a one-off exercise. National, organisational and disciplinary cultures, to name a few types, play a role in the quality of software in terms of its actual and perceived usefulness. My research has been aimed at the identification of cultural issues in order to promote enhanced stakeholder participation in software development and better product utility, usability and user experience. In my talk I will present a few examples showing the influence and importance of culture in the process and the product of interaction design, software development and internationalisation, and what I have learned from 15 years of research in this area.

 

Short Bio:

José Abdelnour Nocera is Associate Professor in Sociotechnical Design at the University of West London and Affiliate Associate Professor at M-ITI. He is the current Chair for UNESCO IFIP TC 13.8 working group in Interaction Design for International Development as well as Chair for the British Computer Society Sociotechnical Specialist Group. His interests lie in the sociotechnical and cultural aspects of systems design, development and use. In pursuing these interests, he has been involved as researcher and consultant in several projects in the UK and overseas in the domains of mHealth, e-learning, social development, e-commerce, e-governance and enterprise resource planning systems. Dr. Abdelnour-Nocera gained an MSc in Social Psychology from Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela, and a PhD in Computing from The Open University, UK.

Technology-mediated Solutions for Neurorehabilitation

Roberto Llorens Rodríguez
Wednesday, 1 June, 2016 - 15:00
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

 

Abstract:

The understanding of the neural substrates for recovery of motor skills has grown in the last decades. Findings derived from basic research are the foundation for new therapies being applied in neurorehabilitation. This is the case of Virtual Reality, a technology that can immerse patients in synthetic and stimulating environments providing repetitive, intensive, and task-oriented exercises with adaptive difficulty while controlling the feedback in different sensory channels. The possibility to design customized exercises with challenging tasks has motivated the use of Virtual Reality to promote cortical plasticity mechanisms that support functional recovery. There is increasing evidence of the benefits derived from different Virtual Reality-based interventions for the rehabilitation of motor and cognitive impairments after an acquired brain injury, which make the application of this technology to rehabilitation a promising field of research in the coming years. The aim of this talk is to provide the audience with a comprehensive overview of the work developed by the Neurorehabilitation and Brain Research Group, with special focus on technology driven solutions to different impairments after an injury to the brain. 

 

Short Bio:

Roberto Llorens graduated from the Universitat Politècnica de València in 2007 with a major in Telecommunications Engineering. He also earned a Masters in Technology, Communication Systems and Networks in 2011 and got a Doctorate Degree Cum Laude in 2014. His growing interest in applied science led to his association with Labhuman in January 2008, where he currently works as a scientific coordinator of the Neurorehabilitation and Brain Research Group, leading several research projects combined with teaching and supervision of several Doctoral Theses and Master Theses. His research interests focus on the neural mechanisms underlying motor and cognitive skills, and embodiment constructs, the study of the neurophysiological substrate of these processes, and the development of experimental neurorehabilitation interventions. Roberto Llorens is also a Research Associate in the Neurorehabilitation and Brain Injury Service of NISA Hospitals (Valencia, Spain), a member of the Spanish Neurorehabilitation Society, a board member of the International Society for Virtual Rehabilitation, and the co-chair of the International Conference on Recent Advances in Neurorehabilitation series. 

Social Class and Television in Latin America- the Rise of a New Lower Middle Class, a Growing Cosmopolitan Elite, and Their Impacts on Program Preferences and New Television Technology Use

Joseph Straubhaar
Tuesday, 31 May, 2016 - 11:30
Classroom @ M-ITI, Floor -2, Polo Científico e Tecnológico da Madeira

Short Bio:

Joe Straubhaar is the Amon G. Carter Sr., Centennial Professor of Communication, Director of the Latino and Latin American Media Studies Program in the Moody College of Communications, and Association Director of the Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the lead co-author of The Evolution of Television: An Analysis of 10 Years of TGI Latin America (2004-2014) (Center for Latin American and Latino Media Studies, University of Texas); author of World Television: From Global to Local (Sage Publications, 2007), editor of Inequity in the Technopolis: Race, Class, Gender and the Digital Divide in Austin (University of Texas Press, 2011), and co-author with John Sinclair of a 2013 book from BFI on Television Industries in Latin America. He has a forthcoming book on Latin American Television Audiences.

His current research concerns digital inclusion in the U.S., Portugal and Latin America; the globalisation of television and new media; media creation and flow in the Lusophone world; the BRICs as rising media powers; television in Brazil, Portugal and Latin America; media and Latino immigration; and ICTs and development in Brazil and Texas.