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Computing

Computing staff focus on research that makes personal, societal and economic differences.  The team include the members of the internationally known ChiCI group, where the focus is on delivering better technologies for children, staff engaging in general HCI, UX, AR/VR and Interaction Design research, staff working in Agile systems development, and staff in the Security and Forensics group.    

Computing

Overview

Research activity within computing is primarily people-centred with an emphasis on delivering research solutions that make a real difference to human situations. UCLan computing research themes include the development of safe technologies and systems, the investigation of organisational and information systems for technology-supported human activity, and the study of HCI, UX, AR/VR and Interaction Design with an emphasis on away from- the-desktop technologies and the study of such interactions with children and teenagers. The flagship research within computing is the Child Computer Interaction group (www.chici.org), which, since its inception in 2003, has managed a host of successful PhD completions, has completed many externally-funded projects and has hosted four international conferences.

Our research in computing is supported by postgraduate courses in Internet Security, Agile Software Development, Interaction Design / UX, and Child Computer Interaction.  These courses are great preparations for, and introductions to, postgraduate research study.

In our modern building in the heart of Preston, computing research has specialist labs and top of the range equipment.  Researchers are housed in quiet research rooms, there is a dedicated ChiCI PlayLab, a specialist room (JAD Lab) for project planning, two network labs and an Interactive Technology lab. 

The computing research team at UCLan are enthusiastic, energetic and highly approachable.  To find out more about our research, or to join in in our research work and study with dynamic people, contact Prof.  Janet C Read - Tel: +44 (0)1772 893285 Email: jcread@uclan.ac.uk.

Impact

Prof. Janet C Read’s co-authored ‘Evaluating Interactive Products with and for Children’ book is the highest selling book within the field of child computer interaction and is used by researchers across the globe.

The Fun Toolkit, and more recently the ethical practice toolkit, developed by the ChiCI group, have changed the way that research is done with children.   ChiCI methods have been used in over 40 research labs worldwide and with over 10000 school children.

Through the Serious Learning in Games project and as a member of the international Serious Games Network, ChiCI has demonstrated that teenagers can engage in the design of their own serious games content.  Follow on work in the UCLan funded ChiCI goes to Africa project has evidenced that children can design interactive games for children in developing countries.

Recent work with the BBC has been the first to examine how children with disabilities interact with iPad games in their homes and in their schools.  Findings from this project are being taken on board by the BBC usability and accessibility teams to better design for these groups.

Working with Lego on the RCUK funded ‘WeAreAble’ project, Dr Brendan Cassidy is examining the appropriateness of AR/ VR technology for children with impaired vision and reduced communication skills. 

 

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