Becoming a research leader

Several weeks ago I attended a great workshop on mentorship, led by Natacha Wilson. I was so impressed with the delivery and the quality of content, that when I heard she’d be coming to UCL to run a workshop on becoming a research leader, I didn’t want to miss it. I maybe attend one too many of these workshops/seminars, but I generally find them very reassuring and useful. In a world of competition and politics, it seems that being strategic is key, and I’ll take any form of advice I can get. These events are also a great opportunity for self-reflection, which we far too often don’t find time for, but can help identify areas of improvement before it’s too late. Continue reading “Becoming a research leader”

Leadership: the importance of talking about failure

There was a CV going around social media and the press posted by a tired academic who wanted to expose just how much our culture is based on success and competition. It was eye opening… As a fairly young academic myself, it was encouraging to read and know that others have bad days too. About a month ago, I was talking to a colleague I look up to and found out that behind her successes there were rejected papers. I had no idea. In academia, it is common to celebrate successes, and perhaps brag about them too, but it is also common to complain about reviewer 2, the biased editor, or the tardiness with which a paper is handled. There’s a good summary of typical academics and how to handle them here. Being a woman in STEM it can be considered even more important to just show off the best results and just how successful one is, to compete against gender bias. So when I attended the event “Women in Leadership” organised by UCL PALS Athena Swan I was expecting an empowering talk on how to stand up against men and show off our best traits. I have never been so wrong. Continue reading “Leadership: the importance of talking about failure”

Socio-Technical Systems and Work-Home Boundaries Workshop

Below you can find my post on the Digital Epiphanies blog about the workshop that was organised during MobileHCI. My paper “I check my emails on the toilet”: Email Practices and Work-Home Boundary Management” was presented by my supervisor, Dr Anna L Cox, as I was attending the Doctoral Consortium at the same time.


On Sept. 23rd 2014 we held the “Socio-Technical Systems and Work-Home Boundaries” workshop during MobileHCI conference in Toronto, Canada.
This workshop was one of the outcomes of our Digital Epiphanies project, in an effort to open up the discussion to a broader range of researchers in the field of technology and work-home boundaries. Among the attendees were human-computer interaction (HCI) specialists, social scientists, and sociologists.
The workshop was divided into three parts: first, all papers were presented (see the workshop program for the list of papers), each followed by a short Q&A session.

Continue reading “Socio-Technical Systems and Work-Home Boundaries Workshop”

Visiting Microsoft Research, Cambridge

This week I visited Microsoft Research in Cambridge for a 2.5 day workshop on how to build a successful career in research and get to know more about the work that goes on in these labs.

It has been a fantastic opportunity to learn hands on about Azure, but also find out for example how computing can be used to cure cancer, capture medical imaging and predict bio-models. I had no idea Microsoft Research covered so many different topics related to computer science! We also got very good tips and tools to on how to write a paper, think strategically, present data and do interdisciplinary research.  Continue reading “Visiting Microsoft Research, Cambridge”

CHI 2014 workshop – Personalised behaviour change technologies

Very excited to present my first PhD publication at CHI2014! It’s a workshop paper, so it will be available online here. The workshop was on Personalised Behaviour Change Technologies and brought together researchers with different backgrounds (anthropology, psychology, computer science). 
A big issue that came up during discussions was trying to define what we mean by ‘personalisation’. Secondly, we discussed whether we should develop technologies that are meant to be used for life, or ones we can graduate from. Other concerns included evaluation methods, design techniques and how behaviour change theories fit into these technologies.
Hopefully, we will be able to produce a special issue based on our discussions. 
Below you can find the abstract of my paper, wrote together with my supervisors, and the presentation slides. 

Continue reading “CHI 2014 workshop – Personalised behaviour change technologies”

How to present your research

The nice this about doing a PhD, among other stuff, is that the really encourage you to develop transferable skills. Therefore today I attended a workshop on how to make a presentation, held by Gabriel Brostow. 
 
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Most of the things are quite self-evident if you think about it, but when you’re so involved in your research you might tend to forget even the obvious. For example, the most important concept I learnt today was that when you give a presentation you should teach your audience something interesting and memorable. Basically, when they leave the venue and come across that topic later on they should be able to remember your name. You never know, every talk could be a “job talk”!
There should always be a slide that condenses
“The take home message is…”
So, when presenting your research your goals should be:
  • impress people -> show them your research is on something really important
  • convey brilliance -> emphasise if results were surprising
  • show you’ve worked hard -> it’s ok to say something was difficult to achieve.


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One must keep in mind that an audience can be very varied, and have experts and novices. Most of the presentation should be new for the novices and well-known stuff for the experts.In order to keep the latter attentive though, we must give some small specific piece of information.

 

Finally, you are presenting your work, the research you’ve dedicated your time and life too, so BE happy! And breathe 🙂