Category Archives: Uncategorised

Lecturing about Gender in IT at a PhD Summers School on Virtual Characters & Computer Game Technologies

I have been invited as a teacher to a summer school on Virtual Characters & Computer Game Technologies organised by Animatas.  Animatas is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions project that aims to give researchers the necessary skills and international experience for a successful career. Animatas stands for Advancing intuitive human-machine interaction with human-like social capabilities for education in schools. The summer school is organised by my colleague at the department Ginevra Castillano. 

My topic for the summer school is on gender equality in academia and the work environment, and I will talk about my experiences as a woman in computing and also some things from carreers in technology from the NordWit Centre of Excellence.

You can read more about the summer school here:

http://www.animatas.eu/

 

 

Participated in Panel about AI and Digitalisation and the Impact on Work and Working Life

Several people from my research group participated in a discussion about AI and digitalisation and the impact on work and working life. The picture is from See invitation below:

Inbjudan AI AW 5.4.19

One thing that I found interesting that one person on the panel talked about was that Amazon and Walmart nowadays has stores that eliminates the need for human cashiers, or cash payments. In the Amazon store cameras with computer vision and facial recognition technology in combination with automatic sensors, keep track of the items customers take from shelves. When you are ready to check out they automatically pay with a registered credit or debit card inside the Amazon Go mobile app. For more info see for example: https://www.chainstoreage.com/technology/tech-viewpoint-amazon-vs-walmart-the-battle-of-ai-based-future-store-strategies/

There are indeed success stories related to digitalisation, but another interesting discussion was related to why is so difficult to develop and implement new technology and all the major failures that we face in Sweden. One failure that was mentioned was Arbetsförmedlingen (The Government Organsiation responsibility for work) where 13000 emloyees had their education in the new system, and the plan to save 170 MSEK/year failed completely and ended up in a law suit. See here: https://www.svd.se/it-fiasko-for-arbetsformedlingen

 

Collaboration with Region Uppsala Resulted in Students Presenting at Vitalis

This years’ IT in Society Class got the task from Region Uppsala to look into primary care. Students in this class come from Uppsala University and the highly prestigious Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Anne Peters, Mats Daniels and Åsa Cajander are teachers in Uppsala, and Cary Laxer is the teacher in Indiana. The Rose-Hulman students visit Uppsala twice during the semester and experience snowy Sweden (see picture).

By the end of the semester they submitted an abstract to the peer-reviewed industry conference VITALIS – and they were accepted! The Vitalis conference is the leading eHealth conferences in the Nordic countries with more than 5000 participants who now have the opportunity to meet our students. See you at Vitalis!

Below is the abstract: 

What could a digitalized primary healthcare look like in 2030? This was the question addressed by a group of around 25 computer science students from Uppsala University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the US. To examine this question, they collaborated with healthcare professionals in Region Uppsala. In their semester long project, they researched the current primary healthcare system in order to find digitally related improvements that can impact how healthcare could look like in 2030. The research conducted is human-centered and seeks to define modernization methods that would improve the working situation for the medical professionals, as well as the patients’ experience. To grasp the current workflow in Region Uppsala we conducted a holistic overview from two perspectives: the patient perspective and the healthcare professional’s perspective. We found that the current primary care system has areas of improvement in the fields of User experience and Graphical User interfaces for computer systems that patients and staff members use. We also found that digitized self-assessment and triage is an area that can reduce the workload of the staff and enhance the patient experience.

Our research has also highlighted the need to find new digital tools and adapt the existing digital solutions to provide a better working environment for workers in primary care. This would imply moving away from “pen and papper” analog systems towards a more digitally integrated, cohesive system.

The suggestions that we provide in this presentation are based on sound scientific studies previously conducted and on extensive field interviews with more than 20 involved specialists and data gathering on the current system. We have also conducted two surveys in order to understand how patients feel in regards to the current primary care system and participated in observations to see how primary care professionals operate on a daily basis.

Some of the solutions we propose are:

– the smart, easy to use design of graphical interfaces that also adapt and learn the user’s behaviour to provide ease of access

– adding more real time alternatives to get in touch with medical professionals such as live chat messaging

– using wearable devices to monitor frequent patients’ clinical measurements

– modernizing the analog areas of the current system with the help of new technologies.

Looking forward into the future, we have ideas of how a future system could look like in 2030. The areas of improvement are relying on the continuous development of artificial intelligence and machine learning, all integrated to reiterate our objective: an efficient, human-centered primary care. We hope that these improvements would lead to a better medical system and change society for the better.

Public Seminar about Digitalisation and the Work Environment

A few weeks ago I did a public seminar related to digitalisation and the work environment at Tierp library. I talked about the very techno positive culture that we have in Sweden, and that people seem to think that with digitalisation we solve all problems. We will be more efficient, human errors will disappear and work will be based on rational processes. Examples of very successful IT systems are for example Watson to support decisions in health care and robots for surgery.

However, there is also another very parallel story to this. A story about how seldom IT projects are successful, and how often large IT projects fail completely. And a story about how much money that costs every year (44 billion SEK in 2016 according to Unionen).

There is also a story about people in different organisations who feel frustrated over their jobs, who lose the feeling of satisfaction and joy from working and some even burn out. We need to digitalise with human beings in mind. Digitalisation of work needs to include ideas of how to create a good and motivating work situation.

I think that the small audience that listened were very interested and gave many good examples from their work situation.

Welcome to an International Summer School in User Centred Design and Health & Wellbeing in Finland

Welcome to an international course on interaction design!

I am co-organising a summer school together with a group of Nordic researchers.

This Nordplus funded class brings together practitioners, students, and teachers from Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, and Sweden to gain a higher level of digital literacy. The course provides the basic skills in user-centred, hands-on interaction design during two intensive weeks, including Google Design Sprint.

Experimental Interaction Design
29 July – 9 August, 2019
Aalto University, Finland (www.aalto.fi)

Applications deadline: 31 March
Acceptance notifications: 19 April
More information: https://blogs.aalto.fi/ixd19/

For questions, please contact:
Ilja Šmorgun, Lecturer of Interaction Design, Tallinn University ilja.smorgun@tlu.ee

Welcome!

Interviewed by SVT Nyheter about Gender Equality Work in Academia

As you know I work with gender equality in academia and also do some research on career paths in eHealth.
The department’s work with gender equality and recommendations for successfully doing so was broadcasted on TV last week followed by a new article. In the interview they talked to me and the former Head of Department, Michael Thuné. Of course one of the recommendations for others who want to work with gender equality is to collaborate with external experts and researchers in the area. Other recommendations that we make are to have the management’s active support for your work, to work with this as an integrated part of you ordinary work and to have a long term strategy.
You can find the piece of news here:

Finding Projects Ideas and Writing Applications for Funding

A couple of my research projects are ending, and it’s time to write applications for funding again. This is not something I find especially easy or quickly done. On the contrary it takes me hours, hours and hours. It also takes lots of sighing and thinking “this is just too difficult”.

The main thing with my kind of applied research is to find a project that fits all of the following criteria:

  1. A project area that the organisations that I collaborate with are interested in working on. This means a lot of meeting to understand what things are on their agenda. 
  2. Something that I want to do, and that the people I write the application together with want to work with. There are many crazy ideas out there related to digitalization 😮 
  3. An research area where I have the competence to do the research in. For me that means for example digital work environments, computer science education or eHealth implementations.  
  4. An area where there is research missing – and where we can fill that hole as in the picture for this blog post. This means quite an extensive literature review to be able to describe the current state of the art and how the research project fits. This also means that you need plenty of time. 
  5. Something that is possible to do within the framing of the call that you send the proposal to. Often the project is three years, and not all things can be done within this time frame
  6. An idea that fits with the current calls for research projects available. And an understanding of what kind of research they are funding. This is knowledge that I have gained gradually, but I am far from knowledgeable yet. 

 

 

Appointed Member of the Technical Educational Board at the Faculty of Science and Technology

Since this fall I am a member of the technical educational board at our faculty. This job will be super interesting and I probably will learn lots of new and good things. The first meetings will be related to new master programmes, and I am looking forward to an interesting discussion 🙂

TASKS

  • formulate overall visions and strategies as well as implement the decision of the council board / faculty board for the long-term development of education programs and independent courses
  • structuring and renewing the courses with regard to ongoing internationalization, research and the needs of society and working life
  • take strategic initiatives on issues related to national and international education cooperation
  • take strategic initiatives on renewal of teaching and examination, throughput and study results, as well as recruitment and marketing
  • follow up on various aspects of quality in education and individual programs, decide on quality improvement measures and routines, as well as report to the area board / faculty board
  • formulate and revise the objectives of the respective programs and follow up the objectives
  • follow and support the work of the program manager and program council and, if necessary, decide on assignments for these
  • annually establish training plans and new syllabi for all programs and independent courses within the respective education board
  • appoint examiners based on proposals from the department responsible for the course
  • collaborate with other education committees

 

Integrating UX Principles and Practices into Software Development Organisations

Just before Christmas Pariya Kashfi successfully defended her PhD thesis on Integrating UX Principles and Practices into Software Development Organisations. This thesis is worth reading for anyone struggling with the integration of UX principles and practices in organisations!

I was on the examination committee for the defence together with professor Natalia Juristo and professor Kaisa Väänäenen. Associate professor Marta Larusdottir was the opponent. Note that this was an all-women committee with a woman opponent!! 

The overall research question for the work was:

 

How can software companies integrate UX principles and practices into their development processes and organizations?

Pariya Kashfi started the defence by an excellent presentation of her work. The presentation was followed by an in-depth discussion among professionals with Marta Larusdottir. Pariya Kashfi was super good at answering all questions, and managed to do a very good defence. I really enjoyed the discussion, especially since this thesis is in the area of my own PhD, but seven years later and with a focus on UX and not Usability.

The PhD is by publications and included six papers. All papers are available on Pariya Kasfi’s page on Research Gate.

  1. P. Kash􏰄, A. Nilsson, R. Feldt, 􏰀Integrating User eXperience Practices Into Software Development Processes: Implications of The UX Charac teristics”
    PeerJ Computer Science (an Open Access Journal), 3, e130, 2017.
  2. P. Kash􏰄, A. Nilsson, R. Feldt, R. Berntsson Svensson, 􏰀A Conceptual UX-aware Model of Requirements”
    6th International Working Conference on Human-Centred Software En- gineering, 234-245, 2016.
  3. P. Kash􏰄, R. Feldt, A. Nilsson, 􏰀Integrating UX Principles and Practices into Software Development Organizations: A Case Study of In􏰅uencing Events􏰁
    In submission to The Journal of Systems and Software.
  4. P. Kash􏰄, R. Feldt, A. Nilsson, 􏰀Integrating UX Principles and Practices into Software Development Organizations: A Case Study of Challenges and Success Factors”
    In submission to The Journal of Systems and Software.
  5. P. Kash􏰄, R. Feldt, A. Nilsson, R. Berntsson Svensson, 􏰀Evidence-based Timelines for User eXperience Software Process Improvement Retrospec- tives: A Case Study of User eXperience Integration”
    42nd Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Ap- plications, 59-62, 2016.
  6. P. Kash􏰄, K. Kuusinen, R. Feldt, 􏰀Stakeholder Involvement: A Success Factor for Achieving Better UX Integration”
    1st Workshop on Stakeholder Involvement in Agile Development, NordiCHI, 2016.