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PhD studentship: Communication in Collaborative Environments
A high-calibre PhD candidate is sought commencing October 2006 to undertake research into communication in collaborative environments. This is a collaborative research project to be conducted in the I-Lab, a multidisciplinary group with industrial partners, embedded within the Centre of Communication Systems Research (CCSR), University of Surrey, which has 5*A rating in the 2001 RAE.
Collaborative environments are challenging areas in which the development of the appropriate tools serves to support and enhance the team working experience. For instance, in a crisis management scenario the environment has to provide pertinent support to users tasked to react and recover from a specific disaster or event, and who need to deal with decision making and problem solving under extremely stressful situations and complex circumstances. This research intends to address the problems that arise in the communication processes amongst multiple and diverse users during a collaborative working experience and to understand how to construct such a collaborative environment that can improve and enhance team working and decision making.
Group processes, multi-user interfaces, concurrency control for communication and co-ordination within groups, shared information spaces, and interoperability in a heterogeneous networked environment are important research issues. At the same time, there is the need to combine the understanding of the way people work in groups with the enabling technologies of computer networking, and associated hardware, software, services and applications.
The successful student will be expected to investigate:
- The human factors and social aspects to be incorporated in the development of a relevant collaborative work space
- The technologies that support and enhance team working
- How to empower the users in decision making?
- The relationship between tools and their users. Do the tools allow the users to accomplish their tasks effectively and efficiently?
- How well are the team social protocols mapped into the collaborative space?
- Is the team working strategy sustainable by the technology?
Potential applicants will ideally have skills, background and experience in any of the following topics: Interaction Design, Usability, Ergonomics, or Computer Supported Collaborative Work. He/She should have a good first degree or MSc in a relevant subject (Psychology, Social Science or a Design discipline) and have keen interests in Human-Computer Interaction.
Applications, with a covering letter and detailed CV, together with names and addresses of two referees, should be sent to Professor Ahmet Kondoz, email [log in to unmask], or to I-Lab, Centre for Communication Systems Research (CCSR) School of Electronics and Physical Sciences University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH. Closing date is 1 September 2006.
For informal discussions and further enquiries please contact: Professor Ahmet Kondoz, email: [log in to unmask], tel: + 44 (0)1483 689843 or Dr Amy Tan, email: [log in to unmask], tel: + 44 (0)1483 684744
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