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UMAP 2009 Day 1

I'm in Trento, Italy for the second conference of my academic career: UMAP (User Modelling And Personalisation) 2009. The first was back in November at DIGITEL 2008, in Banff, Canada, but someone convinced me not to take my laptop and typing a blog entry on my phone was too much hard work!! Conferences are an important part of the research world, as they are where academics present their work to their peers and receive feedback. Continue reading →

InterFace 2009

InterFace 2009 One of the things that has been keeping me busy recently is being on the organising committee of a conference: InterFace 2009. My friend Leif (who I met on a training course way back at the start of my PhD) is doing a PhD in ECS department, but with a co-supervisor in Archaeology, due to the nature of his topic. Continue reading →

What I Did This Summer: Part I

There was a long period over the summer where I didn't write a blog entry, and it all stems from what I spoke about in my June entry: my 9-month report! What happened was that I worked fairly heavily on it during June to get it completed for the end of the month. During this time my supervisor, Hugh, was off sick for a while, though from my perspective this let me knuckle down and really get some writing done. Continue reading →

Knowledge Transfer

Lots has been going on. I will tell you about it due course! However, my topic today is planning, organisation and motivation. The plan is mostly to share some resources that I have found. I have a problem with planning. I am really good at making plans, but have difficulty sticking to them. Maybe it's a result of overestimating what I can do, but then doing enough of it to satisfy whatever my targets were, by the *hard* deadline. Continue reading →

Creative Writing!

If I have any 'regular' readers (though the only feedback is from my dad!), then I must apologise for my lack of activity on this blog in recent months. June is the time for the first piece of assessment, of sorts, in my PhD, so I have been building up to and working on this. Continue reading →

MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games)

Thus far I have been concentrating on looking at existing uses of video games in education, but I have not investigated virtual worlds as much. There is some research looking at using MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games), and their predecessors, MUDs and MOOs, in education, but less so in the area of non-game 3D virtual worlds. The best known example of these systems is Second Life. Continue reading →

PhD Induction Sessions

My next two monthly reports November was a month of more training. This started with the ECS Induction sessions which introduced us to reading groups, gave us the chance to practice making a conference poster and panel sessions with existing PhD students and with PhD supervisors, allowing us to interrogate people with varied perspectives on PhD life. The middle of the month was consumed with preparing for and participating in the FESM Generic Skills Intensive Training course. Continue reading →

UCAS Visitor Days

I am writing this post now because next Tuesday is the first day (of many!) that the UCAS students come to visit ECS to be convinced that Southampton is the best place for them to come to study. The process of applying to university generally involves submitting a form to an organisation called UCAS. Continue reading →