Monday, 17 March 2014

Funding awarded to Dr Jo Bates and Dr Farida Vis


Congratulations to Dr Jo Bates and Dr Farida Vis of the Information School who have recently been awarded funding for some of their work. 

Jo has been awarded funding in collaboration with Professor Hamish Cunnigham (Department of Computer Science) and local artist Bo Meson, for a two day Festival of the Mind event called ‘Open Data | Open Hardware: Resilient Cultures’.
 
With the advent of cheap, easily configurable computing devices (of which the UK's Raspberry Pi is the most prominent example), and the opening of significant amounts of data for anyone to use and re-use, the boundary between creative culture and information engineering is re-opening. 

The event, which will be held on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th September, will celebrate developments in open hardware, open data and maker culture.  It will bring together collaborations between extraordinary performance, science and engineering practitioners with around a dozen exhibits plus a regular stage show. 

The exhibits will feature two Information School projects: Farida Vis’ work on open allotment data and everyday growing cultures; and Jo’s project on the Secret Life of a Weather Datum for which an exhibit on building your own Raspberry Pi weather station and contributing your data to the Met Office Weather Observations Website (WOW) will be developed. 

Farida has received USE Enterprise Curriculum Development funding which will be used to enhance her module on Research Social Media by inviting guest speakers and providing student placements. Key stakeholders from government, policy and the commercial sector will be invited to present guest talks and ‘pitch sessions’ so that students get a better understanding of the real world scenarios they might apply their skills to.  This will help them to think more concretely about the final assignment they submit for the module.  It will also allow them to think about how they might explore this as part of their dissertation projects and wider studies.   

The module will also be enhanced by creating a number of placements for the strongest and most motivated students.  These placements will take place in summer 2014 and will be completed over one to two weeks.  The project placements will be with a number of government departments both in London and in Sheffield as well as wit leading social media analytics company Face.  The placements provide standalone opportunities for students, though for some they may fit with their wider studies or dissertation projects.

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