torsdag 12 mars 2020

Guest researcher Kelly Widdicks (visit)

 Postdoc Kelly Widdicks from Lancaster University 
visited our research group this past week

This week we have had a guest since Kelly Widdicks visited our research group at KTH. Kelly has done her PhD at Lancaster University (UK) and she recently (February) defended her dissertation. It was in fact my colleague Elina Eriksson who was the external examiner and Elina wrote two interesting blog posts about her (train) trip to the UK ("By train to Lancaster" and "Slower academic travel").

Me and Kelly met at the ICT4S summer school in the Netherlands in 2017. Our work at the summer school later resulted in a published paper and me and her have since written another paper together (see further below for references and links to these papers).

Kelly primarily visited KTH for two reasons:
- to work on a research paper together with me
- to meet and socialize with other members of our research group

I have invited Kelly to be a co-author of a paper that, while promising, fell just below the threshold when we submitted it to a conference some time ago. I have actually written about the paper on this blog (quite some time ago) but have since become a bit more cagey about writing about papers that are in review/have not yet been accepted, so I will not disclose exactly what paper we are working on at this point. What I can say is that I was the first author and have worked on the paper together with two other researchers. None of us have however had the time to have another go at it, so I thought it would be a good idea to invite Kelly to become a co-author and through her also get some new perspectives and ideas that could help strengthen the paper. The paper is very much in line with Kelly's own research so me and Kelly agreed she will now take main responsibility for the paper and also become the first author of the paper when we re-submit it. To me and the other authors, the most important thing at this point is that the paper will finally be published, since it otherwise runs the risk of becoming permanently shelved.

Since I nowadays officially work in three different research projects, I have made a commitment to not write any new researchers papers where 1) I am the first author unless 2) the paper in question is related to one of my three research projects. This paper is not related to any of those three projects and "off-loading" the paper to Kelly is thus right in line with this new "policy" of mine.

Kelly also met other people in our research group during her visit (including at social events) and also tagged along to some of our ICT & Sustainability teaching activities, but let's face it, this wasn't the best week to be out traveling and the department became progressively emptier as the week and the Corona virus advanced and became a force to be reckoned with. Kelly was supposed to stay until Saturday but hastily rebooked her ticket and instead flew back to the UK Thursday afternoon. Despite her hasty departure, it was great to have her over and I hope to see Kelly either at the upcoming (June 2020) ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S) conference in Bristol or at the upcoming (August 2020) summer school on ICT for Sustainability at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, NL.

Before Kelly's left Stockholm, she did manage to give not just one but two lunch seminar (in fact the same seminar but at two different departments). The talk (below) is based on Kelly's PhD projects/thesis:

Kelly Widdicks PhD thesis, "Understanding and Mitigating the Impact of Internet Demand in Everyday Life"

Title: Understanding and Mitigating the Impact of Internet Demand in Everyday Life

Abstract: The growth in demand for Internet data has implications for the environment due to the energy consumption from the underlying Internet infrastructure; this demand needs to be reduced to stop the continuous growth cycle of the Internet. In this talk, Kelly will provide a brief overview of Internet demand in everyday life and the opportunities for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) designers to reduce such demand. She will specifically discuss the new norms of watching that are driving Internet demand, given that the majority of global Internet traffic is formed by video. She will also discuss her work on designing for moderate and meaningful use of digital devices and online services, utilising HCI themes of wellbeing, work productivity, online privacy and relationships with others to reduce the demand for Internet data in ways that users might appreciate.

Bio: Kelly Widdicks is an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Researcher in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, interested in understanding and mitigating the negative impacts of technology on society and the environment. Her PhD research (successfully defended at her viva in February) explored how the demand for the Internet relates to, and impacts, users’ everyday lives, as well as the opportunities for technology designers and wider stakeholders (e.g. policy makers, network engineers) to mitigate the environmental and societal impacts of Internet traffic growth. She has published work at CHI (top conference for HCI) and was recently awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize to continue her research until January 2021.

Publications for interest:

- Widdicks, K., Hazas, M., Bates, O. and Friday, A., 2019, May. Streaming, Multi-Screens and YouTube: The New (Unsustainable) Ways of Watching in the Home. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-13).


This is the paper that came out of the 2017 ICT4S summer school:
- K. Widdicks, T. Ringenson, D. Pargman, V. Kuppusamy, and P. Lago (2018). Undesigning the internet: An exploratory study of reducing everyday internet connectivity. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for Sustainability (ICT4S). Here's a pdf of the paper!

This is the other paper that Kelly and me have written together:
- Widdicks, K., & Pargman, D. (2019). Breaking the Cornucopian Paradigm: Towards Moderate Internet Use in Everyday Life. In Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Computing within Limits (LIMITS). Here's a pdf of the paper!

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