Sun 22 Mar 2015
It’s been a hectic few months learning the ins and outs of MongoDB. I’ve learnt a lot but a request has made me realise that I’d forgotten to bring a few artefacts from my past along with me and that the Internet has forgotten them as well. Over the years the links to my various disserations and theses have fallen out of circulation due to replacement of webservers and general spring cleaning of former researcher group members.
I’m posting them back to this website with my apologies to those who in the research community couldn’t access them, I honestly hadn’t realised they were not still being hosted on the various servers.
My Masters thesis investigated sound / music collection management from the view point of browsing coupled with multiple visualisations and filtering. The question asked sought to discover if supporting a different form of navigating these resources might enhance the serendipity of the experience. Looking at it today, it is still an open question as whilst Spotify and similar streaming music services provide a search inspired navigation approach, there is still no ‘browse’ inspired approach that allows you to be lost in oceans of sound, and yet made those serendipitous discoveries. Spotify’s Discover Weekly and Your Daily Mix are one attempt based on similarity metrics but it still lacks the engagement of the user and those moments of self discovery (i.e. when in a physical record store finding that random gem)
My PhD thesis investigated everyday sounds, specifically how people categorised these sounds and what meanings they associated with them. My work gathered a range of existing techniques from interaction design and from other domains to elict the multiple meanings that people assoicate with these sounds. The thesis provided a framework and guidance on how to map these meanings to usable categories. My eventual and still unreached goal was to design auditory interfaces using these sounds for public spaces where the sounds would have a communal meaning and a hidden/deeper personal meaning. The very essence of private communication with non-speech sounds in public environments where hidden messages could be passed to the listener due to the deeper understanding of how they would perceive the multiple layers of meaning inherent in the sound.
My PGDip dissertation in technology commercialisation investigated how road mapping could be combined with financial modeling and looked at this in the context of data management. It provided an approach for businesses that allowes for the development of a technology strategy with clearly outlined cost benefits to the business. Road maps, particular technology road maps are a common tool in IT product management mid to long term strategies, however these do not include any clear financial modeling that allows tangible estimates to be developed and matched to the road map. I had worked with a number of companies in the cloud and high-performance computing space during this period and felt the cloud hype (which unfortunately still exists today) needed better tools for senior IT managers to both understand and justify their technology strategy choices.