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Current Projects

  1. MEDI@4SEC: The emerging role of new social media in enhancing public security. H2020; July 2016-December 2018. Co-Investigator. MEDI@4SEC focuses upon enhancing understanding of the opportunities, challenges and ethical consideration of social media use for public security. Making use of the possibilities that social media offer, including smart ‘work-arounds’ is key, while respecting privacy, legislation, and ethics. This changing situation raises a series of challenges and possibilities for public security planners. MEDI@4SEC will explore this through a series of communication and dissemination activities that engage extensively with a range of end-users to better understand the usage of social media for security activities.
  2. Petras Internet of Things Research Hub. EPSRC; April 2016-March 2019. Petras is a consortium of nine leading UK universities, which will work together to explore critical issues in privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security.
  3. Studies in Co-creating Assisted Living Solutions. Wellcome Trust; August 2015-July 2019. Co-Investigator. This project has three research questions: 1. How can we improve the development of assisted living technologies by and for people with multiple health conditions and declining health? 2. How can we better promote the customisation and use of such technologies in the home and the community by individuals, their carers and support services? 3. How can we ensure that ethical concerns (what matters to people? what are society’s responsibilities towards its sick?) inform and shape the development, introduction, adaptation and use of assisted living technologies?
  4. Digital Wildfires: (Mis)information flows, propagation and responsible governance. ESRC; December 2014-May 2016. Co-Investigator. How people communicate in new digital social spaces is not well understood; users may not fully understand how these spaces 'work' as channels of communication and so what constitutes appropriate and responsible behaviour may be unclear. The challenge is to develop appropriate ways of governing these spaces and how to apply and use them responsibly. This project will attempt to address this challenge by framing the study in a programme of work known as Responsible Innovation in ICT and by developing a methodology for the study and advancement of the responsible governance of social media.
  5. Computing Veracity Across Media, Languages and Social Networks (PHEME). FP7; January 2014-December 2016. Co-Investigator. The challenges of big data are often characterised as volume, velocity and variety. This project will focus on a fourth crucial, but hitherto largely unstudied, challenge for big social data analysis: veracity. It will model, identify and verify phemes (internet memes with added truthfulness or deception), as they spread across media, languages, and social networks.

Recently Completed Projects

  1. Social Media and Prediction: Crime Sensing, Data Integration and Statistical Modelling. ESRC/NCRM; April 2013-May 2015. Co-Investigator. The key objective of this project is to develop the repurposing of user generated social media data for social research by developing innovative methodological and computational tools for establishing the link between online and offline behaviour. This will entail building statistical models based on social media data that predict offline social phenomena.
  2. 'Hate' Speech and Social Media: Understanding Users, Networks and Information Flows. ESRC/Google; April 2013-August 2014. Co-Investigator. The aim of the project is to develop a probabilistic model-based methodology and resultant computational tool to inform the social scientific interpretation of the formation and spread of hate speech and antagonistic content in social media networks, as well as its consequences and reactions to it.
  3. Humanitarianism 2.0 (H20). AHRC; March-December 2013. Co-Investigator. This project brings together a multi-disciplinary group to explore a range of humanitarian and new media initiatives. It starts with a core collaborative group of HE and non-HE partners, but aims during its course to build a network of practitioners, scholars and social media users interested in this area.
  4. Twitter mining workbench development. JISC; August 2012-June 2014. Principal Investigator. This project is developing the Twitter analysis workbench created for the Reading the Riots project so that it will be available for use by social media researchers. The project is a collaboration with St Andrews, Leeds, UCL, Edinburgh and Cardiff Universities.
  5. ATHENE: Assistive Technologies for Healthy living in Elders: Needs assessment by Ethnography. Technology Strategy Board; September 2011-August 2013, co-investigator. The aim of the project was to facilitate effective planning and implementation of assistive living technology (ALT) programmes via a working partnership between academia, NHS, IT industry, social care and third sector. To do this, the project team will devise capacity building programmes for industry and service providers in user-centred design methods for ALTs, and guidelines for planners and managers of ALT development projects and programmes.
  6. Negotiating the Organizational and Policy Context for Successful Technology Adoption in the NHS. National Institute for Health Research; October 2009-February 2013, co-investigator. This project was a study of the adoption processes and pathways for non-pharmaceutical technologies in the NHS.
  7. VRE programme synthesis and evaluation. JISC; August 2012-February 2013. Principal Investigator. The aim of this project was to review the JISC VRE3 programme and pull out what tools and development work has had an impact and could have an impact given the right support. Previous phases of the VRE programme and the Rapid Innovation projects will also be reviewed. The outputs included advice and guidance on how to support tools that have been developed and ones that are currently being developed. The project was a collaboration with OSS Watch.
  8. MaDAM into Sustainable Service (MiSS). JISC Research Data Management Programme; October 2011-March 2013. Co-investigator. MiSS built on the achievements of the JISC funded MaDAM pilot project to deliver a sustained Research Data Management Infrastructure – supporting the whole data life cycle according to researchers’ needs – across the University of Manchester.
  9. Reading the Riots. JISC; October 2011-December 2011. Principal Investigator. This project was a collaboration with the Guardian Newspaper and the LSE. The project involved the analysis of 2.6M tweets from the time of the August riots as part of the Guardian/LSE ‘Reading the Riots’ investigation. The results of the project have been widely reported in the media. The project won the Data Visualization and Storytelling – National/International category of the inaugural Data Journalism Awards sponsored by Google and the 2012 Online Media Award for the ‘Bestuse of Social Media’.