Input for project proposals - Description 'Research group mict' - Expertise imec-mict-UGent

Generieke info

imec-mict-UGent is an interdisciplinary research group at the department of Communication Sciences and the department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Product Design at Ghent University and part of the digital research institute imec.

The research group gains insights in human behaviour by developing new methods, conceptual approaches and future technologies inspiring people, organisations and policymakers to create a more sustainable society.

They study the interactions between people, society and technology by leveraging on state-of-the art methodological innovation to grasp the attitudinal, behavioral as well as cognitive dimensions of the 'homo digitalis'. We deliver clear insights in users' (online/offline) behaviours, needs and wishes in a digitizing society. We believe in interdisciplinary and collaborative research in which these insights are a key differentiator for user-centric development of more empowering interfaces.

They build bridges between technology, people and society by studying their relationships to tackle the current evolution towards a sustainable digital society. They do this by looking at shifting interfaces (from analogue to digital) and studying their interactions, impact and insights.

1) Interactions

Design state-of-the art methods, using our research labs and prototypes for real-life testing, focusing on observation, co-creation and interaction design, to optimize your human-technology interactions.

2) Impact

Use theoretical frameworks from social sciences for evidence-based results, focusing on motivational, behavioral change and experience research, to maximize your effectiveness and adoption.

3) Insights

Evaluate and expose tension fields between data, privacy and ethics at governmental and industrial level, to advice your policy and decision makers.

The research group provides scientific insights on how people interact with technology today and co-create future technologies for the people of tommorow.
Therefore they study people on three levels:

What people say

By asking opinions via online/offline surveys and interviews.

What people do

By observing behavior via mobile data logging and in the field monitoring.

What people feel

By measuring physiological data via a wide range of sensors (EEG, EMG, GSR, HR, Eye-tracking).

 

This way imec-mict-UGent wants to 'Empower people in a digitizing society'. 

 

DUS volgende punten zeker vermelden:

- Interdisciplinaire onderzoeksgroep van sociale wetenschappers en ingenieur-ontwikkelaars
-   In het werk van mict staat de gebruiker, en meer specifek de interactie van die gebruiker met technologie centraal in een digitaliserende samenleving.
-   Mict houdt continu de vinger aan de digitaliserende pols van de gebruiker, en innoveert ook continu de methodes om dat te doen (what people  say + do (logging tools) + feel (cognitive tools))
-   Vanuit die diepgaande kennis van de gebruiker reflecteren we over de impact van technologie op maatschappij en leggen we spanningsvelden bloot waarvoor we meteen ook zelf graag meegaan opzoek naar oplossingen voor die problemen … enerzijds door die nieuwe interfaces zelf te ontwikelen, anderzijds door interdisciplinair up te teamen in innovatie-ontwikkelingstrajecten.
-   En bijdragen tot de empowerment van people in a digitizing society

Projectspecifieke teksten

 

FWO postdoc-voorstel Jeroen Stragier

The research conducted at MICT-UGent is focused on analyzing and developing new media and communication technologies, with a strong focus on the impact of digital media on society. MICT has a track record of health related projects with regard to user-centred development of health technology. Its roots in communication sciences aligns with the aim of this project to develop a conversational agent for preventive healthcare purposes. The team of Prof. Van Hoecke at IDLab-UGent focuses on machine learning (ML) research and the fusion of ML with expert knowledge, applied in the predictive maintenance and healthcare domains. She has a strong track record on using wearables to accurately assess the situational context of a user, e.g., to assess stress (collaboration with imec) and predict migraine or depression relapse (collaboration with Ghent University Hospital). MICT and IDLab have a long-standing collaborative research track record on the design of engaging applications. Most notably, they collaborated on the design and study of a mobile application to engage users in cycling, a VR application to treat users with anxiety and a mobile application for stress interventions.

 

FWO voorstel rode neuzen (Lieven, Koen en Floor).

This proposal ties in well with the expertise of the research group for Media, Innovation & Communication Technologies (MICT). The mission of MICT is to empower people in a digitizing society.  Starting point to do that is a continuous research effort of promotor Lieven De Marez to feel the digitizing pulse of people in Flanders. Most longstanding in that tradition is his Digimeter project, a yearly monitor of adoption, use and feeling of Flemings towards digital technology. De Marez recently developed a logging tool for smartphone behavior (mobileDNA). A tool that is also recommended by organizations working with youngsters on media literacy (knowledge centre Mediawijs, Digital Detox Academy, vzw De Sleutel, …).

The promotor Koen Ponnet is an expert in research on the determinants of online and offline health and risk behaviors of adolescents. The past years, Ponnet has successfully secured several research grants (FWO, BOF, …) related to the current proposal: a) Examining online/offline social capital and its association with online/offline risk behaviors, b) Stress and mental health in families with different income levels and c) Parental Stress and Adolescent Problem Behavior

FWO-project Amandine

The research group for Media, Innovation and Communication Technologies (mict-UGent) studies the interrelationship between technology, people and society to address the challenges towards a sustainable digital society. Over the last fifteen years, the group has built internationally recognized expertise in evolving media consumption patterns and the transformation of the media industries. This expertise is illustrated by numerous finished (and ongoing) doctoral projects, participation to (inter)national research consortia and publications in high-impact journals and academic books. The feasibility of the project is guaranteed by my promoter (Prof. Tom Evens) who has recognized expertise in evolving television consumption. The envisaged project fits perfect with a few ongoing projects that relate to the impact of shifting media behaviour on the television industry and from which it will possibly benefit. It matches the Digimeter project, an annual study of media consumption representative of Flanders. Furthermore, the project is complementary to a long research collaboration with public service broadcaster VRT to identify trends and draw up scenarios for future media use.

iBof voorstel (Lieven, Klaas en Wouter)

Lieven De Marez is full professor at Ghent University (Department of Communication Sciences)  and leads a team specialised in designing, executing and impact assessment of user studies. Leveraging on the combination of users panels and innovative fusion of self-reporting with behavioural logging and physiopsychological data and insights, and the broad methodological expertise of social science research methodologies, Lieven and his team are widely recognised for assessing the potential and impact of technological innovations in a broad diversity of markets. As the head of the interdisciplinary research group imec-mict-UGent, he and his team have extensive experience in interdisciplinary collaborative research. An experience on which he leverages to be at the forefront of emerging research domains as computational social sciences and team up internationally with teams as MIT Media Lab. His contribution will be execution of the user studies and the societal reverberations of the performance prediction.

 

Project Retail Deep Dive - MobileDNA' (Wouter Durnez en Lieven De Marez)

Expertise research group imec-mict-UGent

imec-mict-UGent is an interdisciplinary research group at the department of Communication Sciences and the department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Product Design at Ghent University and part of the digital research institute imec. imec-mict-UGent studies the interactions between people, society and technology by leveraging on state-of-the art methodological innovation to grasp the attitudinal, behavioral as well as cognitive dimensions of the 'homo digitalis'. We deliver clear insights in users' (online/offline) behaviors, needs and wishes in a digitizing society. We believe in interdisciplinary and collaborative research in which these insights are a key differentiator for user-centric development of more empowering interfaces.

 

Project Chatbots (Wouter Dunrez en Lieven De Marez)

Expertise research group imec-mict-UGent

De onderzoeksgroep voor media, innovatie en communicatietechnologieën, verbonden aan de Universiteit Gent en imec, is gespecialiseerd in gebruikersonderzoek in alle stappen van het innovatieproces. De onderzoeksgroep kan ondersteuning bieden in het ideegeneratieproces, conceptontwikkeling, en aftoetsen van mock-ups, prototypes en alphaversies aan de doelgroep. Verder is mict gespecialiseerd in (predictieve) validatie, namelijk het voorspellen en evalueren of het eindproduct slaagt in wat het vooropstelt.

 

Project cyberdating abuse (FWO aspirant-voorstel maart 2020, Schokkenbroek, Ponnet, Hardyns)

How this project fits into the research activities of your research group

The proposed PhD shall be embedded in two research groups from Ghent University of which thesupervisors are a member: MICT (Prof. Ponnet) and IRCP (Prof. Hardyns). The research group Media, Innovation and Communication Technologies (MICT) aims to empower people in a digitizing society, among others by looking into how people's digitised worlds and offline worlds coincide and how for example policy makers can adapt this knowledge. My supervisor, Prof. Ponnet, is an international authority on cyber dating abuse (CDA) research. As such, the proposed research on (the determinants of) CDA is an excellent fit to the research activities of MICT. Additionally, the PhD will be embedded in the Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP), where my second supervisor, Prof. Hardyns, is an expert on criminological methodologies and theories, such as the situational action theory. My supervisors have already been collaborating together since 2014, which resulted in several combined projects and co-authored articles. The combined knowledge, expertise and resources of both supervisors will enable high-quality, interdisciplinary research on cyber dating abuse.

 

Project crime at universities (FWO-voorstel maart 2020, Ponnet, Hardyns, Sas)

PROJECT POSITIONING AND EMBEDDING

Explain how this project fits into the research activities of each involved partner. This project fits the research line of the Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP, Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law, Ghent University). IRCP has a longstanding tradition of research on the determinants of fear of crime, with attention to different settings. IRCP undertakes efforts to further unravel the context of fear of crime indicators in collaboration with a variety of research partners (e.g. European Working Group on Space, Place and Crime). Prof. Hardyns has worked on several studies on fear of crime and has gained strong expertise in systematic social observations and key informant interviews.

This projects also fits an important research line of the research group Media, Innovation & Communication Technologies (MICT, Department of Communication, UGent). Prof. Ponnet, one of the heads in MICT, is an international expert in research on the determinants of health, risk and insecure behaviors. In his research, he combines insights from social psychology, communication sciences and sociology. He co-operated in many (inter)national data collection projects, and has extensive expertise in developing questionnaires and research designs.

 

Project digital inequality (FWO-voorstel maart 2020, Ponnet)

Explain how this project fits into the research activities of each involved partner.

This proposal ties in well with the expertise of the research group for Media, Innovation & Communication Technologies (MICT). MICT’s research builds bridges between technology, people and society by studying their intertwined relationships to tackle the current evolution towards a sustainable digital society. Koen Ponnet, one of the heads in MICT, is an international expert in research on the determinants of online and offline health and risk behaviors. In his research, Ponnet also pays attention to the situation of vulnerable groups, like those who are at risk of poverty.

The past years, Koen Ponnet has successfully secured several research grants (FWO, BOF, …) related to the current proposal: a) Examining online/offline social capital and its association with online/offline risk behaviors (4yr), b) Stress and mental health in families with different income levels (4yr); c) Parental Stress and Adolescent Problem Behavior (2yr); d) Switch on-Switch off: Smartphone use of adolescents (1yr); e) KopOp: Smartphone use of adults (1yr); and (f) The development of an evidence-based, multi-actor education strategy about the use of   internet by minors (2yr).