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Professor Margot Brereton

Science and Engineering Faculty,
Electrical Engineering, Computer Science,
Computer Human Interaction

Personal

Name
Professor Margot Brereton
Position(s)
Professor Eng. & Interaction Design
Science and Engineering Faculty,
Electrical Engineering, Computer Science,
Computer Human Interaction
Discipline *
Information Systems, Design Practice and Management, Distributed Computing
Phone
+61 7 3138 8365
Fax
+61 7 3138 1469
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Qualifications

PhD (Mechanical Engineering Design) (Stanford University), Masters (Technology Policy) (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), BSc.Eng (Hons) (Bristol University)

Keywords

Human-Computer Interaction, Participatory Design, Social Computing, Tangible Interaction, Theories And Methods Of Design, Ubiquitous Computing

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Biography

Margot Brereton researches the participatory interaction design of ubiquitous computing technologies and their interfaces.  She develops innovative designs, methods, and theoretical understandings by designing to support real user communities in selected challenging contexts. Her approach is highly iterative and often involves growing user communities as the design evolves, by understanding and responding to socio-cultural factors.  

 

Broad area of research:Human-Computer Interaction, Participatory Design, Interaction Design, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Design Methods, Ubiquitous Computing.   Find out more about the  Computer-Human Interaction Discipline at QUT.

This information has been contributed by Professor Margot Brereton.

Teaching

I team teach in the following subjects:
  • ENB345 Advanced Design and Professional Practice –  a design project class with our 3rd year electrical engineering students.
  • CAB210 People, Context and Technology – an introductory human-technology interaction subject.
  • CAB310 Interaction and Experience Design – a more advanced human-centred design subject.
  • IFN690 Advanced User Centred Design – A Masters level subject.

Previously I have taught:

  • Interaction Design;
  • Visual Thinking;
  • Design Studio;
  • Advanced / Human-Computer Interaction;
  • Power Transfer Systems;
  • Mechanical Design;
  • Manufacturing
This information has been contributed by Professor Margot Brereton.

Experience

DO YOU NEED RESEARCH EXPERIENCE? I NEED GOOD RESEARCH STUDENTS. I currently supervise 6 wonderful PhD students and 2 post-docs. If you are interested in PhD, honours, Masters or postdoctoral research study, please contact me. In particular I am looking for students to work and to train in research on the funded  projects below.  Scholarships are available for qualified candidates. If you have skills/interests in design, user-centeed research, tangible interaction, visualisation, ethnographic research, participatory design, electronics design, app development,  IT  or software engineering,  and want to further develop your research skills through higher degree research, please do get in touch.

  1. MAKE AND CONNECT: ENABLING PEOPLE TO CONNECT THROUGH THEIR THINGS:  The Internet of Things promises a future in which everyday objects are all connected to the internet enabling them to share data and communicate with one another. The vision is technology centric and the technology is difficult to build. We will research how internet enabled things can be designed and built by everyone young and old, with a domain focus on enabling social engagement and connectedness of older people and distributed families through new forms of connectedness. Outcomes will be new toolkits, a theoretical model, and example networks of objects connecting people in new ways.
  2. MyPORTFOLIO –  SUPPORTING SELF EXPRESSION LEARNING AND SHARING FOR PEOPLE OF ALL ABILITIES:  MyPorfolio extends our existing “My Calendar” project designed to support non-verbal children with autism. MyCalendar is an audiovisual calendar that supports a child to share photos and videos of their day across home and school settings. It helps teachers, family and children themselves to understand, share and develop the child’s competencies on a daily basis and over time. It has been trialled in ten families of children with autism who are non-verbal or have significant verbal delays. Families, children and their teachers used the app regularly for 6 months, and found it led to significant sharing, learning, and scaffolding for the child’s communication, with children growing in confidence across settings. The MyPortfolio project also supports a person-centred view by building upon its users’ motivations, interests and competencies. It will be a suite of mobile/tablet applications (apps) that supports developing competencies and sharing in the areas of living, literacy, storymaking and art. MyPortfolio takes as inspiration people who face challenges to share their competencies and interests across social settings because they are young, old, or differently abled.
  3. BIO-ACOUSTIC OBSERVATORY – ENGAGING BIRDWATCHERS TO MONITOR BIODIVERSITY BY COLLABORATIVELY COLLECTING AND ANALYSING BIG AUDIO DATA:  This project will research how to crowd-source the collection and analysis of environmental sounds (birds, frogs etc) This will enable a bio-acoustic observatory which provides a scalable, objective and permanent record of the environment, something hitherto impossible. We will investigate how to engage the community of birdwatchers to extend their pastime online with new kinds of interactive tools to enable collaborative analysis of big audio data, and new kinds of birding experiences. Outcomes will be: new approaches to physical/virtual engagement in Human Computer Interaction, new approaches to analysing big data, a new validated ecological monitoring technique and concepts for sustainable knowledge generation communities.
  4. DIGITAL NOTICEBOARDS FOR REMOTE ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES: BRINGING WEB 2.0 PARTICIPATION TO NON-WESTERN ORAL CULTURES WITH DIFFERENT LITERACIES:  Poor communication is an identified key issue in remote Aboriginal communities. Unfortunately Web 2.0 is ill-suited to traditional collective oral cultures, those with low English and technical literacy and those who are poor. This project will research, design and evaluate novel communal technologies inc. digital noticeboards and tabletops suitable for use by the traditional community on Groote Island. This will enable communication in identified priority areas inc: health, education, environment and culture. Outcomes will include a network of open source prototype systems, new interaction design methodologies and improved communications within the community and outside.  Outcomes will be broadly applicable to other Aboriginal communities.
  5. VISUAL ANALYTICS FOR NEXT GENERATION SEQUENCING:  Next generation Sequencing technologies have brought a revolution in biology and healthcare, while taxing the ability of scientists and clinicians to identify and process relevant data to ³make sense of it all and communicate it to others in a concise and meaningful way². This project will tackle this problem through fundamentally new approaches to data selection and visualization at very large scale, actively encoding for insight into underlying biological and biomedical processes, bringing sustainable discovery of new relationships and variations within the data. Our work will support new approaches to medical diagnosis and treatment and offer crucial lessons to address the broader challenge of understanding large, complex data sets. Although next-generation sequencing has revolutionized biology and healthcare, the data sets involved are so massive that even specialists have problems working with them. This project will develop integrated visualisation and analysis methods to make genomic sequence data more comprehensible to scientists and clinicians alike.
  6. NEW INFORMATION ACCESS TECHNOLOGIES FOR PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY:   This project aims to co-design new interfaces and algorithms for information seeking with people with intellectual disabilities, creating web search technologies that are  accessible to all. Information access is key to independence in making choices in everyday living, however it is still not possible for many people with intellectual disability in Australia. The project will demonstrate the value of diversity in IT design processes by engaging users with intellectual disability in all steps of the process, through interviews, focus groups and iterative prototype testing. Outcomes will be new, inclusive search technologies, and a new theoretical framework characterising the new forms of inclusive interactive social search. This project will result in new technologies for searching information on the web that will improve quality of life of people living with intellectual disability, providing independence and social and cultural integration. It will generate new search engine algorithms  and new interfaces that will benefit all users of search engines still struggling to abstract their information needs to suit current technologies, and demonstrate the value of diversity in inclusive design.
  7. SOCIOPHYSICAL INTERACTIONS –  UNDERSTANDING THE ROLE OF SOCIAL AND TANGIBLE TECHNOLOGIES IN MAINTAINING GOOD HABITS INTO OLD AGE: Sociophysical interactions are made possible when the tangible interactions, offered by mobile and embedded technologies are combined with opportunities for social engagement offered by social technologies. This project will develop theoretical groundings, exemplar pro types and methodological insights into the design and use of these technologies through investigating the social complexities and bodily challenges of ageing. Specifically we investigate the opportunities offered by sociophysical technologies to maintina and even ehnace peoples capacities to continue to act as vital engaged and independent human beings as they move into old age.
  8. LOCAL SHARING – DIGITAL NOTICEBOARDS AND MOBILE SOCIAL SOFTWARE TO SUPPORT SHARING: We are interested to support different paradigms for community based sharing that do not only involve monetary exchange and networked individualism.
My Experience
  • Discipline Leader – Computer Human Interaction at Queensland  University of Technology
  • Recipient of 8  Australian Research Council grants.
  • 130 peer reviewed research publications
  • Deployment of innovative long term functioning prototypes in several communities e.g Nnub digital noticeboard system, Rhub group mobile social software, and to come…. the Messaging Kettle (or Messaging Rice Cooker, or Message Sticks) which will be deployed to connect families between UK and Australia, within Indonesia and within Aboriginal families in Australia
  • 10 PhD students graduated (6 from University of Queensland (my former workplace) and 4 from QUT) (Ben Matthews, Jared Donovan, Clint Heyer, Fiona Redhead, Tim Cederman-Haysom, Brett Campbell, Ellya Zulhaikha, Hadi Mirisaee, Steve Snow, Amirudin Wahab)
  • Chair of OzCHI, Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 2010
  • OzCHI Doctoral Colloquium Responder/Chair, 2006-2009, 2011, 2012
  • Key Researcher in the CRC for Interaction Design.
  • Reviewing: ACM CHI, conference on Computer Human Interaction; PDC Participatory Design, DIS Designing Interactive Systems; Journal of Computer Supported Co-operative Work; OzCHI; The International Journal of Research in Engineering Design; Design Studies; ASME Design Theory and Methodology; CoDesigning; Design of Augmented Reality; Environments; DesignExpertise; Designing User Experience (DUX); ISWC (International Symposium on Wearable Computing); AUIC. European Commission.
  • 2004 – Present: Member of the Editorial Board, CoDesign.
  • ACM CHI Best paper award 2014
This information has been contributed by Professor Margot Brereton.

Publications


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Awards

Awards and recognition

Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2015
Details
Association oF Computer Machinery (ACM) Computer Human Interaction 2014 Best Paper Award: Brereton, M., Roe, P., Schroeter, R., & Lee Hong, A. (2014, April). Beyond ethnography: engagement and reciprocity as foundations for design research out here. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 1183-1186). ACM. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/72128/4/72128(pub).pdf
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2015
Details
Association oF Computer Machinery (ACM) Computer Human Interaction 2014 Honorable Mention Award: Rogers, Y., Paay, J., Brereton, M., Vaisutis, K. L., Marsden, G., & Vetere, F. (2014, April). Never too old: engaging retired people inventing the future with MaKey MaKey. In Proceedings of the 32nd annual ACM conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 3913-3922). ACM. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/72109/
Type
Committee Role/Editor or Chair of an Academic Conference
Reference year
2014
Details
Chair of OzCHI, The 22nd Annual Conference of the Australian Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group
Type
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
2013
Details
Keynote Speaker, International Conference on Creative Industries, Surabaya, Indonesia
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2007
Details
University of Queensland Promoting Women Fellowship
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2014
Details
2004 University of Queensland Enhancement of Student Learning Award

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
Make and Connect: Enabling People to Connect through their Things
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP150104001
Start year
2015
Keywords
Human-Computer Interaction; Participatory Design; User-centred Design
Title
Bio-Acoustic Observatory: Engaging Birdwatchers to Monitor Biodiversity by Collaboratively Collecting and Analysing Big Audio Data
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP140102325
Start year
2014
Keywords
Computer Human Interaction; Crowd Sourcing; Interaction Design and Communities
Title
Visual Analytics for Next Generation Sequencing
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP140100574
Start year
2015
Keywords
Visual Analytics; Bioinformatics - Next Generation Sequencing; Big Data - Large Scale Visualisation
Title
Digital noticeboards for remote Aboriginal communities: bringing web 2.0 participation to non-western cultures with low English and technical literacy
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP120200329
Start year
2012
Keywords
Noticeboard; Aboriginal Information System; Interaction Design; Participatory Web
Title
Cooperation and Reciprocity at the Local Scale Enabled by Social and Mobile Technologies: An Empirically Derived Theoretical Framework
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP110105127
Start year
2011
Keywords
Human-Computer Interaction Participatory Design Community Informatics
Title
Sociophysical Interactions: Understanding the Role of Social and Tangible Technologies in Maintaining Good Habits into Old Age
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP110101999
Start year
2011
Keywords
Human Computer Interaction; Human-Centred Design; Social Technologies; Ageing; User Experience; Embedded Interactions; Tangible Technologies;

Supervision