#10 Voter engagement technologies for young people in resource constrained communities

10th project of CHERISH-DE Escalator Fund Award #aprojectaday

Principal Investigator: Dr Matthew Wall (Arts and Humanities).                    Co-Investigator: Dr. Stephen Lindsay (Computer Science).

The main objective of this proposal is to develop an informative, pleasing and flexible technology that integrates the tangible with the digital. Building on technologies developed for a ‘Vote Advice Application’ (VAA) website for the 2016 Welsh Assembly election, we will run a series of political engagement sessions with 16-18 year older students in ‘communities first’ educational institutions. This pilot will take the first steps towards refining existing VAA technologies in order to bring politics to life for young people. This proposal addresses the core themes of CHERISH- DE in several ways, but what this proposal especially seeks is to do is put the voice of Welsh young people in resource constrained communities at the centre of the development process.

For this research, the major parties running in the campaign have consented to provide the project with their official stances on each of the survey questions, giving the project greater validity and legitimacy.  Levels of political engagement among young people in Wales, particularly those in resourced constrained communities, are very low and the development of online technologies, together with ‘live’ sessions, can facilitate voter engagement. This proposal is inherently interdisciplinary as it brings together specialists in political science, computer science, and a technology company focussed on voter engagement.

The two main outcomes of this research are:

  • To develop a prototype digital and physical infrastructure and related teaching materials building on VAA technology
  • It will be of direct benefit to those students and educational institutions who are chosen to take part.

The total work plan will take over five months and the total project cost will be £4,731.76

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Matthew Wall. Principal Investigator
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#9 Improving cognitive flexibility through bilingual rule switching tasks

9th project of CHERISH-DE Escalator Fund Award #aprojectaday

Principal Investigator: Dr Vivienne Rogers (Arts and Humanities).            Co-Investigators: Dr Darren Edwards (Human and Health)

This project addressed the Health and Social Care theme of the CHERISH- DE Centre, being focused on enabling individuals with autistic spectrum disorders. The purpose of this project is to provide a strategy to help reduce over- selectivity in autistic individuals through teaching them elements of different languages and training them to adapt their attention skills to be more flexible.  This research will be focus on demonstrating that people with ASD can improve their attentional skills through changing between languages. Different materials will be used throughout the project and the areas of bilingualism and psychology will work together during the language training in order to test their language and social abilities as well as their attention skills. The attention measuring software called e-prime will be used.

The team of this project will come from the Department of English Language and Literature and the Department of Interprofessional Health Studies, furthermore, if the pilot is successful the project will include colleagues from Computer Science to develop an immersive experience through a virtual reality software, thus enhancing the multidisciplinary research. If this first proof of concept is successful, a larger scale study will be extended, using techniques to make an independent website as well as to develop a virtual reality platform.

The outcomes of this project are: to introduce more flexibility in autistic individual’s attention; to reduce over-selectivity enabling better social and language skills; to develop interventions that allow ASD individuals to function better in society, enhancing the digital economy at the same time.

The total work plan will take over six months and the total project cost will be £4946.25

Vivienne Rogers
Vivienne Rogers. Principal Investigator
darren edwards
Darren Edwards. Co- Investigator

#8 Digital Media Usage and Attitudes of People with Sensory Impairments

8th project of CHERISH-DE Escalator Fund Award #aprojectaday

Principal Investigator: Dr Yan Wu (Arts and Humanities).               Co-Investigators: Stephen Lindsay (Computer Science), Rhys Jones (Arts and Humanities)

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Principal Investigator, Yan Wu, with the Co- Investigators and Partners of the project.

This project addresses the theme of Health and Social Care of the CHERISH- DE Centre.

The main purpose of this proposal is to explore how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) empower people with sensory impairments and what are the current barriers to digital accessibility faced by visually impaired and hearing impaired users in Wales.

This planned research will examine the digital media use and attitudes of adults with sensory impairment in Wales. Two main areas will be investigated:

  • Digital media take-up, use of Internet and other online activities.
  • Critical understanding of digital media: user’s attitudes towards different areas of digital media.

A survey questionnaire will also be developed along with these key research areas to reveal the media communicative potentials and to produce periodical research outcome among other purposes. The combination of expertise from media studies and computer science is crucial for the development of this project. Once we succeed with first step of the project we will seek external sources of funding such as ESRC and Luverhulme.

The outcome of this research is envisaged to be first of all, a report that will be made available for partners and general public and then at least one joint research paper published in peer-reviewed academic journal. Hence the result of this project could directly benefit end-users and improve community health and well-being.

The total work plan will take over nine months and the total project cost will be £4,978.02

 

Principal External Parties:

 

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AoHL

#7 Profiling cybercrime offenders in Wales

7th project of CHERISH-DE Escalator Fund Award #aprojectaday

Principal Investigator: Dr Patrick Bishop (Criminology and Law).               Co-Investigators: Sara Correia (Criminology and Law), Dr Robert S. Laramee (Computer Science),  Liam McNabb (Computer Science)

The three key objectives of this project are: to produce an empirically-grounded understanding of cybercrime and cyber criminals in South Wales by utilising official police data; to disseminate these results in order to inform and improve policy and police practice and; to generate a set of recommendations for the reform of existing data collection and data analysis practices. While the main CHERISH- DE theme addressed by this project is safety and security, it also strongly promotes interdisciplinary research between the disciplines of law, criminology and computer science.

Understanding cybercrime and responding effectively to it is essential to harness the potential of the internet for bettering human experience and curtailing the potential harm it can also facilitate. Thus this research is motivated and driven by furthering an academic understanding of cyber criminality as well as addressing the needs of practitioners. This proposal will identify administrative records providing data on cybercrime suspects, so as to develop empirically-grounded understanding of cyber criminality in Wales.

In terms of outcomes, a set of policy recommendations identifying existing gaps in the administrative data collection and analysis procedures will be produced. Furthermore, visual analytics and data visualisation techniques will be utilised to fully communicate the results of this research to police forces across Wales. Finally, in addition to academic journal articles and conference presentations, a research Symposium will be held at the University, maximising the impact of this project and ensuring dissemination of results to a wider audience.

The total work plan will take over nine months and the total project cost will be £2,313.81

Patrick Bishop
Patrick Bishop. Principal Investigator
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Leadin UK. Principal External Party

 

#6 Examining the dissemination of online terrorist magazines

6th project of CHERISH-DE Escalator Fund Award #aprojectaday

Principal Investigator: Prof Stuart Macdonald (Criminology and Law). Co-Investigators: David Mair, (Criminology and Law), Dr Colin Roberts (Universities Police Science Institute, Cardiff University), Daniel Grinnell (Universities Police Science Institute, Cardiff University).

The aim of this project is to develop techniques for use by law enforcement to identify, in real time, those Twitter accounts which are proving most influential in disseminating online terrorist magazines. The project addresses the themes of the CHERISH- DE Centre in four respects:

  • Safety and security: to increase understanding of the convergence of international terrorism and cyberspace.
  • Promoting interdisciplinarity: by promoting collaboration between computer science and social science;
  • Commitment to research impact and engagement with non-academic stakeholders; and,
  • Focusing on the human condition, by seeking to safeguard those who might be vulnerable to online radicalisation.

Several terrorist groups publish online magazines. These have influenced numerous individuals, some of whom have used bomb-making instructions from within their pages to carry out attacks. The research will utilize a bespoke platform (SENTINEL), built specifically for this type of research by the Universities Police Science Institute (Cardiff University). The project will deepen understanding of the processes by which new issues are released, disseminated and spread on social media.

The first outcome of this project will be the development of a new digital influence analysis software called OPTIMAL in order to identify the most influential disseminator accounts in real time. In addition, the project’s findings will be presented to military, government and law enforcement personnel from different countries, an article presenting the findings will be submitted to a terrorism studies journal and the work will be promoted to the wider community via media appearances and events.

The total work plan will take over six months and the total project cost will be £3,486.76

stuart macdonald
Stuart Macdonald. Principal Investigator

 

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Universities’ Police Science Institute. Principal External Party

 

 

#5 Trust in Crypto-Drug Markets

5th project of CHERISH-DE Escalator Fund Award #aprojectaday

Principal Investigator: Prof Nuria Lorenzo-Dus (Arts and Humanities).  Co-Investigators: Prof David Bewley-Taylor, (Arts and Humanities), Dr Bob Laramee (Computer Science), Dr Matteo Di Cristofaro (Arts and Humanities)

This project addresses two themes of CHERISH-DE: health and social care and safety and security. The project maximises impact of the unique Challenging Human Environment DE work grown within Swansea, acts as a beacon for an innovative impact-led way of working and develops a generation of ambassadors who will be the sustaining dynamic of DE working. The objectives pursued by this project are mainly two: firstly, to generate the first large-scale communicative and social profiling of transactional behaviour in crypto-drug markets and secondly, to inform policy- making relating to better understanding of drivers of illicit behaviours and effectiveness of law enforcements approaches to crypto-drug market disruptions.

The rationale of this research is the increasing number of drug consumers that are purchasing a variety of psychoactive substances via crypto-drug markets that are estimated to generate US$100 million worth of annual sales worldwide. This proposal takes advantage of improved accessibility of hitherto untapped digital dataset of Dark Net transactions, conducted within approximately 89 crypto-drug markets, including more than 37 forums in which issues of trust are implicitly and explicitly discussed by drug users and sellers.

This research will be the first to integrate methods and theories from: Linguistics, Public Policy, Visual Analytics and Data Visualisation. By undertaking the first interdisciplinary analysis of transactional behaviour in crypto-drug markets, the research will generate findings of direct relevance to units within International Organizations and governments responsible for countering crypto- drug markets.

The significant outcomes of this project are: two journal articles to be submitted, two conference presentations and a networking event with key stakeholders.

The total work plan will take over four months and the total project cost will be £8497.80

Nuria Lorenzo
Principal Investigator: Professor Nuria Lorenzo- Dus.

 

#4 A Cyber-Technology Framework for Evaluating and Improving Criminal Justice Practice

4th project of CHERISH-DE Escalator Fund Award #aprojectaday

Principal Investigator: Dr Pamela Ugwudike (Criminology and Law). Co-Investigators: Professor Peter Raynor (Criminology and Law), Gemma Morgan (Criminology and Law).

Pamela

The CHERISH-DE themes addressed by this project are: to maximise the impact of the Challenging Human Environment Digital Economy; and to act as a beacon for an innovative way of working. The project focuses on three main objectives: firstly, to facilitate evaluations of frontline criminal justice practices in order to identify and promote professional practice skills that correlate with reductions in reoffending rates. Secondly, to promote human security and improved service user wellbeing through criminal justice practices that facilitate service user access to resources such as adequate education, training and employment. Thirdly, to enhance the professional development of criminal justice practitioners such as Youth Justice practitioners and Probation practitioners.

The research will involve designing a software package that will enable the Swansea Service Evaluation Team’s (SSET’s) research users to record and save supervision sessions for future evaluations. There will be three main steps in the implementation of this project; the scoping phase when SSET will generate survey data from 100 practitioners, the design and test phase to create a prototype of the software, and the roll out phase.

The project team, based in Swansea, will achieve the project’s objectives by promoting innovative impact-led practice, generating and analysing big data, and by using cyber technology to promote human security, thus developing next generation methods of working. Researchers and partners from criminal justice research and computer science research will be involved on this project. A Computer Science Research Assistant will be also recruited and SSET will invite partners from other disciplines to help extend the use of the software package. The project’s outcomes will include the dissemination of knowledge, the impact evaluation to inform practice, and a symposium that will be held to inform policy.

The total work plan will take over six months and the total project cost will be £4,544.48

 

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Accelero Digital Solutions. Principal External party