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Welcome to our new VC Fellows

Anya Skatova

Emma Williams

19 October 2017

We are pleased to announce that VC Fellows, Anya Skatova and Emma Williams, will be joining the School in November.

The Vice-Chancellor's Fellowships are designed to act as a launch pad for Early Career Researchers and these Fellows will be instrumental in enabling us to sustain our reputation for pioneering, innovative research.

Anya Skatova - Data Analytics and the Science of Wellbeing

Anya's project will focus on data analytics and the science of wellbeing. National wellbeing is a key priority area for government and policy-makers, with measures of subjective wellbeing adopted in the UK to index prosperity of the society. These complement GDP as indicators of societal progress and act as success measures of policy interventions. Wellbeing is commonly measured with self-report questions, e.g., targeting life satisfaction and happiness.

Whilst high profile policy-makers push measures of subjective wellbeing as indicators of the progress of society, their self-report nature provides limited opportunities for exploring factors that affect changes in wellbeing. Anya’s project will address two main research questions:

(1) Can wellbeing be reliably indexed through machine records of behaviour?

(2) Can very large datasets provide additional information about the population’s wellbeing over traditional self-reports?

Anya’s project has the potential to change the way companies use large sets of human behaviour data; and the way this data is used by other stakeholders, including academia and government.

Emma Williams - Cyber-security: How do we ensure users engage in secure behaviour

Emma will be investigating the psychological mechanisms of secure cyber behaviour, in particular how people make decisions about whether to engage in secure behaviours considered to be time-consuming or challenging, such as secure authentication and validation processes or using multiple complex passwords.

Her research will involve close collaboration with the Cryptography and Information Security group within the Department of Computer Science. Emma’s project has implications for the development of secure behaviour within both organisations (e.g., the behaviour of employees) and the general public (e.g., engaging in online activities at home) and represents a key research area if cyber-threats against society are to be minimised.

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