Dr Rageshree Sinha, RISE- Data Transformation Workshop 19/04/2023

Dr Rageshree Sinha conducted a RISE workshop on 19/04/2023.

RISE- Data Transformation Workshop: How new technologies can turn your data into a powerful asset

This was a workshop to work with the SME’s to evaluate the value of their data, to work with them to take a closer look and rethink how the data can be more useful, and what they can do to overhaul to start collecting better quality information.

This was an effort to keep SMEs stay ahead of the game through keeping up-to-date with new technologies that can boost efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and keep them competitive in today’s rapidly changing business and economic landscape.

New technologies offer SMEs a range of opportunities to innovate and develop new products and services that meet evolving customer needs. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can provide personalised services, while cloud computing can streamline processes and increase productivity. Adopting new technologies can however also lead to increased competition and cybersecurity risks, as well as skill gaps that require investment in training and development. To stay competitive in a rapidly changing technological landscape, SMEs must be proactive in adapting to new technologies and leveraging them to their advantage, while also taking necessary steps to protect their systems and data.

So, this masterclass webinar explored opportunities to improve customer experience and new business ventures. During the session, they had the chance to explore and discuss the latest technologies such as cloud computing, AI and machine learning, Internet of Things [I.O.T] and 5G connectivity; how they can generate more valuable data for your business and organisation as well as evaluating which ones will best suit their needs.

Decorating with Light 2023

Please join us for a free event on 23/24 June to explore Regency interior designs and wall decorations through interactive projections in a historical setting. The event is part of a project led by Marcus Winter (ATE, CSIUS, CDCI) in collaboration with The Regency Town House, exploring interactive applications of Machine Learning for visitor engagement in museums.

Book your free ticket here:

Funded by the University’s UKRI Impact Acceleration Account through the Ignite 3.1 programme.

University of Brighton researchers develop a new machine learning method for the detection of malicious Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

VPN usage has surged since the COVID-19 pandemic because of more employees working from home than ever before. Employees rely on VPNs as a means to connect to company systems and access company data while working remotely. In some other cases, users install a VPN on their devices for privacy reasons or to circumvent censorship of material in certain regions. Cyber criminals are trying to exploit this situation by embedding malware within a VPN. While the malicious VPN is fully functional, the VPN client on the user’s device also infects the device with malicious software. Once installed, the malicious software can carry out a wide range of actions from stealing various types of information, such as call logs and contact lists to tracking the victim’s activity and connect to a remote server to fetch additional commands. A significant number of cases of free VPNs have been identified that contain malware, such as the SandStrike Android spyware.

The method, published by the journal of Neural Computing and Applications, includes a novel dataset of benign and malicious Android VPNs and an optimised deep neural network for the detection of malicious VPNs based on the permissions of the apps. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach outperforms other machine learning classifiers in terms of accuracy and precision and can detect malicious Android VPNs.

Article: MVDroid: an android malicious VPN detector using neural networks | SpringerLink

Educational Escape Rooms Special Issue

The rapidly evolving field of learning technologies continues to offer new and innovative approaches for promoting student engagement and facilitating knowledge acquisition. One such approach is the use of educational escape rooms (EERs), which have become increasingly popular in recent years. Despite the potential benefits of EERs, there is a growing need for research that examines their effectiveness and identifies best practices for their design and implementation.
Dr. Panagiotis Fotaris is currently leading a special issue on the use of educational escape rooms (EERs) in the Electronic Journal of e-Learning (EJEL), with a deadline of 28 July 2023. This follows Panagiotis’s active interest and leadership in the area of Game-based Learning. He chaired the 14th and 15th European Conference on Games-Based Learning (ECGBL 2020, ECGBL2021) and the 21st European Conference on e-Learning (ECEL 2022). He has also organised and facilitated several workshops about EERs in Germany, Finland, Portugal, Denmark, etc., and he is currently researching the use of generative-AI tools for the design of EERs.

With this special issue, Panagiotis aims to explore the following themes:

  • The effectiveness of EERs as learning and collaborative tools.
  • Best practices for designing and implementing EERs.
  • The role of narrative, gameplay, and other immersive elements in EERs.
  • The use of EERs in different educational contexts (e.g., K-12, higher education, professional development, corporate training).
  • The development and evaluation of design frameworks for EERs.
  • The use of technology (e.g., virtual and augmented reality) in enhancing the EER experience.
  • The challenges and limitations of using EERs as learning tools.
  • The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in designing and implementing EERs.
  • The impact of EERs on student motivation and engagement.
  • The relationship between EERs and other forms of game-based learning.
  • The role of cultural and social factors in the design and implementation of EERs.
  • The development and evaluation of assessment tools for measuring the impact of EERs on learning outcomes.
  • The ethical considerations of using EERs in educational settings.
  • The exploration of the potential for EERs to support diversity and inclusion in education.

Bronze Sustainability Award for research on data-driven carbon footprints models

PhD student, Julia Meister, won the “Bronze Sustainability award” out of over 150 finalists in the STEM for Britain competition in the House of Commons. This is an annual poster competition in the Houses of Parliament to support and promote Britain’s early-career research scientists and engineers.

Julia’s work focuses on measuring emission savings when deploying a circular economy with medical equipment.

Every year, the NHS produces over 590,000t of healthcare waste in England alone, creating significant environmental impacts and a financial cost of over £700m. Thus, to become carbon neutral by 2040 (UK Health and Care Act), the NHS requires a substantial shift to more sustainable approaches. To this end, the goal of this project was to research carbon footprint models to measure the emission savings of switching from single-use medical equipment (i.e., linear economy) to remanufactured equipment (i.e., circular economy). We have developed a novel framework to personalise the emission results and interpret them in the context of individual healthcare providers’ use cases. This research brought together an interdisciplinary, cross-country team of academic researchers and industry practitioners, including the NHS (England), the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (USA), and Innovative Health (USA), to address the sustainability challenge in healthcare.

Ms Meister has been researching data-driven solutions for healthcare since 2020. Besides doing research, she is an avid public speaker and science communicator who represented the University of Brighton at the UK national “3 Minute Thesis” 2022 competition. Ultimately, her life-long aspiration is to contribute to the ongoing efforts to unburden our public health infrastructure and make healthcare more sustainable for every patient.

Place-Based Development of Egypt’s Handicraft Clusters

This 2nd of March we ran our public workshop in Historic Cairo presenting the results of the project: “Establishing research links to support the digital transformation of Egypt’s handicraft industries“. This project is supported by a Research Environment Links grant from the British Council’s Going Global Partnerships programme with the Grant Agreement No. 871072737. The programme builds stronger, more inclusive, internationally connected higher education and TVET systems.

The project addressed Egypt’s needs of promoting economic development and social welfare within strategic industries, in particular creative and handicraft industries which are under threat by mass production and the loss of traditional know-how. It is a collaboration between the University of BrightonUniversity College London and the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation (EHRF) with the aim to develop a deeper mutual understanding of priorities and routes for research to support the digital transformation of Egypt’s handicraft industries. The project is an extension of the GCRF-funded project Linking collections with the living heritage of craft: enhancing communities through digital innovation.

As outcomes, the project produced a 10-year strategic research and development plan on the digital transformation of craft industries. This included a report recently published with results of the research. This report aim to elucidate strategies to foster the sustainable development and support the digital transformation of the handicraft industries in Egypt. In particular, the report presents the interdisciplinary research co-developed during the project, its methodology and findings of the current state of the craft cluster al-Darb al-Ahmar in the historic centre of Cairo.

To see the report visit: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7705912

Assessing the impact of visualization media on engagement in an active learning environment

Dr. Fadi Castronovo, a researcher at the centre, in collaboration with Andrew Stanciulescu and Dr. Jesús Oliver, all from the California State University East Bay, published a new article in the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology journal on their work on the use of active learning strategies and large display system in mathematics pedagogy.

Active learning pedagogical methods has shown significant positive effects in higher education as they promote students’ engagement and meeting of learning outcomes. Similarly, problem-based learning and media-based learning allow instructors to model educational experiences that prepare students with knowledge and skills necessary for the real world. In this study, the authors wanted to investigate the impact of a group problem-based learning activity using visualization media on students’ learning motivation in a mathematics course. In this activity, students were grouped and asked to solve volumes of revolution calculus problems while being either in a traditional classroom or in a classroom equipped with a large-scale visualization display system.

The authors assessed the students’ self-efficacy, effort regulation, perceived usefulness, task attraction, and user experience after participating in the activity. The authors found a significant difference in students’ self-efficacy and task attraction based on the results’ analysis. The authors did not find a significant difference in students’ effort regulation and perceived usefulness. The students did report a significantly positive experience while using the large-scale visualization display system. The analysis illustrated a medium to large effect size of the results’ statistical significance.

The findings contribute to expanding active learning research and provide an example of how the use of visualization media can enhance active learning. Additionally, these results can support future researchers in further investigating the role that visualization media has in other disciplines that leverage active learning. These findings also support future instructors in identifying the optimal implementation procedure to enhance students’ motivation.

For the full paper see: https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/publications/assessing-the-impact-of-visualization-media-on-engagement-in-an-a

Investigating the cognitive and metacognitive process of learners while using construction educational games

Dr. Fadi Castronovo, a researcher at the centre, in collaboration with Nicholas Stepanik, Dr. Peggy Van Meter, and Prof. John Messner, all from the Pennsylvania State University, published a new article in the Advanced Engineering Informatics journal on their work on the use of an educational simulation game, Virtual Construction Simulator 4 (VCS4), in construction pedagogy.

The growing adoption of educational games in construction pedagogy has significantly impacted student learning, and the VCS4 has been found to support student learning of how to solve complex construction problems in classroom settings. Through new research efforts, the team aimed at further investigating and evaluating the thinking processes that students engage while playing the game.

This study examined those thinking processes by analysing verbal protocols (think alouds) collected as students thought aloud while playing VCS4 game modules and resulting verbal protocols were coded to capture both cognitive and metacognitive operations. Patterns of thought revealed by this coding were then compared to the patterns expected based on the intentions of game design.

The results show that students do generally exhibit the expected patterns. These findings illustrate the capacity that educational construction games have in engaging students in complex thinking processes that require a wide range of cognitive and metacognitive operations. The findings are also unprecedented in construction pedagogy research, as previous studies focused on the educational impacts of educational games in classroom environments and warranted a deeper understanding of how such games engaged students. The findings are essential in understanding how simulation games can support and prepare students for the construction industry. Another contribution is that these findings can support researchers beyond construction by modelling the thinking processes that students might engage in while solving complex problems in other engineering disciplines.

For the full paper see: https://research.brighton.ac.uk/en/publications/problem-solving-processes-in-an-educational-construction-simulati

Understanding your customer experience and utilising data

As part of CSIUS outreach activities, we co-delivered a seminar on utilising data for improving customer experience in tourism within the the regional area. This seminar was organised by the RISE innovation project which aims to help local businesses take charge of their innovation, capitalise on new opportunities and become more productive, competitive and resilient.

Along with Adam Jones, from the School of Business and Law, the seminar helped attendees to understand their customer experience and how data is inherent to this process. Ideas for collecting, and using data were discussed as well as potential technologies which can support understanding the voice of the customer.

For more information about outreach opportunities, please get in contact at csius@brighton.ac.uk