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Dr William Simm

Senior Research Associate, Sessional - Research

William Simm

InfoLab21

Lancaster University

Bailrigg

Lancaster LA1 4WA

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 510317

Location: B29 Bowland North

Research overview

Senior Research Associate in the School of Computing and Communications, Lancaster University. The overarching theme running through my research activities is projects which engage citizens in tech research projects, through citizen led projects and research in the wild (and beyond). The major research projects I have worked on include my PhD work where we engaged with speech therapists and their clients to produce novel tech driven metrics of speech, VoiceYourView where we engaged with citizens in developing novel digital consultation tools and the Catalyst! project fostering citizen-led innovation in tech tools for transforming society.

Current Research

I am a creative technical innovator based in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University. I work primarily on short lifecycle community-led digital technology innovation projects, which requires working with numerous multi-organisation stakeholders and a colourful variety of end users. In this work we use flexible and dynamic Agile working practices to engage with people to define research focus and iteratively produce prototype technologies. My primary responsibility is to lead the rapid development of prototypes leveraging (and sometimes hacking) a range of platforms and with teams of mixed ability and mixed discipline.

Recent projects include #Patchworks working closely with Signposts (a charity who work with the most disadvantaged and hard to reach people), MadLab (Manchester based DIY tech community) and Lancaster academics from across disciplines to co-design technology for social change. We built a low cost Raspberry Pi powered RFID enabled reminder system called #Pat to enable those with chaotic lives to get reminders from caseworkers on their own timescales. The process had impact far beyond the technical prototype developed - see: http://youtu.be/ydPcxuixhAw

As a spin out from #Patchworks the #Pat printer was re-purposed and augmented with RFID enabled Android handsets to run a treasure hunt for visitors to Manchester Science Festival at MOSI see: http://youtu.be/FyHwNL14Df4

Another project was activist tweets, where I worked with linguists to capture, recapture and process tweets in order to characterise the language of tweets which produce the best coverage through the twitter network.

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