UK: Phd in Social Computing

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Studying Online Social Networks among Older People

Research Group: Digital Media [1]

Number of Awards Available: 1

Award Description:
The studentship will be provided for a period of three years at the standard EPSRC rate which covers tuition fees and includes a non-taxable subsistence allowance of approximately £13,000 per annum with a budget for IT equipment, books. Software and travel to conferences and project meetings.

Project Details: Evidence suggests that elderly people who remain active and maintain or create new social networks have better wellbeing than those who are disengaged from society and social support networks. Indeed in some cases, the use of the Internet has been found to promote healthy psycho-sociological well being. However, is it the same for virtual social networks? The overwhelming popularity of the social networking sites, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, has been redefining the way people communicate with each other and participate in online communities. There is little evidence that elderly people have embraced new social networking technologies with the same enthusiasm as the young. This PhD project will therefore look into the following key questions:

(a) How do we enable elderly people to understand the complexity of this new technology, and the results of interacting with them?

(b) How can design capture information in online social network and the needs for privacy?

(c) Can participation in social networks have a positive impact on social and mental well being of elderly people?

Requirements: Candidates should have, or are expecting to obtain in the near future, a First Class or good 2.1 Honours Degree in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering or a related discipline.

Closing Date for Applications: 02/07/2010 00:00:00

Further Information: Dr. Jim Ang

Email: c.s.ang@kent.ac.uk [2]

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