Director wins two prestigious international awards

Prof Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Director in the School of Computing and Informatics, recently won two prestigious IFIP TC.13 awards - the ‘Brian Shackel Award’ and the ‘Interaction Design for International Development Award 2015,’ for her outstanding paper entitled ‘Penan’s Oroo’ Short Message Signs (PO-SMS): Co-design of a Digital Jungle Sign Language Application’ which was co-authored with Tariq Zaman of the University of Malaysia Sarawak.

The awards were presented in Germany during the INTERACT 2015 conference, a prestigious bi-annual international conference that received 651 submissions, with an acceptance rate of 29.6 %. Only 93 full research papers were accepted.

The Brian Shackel Award recognises the most outstanding contribution with international impact and which draws attention to the need for a comprehensive human-centred approach in the design and use of information technology. The Interaction Design for International Development Award recognises the most outstanding contribution to the application of interactive systems for social and economic development of people in developing countries. This is the first time that one paper has won two awards at an INTERACT conference.

The paper presents one of the most recent technology co-design ventures as part of a larger project on indigenous knowledge management and language preservation within a long-term community development. It is a collaboration established between the Institute of Social Informatics and Technological Innovations (ISITI) at the University of Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), and the Long Lamai community. The Oroo’ project, under the leadership of Tariq Zaman, is run in close collaboration with Winschiers-Theophilus.

Dr Anicia Peters, Dean of the School of Computing and Informatics, said: “The School is exceptionally proud of Dr Winschiers-Theophilus’ achievement as this award provides much-needed visibility for our own African researchers and institutions. It shows how we can influence the international research arena in the field of ICT. Imagine having numerous high calibre international researchers publishing regularly at this prestigious conference, with a researcher from Namibia receiving a double award for such an outstanding paper!”

Date: 
Friday, October 2, 2015
for Month: 
October, 2015

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