Junior Research Fellow wins University teaching award

14 July 2016

Our congratulations go to David Johnson, a Junior Research Fellow and Senior Research Associate at the Oxford e-Research Centre, who has won a significant award in the 2016 MPLS teaching awards, which were announced as part of the MPLS Summer Reception.

Nominations for the awards were submitted by students and staff from across the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS) Division of the University. Six recipients received awards, and David Johnson won the overall Project Award which is given to an innovative, high-quality proposal for a project related to teaching.

David plans to run a trial to demonstrate the potential for using “Quantified Self” technology in teaching data science related topic areas. David is currently a Guest Lecturer and Teaching Assistant for a module on “Cloud Computing & Big Data” (CLO), part of the Department of Computer Science’s part-time MSc Software Engineering Programme (SEP). He proposes to give students on the module wearable activity tracker devices as a pre-study activity and aggregate the data to use for in-class data analysis exercises and discussion. It is hoped that the students will gain an all-round appreciation of all aspects of data-driven research – from issues around data collection (where personal data issues are increasingly important today), data fusion, cleansing, processing, through to visualization towards developing an end-to-end data pipeline.

The project duration is expected to be 6 months from the planning and development stage to post-implementation evaluation, and is expected to begin in September 2016.

On receiving the award David told us: “It’s wonderful to win this MPLS teaching award. What I hope to demonstrate with this project award is that innovative ideas for teaching can also come directly out of research-only departments such as my department, the OeRC. I’ve always personally enjoyed teaching, and this award will give me the chance to try something a little bit experimental in teaching practice.”