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PhD alumni

Current Students (2012)

Student Projects

An Adaptive and Personalized Ubiquitous Learning Middleware Support for Handicapped Learners

By Boyinbode Olutayo Kehinde

The advances of modern technology and learning on educational focus are shifting gradually from electronic learning to ubiquitous learning. Ubiquitous learning (U-learning) seeks to embed small computing devices such as sensors, actuators, RFID tags, cell phones and PDAs into our daily learning so as to provide learners with learning contents and services that can be accessible anywhere, anytime with the appropriate interface. This research describes the design and Implementation of an adaptive and personalized Ubiquitous Learning middleware that support the handicapped learners in higher education in developing countries of Africa.

Organizing low skilled semi-Illiterate workers using mobile phone applications and Internet Technologies

By Christopher Chepken

My research falls under social Informatics in Computer Science. The objective is to find out how technology can help in organizing day labour workers, employers and intermediary organizations corporate and make work and worker search efficient. The study has two primary aims: One is to find out the most reasonable ICT application(s) combining mobile phone and Internet technologies which can support employers, self-organizing and organized groups of job seekers and intermediary organizations attain a corporation that will help alleviate some of their day to day challenges associated with job seeking and worker search, and two is to design and evaluate a prototype application based on study findings.


Towards an African Alternative to Systems Design: A case study of Mediated Design with Job Seekers in Khayelitsha, Cape Town

By Shikoh Gitau

Research Description: While there are a lot of methodologies proposed in the design of interactive systems for the developing world, little or no consideration is given to existing traditional practices of knowledge generation and dissemination. Further, little has been done to explore how this could affect the outcome of a design process, as well as the use of the system itself. This project explored how the use of various forms of African Traditional modes Knowledge generation and Communication can be used in System Design. Through partnership with an NGO and a community of Xhosa speaking, semi-literate Job Seekers, we developed a Job Platform, by consolidating existing participatory design methods within an African oral tradition context. and communal identity Results indicated that the users were highly motivated in the design process, and owned the process from a perspective that they design it for themselves , a concept traditionally known as-siyanzela.

Perceived Expectations of Virtual Environments

By Bertus Labuschagne

User perception of Virtual Environment exposures play a key role in how these are experienced and what is gained from such an exposure. This perception can be influenced by a range of factors. The main factor of this research is to see how using alternate languages for VEs influence the experience a user has of a VE exposure, depending on if that language is his preferred language, home language or a second language. We are also researching how this effect is influenced by long term exposure to VEs with the same language.


Designing Interactive Digital Storytelling as Cultural Heritage: Preserving experience narratives at the District Six Museum

By Ilda Ladeira

My research is focused creating of virtual storytelling environments which deliver effective story experiences. I am collaborating with the District Six Museum in Cape Town towards creating a virtual environment which presents the personal narratives of people who experienced forced home removals during Apartheid. This work includes studying the storytelling of two District Six ex-residents though ethnography and creating a prototype virtual environment simulates interactive and dynamic aspects of real-life oral storytelling. This prototype allows three types of interaction: storytelling agents ask the user questions, the user can ask questions and users can select stories through interactive story objects.


A Framework for Integrating Traditional Knowledge & ICTs in Predicting Droughts For Developing Countries

By Euphraith Masinde

My research entails developing, relevant, affordable and sustainable tool to accurately predict natural disasters (especially droughts) in the Developing Countries of Africa (DCAs). The tool taps into the rich Traditional Knowledge (TK) on natural disasters and augments it with ICTs (Wireless Sensor Networks and Mobile phones). The rationale is the fact that drought is the most complex and least understood of all natural disasters, affecting more people than any other disaster the DCAs. Further farmers in the these countries are host to rich TK on managing droughts and also the fact that the use of mobile phones is more widely spread than other forms of ICTs


Software Support for Creating Mobile Content for Education

By Raymond Mugwanya

Raymond holds a Bachelors degree in Statistics (Hons) from Makerere University and an MSc Computing from Liverpool University. He is also a member of staff from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. His PhD research examines how lectures can be podcast onto low-end mobile handsets for educational purposes in the developing world. Unlike western universities where students have access to fast internet connections and powerful multimedia devices, Raymond is creating podcast systems that are appropriate to faculty and students in the developing world. Representative image of your research


Language-aware Multilingual Information Retrieval

By Mohammed Mustafa Ali Mustafa

Non-English-speaking users, such as Arabic speakers, are not always able to express terminology in their native languages, especially in scientific domains. Current Cross Language Information Retrieval (CLIR) techniques are optimized for monolingual queries but neither mixed-language queries nor searches for mixed-language documents have yet been adequately studied. This research attempts to address the problem of multilingual querying in CLIR. It will be considering the implications of issuing queries in multiple languages to search across multilingual documents and corpora. Since, most currently available test collections have focused upon general-domain news stories, this research focuses on common computer science vocabulary. Proposed solutions and initial results are promising.


Procedural methods for the modelling and simulation of large environments

By Rudy Neeser

I am working on tools and techniques related to combining L-System and Shape Grammar procedural methods for generating virtual environments. L-Systems allow for the manipulation of symbolic information, while shape grammars allow for the relatively direct manipulation of geometric objects. I have currently been working on combining the techniques for the generation of large cityscapes, and combining this with sketch-based interfaces.


Field D* Pathfinding on Triangulated and Tetrahedral Meshes

By Simon Perkins

The weighted region problem is a geometric problem, the goal of which is to find a shortest path through a set of weighted polygons on a plane. Field D* is an approximate solution to this problem that finds paths through the weighted squares on a grid. We extend the Field D* algorithm to find paths through weighted triangulated (2D) and tetrahedral (3D) meshes. These structures are better than 2D or 3D grids at representing arbitrarily-aligned structures. Consequently, this reduces the number of elements required to represent a structure and the number of node expansions required to find an accurate path through such structures.


Volumetric Clouds Generation by Chinese Painting

By Chen Wei

Volumetric clouds generation is difficult for many designers, especially for artists than programmers. Chinese Mountain River Painting (CMRP) is the approach we propose to address this problem: with the use of only one brush, one color and one paper, an artist can paint a vivid and detailed landscape. Some of the CMRP features, such as ink dispersion in absorbent paper, bristle tufts, etc, are helpful in painting compelling cloud scenery. We believe this unique technique can form the basis for a new procedural approach to cloud generation, which can be easily handled by most artists in a more intuitive way.




  • Cara Winterbottom
  • James Lane
  • Andrew Maunder


  • Joseph Balikuddembe
  • Carl Hultquist
  • Justin Kellaher
  • Isaac Osunmakinde
  • Bill Tucker
  • Hendranus Vermeulen


  • Marion Walton


  • Alapan Arnab
  • Chiezda Dondo
  • Ikleel Elmahadi
  • Bruce Merry
  • David Nunez
  • Dynal Patel
  • Daniel Semwayo
last modified 2013-05-20 15:47