Month: November 2023

AI4Research Fellowship 2024

I’m thrilled to announce an exciting new chapter in my career: I will join the AI4Research Fellowship next year! This five-year Uppsala University initiative is dedicated to advancing AI and machine learning research, and I’m honoured to be a part of it.

What is AI4Research?

AI4Research is a dynamic program that focuses on strengthening and developing AI research. During my sabbatical at Carolina Redivica, I will collaborate with fellow AI4 Research scholars, diving deep into the world of artificial intelligence. This AI4 Research Fellowship will also make it possible for my colleagues at the HTO group to join me and benefit from this environment. Hence, I will bring a team of young researchers and doctoral candidates, along with a more senior researcher, to investigate the effects of AI on the work environment.

My Project: AI’s Impact on the Work Environment

We’re entering a new era where AI is revolutionizing the workplace. My research will explore both AI’s positive and negative aspects in the work environment. I aim to identify potential risks and challenges and how AI can enhance work experiences and foster creativity and personal development in professional tasks.

Future Endeavors and Funding

During my sabbatical, I will seek additional research grants for future projects in AI and the work environment. Collaborations within AI4Research will allow us to create innovative projects addressing the challenges posed by AI’s influence on the work environment.

I am looking forward to my AI4Reseach Fellowship and a year full of new ideas and learning!

Post-Doctoral Opportunity in Exciting New EDU-AI Project

We are thrilled to announce the commencement of a new research project, “Adapting Computing Education for an AI-Driven Future: Empirical Insights and Guidelines for Integrating Generative AI into Curriculum and Practice” (The EDU-AI project), starting April 2024. This venture explores the transformative impact of generative AI technologies, such as GPT-4 and automated code generators, on the IT industry, computing education, and professional skills development.

The project, significant for the Department of Information Technology, aligns with our commitment to addressing challenges and capitalizing on opportunities presented by generative AI in education. Spearheaded by Åsa Cajander and Mats Daniels, the project will be conducted over two years (April 2024 – March 2026), potentially extending into a third year.

Project Overview

The EDU-AI project comprises four work packages, each targeting a unique aspect of the generative AI influence in IT and education:

  1. Understanding Generative AI in the Professional IT Landscape: Investigating the use of generative AI among IT professionals.
  2. Generative AI in Computing Education: Student Perspectives: Examining students’ interaction with and perception of generative AI.
  3. Faculty Adaptation and Teaching Strategies for Generative AI: Assessing how faculty integrate generative AI into their teaching methods.
  4. Synthesis and Recommendations for Competence Development in Computing Education: Creating actionable recommendations based on findings from the first three stages.

The project will collaborate with Auckland University of Technology, Eastern Institute of Technology, and Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, bringing cross-cultural expertise and perspectives.

Benefits and Application Process

This position offers the opportunity to be at the forefront of AI integration in education, work with leading experts, and publish in top journals and conferences.

Interested candidates should submit their application, including a CV, cover letter, and relevant publications. For more information see:

Last application date: 2023-12-18

For more information about the project and the role, please refer to the detailed project description or contact Åsa Cajander or Mats Daniels directly.

Project Update: SysTemutvecklingsmetodeR för dIigital Arbetsmiljö (STRIA)

After several years of dedicated research and development, the SysTemutvecklingsmetodeR för dIigital Arbetsmiljö (STRIA) project is coming close. Led by Professor Åsa Cajander, working with Dr Magdalena Stadin and Professor Marta Larusdottir, this project has been a pioneering effort to address the critical issue of digital workplace health and usability in IT systems. The project was funded by AFA.

The Problem
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, many IT systems fail to support efficient work processes, ultimately contributing to health issues within organizations. Research has highlighted a lack of focus on workplace health in current system development practices. There’s also a shortage of practical methods for incorporating a workplace health perspective into digitalization efforts.

The Mission
The STRIA project aimed to collaborate with IT developers to create effective and practical methods for designing sustainable digital work environments. This endeavor included promoting these methods, developing educational materials, and advocating for their adoption.

The Three Focus Methods
The project focused on three key methodologies:

Contextual Think Aloud Method: This method involves users verbalizing their thought processes while interacting with software, enabling evaluators to gain insights into user thinking.
Vision Seminars: Involving a group of evaluators who individually assess software using predefined heuristics, this method helps identify usability problems.
Contextual Personas Method: Originally introduced by Cooper (2004), this method creates hypothetical archetypes of real users, allowing for more targeted and empathetic system design.

Project Phases
The project followed a structured plan, as outlined in Figure 1, which included:

  1. Understanding Digital Workplace: Assessing challenges related to different IT systems and digital workplaces in healthcare and administrative settings.
  2. Developing System Development Methods: Crafting new methods for system development based on insights from previous phases.
  3. Creating Educational Materials: Developing materials to teach developers how to apply these methods effectively.
  4. Evaluation and Refinement: Testing and refining the methods with IT developers and gathering feedback.
  5. Dissemination of Results: Publishing research findings, articles, and blog posts to share the knowledge with the wider community.

As the STRIA project concludes, it leaves a legacy of knowledge, recommendations, and methodologies for assessing digital workplace aspects. The project’s findings has been shared through academic publications, industry-focused journals, conferences, blogs, and educational programs. Stay tuned for the final report and further updates on this important work.

New publication about the Human Contribution in Handling Unanticipated Events at Work

Railway tracks with a clearly visible overhead wire provide trains with electricity.

One early morning, a freight train got caught in the overhead electrical wire, causing a large traffic disruption which affected all train traffic in the area and resulted in delays and cancelled trains for almost 24 hours. This is what one of our most recent publications is about: the incident, the effects it caused on the traffic flow, and more specifically, how the situation was handled and solved from within the traffic control room.

The train traffic system, like most infrastructures in society, plays an important role in everyday life by facilitating a continuous flow of people and goods. What is unknown to many is the very large and complex organisation of work that lies behind a functioning train traffic system. In the Swedish context, the organisation of train traffic involves numerous stakeholders and one of the main actors is the traffic controllers. Although much less studied than traffic control for aviation, the tasks and responsibilities are very similar—as are the challenges. These challenges are very much characterised by the fact that the control task is done remotely from a centralised control room, and that the traffic controllers are dependent on train drivers and others situated along the railway to act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the control room. These people, together with advanced technologies, make it possible for the control room to stretch out and reach through time and space, making coordination the core task of traffic control.

The publication reports on a unique case study in which an unexpected real-time incident is described and analysed as the situation unfolds. Most reports on accidents and incidents are conducted in retrospect, but not this case study as I happened to be present in the control room at the particular time when the incident took place.  Accordingly, this paper provides novel insights into how the incident was handled and with the use of participant observations and informal interviews, a rich understanding of the work practices was captured. The analysis resulted in a detailed description of the work in the control room which can be divided into three phases: grasping what has happened and the severity of the incident, handling the incident and the immediate effects it had on the traffic, and finally mitigating the long-term consequences of the incident as these affected the traffic for almost 24 hours.

The unfolding of the incident repeatedly revealed that the workers had to cope with challenges related to time and space and as a way to describe and understand this aspect of the work, we turned to a concept originally used in the agricultural, landscape, and geographical domains, namely the concept of ‘sense of place’. The concept describes a certain meaning and relationship beyond the mere spatial between humans and places. A place is thus conceptualised as a centre of cognitive, affective, or attitudinal meaning. Although not previously applied to control room research, this study shows that ‘sense of place’ is something the workers actively strive to develop and that supports them in handling the situation although they were 150 kilometres away from the situation they were to handle. In future work, we aim to continue to explore how, and to what extent, the ‘sense of place’ concept can aid a deepened understanding of the control room work.

For those interested in the details, you can find the full paper here.


Cort, R. & Lindblom, J. (2023). Sensing the Breakdown: Managing Complexity at the Railway. Culture and Organisation, DOI: 10.1080/14759551.2023.2266857.

Frontiers in Education Conference 2023

The education conference Frontiers in Education (FIE) 2023 was held in College Station, Texas. It is a quite large conference, and there were many tracks during the three days that the conference was on. College station is situated between Dallas and Houston, and it is a, well, lets say interesting city, and incorporates another apparently a bit older city, Bryant, in the close vicinity. There was not that much time for sight-seeing so it was mainly the road from the hotel to the conference centre that became the major view during the conference.

The conference offered a large number of very interesting presentations and I did in fact not sit through any bad or boring presentations, Before the main conference there was also one day of workshops, as usual so many that it was difficult to chose one of them. I attended one on inclusive mentoring, which was very inspiring as a supervisor/mentor in general . I am of course very happy to find that there were quite a few presentations, work shops and special sessions that dealt with the issue of inclusion of students on various levels.

The special session on “Disabled Students in Engineering” was held by four Ph.D. students, and was very well prepared, rendering lots of inspiration for the teaching. The organizers also shared very good working material, which can be reused, e.g., in course seminars (I have just started a 15 credit course on non-excluding design).

All in all, the conference felt well worth the effort and time spent. It is always a good feeling when you return home and feel inspired, and just long for putting all the experiences at work in your own teaching. I have already added several new ideas to the course, and I think that this will improve the course a lot.

Still, maybe the most inspiring part of the conference was the (positive and constructive) critique I received on my presentation and paper: “New Perspectives on Education and Examination in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” which I almost wanted to retitle as “Old perspectives…” since it looks back at older forms of examination, where there was a closer connection between teacher and student. This closer connection and the way it is achieved does make it more difficult for the student to “cheat” or use the AI chat bots.

The picture shows An old Greek teacher and his student, probably discussing a difficult problem during the examination.
An old Greek teacher and his student discussing some interesting problem during the examination

This post is already long enough, so I will not present the paper in any more detail here, but should you want to have a copy of the paper, please contact me with an email. You are also free to comment/criticize this post in the comment section below.