Forskningspodden - Karlstad University
In the Research Podcast "Forskningspodden" you will meet researchers from Karlstad University who recently presented their dissertation. One episode is released every other Wednesday. Most episodes are in Swedish but on this page you can listen to the episodes that are recorded in English.
Avsnitt 65: Improving organic solar cell technology
Solar energy is a renewable energy source much needed as the global energy demand and the speed of climate change increase. Solar energy can be converted to electric energy by means of organic photovoltaics (OPV). This is a technology that uses organic molecules, such as polymers, to absorb sunlight and generate electricity. While OPV devices have become more efficient, one problem is that their operational lifetime is still short. One reason for this, is that the polymer and fullerene materials used in OPV:s degrades when it is exposed to light and air.
This problem is addressed in Vanja Blazinic’s research in physics. In our conversation, he explains how his research contributes to a better practical understanding of material degradation in OPV devices. This is much needed for this technology to contribute to a brighter future.
Vanja Blazinic’s doctoral thesis in physics can be downloaded from DiVA: Probing the effects of photodegradation of acceptor materials in polymer solar cells: bulk, surface, and molecular level
Lyssna på Vanja Blazinic
Episode 64: Does criticism in digital spaces matter to journalism?
With the power of digitalization, criticisms toward journalism now often are aired in digital spaces, such as social networks and blogs. But does criticism in digital spaces matter to journalism, and how do journalists handle this? These are questions asked by David Cheruiyot in his doctoral thesis in Media and Communication Studies. Through in-depth interviews with journalists, media critics, and media accountability agents, David’s research gives us an understanding of how journalistic practice in Kenya and South Africa is affected by new forms for mainstream media criticism. Prior to the digital era, journalists could deal with criticism in controlled spaces, such as letters to editors. Today, they may need to grapple with open hashtag campaigns built up by many different stakeholders of journalism. As David explains in our interview, this has profound effects on journalists and journalistic practice.
If you want to read Davids doctoral thesis you can find it here: Criticising Journalism: Popular Media Criticism in the Digital Age
Listen to David Cheruiyot
Episode 63: Modelling the life span of the sewage system mathematically?
When old sewage pipes break, they can undermine the soil. In the worst case, this can lead to the formation of sinkholes that devour buildings, vehicles and other things.In our podcast we talk to Arthur J. Vromans who does research that can potentially predict the degradation of sewage pipes and thus prevent the formation of sink holes. For this he has developed a mathematical model that can assess the life span of existing sewage pipes and estimate the degradation rate in the sewer system over a long time period. It offers a way to estimate error margins, predict degradation processes and hopefully avoid series of unfortunate events related to broken sewage pipes.
If you want to read Arthurs doctoral thesis you can find it here: Homogenization of pseudoparabolic reaction-diffusion-mechanics systems: Multiscale modeling, well-posedness and convergence rates
Lyssna på Arthur J. Vromans
Episode 58: Academics' reactions to managerialism
What is managerialism in higher education? And how do academics react to it? These are the two principal questions posed by Jo Ese, in his doctoral thesis in Working Life Science Defending the university? Academics reactions to managerialism in Norwegian higher education.
While managerialism has been developed in the world of business, many government who run universities also have adopted this belief system. In our interview, Jo Ese explains the emergence of the concept. Also, we learn more about the strategies academics use to cope with or – as is often the case – resist managerialism.
Listen to Jo Ese
Episode 51: Fixing wifi
Do you have high speed internet to your home but still experience buffering or lag when watching a movie or playing an online game? These problems may be related to your WiFi network. Good thing then that researchers are working on to fixing WiFi! In Toke Høiland Jørgensen’s research he not only produces more knowledge on WiFi performance barriers, he also develops mathematical and technical solutions to them. In our conversation Toke explains how the open source solutions developed by him and his colleagues can benefit all us speed-craving internet users.
Toke Høiland-Jørgensen’s doctoral thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: Bufferbloat and beyond: Removing performance barriers in real-world networks
Listen to Toke Høiland-Jørgensen
Episode 49: Gamification in digital journalism
Whether you are aware of it or not, you have probably been subjected to gamification.
Gamification refers to the practice of businesses using game-elements in non-game contexts. Raul Ferrer Conill has investigated the role of gamification in digital journalism. Today, many digital newspapers use bonuses, badges or other rewards to make users consume more articles, and to make journalists more productive. In our conversation, Raul describes why newspapers use this approach, and how it affects the commercial and professional aspects of journalism.
Raul Ferrer Conill’s doctoral thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: Gamifying the news : Exploring the introduction of game elements into digital journalism
Listen to Raul Ferrer Conill
Episode 48: Human aspects of data privacy
Securing data privacy on the internet is a wicked problem. It is wicked in that technological, legal, and human aspects of privacy are entangled. In her licentiate thesis Ala Sarah Alaqra has focused on the human aspects of data privacy. By letting users test a privacy enhancing scheme – redactable signatures – designed by Ala and her colleagues, her research investigates user perceptions and opinions of data privacy in eHealth. In our conversation Ala let us know more of redactable signatures, and how it can help increase data privacy in eHealth and possibly in other sectors as well.
Ala Sarah Alaqra's thesis licentiate can be downloaded from DiVA: The Wicked Problem of Privacy : Design Challenge for Crypto-based Solutions
Listen to Ala Sarah Alaqra
Episode 44: Mathematical analysis of multiscale systems
If you pour a liter of water in an already half filled two liter bottle, you'll usually fill it up completely. But what if the bottle wasn't filled with liquids, but with sand and air? The mathematics you need to calculate such processes is complex and requires a so-called multiscale approach: calculating the interactions between objects with vastly different sizes. In his research, Ph.D. candidate Omar Richardson is developing a mathematical framework to analyze these and other multiscale systems. In our conversation, Omar explains how and why we do mathematical research, and describes some practical implications of his work.
Omar Richardson's licentiate thesis can be downloaded from DiVA: Mathematical analysis and approximation of a multiscale elliptic-parabolic system
Lyssna på Omar Richardson
Episode 43: Privacy friendly mobile apps
Mobile phone applications can be great for a range of different everyday purposes. However, most users are unaware of what the apps are doing while they are unattended. In his research, Ph.D. candidate Nurul Momen has investigated how apps behave, and how they use the personal data users authorise them to access. In our conversation, Nurul describes the dangers of personal data craving apps, and he explains how his research can help increasing transparency and protect user privacy.
Nurul Momen's licentiate thesis can be retrieved from DiVA: Towards Measuring Apps' Privacy-Friendliness
Listen to Nurul Momen
Episode 41: Improving transparency in personal data processing
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation has been implemented to protect citizens’ data privacy by, for example, increasing control over their personal data. However, computerized systems and web services are not always effectively designed to give users the control they are legally entitled to in a usable way. In her thesis, Farzaneh Karegar, Ph. D. student in computer science, develops new solutions that enhance transparency and make it easier for users to give better-informed consent to service providers handling personal data. In our conversation Farzaneh lets us know more about the solutions, and why it is important to continue to work to improve the gap between legally-compliant and usable services.
Farzaneh Karegar's licentiate thesis can be retrieved from DiVA: Towards Improving Transparency, Intervenability, and Consent in HCI
Listen to Farzaneh Karegar
Episode 40: Twitter and language transformation
Speech and writing are traditionally regarded as contrasting pairs with specific forms, structures, and normative values attached to them. In the time of social media, these differences are increasingly challenged. We tweet more like we talk or at least, that is how it feels. To find out whether our intuition is right we meet Peter Wikström who has studied Twitter language in his PhD thesis “I tweet like I talk: Aspects of speech and writing on Twitter”. He has investigated features such as hashtags and emojis to see what it might mean to tweet in a “talk-like” manner. Listen to learn more about shifting norms, questions of identity and authenticity, and a communication hybrid that evolved together with the advent of social media.
Listen to Peter Wikström
Episode 38: Evolution of markets from a service ecosystems perspective
How do markets evolve? And how can this evolutionary process be understood from a service ecosystems perspective? These are the main questions guiding Kaisa Koskela Huotari’s doctoral research in Business Administration. We talk to her about her thesis "The evolution of markets - A service ecosystems perspective". In our conversation Kaisa explains that markets are made up of rules and norms guiding people when exchanging innovative knowledge and skills. Markets can be disrupted, as new ideas can work as ‘game-changers’. Likewise new ideas – innovations – can after a while themselves become mainstream and turned into well-established norms. Based on her research Kaisa presents a four-phase model on market evolution, helping us understand this process of market continuity and change.
Listen to Kaisa Koskela Huotari
Episode 37: What are phthalates and why can they be troublesome for us?
Hard to pronounce, invisible to the human eye and regarded as a miracle compound for centuries: phthalates. They are in a huge variety of things such as toys, cars and make up and it is likely that you bump into them on a daily basis. In this podcast, we talk to Ph.D. Huan Shu about the downsides of phthalates. In her research, she has focused on phthalates in PVC flooring and their effects on human and especially children’s health. Listen to this podcast to learn more about what phthalates are, how they might trouble yours and your children’s respiratory system, and what could be done to prevent it.
You can also read more about Huan Shu’s research in her thesis “Phthalates, on the issue of sources for human uptake, time trends and health effects“.
Listen to Huan Shu
Episode 32: Personal data privacy
In our digitalised world more and more of our personal information is registered in network computers and servers. Stakeholders handling personal information thus need to make sure their systems are secure and maintain the integrity of individuals. Automated privacy audits is one approach to ensure that stakeholders do in fact maintain the privacy of personal data. But as Jenni Reuben shows in her research, these audits can themselves subject to privacy risks. In our conversation Jenni, Ph.D. student in computer science, tells more about these risks and of the model she proposes to prevent illegitimate access to personal data.
To read Jenni Reuben's dissertation please follow this link: Privacy-aware Use of Accountability Evidence
Listen to Jenni Reuben
Episode 31: Environmentalism in fiction writing
The topic of this episode is environmental apocalypses in fiction writing. We discuss this with Marinette Grimbeek, who in her doctoral thesis investigates the environmentalism of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy. In fact, her research leads her out of the novels, as she finds that the MaddAddam Trilogy forms part of Atwood’s real-world environmental activism. In our conversation, Marinette describes how Atwood plays with the boundaries between fact and fiction, commercialism and activism, to promote an ecological understanding of the world.
To read Marinette Grimbeek’s doctoral thesis follow this link: Margaret Atwood’s Environmentalism : Apocalypse and Satire in the MaddAddam Trilogy
Listen to Marinette Grimbeek
Episode 26: The crossroads of mediatization, activism and surveillance
We rely more and more on networked media technologies and online communication channels but are we aware that the digital traces we leave behind turn into data pieces about us – that others can use?
Ilkin Mehrabov has focused on this this type of surveillance in his thesis “All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”: Activist Practices in an Era of Mediatized Surveillance. In this podcast he tells us about his interest to learn more about the intersection of the processes of increased global surveillance with the practices of transnational activism – and the role of the mediatization metaprocess within both.
Follow us on our journey in which Ilkin explains how he tried to entangle the complex relationships built by public state agencies with a number of local and global private information, entertainment and telecommunications companies in different countries.
We will also learn more about how various social movements and individual activists in Azerbaijan and Turkey are affected by this merger of public political and private economic surveillance practices.
Listen to Ilkin Mehrabov
Episode 20: Making high-quality pulp from trees
In this podcast, we are digging deeper into the world of pulp and paper. Pulp is generally produced from wood and has a significant impact on our everyday life: we are dependent on the wide range of products that are made from it such as paper, textiles and personal care products. Raghu Deshpande tells us about his PhD thesis “The initial phase of sodium sulfite pulping of softwood: A comparison of different pulping options“, in which he tried to find the perfect recipe to produce high-quality pulp from softwood. His focus has been on sulfite pulping, which is more competitive than Kraft pulping when producing dissolving grade pulp with biorefinery applications.
Listen to Raghu Deshpande
Episode 19: How to make mobile health systems secure and privacy-preserving
Information security and privacy are vital to achieve high quality healthcare services. In this podcast we dig deeper into this issue together with Leonardo Horn Iwaya who has studied how to make Mobile Health (mHealth) systems secure and privacy-preserving. He tells us about the ever-increasing tendency of using mobile devices (e.g., mobile phones, sensors, smartwatches) to support medical and public health and the problems that come along with it due to failures in addressing security and privacy issues. After listening to this podcast you will also know more about the design of security and privacy enhancing technologies for mHealth, specially in Mobile Data Collection Systems, in which traditional paper forms are replaced by a mobile application for collecting and reporting health-related data used for public programs such as health surveys and surveillance.
Read his licentiate thesis Secure and Privacy-aware Data Collection and Processing in Mobile Health Systems
Listen to Leonardo Horn Iwaya
Episode 16: Debloating Internet Access Networks
Ever got delayed on your way to surf the web? Then this podcast might be something for you. Toke Høiland-Jørgensen talks about his thesis “On the Bleeding Edge: Debloating Internet Access Networks” in which he studied why and how internet access delays occur. This is increasingly important in times when more and more devices are connected to the internet and applications become more interactive. We need our network to respond reliably and without unnecessary delay. Tokes work focuses on one of those delays. They are called bufferbloats and are a result of excess queueing delay in network routers that occur along the path. Learn more about what it is, why it is a problem and what can be done to make it better.
Listen to Toke Høiland-Jørgensen
Episode 6: Climate change and transport
Extreme weather events that threat the transport sector’s functionality and safety and solutions to manage the risks are focus in our podcast with Monika Rydstedt-Nyman. Monica recently defended her licentiate thesis Managing knowledge sharing of extreme weather induced impacts on land transport infrastructure: Case study of the Swedish Transport Administration.