RGU computing students awarded Carnegie Vacation Scholarships

A trio of Computing Science students at Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) School of Computing Science and Digital Media have been awarded the sought after Carnegie Vacation Scholarship to allow them to conduct research over the summer.

Carnegie Team (from left) Mike Crabb, Graham Stead, Zaklina Rycko, Cara Henderson

The Vacation Scholarship Scheme is intended for Scottish students undertaking an undergraduate degree course at a Scottish university, who have shown exceptional merit at university, and who would like to devote some portion of the long vacation to conduct independent research of direct benefit to their academic work.

The successful students are - Zaklina Rycko, who is conducting research into helping older adults avoid  giving away personal data online; Cara Henderson, who will look at recolouring tools as a method to improve accessibility for those with dyslexia and dyscalculia; and Graham Stead whose research will focus on web accessibility guidelines and how they may apply to future media applications.

Dr Michael Crabb, lecturer at the School of Computing Science and Digital Media, commented: “These scholarships are highly prised and The fact that we managed to get 3 students from the 1 degree programme accepted to this shows the high quality of research that our students are capable of and further reinforces the importance of research-led-teaching which we are involved in.

“It’s showing that our Digital Media Degree is fast turning into one of the most active pathways that the university has which engages our students in academic research.”

Cara, from the Black Isle, said:  “Due to my dyslexia, I’d never previously expected that I would have the opportunity to take on a research project like this, so to be awarded this scholarship has been a massive boost to my confidence.

“Lots of people have dyslexia, and there are many different tools to help people when browsing or writing a word document. There are however currently no tools for dyslexic support for programming, which has been a significant part of my course. I want to change this.

“I want to make it easier for people to code, no matter what disability they have. Just because you have dyslexia it shouldn't put you at a disadvantage compared to everyone else - and I want to show that.”

Zaklina, who came originally from Poland, said: “My research will concentrate on trying to find out if User Interface clues can be used as a method to protect older adults from giving away personal data to untrusted sources. I chose this topic as my grandmother unknowingly gave away her details to an unknown source that started charging her a lot of money for their service. Due to this I thought it is important to help people that don’t have a lot of knowledge of the internet.”


Release by Kate Yuill
Communications Officer | Business, Management and Law
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