Department of Information Science and Media Studies

PhD and Postdoc Research

The Department of Information Science and Media Studies have several PhD-candidates working on various projects related to the media and information sciences. The department also houses postdoctoral projects. Find out more about the research conducted by our PhD- and postdoctural fellows here.

Rebecca Nedregotten Strand

This PhD-project examines how the radio archive of a national Norwegian broadcaster, NRK, can be developed for use in location based digital interpretation of natural- and cultural history. Will the archive sound be experienced as relevant in our modern age, and contribute to building knowledge, if one through media design as a method uses it to augment partially hidden stories in one of Norway’s most iconic landscapes? How does one curate the radio clips to achieve this? What kind of visual and auditive means must one use to augment the reality in the physical environment? And can one, by designing archive sound in this way, contribute to the preservation of natural- and cultural heritage sites?

Oda Elise Nordberg

Design and innovation: Exploration of new technology in journalism. Parts of the project falls under the "Innovation pedagogy for media educations" project in Media City Bergen.

Mehri Agai

My PhD-project is on digital disconnection and social inequalities among adolescents. The main objective is to understand for whom digital disconnection pertains; a core question being whether digital disconnection is a prevalent phenomenon across the social space or limited to the privileged. I also seek to understand what digital disconnection entails from the perspective of adolescents, including their strategies for disconnection, by using mainly qualitative research methods. 

The PhD-project is part of a larger Digitox-project: a collaboration between multiple research institutions that build on interdisciplinary insights from media studies, game studies and psychology to analyse digital disconnection and questions pertaining to the extensive uses of digital media in society.

Milka Bochere Gesicho

If we cannot measure progress, we cannot make progress. This dissertation assesses HIV-indicator data reporting by health facilities for a period of eight years (2011-2018), using Kenya as a case study.

The HIV epidemic remains a challenge globally with highest infected numbers of populations found in countries in east and southern Africa, which in the year 2018 accounted to 20.6 million of the total number of people living with HIV in the word . Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicenter of the epidemic and is estimated to account for 71% of the global burden. Kenya is among the countries with the highest HIV epidemic prevalence, with an estimate of 1.5 million people living with HIV as at 2017 according to the 2018 Kenya HIV estimates report.

In order to eradicate this epidemic, substantive concerted financial efforts have been put in place by various international donors in countries largely affected for purposes of scaling up HIV services such as prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV. As a result, low-middle-income-counties such as Kenya have witnessed continuous efforts aimed at strengthening of health information systems, which have resulted to transition from paper-based medical records to electronic medical records in hundreds of sites as well as implementation of HIV aggregated databases.

These systems have contributed to availability of large amounts of routinely generated HIV data given that health facilities are required by ministries of health (MoH), as well as international donor organizations to report several aggregated indicators as part of HIV Monitoring and Evaluation program. High quality data is salient in decision-making so as to eradicate the epidemic. Nonetheless, despite a longstanding requirement to report HIV-indicator data to the District Health Information Software Version 2 (DHIS2), few rigorous evaluations exist to evaluate performance of facilities reporting at meeting completeness and timeliness requirements overtime. In dissertation, we aim to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the reporting status for HIV-indicators at the national-level using facility reporting completeness and timeliness reporting requirements.

Hence, this dissertation aims to contribute to strengthening HIV monitoring and evaluation (M&E) efforts within the health system through diagnosis of problematic areas that need improvement.

Anja Salzmann

Visual News Practices - exploring processes of social learning and knowledge transfer related to the adoption of mobile technology for visual news journalism and multimedia content creation. 

This PhD-project is part of the overarching research project ViSmedia at the University of Bergen and aims to explore one of the fastest growing areas of journalistic innovation: mobile journalism. Based on applying a varied specter of qualitative methods this study focuses especially on the perspective of journalistic practitioners by investigating learning processes in new emerging as well as more traditional social arenas for learning and knowledge transfer.

A main part of the study investigates the interaction of a global pioneer community that gathers journalists, media practitioners and technology manufacturers around the world who are dedicated to share their knowledge and explore the capabilities of smartphones and related technologies for journalistic practices and multimedia storytelling. My core research interest lays hereby on the role of this global group of media pioneers for individuals who engage in this group as well as the observation of concrete processes of informal learning and knowledge-transfer that contribute to the development and dissemination of new journalistic practices and new concepts of working.

Another part of the study investigates a training and learning situation in a traditional organizational context at a German publishing house where traditional print-paper journalists are introduced and trained in audio-visual storytelling with mobile solo reporting. The focus is also here on the perspective of journalistic practitioners who are confronted with the challenge of identifying and thinking as traditional text journalists but are now demanded to enrich their skill portfolio with audio-visual storytelling and master the neo journalistic practice of solo mobile reporting.

The project gives insights into journalisms transformation from a perspective beyond and within traditional journalistic organizational settings showing how mobile technology opens the space for new organizational forms, new ways of knowledge-transfer and fosters new innovative learning cultures, which are the fundament in the 21st century for new experimental practices and part of redefining journalism and its structural foundations.

Than Htut Soe

Better Video Workflows via Real-Time Collaboration and AI Techniques in Television and New Media. 

My PhD project is an university-industry collaboration project between University of Bergen and Vizrt, a leading Norwegian digital media tools company. It is supported by supported by the Research Council of Norway through the Brukerstyrt innovasjonsarena (BIA) programme. Our goal is to explore innovative workflows to produce quality videos by exploring through computer-assisted collaboration and AI techniques.

There has been a very recent explosion in the number of AI based techniques in the area of processing images, videos and audio.  My project goal is to study the integration of the AI techniques in the video creation process through the use of interaction design and HCI (Human Computer Interaction). Functioning prototypes will be used to explore the interaction design of AI assisted video creation process. Some of the research knowledge generated through this project might leads to creation of  innovative products for the company.

Kamila Misiejuk

Exploring of the potential of learning analytics to support peer assessment.

The topic of my Ph.D. research is learning analytics and formative assessment, especially peer assessment. Peer assessment is a pedagogical practice that allows students to grade and to give feedback to each other’s work. Learning analytics is a new emerging field that has the potential not only to support assessment for learning but also to better understand learning processes. The ideal learning analytics scenario encompasses an iterative process, where based on the analytics results interventions are undertaken, analytics are improved, and the cycle is repeated on a new group of students. In my Ph.D. project, I explore the potential of learning analytics to support peer assessment.  My dataset comprises mostly text data, from a commercial peer assessment tool, coming from a variety of high schools and higher education institutions. I am particularly interested in applying automatic text analysis methods, such as natural language processing, and epistemic network analysis in order to assess the quality of peer feedback, and to better understand learning in the peer assessment situations. Another focus of this research is to explore the integration of learning design into the learning analytics research. 

Shuliang Dong

Hybrid Coalition Logic. 

The aim of this project to extend Pauly's Coalition Logic with nominal and modalities from hybrid modal logic in order to significantly increase its expressive power, and to study the resulting Hybrid Coalition Logic. Coalition Logic is one of the main frameworks for formalizing reasoning about coalitional strategic ability in artificial intelligence and computational social choice. While several researchers have extended the expressive power of basic Coalition Logic, I am not aware of any works on “hybridizing" Coalition Logic, which is surprising since “hybridization" is one of the most successful approaches to extend the expressive power of normal modal logics.

Joakim Vindenes 

My PhD project is concerned with the user experience of Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) from a phenomenological perspective. Methodically, I explore performing go-along interviews in VR in order to gain phenomenological, contextual understanding of the experience of being in VR. Theoretically, I work with postphenomenology to develop a framework for understanding and describing how VR mediates our subjectivity in relation to virtual worlds. My own empirical research is concerned with Virtual Reality Mind Palaces, which are studied qualitatively in-the-wild to understand the effects of VR in the context of everyday life.

Fredrik Bjerknes 

This article-based PhD project examines how new technology, and the ongoing visualization of news, are changing the presentation forms and the epistemic practices of investigative journalism. The project deploys a variety of qualitative methods and draws upon theoretical perspectives from epistemology, field theory, narrative theory and visual culture theory to analyze the knowledge claims and stories investigative journalism makes about the world, but also about itself.

Hilde Sakariassen

What promotes and what inhibits our public participation trough social media?

Social media, and in particular Facebook is an important part of our social life. According to data from MMI from 2016 3.192.000 Norwegians have a Facebook account and as much as 85 % reports use on a daily basis (MMI, 2016). This project aim to look at how we perceive social media as part of out digital public sphere and see to what degree we contribute here, as well as how social background and personal attributes can promote or inhibit this type of contribution.

The public sphere can be described as the place where the opinions of citizens can be expressed through debate. Thus making it important that citizens actually contribute to this debate and that a broad spectre of the population is represented.  Our society now is organized through social networks and media has a more dominant role that partially replaces the cultural centres we had with mass communication, making the landscape less straightforward. Social media enables citizens to be active participants and producers, which makes their experiences more direct, but also challenges the public debate since established guidelines no longer apply. At the same time social media provides a structure for public sphere where citizens have the possibility to express their attitudes, wishes and demands, in addition to challenge other citizens contentions or views. One of the criteria for having a functioning digital public sphere is that a wide spectre of the population is included in a rational debate, and a problem connected to this is lasting digital divides. It is not only a question of access, but also having different type of use and level of skills, that again can be connected to both social background but also personal attributes, such as level of self-moderation, social identity or perceived roles in the capacity ones profession. Social media allows new ways of getting in touch with or influence each other, and it is especially the interactive aspect that is new; that many can discuss and share with many at the same time. At the same time the discussions that happens in social media are often disconnected from the big agenda in the public sphere. When we also know that social media to a great extent is individually customized based on whom we are socially connected to as well as our digital habits, the discussion of a digital public sphere leads us to questioning weather we see the total picture or if we due to different human mechanisms or technical solutions end up with a limited perspective. It is also usual for social conduct to spread through people because we as individuals imitate decisions and choices others around us make. This way conduct or views that are unusual in the bigger context can be systematically overrepresented leading to a skewed perspective, something that will also be the case of our Facebook newsfeed. As individuals we try to match our attitudes and conduct to out surrounding word and how will social media then work as a part of a public sphere? This project will use data from both surveys with big samples as well as individual interviews to highlight what contributes to and inhibits us from active participation in social media as part of our digital public sphere.This PHD is part of the project Media, Culture and Public Connection: Freedom of Information in “the Age of Big Data”, financed by The Research Council of Norway.The overall aim of the project is to investigate how people in Norway use and perceive their information freedom, and what role the media and cultural arenas have for citizens connection to the public sphere across different sociocultural differences. 


Postdoc Research

Tareq Al-Moslmi

Tareq Al-Moslmi received the B.Sc. degree (Hons.) in computer science from the University of Science and Technology, Yemen, in 2009, the master’s degree in computer science and the Ph.D. degree from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia, in 2014 and 2018, respectively. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of Bergen, Norway. His research interests fall under natural-language processing, machine learning, semantic and knowledge graphs, text and web mining, and sentiment analysis.

Rustam Galimullin

Galimullin works on multi-agent logics in general, and dynamic epistemic logic in particular, and applications therefor to the blockchain and epistemic planning.

Yavuz Inal

Yavuz is a postdoc at the INTROMAT-project.