Happy New Year! It has been a couple of weeks since my last blog post while I took time off to spend Christmas and New Year with family and friends, so I wanted to share a quick one with you to get 2019 started in earnest. In proper new year style, in this blog post I will reflect on 2018 and look ahead to the year to come.
Looking Back at 2018
What I learned during the taught MSc component of my EngD (check out my first blog post to read about how my course is structured) is proving handy as I structure my literature review. My summer project taught me a lot about how to read and write effectively, so the first year did its job well.
When people ask me how my EngD project is going, I answer honestly and say "very well, thank you!" Even so, it can be easy to forget about the progress I have made since the beginning of October. I have learned a lot about dementia and how it affects people differently, and, together with my supervisors, have formed a clear path for the coming year. I feel very settled at Designability and am really enjoying studying my EngD.
All in all, I feel that 2018 was a success. I think it is important to acknowledge this explicitly. If anything, it will serve as a reminder next year of how positive I was at the beginning of the project in case I fall into that difficult spot I have heard is common amongst doctoral students!
Kicking Off 2019
For most of my time at university, January has always been a stressful month of revision and deadlines. However, in 2019 I can look forward to a relatively quiet January. This is the first year during my studies for which I have not had an exam or assessed deadline, and it's rather refreshing.
That said, perhaps I am simply getting used to deadlines not being as daunting as they always used to seem, because I do have a deadline this month. At the end of the month, I am giving a presentation to a group of older people at Age UK BANES Culture Club. However, this is not an assessment and will allow me to share my work with a local community. I am enjoying the opportunity to put together an engaging presentation and hope to share this with you too.
The Focus of 2019
During Christmas lunch, my grandfather and I talked about my project. He raised some interesting points, such as, How will my system recognise the objects of each individual?, How will people interact with things in AR?, and, How will the system know when a part of the task is completed? These are all really important questions, ones which will need to be answered for the system to work well.
However, in 2019 I will be focusing on answering the questions:
- how well can people with dementia understand AR?; and,
- do people with dementia want to use AR?
If the answers to these questions are "not very well" or "no", respectively, then that is okay. It just means I will be writing a very short thesis...
In all seriousness, finding answers to these questions first will help me to address the more technical aspects like the ones my grandfather mentioned.
Looking Ahead to Later in the Year
As I mentioned last month, this year I hope to set up a steering group for my project. I am very excited to get started with this. There will also be ample opportunity for me to share my work and learn new things in the coming year. I look forward to sharing more details on my blog as and when these happen.