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UT Holds International Digital Media Doctoral Symposium


On December 3, UT Austin-Portugal doctoral program students gathered with visiting researchers, faculty members, and UT Austin graduate students to present their research, followed by brief talks by leaders of UTA-P sponsored projects. The five-hour symposium showcased the diverse, highly innovative work being developed in Digital Media, and allowed members of the program, who are spread across different colleges and schools at UT Austin, to share their progress with one another and get feedback from faculty members and their peers. The doctoral symposium is the second one of the year; in October, doctoral students studying in Porto and Lisbon presented their research projects during the futureplaces festival in Porto.

The meeting featured 15 presentations as well as a very successful networking lunch, and was attended by approximately 40 people, including exploratory visitors Pedro Bastos, Filipe Lopes, Rui Dias, and George Siorios of U. Porto. Directors Sharon Strover and Carlos Guedes led the symposium, which featured research from doctoral students Marta Ferraz, Luís Frias, Isabel Paiva, Tiago Videira, Rossana Santos, and Afonso O’Neill of UNL and Carlos Figueiredo and João Filipe Beira of U. Porto. Figueiredo and Paiva are currently enrolled non degree-seeking students at UT Austin, and Beira is a member of the UT Austin doctoral program. The students gave brief but thorough overviews of their work, which examines a broad range of topics including interactive film, social network interactions, generative music systems, and perception of urban spaces, among many others. Additionally, visiting scholar Dr. Alcimar Queiroz of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa discussed his research on the conceptualizing of the information society within developing countries, and interns Rui Silva and Diana Castilho talked about their respective work experiences in audio production and digital marketing.

Radio-Television-Film professor Craig Watkins, who has taught in the UTA-P Digital Media Summer Institute program, presented a mid-day talk on the future of digital media use, drawing upon his extensive expertise on youth and digital media. At the conclusion of student presentations, investigators from three sponsored projects talked about their work. Carlos Guedes and Bruce Pennycook presented on “Kinetic Controller Driven Music Systems,” Luis Francisco-Revilla and Sharon Strover spoke on “ImTV: On-demand Immersive-TV for Communities of Media Producers and Consumers,” and Joseph Straubhaar explained “Digital Inclusion and Participation,” a study which looks at aspects of the digital divide in the US and Portugal.

The symposium provided a space for program members from across the University of Texas to gather and learn about students’ doctoral research projects as well as other program-related research happening at UT Austin. Informative, highly interactive discussions followed the presentations and the lunch period gave Portuguese and Austin students, UT faculty, and other program visitors the opportunity to engage with one another and explore shared research interests. Attendees’ enthusiastic participation made the symposium a great success.