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Research focus areas of Informatics lecturers

 

Prof Carina de Villiers

Position: Professor and Head of Department

Office: IT Building 5-78

E-mail: carina.devilliers@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on IS and Education, but also include ICT for sustainability. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying either qualitative or quantitative approaches to study the following research focus areas:

  • ICT in Higher Education.  Web 2.0 technologies, e-learning, m-learning, mobile applications.
  • ICT in organisations. Web 2.0 technologies, e-learning, m-learning, mobile applications.
  • ICT labour market. Shortage of ICT professionals, gender issues.
  • ICT for Development. Interventions, impact assessment.

The research domains that I investigate include IS organisations, Higher Education, Developing communities.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching  suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Use of ICT in higher education
  • User experience of different learning technologies
  • Use of ICT in developing communities
  • Impact assessment of ICT4D interventions
  • Use of Web2.0 technologies in organisations

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. ICT4D, e-learning, m-learning, higher education, gender, IS training.


Prof Alta van der Merwe

Position: Deputy Dean (EBIT)

Office: IT Building 5-82.2

E-mail: alta@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on IS and Organizations. The majority of my students use design science as their research approach, which may include quantitative or qualitative data collection.  My students are involved in the following research focus areas:

  • Enterprise Architecture (EA):  EA approaches, data and process management within EA, modelling and adoption.
  • Innovation: Disruptive technologies, Knowledge Management during Innovation.
  • Design: Design of systems within an IS organization, Social-technical systems.
  • Design Science: Studying the approach of Design Science.

The research domains that I investigate include IS organizations, Education.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Innovation cycles, methodologies, practices
  • Design aspects;
  • Socio-technological aspects: Crowdsourcing, Contextual awareness; Ownership; Social Media.
  • Design Science;

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Enterprise Architecture, Innovation, Design, Socio-technical systems, Ownership, Crowdsourcing, Contextual awareness, Design Science.


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Prof Awie Leonard

Position: Associate Professor

Office: IT Building 5-74

E-mail: awie.leonard@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on IT Management. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying either qualitative or quantitative approaches to study the following research focus areas:

  • IS Implementation. Design, systems development lifecycle, agile development approaches, and the implementation and use of information systems.
  • IS Relationship Management. IT end-user relationships, IT employer-employee relationships, and business-IT relationships.
  • Self-service technologies. Although its application is very wide, at this stage the research is focused on its application in the fresh produce markets.
  • Project Management. Team development and the management of virtual teams.
  • SMME’s.  Ways in which IS can play a role to alleviate poverty.
  • End Users.  The management thereof.

The research domains that I investigate include IS organizations, IS human resources development, agile software teams, and end user communities, self-service technologies, and the establishment and maintaining of sound relationships between IT professionals and end users.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • The role of soft issues like trust in the use of self-service technologies
  • The application of Self-service technologies in the fresh produce market
  • Management of virtual teams
  • End user satisfaction and relationship issues with IT professionals
  • IS human resources development
  • IT, business and end-user relationships

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Virtual teams, IT Management, Project management, Relationship Management, SMME’s, end users.


Prof Machdel Matthee

Position: Associate Professor Informatics

Office: IT Building 5- 58

E-mail: machdel.matthee@up.ac.za

An overview of my research areas appears below:  

  • 21st century skills:   Skills considered necessary to function in a technology dominated society (e.g. creativity, critical thinking, programming etc).
  • ICT and Education:  Adoption, Beliefs of principals, teachers and parents, change management, bring your own device (BYOD), participatory design, and cyber safety.
  • Societal implications of IS: implications of the use of Internet of Things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, social media and new media, e.g. social media addiction, loss of human agency, the future of jobs, fake news.

The research domains that I investigate include Communities, end-users, educational institutions and environments, organisations.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching  suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Critical thinking and the IT practitioner
  • Critical thinking and the IS curriculum
  • Cyber safety and schools
  • The implementation of BYOD in organisations
  • Technology and disruption in education
  • Aspects of social media use
  • Trust and Technology/IOT

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Critical thinking, Change, Societal  Implications, ICT and education, Disruption, Trust, Social media, Future, 21st century skills, Internet of Things


Prof Aurona Gerber

Position: Associate Professor

Office: IT Building 5-61

E-mail: aurona.gerber@up.ac.za

 

My research generally focuses on all aspects of IS Systems, including advanced modeling, the design and development of systems, as well as IS system implementation within enterprises. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying mostly qualitative approaches, including design science research, to study the following research focus areas:

  • Enterprise Architecture and Engineering:  EA modeling, EA implementations, EA Management, meta-modeling within EA, business IT alignment, EA Management, Agile Enterprises and Agile EA, disruptors and EA.
  • Data-driven IS Systems and Enterprises. The design and implementation of data-driven IS systems and data-driven enterprises, Data Science and the data lifecycle.
  • Ontologies and Semantic Technologies within IS. Ontology engineering. The integration of ontology and sematic technologies within IS Systems.

The research domains that I investigate include IS organizations and enterprises, business informatics, biodiversity informatics.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Meta-modeling for EA Management.
  • Disruptive technologies and enterprise agility.
  • Ontology-driven IS systems within biodiversity informatics, including taxonomic keys.
  • Semantic document repositories to support domain specific workflows.
  • Data-driven IS systems

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Enterprise architecture, enterprise engineering, agile enterprises, data-driven IS systems, ontologies within IS.


Dr Rennie Naidoo

Position: Senior Lecturer Informatics

Office: IT Building 5-71

E-mail: rennie.naidoo@up.ac.za

 

 

My research generally focuses on IS and Organizations. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying either qualitative or quantitative approaches to study the following research focus areas:

  • IT Value.  IT investment decisions, benefits realisation and the moral/ethical consequences of IT.
  • IS Implementation. Design, systems development lifecycle, agile development approaches, and the implementation and use of information systems.
  • IS Relationship Management. IT end-user relationships, IT employer-employee relationships, and business-IT relationships.

The research domains that I investigate include IS organizations, IT Exco/Finance, IS human resources development, agile software teams, and end user communities.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • IT investment and evaluation practices
  • Ethical issues in IT decision-making
  • Agile systems development practices
  • End user satisfaction and loyalty
  • IS human resources development and staff turnover
  • IT, business and end-user relationships

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Agility, business case, benefits realization, employee turnover, IS ethics, user loyalty, and IT-business engagement.


 

Prof Helene Gelderblom

Position: Associate Professor

Office: IT Building 5-76

E-mail: helene.gelderblom@up.ac.za

I work primarily in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) focusing on

  • User experience (UX) and usability of interactive technologies.
  • The use of eye tracking in UX design and evaluation.
  • Designing for special user groups, such as children, people from disadvantaged communities and people with special needs.
  • Participatory design, especially using low fidelity prototyping.
  • Psychological aspects of HCI

The research domains that I investigate are Cognitive Psychology and HCI, ICT in Education, and UX practices in organisations.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I will support students who are interested in related or similar research:

  • Improving attitudes toward user experience and customer experience in South African organisations
  • Web analytics (e.g. Google analytics) in UX design and evaluation
  • Interesting ways to use technology for effective education and training
  • Participatory design of technology solutions
  • The psychological barriers to successful design
  • Responsible design (i.e. the social, psychological and socioeconomic impact of technology design)

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Cognitive psychology, user experience, participatory design, special user groups, IT in education.


 

Dr Neil Croft

Position: Snr Lecturer

Office: IT Building 5-101

E-mail: neil.croft@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on Mobile and fintech solutions. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying either qualitative or quantitative approaches to study the following research focus areas:

  • IT Value.  IT strategic solutions, inter-operability and integration.
  • IS Implementation. Design, systems development lifecycle, agile development approaches, and the implementation and use of information systems.
  • IS Relationship Management. P2B and B2B architectures, IT systems integrations, and business-IT relationships.

The research domains that I investigate include mobile, fintech, blockchain.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Mobile networks
  • Mobile marketing
  • Mobile development
  • Fintech
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Blockchain

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Agility, business, systems, integration, inter-operability, remittance, and mobile money.


 

Dr Martina Jordaan

Position: Senior Lecturer

Office: IT Building 5-82.3b

E-mail: martina@up.ac.za

My research focuses on Community Engagement and Service Learning. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying either qualitative or quantitative approach to study the following research focus areas:

  • Community Engagement. The strategic process with the specific purpose of working with identified groups of people, whether they are connected by geographic location, special interest, or affiliation to identify and address issues affecting their well-being. To address issues about decision-making, relationship development, or capacity building.
  • Service learning. When students, as part of their coursework, participate in a project which assists a community partner to achieve a goal.  The student is seen to benefit from this type of learning if the work done for the community is aligned with the learning outcomes of the module he/ she is undertaking.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Large-scale community projects
  • Campus-community partnerships
  • Capacity building projects in the community
  • Linking student expertise with community needs
  • Using a blending learning approach for service learning modules

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Community engagement, service learning, large scale community projects


Dr Tendani Mawela

Position: Lecturer

Office: IT Building 5-102

E-mail: tendani.mawela@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on Electronic Government (e-Government). I take an interdisciplinary view in applying either qualitative or quantitative approaches to study the following research focus areas:

  • eGovernment. The  use  of  information  and  communication  technologies  in  all  facets  of the operations of a government organization. The continuous optimization of service delivery, constituency participation and governance by transforming internal and external relationships through technology, the Internet and social media. 
  • ICT4D.  The   use    of    Information    and    communication    technologies towards development.

The research domains that I investigate include Public sector organizations, and citizen and other e-government user communities.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Digital   interactions   between   a   government   and   citizens   (G2C),   government   and businesses/Commerce  (G2B),  government  and  employees  (G2E),  and  also  between government and other governments /agencies (G2G)
  • The systematic reviews of existing e-Government and ICT4D literature.

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Electronic Government (e-Government),e-Participation, e-Democracy, Transformational  Government  (t-Government),  ICT  for  Development  (ICT4D), Social Media, Mobile Government (m-Government), Systematic Reviews


Dr Henk Pretorius

Position: Senior Lecturer Informatics

Office: IT Building 5-65

E-mail: henk.pretorius@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on IS and Governance. I also do research in the following research focus areas:

  • Women in IT/ICT.  
  • Business Processes. The design, implementation and the automation of business processes.
  • IS/Technology and Sport. 

The research domains that I investigate mostly include IS and the organization, except in the case of technology and sport.

Important keywords and concepts relevant to my research. Business Processes, Business Process Management, Women in ICT, Corporate Governance, Governance and Technology, Technology and Sport, Business Process Automation and finally Fraud and Corruption.


 

Dr Marié Hattingh

Position: Senior Lecturer

Office: IT Building 5-67

E-mail: marie.hattingh@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on the role of Social Media in communities. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying either qualitative or quantitative approaches to study the following research focus areas:

  • Use of Social Media in Community Safety. Reporting crime, finding missing persons, community upliftment.
  • Use of Social Media in eGovernment. The integration and use of social media by governmental institutions.
  • Use of Social Media in eActivism. Understanding how social media is used by online activists and the relationship with offline activism.
  • Impact of Social Media on its users. Positive and negative use of social media such as: darkweb, fake news, narcissism, addiction, learning opportunities etc and the moral/ethical consequences of social media use.

The research domains that I investigate include Government, Communities and Individuals.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Mapping the number and type of social media community safety groups
  • Understanding the flow of information from the source to social media communities
  • Using role theory to differentiate the various roles of social media users

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Community safety, eActivism, eGovernment, Facebook, netnography, social media, text mining, Twitter.


Dr JP van Deventer

Position: Lecturer

Office: IT Building 5-97

E-mail: phil.vandeventer@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on IS and Organizations. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying mostly a quantitative approach to study the following research focus areas:

  • IT Value.  Knowledge Representation, Enterprise Architecture, Unstructured Analytics, Text Analysis, Data Science
  • IS Implementation. Several domains of business, technology, people, infrastructure and market forces to change the Enterprise Architecture, symbolic representations of text and pattern analysis
  • from one state to another

The research domains that I investigate include Knowledge Representation, Enterprise Architecture, Unstructured Analytics, Text Analysis and Data Science

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Enterprise Architecture in general
  • Knowledge Architecture
  • Unstructured analytics and text analysis approaches
  • Fundamentals in Data Science and application thereof

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Knowledge Representation, Enterprise Architecture, Unstructured Analytics, Text Analysis, Data Science


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Dr Marita Turpin

Position: Senior lecturer Informatics

Office: IT Building 5-66.1

E-mail: marita.turpin@up.ac.za

Overview of my research focus areas appears below:

  • Impact assessment in ICT4D.  Broader socio-economic impact of ICT4D projects on rural communities.
  • Systems thinking in ICT4D. Emergent and unplanned consequences of ICT4D projects. Broader systemic influences in ICT4D.
  • Teaching of 21st century skills to IS students. Effective teaching of critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and design thinking. 

The research domains that I investigate include IS for sustainable development, IS teaching.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching  suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Impact assessment in ICT4D
  • Application of systems thinking in ICT4D
  • Teaching problem solving skills to IS students
  • Teaching critical thinking to IS students
  • Teaching design thinking to IS students
  • Development of new and appropriate theories in ICT4D

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. ICT4D, systems thinking, impact assessment, 21st century skills, critical thinking, problem solving.


 

 Dr Funmi Adebesin

 Position: Senior Lecturer Informatics

 Office: IT Building 5-73

 E-mail: funmi.adebesin@up.ac.za

Overview of my research focus areas appears below:

  • E-health adoption. Electronic health record (EHR) / electronic medical record (EMR) adoption. Impact of EHR/EMR adoption.
  • E-health Interoperability. Standardisation to support interoperability between healthcare systems.
  • Health Informatics for healthcare professionals. Integrating Health Informatics to the curriculum of future healthcare professionals.
  • IT for health promotion. Mobile health applications and devices to support personal well-being

The research domain I investigate includes National and provincial health departments, private and public healthcare facilities, mobile health apps and wearable device users, healthcare systems developers and vendors.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who wish to research suitable topics in the following areas:

  • Ubiquitous/wearable healthcare applications/devices
  • Adoption of EHR and EMR
  • Perception of healthcare professionals on the use of technologies to support healthcare services
  • Impact of healthcare systems on healthcare professionals’ work processes
  • Strategies for inclusion of Health Informatics in the curriculum of future healthcare professionals
  • Usability/UX studies on healthcare applications

These keywords are relevant to my research. E-health/M-health, healthcare systems interoperability, preventative healthcare, usability and user experience, wearable health devices.


Dr Lizette Weilbach

Position: Senior lecturer Informatics

Office: IT Building 5-69

E-mail: lizette.weilbach@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on IS in Education, IS in Organizations and everyday contexts focusing on the following areas:

  • E-learning & mobile learning.  The implementation of e-learning in schools; e-learning and change management; e-learning as disruptive technology; the influence of HCI on e-learning.
  • IS Change Management.  Managing the social context within which IS are implemented.
  • Social Media.  The impact of social media on organisations and the everyday life of people; the unintended consequences of social media; social media as a tool to enhance…

The research domains that I investigate include IS organizations and educational settings and everyday life contexts.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching  suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • The implementation of e-textbooks in schools
  • Enhancing the interface of e-textbooks
  • Managing change due to e-textbook/IS implementation
  • Mobile learning application
  • The impact of social media on organisations/education/the everyday life of people
  • The unintended consequences of social media

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research: e-learning; e-textbooks; IS change management; social media use; social media impact


Dr Riana Steyn

Position: Lecturer

Office: IT Building 5-66

E-mail: riana.steyn@up.ac.za

My research generally focuses on Entrepreneurs from an educational perspective. I focus my study mostly on assisting entrepreneurs effectively understand the role of IT in their business and assist in training on certain technologies. Thus my focus areas are as follows:

  • Entrepreneurs and the adoption of IT in their business
  • IT training needs for entrepreneurs
  • Cooperative learning and hybrid learning and how technology can be used to enhance the overall learning experience

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • SME and IT adoption
  • Entrepreneurial IT adoption approaches
  • IT training needs for entrepreneurs
  • Hybrid training approaches
  • Cooperative learning and the overall student experience

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. IT, adoption, entrepreneurs, SMEs learning approaches, Hybrid learning, enhanced student experiences


 Dr Sunet Eybers

 Position: Senior Lecturer

 Office: IT Building 5-63

 E-mail: sunet.eybers@up.ac.za

 

My research generally focuses on Applied Data Science. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying either qualitative or quantitative approaches to study the following research focus areas:

  • The value of Data Science to organisations.  Data Science investment decisions, benefits realisation and the moral/ethical consequences of Data Science interventions.
  • Data Science Implementation. Design, data development lifecycle, agile development approaches, and the implementation and use of data in the context of the organization as well as data visualization.
  • Applied Data Science sub-disciplines. Data mining, data analytics, business intelligence, data warehousing.
  • eLearning. The utilization of technology in teaching and learning activities pertaining to Data Science.

The research domains that I investigate include enterprise architecture and business management (including project management and organizational strategy) as well as the utilization of social media in crime related environments.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • All aspects of Data Science Information Systems and Applications
  • Project management
  • Organizational strategy
  • Social media
  • Crime prevention
  • eLearning

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. Business intelligence, data mining, data warehousing, text mining, social media, crime, project management, organizational strategy, data visualization, eLearning.


Mrs Komla Pillay

Position: Lecturer

Office: IT Building 5-100

E-mail: komla.pillay@up.ac.za

Telephone: 012 420 5422

Overview of my research areas include:

  • Big Data Analytics.  Examining large data sets to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful business information.
  • Innovation. Deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative in deriving greater or different values from resources.
  • Knowledge Management. Integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets.

Mrs Tania Prinsloo

Position: Lecturer

Office: IT Building 5-59

E-mail: tania.prinsloo@up.ac.za

My research has two focus areas:

  1. ICT for Agriculture. I take an interdisciplinary view in applying either qualitative or quantitative approaches to study how any new technology can improve farming practices in Africa. Examples include:
    • Traceability.  Livestock, fresh produce, fisheries.
    • Drones. Drones used to improve farming practices, combatting drought, and legislation in terms of using drones on commercial/small-scale farms.
    • Protecting the environment. Preventing the poaching of rhino’s, protecting indigenous species and endangered wildlife.
  2. ERP Systems and how they relate to teaching strategies in higher education, for example:
    • The impact of ERP subjects on future employment.  Examples where exposure on undergraduate / postgraduate level led to better employment opportunities.
    • ERP in African universities. How ERP systems are taught throughout Africa.
    • General ERP topics, limited to case studies or business solutions.

The research domains that I investigate include ICT for Development, ICT for Agriculture, E-Agriculture, ERPsystem case studies.

Topics that I am actively involved in are listed below. I can support students who are committed to researching suitable topics in one of the following areas:

  • Using ICT to alleviate poverty
  • ICT impact assessment frameworks
  • ICT and women empowerment
  • ICT and sustainable development
  • ICT Farm management
  • ERP in higher education
  • ERP business process enhancement

These keywords and concepts are relevant to my research. ICT4Ag, qualitative case studies, quantitative data, ERP solutions.

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