Lancaster University

Lancaster University is among the leading Research Universities in the UK, and in the Top 100 of Europe’s Universities according to both Shanghai and QS rankings. Lancaster participates with two academic departments, Computing and the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts (LICA), that both have received outstanding recognition for their research excellence in the UK’s 2009 Research Assessment Exercise (in both departments, 80% of the research was classified as internationally excellent, 20% of which marked as world-leading).

Participants from Lancaster:

The Computing Department has a long-standing track record of successful European collaboration, including leadership and coordination of consortia in FET and other programme areas, and is a hive of research activity with over 120 research staff and a portfolio of close to 50 ongoing Research Council- and EU-funded projects. The Department has a world-class reputation of relevance to the PD-Net project in networking, distributed systems, HCI and mobile and ubiquitous computing (the latter an area in which the Lancaster team is counted among the pioneers). A distinctive strength of Lancaster¹s research environment is the close collaboration across academic departments to tackle multidisciplinary research challenges. In PD-Net, we will leverage this to bring both computing- and design-led perspectives to the project.

University of Stuttgart

The Universität Stuttgart lies right in the centre of the largest high-tech region of Europe. It is surrounded by a number of renown research facilities and have such global players as Daimler or IBM as neighbours. Founded in 1829, this technical institution has developed to the research intensive university it is today. The main emphasis is on engineering and the natural sciences.

Participants from Stuttgart:

The Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems (VIS) and the newly founded Visualization Institute of the Universität Stuttgart (VISUS) are internationally well known for research in the area of visualization, interactive 3D computer graphics, and human computer interaction. The institute is currently involved in a number of national and international projects carried out in collaboration with partners from academia, public research institutions and industry. The focus of the R&D-work of VIS is on human computer interaction techniques (interactive systems for computer aided learning, model-based user interfaces, user interfaces for sensory handicapped people, virtual and augmented reality), computer graphics (parallel and hardware accelerated graphics, web based graphics, graphics on mobile devices, non-photorealistic representations), visualization (volume rendering, flow visualization, multi-resolution analysis, large datasets as well as information visualization on high-dimensional and heterogeneous data set visualization and visual analytics), semantic models.

University of Lugano

The University of Lugano (or USI for short, deriving from its Italian name Università della Svizzera italiana) is the youngest of the 10 cantonal Universities in Switzerland. Founded in 1996, it is comprised of four faculties: architecture, communication sciences, economics, and informatics.

Participants from Lugano:

It is home to some 2400 students from over 30 nationalities, over 600 academic staff and 30 research institutes, currently pursuing approximately 50 scientific projects. The Faculty of Informatics, which is a partner in PD-NET, was inaugurated in 2004 and already features a faculty of 16 full, associate, and assistant professors, making it the largest computer science faculty of all Swiss cantonal Universities (second only to the two large Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne). The faculty has a strong research track record, in particular in systems software engineering, information retrieval formal methods, security and privacy, ubiquitous computing, and human-computer interaction.

University of Minho

The University of Minho (UDM), founded in 1973, is located in the Minho region of Northern Portugal, and has two campi, in the towns of Braga and Guimarães. With its 16000 undergraduate, 2000 post-graduate, and about 1200 teaching staff, the University is one of the biggest Universities in Portugal, and considers itself to be a complete University, offering degrees that span Medicine and Technology, to Arts, Humanities and Laws.

Participants from Minho:

The University is also positioned as a Research University with about 120 PhDs being awarded each year, an average yearly production of refereed papers published in international journals of 2/full time equivalent, and 250 R&D contracts being signed every year with external companies. This project will be hosted at the Algoritmi Research Centre of the Engineering School and will be conducted by the mobile and ubiquitous computing group. This group has an extensive experience in projects in this field with national and European funding. In particular, the group has been running, since 2005, a research program on situated displays. This program integrates industry contracts and several research projects in public displays, providing a crucial background for this project. Within the scope of this research program, there are currently three active projects: WESP, a project funded under a partnership program with Carnegie Mellon University and focused on security, privacy and identity management in situated services; the Instant Places project on bluetooth- based social interaction around public displays; and the Living Lab for Situated Displays(to start in September 2009), a shared infrastructure for open innovation in public displays.