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UCT’s innovation lab sparks great excitement
17 November, 2017

An ‘innovation lab’ complete with virtual-reality 3D headsets, a drone, a 3D printer, Amazon Echo smart speakers, Emotiv brain-computer-interface headgear and credit-card-sized computers, has been launched at the University of Cape Town, bringing theory to life for hundreds of students.

Students flocked to the Department of Information Systems’ (IS) Think Tank room to try out a range of gadgets and equipment. They said they were very excited about the enterprising new lab, which would give them the opportunity to try out technology that they wouldn’t normally have access to.

The lab has been set up for students to “come and play without rules, where they can discover and figure out new things”, said Kevin Johnston, head of IS, at the launch on Tuesday night.


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PhD student hones research in Germany
09 November, 2017

PhD student Khangelani Vuke has returned from an enriching and successful visit to Germany. He was the UCT Department of Information Systems’ first doctoral student to be sent on an exchange programme to Philipps University in the historic city of Marburg in Germany.

Vuke described his month away as “mind-opening, enriching and a great learning opportunity”.

With the help of international researchers, he spent some of his time there honing his research on how South African businesses can pursue strategic digital transformation to achieve a competitive advantage. He also found out more about the rapid technological advances taking place in Germany.

The PhD student, who hails from Mqanduli in the rural Upper Ngqwarha region of the Eastern Cape, said he made progress in narrowing down his research and aligning it to much-needed information and communications technology-based developments in South Africa.


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Unraveling what’s holding back women economists in academia
26 October, 2017

When it comes to academic success female scientists are – on average – usually behind their male counterparts. They receive academic tenure less often and win fewer awards.This gender gap exists in the academic discipline of economics, too. In 2016, less than 15% of all economics professors were women.

Data I’ve collected and worked with during my PhD shows that women are also less central in the social network of informal collaboration. This refers to the process among academics of providing feedback and helping other authors to improve their work through comments and engagements. Such networks enable the global flow of knowledge, which is crucial for research.

My data suggests that men’s attitudes might be part of what’s keeping women in a subfield of economics from occupying a central position in the social network of informal collaboration.


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