Sergio Sayago's home page

A) Short CV

Sergio's pictureSergio Sayago holds a PhD in Computer Science and Digital Communication (July 2009), by Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), the first Spanish university to appear in the top 100 world universities. Sergio has post-doctoral experience. He was a visiting post-doc in a widely recognized centre of accessibility and computing in Europe - the School of Computing at the University of Dundee (UoD), Scotland - from 2010 to 2012, with a highly competitive fellowship (Beatriu de Pinós, 20% acceptance).  Since September 2012, he is a visiting post-doc in a top Spanish university, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), which is listed in the "QS Top 50 under 50" ranking,  with a two-year fellowship (Alliance 4 Universities) that promotes the mobility of the best young doctors amongst four leading Spanish universities (UPF, UC3M, Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, Universidad Autonoma Madrid).

Since 2004, Sergio has been conducting research in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) with older people (60+). This research has mainly drawn on ethnography and participant observation. I conducted a classical, face-to-face ethnographical study of ICTs use with 420 older people in an adult educational centre in Barcelona (Spain) from 2005 to 2008, and in a computer clubhouse in Dundee (Scotland) from 2010 to 2012. This research introduced a strong ethnographical approach to the field of HCI and older people, a field dominated by surveys and laboratory-based studies. This research has also put forward a change of paradigm, moving from older people regarded as Human Factors to interaction based on them regarded as Social Actors, i.e. they are, or aim to be, independent, ordinary and social ICTs users. This view challenges widespread design approaches. For instance, designing tools with reduced functionality for them might not be a good idea, since older people, with increasing ICT experience, aim to be ordinary users.

Sergio has been lecturing HCI in Computer Science (CS) for eleven years. From 2003 to 2009, he was a teaching assistant in a second year undergraduate course on user interface design and supervised 25 Software Engineering degree projects on HCI at UPF. When he earned his PhD in 2009, Sergio coordinated a first year undergraduate course on Interaction Engineering at UPF, and co-supervised an MSc thesis. He contributed guest lecture sessions to teaching programs in HCI and usability in Dundee from 2010-2012. In his first year at UC3M, Sergio coordinated the English group of a third year course on user interface (UI) in the bachelor degree of CS, lectured multimedia in the MSc in Software Engineering, and coordinated a course on designing and evaluating interactive products (DEPI) in the MSc in Computer Science and Software Engineering. In his second year, he coordinated the English group (theory and labs) of the UI course.

Sergio co-supervised an MSc project which combined HCI, educational apps and QR codes, at UC3M in 2014. Since 2010, he is co-supervising four PhD students at UPF (starting in 2010). These ongoing theses are examining Interactive TV,  Community Informatics, intergenerational communication and emotion, with older people, and free-play augmented with digital accessories with primary school-aged children and participatory design.

Sergio has participated in 8 EU-partially funded projects, which addressed emerging digital technologies, such as Digital Cinema and Media Entertainment. Industrial partners, such as the BBC and Yahoo!, were heavy involved in them. He coordinated the WorkPackage (WP) of evaluation of 6 of these projects. Before leaving UPF, Sergio participated in the proposal of a EU-project about independent living and geo-enabled ICTs, which was funded, and he has helped UPF to manage the WP of ethnography they coordinated. Over two years (2012-2014), Sergio was the technical coordinator of a multi-organization research project on digital game play and older people. Sergio wrote most of the proposal of this project when he was a post-doc in Dundee, helping to secure €246.000.

In 2013, Sergio conducted a 6-month study based on participant observation in EspacioCaixa Madrid, one of the c.400 social centres in Spain for older people owned by “la Caixa” Foundation – the biggest private foundation devoted to the welfare of people in Spain, thanks to a research agreement he established between them and UC3M.

His main goal for the near future is to get a position in HCI at an appropriate level.


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