Fiona Carroll


I am interested in all applications of aesthetics and ethics to computing. These can include the emotional and sensational levels of interactions with technologies/ digital interfaces (i.e. aesthetic and/ or ethical response generated through interactions); the integration of artistic practice to the design and development of computing experiences (i.e. aesthetic and ethical visualizations etc.); the art of creative coding, leveraging computer programs and data structures to elegant, ethical and engagingly innovative levels.

Research Collaborations

Aesthetics, Cyber Security and Visualisation: Collaboration with University of West of England (UWE) (2018 to present). I am working with Phil Legg (UWE) to explore how aesthetics might be utilised in cyber security visualisations to address the concept of situational awareness for Non-Expert Users. This work is ongoing.

Aesthetics and Problem Solving: Collaboration with Melbourne University (2017 to present). From July to October 2017, I was a visiting researcher at the School of Psychological Sciences in Melbourne University. Here, I worked with Simon Cropper and Maggie Webb on a study that explored the impact of context, presentation and aesthetic on people’s ability to solve ‘map-like’ problems. Another larger study is currently being run with future studies in the pipeline.

Aesthetics and Inclusion: Collaboration with University of South Wales (USW) and Industry Partners (2018 to present). Currently, I am working with colleagues from USW in partnership with Cardiff Council and YARD ltd on a project to transform the use of data in our cities. Using aesthetic practice to drive the design of cutting edge data visualisations, this research explores how cultural engagement can benefit people's physical health and psychological wellbeing, in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, 2015.

Aesthetics and Online Learning: Collaboration with Yorkville University, Canada (2006 to present. My ongoing research partnership with Rita Kop’s (Yorkville University, Canada) explores the importance of the aesthetic and the visual in the design and development of the online learning experience. We believe a deeper understanding of the aesthetic and the visual will have a big impact on the future of online learning, particularly how our students learning behaviours evolve.

Past Research projects. During my career I have been involved in a number of projects funded by bodies such as the ESRC, AHRC, EPSRC and ESF. These projects include: The Benogo project, Edinburgh; The Citizenship project, Edinburgh; The Technology, Research and Innovation Project (TRIO) Project, Swansea University; and the Swansea Learning Partnership, Swansea University.

Successful Funding Applications

In 2016, I was successful in securing a £50,000 KESS 2 PhD scholarship from the European Social Fund Convergence Program (West Wales and the Valleys). The PhD project, titled ‘Desired Digital Customer Experience: Using neuroaesthetics to inform the design of online services that will shape and influence user behaviour’, commenced in October 2016. The project team includes the multinational company CGI, to explore how neuroaesthetics might inform the design of their online services. The research involves the use of brain computer interface technologies to investigate how aesthetics might be used to shape and influence the user behaviour and the digital customer experience.

In 2016, I was successful in securing an internal University of South Wales (USW) funding stream (Impact Investment Scheme) to support the BCES6 Scoping stories for ‘So Much Depends’ Digital Text/Art Project in partnership with Cardiff Council. I received £3000.

In 2016, I was successful in securing Welsh Government funding to support CADA DIA WELSH – an eight-week pilot online language-learning program. I received £5000 for this and the study ran over the summer 2016. This was a collaborative project with Michael Henry from the University of Missouri Kansas City.

In 2013, I was successful in securing an internal USW funding stream (Centre for Learning and Teaching) to undertake the research and development of an interactive ibook. This project ‘NOVEL LEARNING: DEVELOPING AN ETEXTBOOK COURSE ON COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE’ explored new ways to teach the subject of computer architecture. I was awarded £5000.