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2016 Research Round-Up

Cass Business School News, City News, Health Sciences News, Law News, Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News.

City, University of London produces high quality research on an incredibly broad range of topics. We have put together a quick overview of some of the top research stories from the Insitution in 2016. For all the latest news please go to the Research homepage.

Inspired by Airbnb

airbnb sign

We all know when a new business comes along and disrupts the status quo, but how do they do it? Cass PhD student Tatiana Mikhalkina and Professor Laure Cabantous have had their research “How do innovative business models become the exemplars for a new category of firm?” published in Business Model Innovation: How Iconic Business Models Emerge. This explores how a new company emerges and the power of iconic business models. Read article.

More excuses to keep playing video games

ps3 controller

Stop feeling guilty about how much time you spend with your PS4 or Xbox. Dr Irene Scopelliti from Cass Business School has published research on decision-making bias and the use of video games. The paper, published in Policy Insights in the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, explored ways to improve upon traditional methods of training designed to reduce bias and improve people’s decision-making ability. The research team developed two interactive computer games to test whether they might substantially reduce game players’ susceptibility to cognitive biases. Full text.

Online dating in The Independent

man with smartphone

The saying goes “there’s plenty of fish in the sea” – but what if the fish send you unwanted explicit messages? Laura Thompson, a PhD student from the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism, tackles just that and has had her research published in The Independent. The feature explores the issue of why some people choose to send graphic images to other website users without consent and looks at how different genders interact on dating websites and how this links to offensive or insulting behaviour. More details.

A better measure of obesity?

waist measuring

If you’ve ever worried about your BMI, it’s time to give that up and measure your waist-to-height (WHtR) instead. Dr Margaret Ashwell, Senior Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School and her colleague Sigrid Gibson, have proposed this new measure in BMJ Open. The research found that 35% of adults judged to be OK using the current measure were found to have higher levels of some cardio metabolic risk factors when using the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR). These risk factors can be early indicators of health problems including diabetes, heart disease or stroke. Full information

Cancer costs keep adding up even after a decade

operating theatre

The cost of cancer treatment on the NHS is a hot topic, and new research from Dr Mauro Laudicella and Dr Brendan Walsh at City, University of London shows that even a decade on, cancer survivors cost the NHS in England five times more than someone without the disease. This study was commissioned by Macmillan Cancer Support and published in the British Journal of Cancer and it reveals that hospital care for the average patient diagnosed with the four most common cancers (breast, colorectal, prostate or lung cancer) costs the NHS in England £10,000 in their first year of diagnosis – but nine years on is still costing £2,000 a year. Academics from Imperial College London also contributed to the report. Continue reading.

UK creativity on the up

coloured lights

If you’re looking to get in to the creative industries, the UK outperforms the US and Canada. Professor Andy Pratt, Director of the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries at City, University of London, was part of the team behind a report for the charity Nesta titled “Creative Economy Employment in the US, Canada and the UK”. The research showed that employment in the UK creative economy grew at 4.7 per cent per annum on average, between 2011 and 2013 – faster than the US (3.1 per cent). Read on.

High praise for gender balance research

panel

Leading figures from the BBC, Sky, Channel 4, ITV and Channel 5 joined politicians in praising City research into gender imbalance on the country’s top news programmes. Professor Lis Howell is running an ongoing study of the proportion of women experts, reporters and presenters in news programmes. This issue was discussed at the Women on Air conference, which highlighted the lack of women on television and the radio. More here.

Augmented reality

computer simulated augmented reality

Augmented reality can now help you choose wine by overlaying information on the bottle, and is opening the door for brand new ways to enhance online shopping. Professor Ko de Ruyter, Professor of Marketing at Cass Business School, said, “Companies such as IKEA, L’Oreal, and BMW have already added AR applications to their frontline service delivery.” The team’s research shows that adding AR into retail systems could reverse deep-rooted consumer dynamics and helps the customer to make choices that are more consistent with their personal goals. Fast-forward to the future.

Taking your phone to bed causes harmless blindness

man in bed with phone

Have you experienced that temporary blindness from spending too much time using smartphones in bed? A new study by academics from City University London, Moorfields Eye Hospital, King’s College London, and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, seeks to raise awareness for physicians and reduce costly investigations, while also reassuring patients. Although ‘temporary blindness’ sounds alarming, the experience is completely harmless, and not confined to smartphone use, but due to the wide use of smartphones in bed, has been most commonly observed in connection with them. Read on.

Malnutrition and obesity on the rise

apple with world map

The 2016 Global Nutrition Report was Co-Chaired by Professor Corinna Hawkes of the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London, and it reveals insufficient progress in the fight against all forms of malnutrition. Forty Four per cent of countries with data available (57 out of 129 countries) now experience very serious levels of undernutrition as well as overweight and obese adults. Despite good progress in some countries, the world is off track to reduce and reverse this trend. Professor Hawkes said “One in 12 people globally have diabetes now, and nearly two billion people are obese or overweight. We must stem the tide.” Find out more.

Gender stereotypes strong in infants

boy with car

What have you got for the little kids in your life this Christmas? Something ‘gender appropriate’, or something that breaks those stereotypes? A new study from academics at City University London and UCL found that children as young as 9 months-old prefer to play with toys specific to their own gender, according to the research in Infant and Child Development. The paper found that in a familiar nursery environment significant sex differences were evident at an earlier age than gendered identity is usually demonstrated. It continues that boys and girls follow different developmental patterns with respect to selection of gender-typed toys due to both biological and developmental-environmental differences. Continue reading.

How easily can you spot an online lie?

lies

Spotting an online lie is now easier than ever thanks to a team of academics who have designed an algorithm that can detect lies in emails. The research team from Cass, Westminster Business School and Catholic University of Louvain developed the algorithm by identifying linguistic cues of deception found within online communications such as emails. The full paper, ‘Untangling a Web of Lies: Exploring Automated Detection of Deception in Computer-Mediated Communication’ is published in the Journal of Management Information Systems. Read further.

Men still dominate sports journalism

sports

Despite some high-profile female sports presenters arriving on our screens in the past decade, the story is not the same throughout sports journalism. Professor Suzanne Franks, Head of the Department of Journalism, highlights why the number of women working on the sports desks of UK national newspapers has not improved over recent decades. The study, by academics at City, University of London and the University of Huddersfield, asked journalists why there were not enough women in the field and found aspects of the modern media climate could be hindering progress. The findings were published in the US journal Media Report to Women and built on their previous study which was conducted after the 2012 Olympic Games. Find out more.

Worldwide attention for City economist

mutual funds headline

The Wall Street Journal cited a research paper co-authored by a City economist which showed a link between national monetary policy changes and decisions by investors to withdraw their money from investment funds. Professor Gabriel Montes-Rojas is one of three academics behind a study that found that sudden actions by central banks, such as the US Federal Reserve, can have significant effects on the behaviour of investors and this can result in financial instability in bond and equity markets. Continue this article.

Virtual reality world helps stroke recovery

screenshot of programme

Impaired speech and language following a stroke has profound consequences for quality of life. The effects on personal and social relationships are particularly devastating, with loss of friends commonly reported. New research shows a virtual reality world called EVA Park can help, according to a paper published in PLOS ONE by academics at City, University of London. It shows the potential for technology to play an important role in improving the everyday lives of people with aphasia, which is a language disorder affecting about one third of stroke survivors. Further details.

Men 25% more likely to get a payrise

money v gender

The gender pay gap has been big news in 2016, and this report from Cass Business School, the University of Warwick and the University of Wisconsin is helping to shed light on why it persists. The paper confronts the previous theories, which have all been based on reasons why women might be reluctant to ask for an increase in their pay packet. Co-author Dr Amanda Goodall at Cass Business School said “Ours is the first proper test of the reticent-female theory, and the evidence doesn’t stand up.” In fact, their report shows that females do ask for payrises, but are less likely to get them than men. Keep reading.

Cass leads the call for financial reform

number crunching exec

A Cass Business School report for New City Agenda says that Britain’s financial regulators must change to avoid sleepwalking into another financial crisis that will have a devastating effect on our economy and political system, and that crucial changes made following the 2008 economic crash are already being watered down. Get the details here.

Boko Haram’s media strategies studied

map showing Nigeria

Reserach from Dr Abdullahi Tasiu Abubakar shows how the changing media strategy of Boko Haram reflects their change from a peaceful movement in 2002 into a violent insurgency of 15,000 fighters. Published in a chapter of Africa’s Media Image in the 21st Century and based on interviews with individuals who have had first-hand dealings with Boko Haram, the research found that the organisation rose to notoriety through their long-standing commitment to self-promotion, barbaric activities, effective communication with journalists and the western media’s “obsession” with jihad-related stories. More information.

Chinese M&A in the UK

handshake with UK and China flags

Cass has published innovative research into Chinese M&A market, focussing on acquisitions from China to the UK from 2012 to mid-2016. During this time Chinese companies began making frequent acquisitions in the UK. With the growth of Chinese outbound M&A activities and their foreign direct investment (FDI) becoming increasingly important to the world’s economy, the research is both timely and useful in examining whether these investments create value to shareholders of the acquiring firms and which factors will drive performance. Continue reading this arcticle.

Weavee-ing Your Future Career

Alumni Notice Board, Alumni Stories, City News, Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News.

DSC_1105In 2015 James Grant completed a BSc in Computer Science with Games Technology. He acquired not only a 2.1, but also three years of professional experience. It gave him the ‘edge [he] needed to build Weavee. Weavee is a career platform that doesn’t just help people to get the job they want, it helps them to discover what they can do. Here James tells us how his time at City equipped him to build the platform of the future.

Can you tell me about your time at City?

The defining part of my time at City University was undertaking the Professional Pathway scheme, a scheme that gave me the chance to gain three years work experience in addition to my degree. The professional pathway has informed all I do now.

At the start of the scheme, I joined the web development team at City University for a year, which is where I learned most of the web skills I have today. I then moved on to a new role with Euromoney in my second year, where I set up and ran a graduate scheme later progressing on to a startup called Bar Pass for four months and onto a contract with BOAT international for five months. My final placement was with Hays recruitment for five months.

Because of the various positions I held, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I left university. I wanted to build a business.

How did the idea for Weavee come about?

I was originally building a social network for my dissertation and during that time I considered the idea of scaling it outside of a university, however after pitching the idea at several startup communities it was clear that there is more to building a business than having an idea.

Throughout the employment process I found I was always facing the same process; put my CV in as many places as possible and hope that a job suiting my skills came up. It became increasingly harder even though my skills were developing. I figured that if I was having problems with an expanding CV, what was happening to the emerging talent just leaving University?

It was only during my time at Hays, where I was positioned inside the recruitment system that I considered the ineffective way recruitment agencies work. With UK recruitment agencies costing businesses an average of £4,000 per placement and successful appointment taking approximately three months, there is a lot of room for improvement. The situation won’t get better unless someone does something.

What has been the biggest challenge with regards to Weavee?

In the short time that I have been working on Weavee (a mere nine months!), I have learned so much. The constant challenge hasn’t been the creation of the business; instead, it was being able to reach the right people able to advance the business.

At each stage, I have had to choose between building the business and networking. The former has taken priority and now each networking event is an opportunity for me to share Weavee’s progress to try to gain support. So far this strategy seems to work!

What has been the most rewarding experience?

To see how my actions have influenced others is really rewarding – we have some of the stories up on our Weavee blog.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?

Building a startup is tough. I wouldn’t suggest doing it unless you have some work experience and also a holistic understanding of the problem you are looking to solve. Having experienced first hand (and from various perspectives) the situation I am solving, I can understand the problems each person might face. This means I am better equipped to solve the problem in a balanced way. Only through experiencing the situation can you better understand why the situation exists, be able to appeal to stakeholders and solve the problems they have.

Finally, it’s the quick fire question round!

Favourite place in London:  St Paul’s
Favourite holiday destination:  Florida
Must-check every day website: Mashable.com
Dream travel destination:  Outer space
Cheese or chocolate: Cheese

If you would like to find out more about Weavee or get involved with their latest project WeaVR, please visit weavee.co.uk or connect with James via LinkedIn.

 

 

 

 

Working in the USA

Alumni Notice Board, Arts and Social Sciences News, Careers, Cass Business School News, City Graduate School, Health Sciences News, Law News, Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News, Webinars.

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On Thursday 23rd June 2016, we hosted our fourth alumni careers webinar. The topic was “Working in the USA”, and focussed on the next steps you need to take to work and live in the USA.

This webinar was recorded and is now available here. Running Time 50 mins.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk

How to Effectively Use Recruitment Agencies

Alumni Notice Board, Arts and Social Sciences News, Careers, Cass Business School News, City Graduate School, Health Sciences News, Law News, Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News, Webinars.

efectively use recruitment

On Thursday 21st April 2016, we hosted our third alumni careers webinar. The topic was “How to Effectively Use Recruitment Agencies”, and focussed on the importance of building a good relationship with a recruiter.

This webinar was recorded and is now available here. Running Time 39 mins.

 

 

Communicating Your Transferable Skills

Arts and Social Sciences News, Careers, Cass Business School News, City News, Health Sciences News, Law News, Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News, Webinars.

webinar

On Thursday 17th March 2016, we hosted our second alumni careers webinar. The topic was “Communicating your Transferable Skills”, and focussed on how to best showcase your skills.

This webinar was recorded and is now available here. Running Time 35 mins.

NOTE you may not be able to see the links as mentioned in some of the answers, please find the Prospects job profiles here and the City Careers website here.

This presentation was given by David Gilchrist. For more from him click here.

Enhance Your Professional Digital Brand

Arts and Social Sciences News, Careers, Cass Business School News, City News, Health Sciences News, Law News, Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News, Webinars.

webinar

On Thursday 18th February 2016, we hosted our first alumni careers webinar. The topic was “How to Enhance your Professional Digital Brand”, and focussed on tips for LinkedIn.

This webinar was recorded and is now available here. Running Time 54 mins.

City University London and Cass Business School Alumni – Where Are They Now?

Arts and Social Sciences News, Cass Business School News, City News, Health Sciences News, Law News, Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News , .

It’s January graduations this week, and to celebrate we’ve been having a look at our alumni all over the world. And we mean all over the world! We wanted to find out where they are, and what they are doing – and here are the results for everyone we have up-to-date details for.

Where are City alumni?

where in the world_city

What jobs are City alumni doing?

city degree

Where are Cass alumni?

where in the world_cass

What jobs are Cass alumni doing?

cass degree

You can contact the local alumni network in your country on our Alumni Ambassador pages. We have separate pages for City and Cass but the alumni work together.

Fifty year association with City

Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering News.
Students' Union booklet circa 1970 (Photo 1)

Students’ Union booklet circa 1970 (Photo 1)

Post by Dr Peter Harding

It is 50 years since my first association with City. This period coincidentally covers the time from its birth, or transformation, from Northampton College of Advanced Technology until now, when it is proposed to join the University of London. In these 50 years there has been considerable change.

A picture taken from the Students’ Union booklet circa 1970 (Photo 1) shows the view of the Thames looking east (Photo 2). Some two years ago I visited the Shard. I took a photo from a similar angle to the aerial shot. It shows the massive amount of building work that has taken place in the City and the Isle of Dogs (Photo 3).

London has been on a journey beyond anything that could be envisaged 50 years ago.

 

 

 

 

View of the Thames looking east circa 1970 (Photo 2)

View of the Thames looking east circa 1970 (Photo 2)

My first recollection of City

My first recollection of City was as Northampton College of Advanced Technology, knowing that within a few months it would become ‘The City University – TCU’. I arrived to interview  on a very cold day in December 1965. As I was early, I killed time walking around the local streets for the best part of an hour getting colder and colder. Finally I decided to enter the main building and found it beautifully warm, and wished I had the courage to enter earlier. I was taken to a part of the main building off St John’s Street, where I sat an exam. One of the questions was how you would plan a new road system to go through/around an existing town, as shown on a map. Probably nothing to do with electrical engineering but testing knowledge of systematic, thoughtful decision making! As part of the admission screening process I had already submitted an engineering/science report. I chose to write about the possibility of sending geostationary satellites into earth’s orbit. I am not sure that it was the type of answer that was expected but at least it showed that I was interested in technology. Interestingly, I later worked at the Rocket Propulsion Establishment designing an instrumentation system for testing static rocket motor firings, establishing my interest in the exciting area of rockets and satellite technology which was a hot topic in the 60’s and 70’s.

Recent view of the Thames from the Shard (Photo 3)

Recent view of the Thames from the Shard (Photo 3)


Confirmation of my place

I received confirmation of a place in January 1966, one of the first offers in my sixth form group. This indicated to me that a highly efficient administrative system was operating at the University. Concurrently with obtaining a university place I had to find an industrial sponsor for the six months work experience every year when I was not undertaking study. I settled on an offer from Eastern Electricity Board and found the training very diverse, giving me experience in many disciplines. I now realise that I had an exceptional opportunity including workshop training (where I was able to make a range of tools that I still use); work at a Power Station; manufacturers works in South Wales; planning and construction departments, commercial departments as well as working with engineers, linesmen and jointers and liaising with the public.

 

 

City of London map circa 1969 / 1970 (Photo 4)

City of London map circa 1969 / 1970 (Photo 4)

 

What my experience at City gave me

My experience at City gave me an education in the widest sense of the word. I not only finished my course but also appreciated the annual Gresham lectures; the chance to listen to the lunch time concerts given by the Guildhall School of Music and watch many of the shows based on NASA films about the Apollo space programme. I also became fascinated with the City of London and the student accommodation was ideally located on Bunhill Row,  which I was allocated to in my last year and so was able to explore the City at the weekends (Photo 4). The final year module on Management Studies at the Guildhall was a wonderful experience.

 

 

Peter Harding

Dr Peter Harding

 

50 years since

It has been fifty years since this first interest in the City and now, fifty years later, I have been able to walk around the City to discover again some of the interesting places and small passage ways and alleys that interconnect many of the streets and buildings.

As I have inferred, after working for the Eastern Electricity Board I worked at the Rocket Propulsion Establishment. Later on I moved into education and started lecturing at an FE College and also tutoring for The Open University. I then moved onto what is now known as Buckinghamshire New University. During my twenty five years at this establishment I was able to take part-time courses at City in MSc Engineering (1996) and then a PhD in Information Engineering (2007). My research gave me the opportunity to write academic papers which were published by the ICPR and my research student published by the IEEE and IEE.

I hope I have briefly shown that the changes and developments that have occurred for me have been in considerable part due to my experiences gained at the City.  I have gone from an undergraduate to an alumnus gained two additional degrees, both beyond my expectation some fifty years ago.


My advice to current students:

  1. Keep an open mind – don’t reject ideas out of hand as it is surprising where the next inspiration comes from
  2. Revert to first principle to solve or understand problems
  3. Theory and practice do agree it maybe is your model or measurements at fault
  4. Beware of excessive ‘hype’ as it can be detrimental to good science and engineering
  5. Appreciate the positive aspects of colleagues – shrink the negatives
  6. Understand how your company works and where power lies

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.

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