- What is the programme about?
- The MIH Media Lab does research on emerging technologies that change the ways in which humans interact with each other, with computers and with information. Our research projects include social network analysis, smart web applications, augmented reality, computer games, E-commerce and human-computer interaction. The research team consists of postgraduate students (mostly at Master’s level, with a few Honours and PhD researchers). Master’s and PhD students do fully research-based degrees, but have the option to also take postgraduate courses in topics that could support their research.
The Lab emphasizes applied research, with projects that have a good chance of producing prototypes or proofs-of-concept that could eventually be commercialised.
- How did it start?
- The MIH Media Lab was started in partnership with a major industry partner, in order to stimulate research in web and mobile technologies in South Africa.
- Which graduates is the programme open to?
- Most of the students that are accepted have an Electronic Engineering degree, or a BSc(hons) in Computer Science or Applied Mathematics.
However, because we are a strongly interdisciplinary lab, we also consider applications from students with just a BSc, a BA in Socio-Informatics, or a BCom. Mostly, we’re interested in students with a strong interest in web and mobile technology, and that have an interesting and unique skillset to bring to the research team.We currently have one MA (Socio-Informatics) student working on the use of AR technology to help people navigate unfamiliar indoor environments.
We are definitely interested in attracting more students from the humanities, as long as they have a strong interest in technology, and preferably have some software experience.
- How is it taught?
- Since the MIH Media Lab is purely a research environment, there is no formal course content. Students enroll for a degree in the faculty of their choice, with a research supervisor from that faculty. Some of them elect to take postgraduate courses in their faculty, to support their research. The Media Lab provides a research space with all the facilities to assist students in their work.
Once a student is accepted into the Lab, the Research Manager of the Lab helps the student to formulate a research topic, in one of the research focus areas of the lab, and puts the student in contact with suitable supervisors (if he/she doesn’t have one already). The full research proposal is developed in consultation between the student, the supervisor, the lab management and the industry partner.
- What are the research areas and topics?
- The best summary of this is on the lab research page and on the individual student pages.
- Will this be taken to other universities and institutions?
- There are no plans to do this in the near term. We do, however, involve external supervisors from other institutions where we feel they may provide a unique or specialist contribution.