The PhD Impact: PhD Student Studies New Technologies’ Impact on Formation of New Behaviours

The PhD Impact: PhD Student Studies New Technologies’ Impact on Formation of New Behaviours


(small waves lapping) – It’s a common, I guess misconception
that, doing a PhD, you have to put your life on hold. And I think for many of us it hasn’t, which we’re very happy about and it’s something that
Telfer has helped us achieve. (bicycle gears ticking slowly) (upbeat music) My name’s Alex Chung. I am a PhD student at the
Telfer School of Management. Following high school, I
did an undergrad in biology from Carleton University and then I worked for about a year and then did a Master’s in System Science from the Engineering Faculty
at the University of Ottawa. And then, about three
years ago, I started a PhD in Management at Telfer. Well, I think there’s a growing interest in behavior change, and
if you looked around, in the media there’s a lot of talk about “How do we form or break habits?” So, with everyone having a mobile device or a wearable device on them, I just thought it would be interesting. So, for my project, I
focus on the question of, “Well, how do we design technologies to “form new behaviors or form new habits?” (upbeat music) Real-life applications of
persuasive technologies, or technologies that can
facilitate behavior change, include health-related behaviors, so, taking up new
exercise or eating better or taking up some form
of mindfulness practice. And this is why it’s
important to exercise. There are also applications in
environmental sustainability, in marketing, as well, we’ve seen that. And, as well, safety,
so, driving behaviour. But I’m interested in
taking up new exercise. I think that’s very important, to be physically active through life and, more importantly, for PhD students to also remain physically active. That’s why I’m interested in sports outside of school as well. I play a lot of volleyball, and myself and another PhD student, we bike every Sunday. (upbeat music) Telfer has helped with the PhD through financial support, of course. They’ve made it worthwhile
and also, at the same time, I didn’t have to put other
aspects of my life on hold. Other aspects include providing resources, so, the office space, the
equipment that we need. Telfer has also helped with
connections with the hospital. So, giving me an opportunity and a site where I can test my contributions. I find teaching to be very rewarding. Also, what’s nice about
teaching and being a student, is that you can relate. Having gone through the undergrad
process recently as well, I think makes it a little bit easier and we know what the students want, what they’re feeling and just being able to
help them through that. Some of my closest friends now, I’ve made through this program. And I find that the profs and the staff are very approachable. The community at Telfer
has been excellent. Everyone from the profs to the students to even the staff members, everyone’s been very supportive. You can tell that they
want you to succeed.

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