Hola! Hi! Woof!
Welcome to my blog / online CV, wherein you will find up-to-date information about my research and lecturing activities, and about myself too.
Contact: sergio dot sayago at udl dot cat
This blog is constantly under construction.
I was born in Barcelona (Spain) in 1981. I am a son, dog (and, in general, animal) lover, occasional runner, and team player. I like reading, writing, thinking, driving, and strolling along the beach and in parks (specially in autumn). I do not like either noisy environments or crowded places. I love cooking, buying food from local farmers, good wine and tea, and Scottish whisky. My mother tongues are Spanish and Catalan. I have a Certificate in Proficiency in English, which was not an easy thing to achieve, and I am very proud of having learned some Scottish – apologies if the following words are misspelled (dreich, wabbit, fit like? Nae bad the noo, peh, jings, crivens, help ma’ boab!, geeza break!). I currently live in Igualada (Barcelona). Previously in my life, I lived in Dundee (Scotland) between 2010-2012; in Leganés (Madrid), between 2012-2014; and in Lleida (Catalonia), between 2014-2016. I am a HCI scholar, and have a passion for what I do: research and teach.
I am a Lecturer / Assistant Professor in Human-Computer Interaction / Computer Science at University of Lleida (Spain) since April 2021. I hold a PhD Cum Laude in CS / HCI by Universitat Pompeu Fabra (2009). I was a post-doctoral research fellow (Beatriu de Pinós) in the School of Computing at the University of Dundee (2010-12) and in the Computer Science Department at UC3M (Alliance 4 Universities, 2012-14). I was a visiting lecturer (and researcher) in the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Engineering at University of Lleida (2014-16) and in the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics at Universitat de Barcelona (2016-2019). I am now based in the Igualada Campus of the University of Lleida, and a faculty member of the Department of Computer Science and Industrial Engineering and Polytechnic School of the same university.
My PhD advisor, to whom I owe a lot, used to tell me that I was a rare (in a positive sense) computer scientist. I am a weirdo, OMG! I am Computer Scientist with a strong interest in the human side of digital technologies. In particular, I am very interested in the older people side. My vision of Computer Science is about what people (can) do with computers. In my view, computers, in a broad sense, are no longer only just for computation. You can look at what people do with computers nowadays to see some examples. People are the key measure of the success or failure of most of those computer-enabled technologies which are designed to be used by human beings. However, and despite a growing ageing population, and the fact that all of us will eventually (I hope) grow older, the relationship between older people and digital technologies digital is little understood. To make matters worse, this relationship is full of stereotyped (mostly negative) views and prejudices. To explore, and try to improve, this relationship, I adopt a qualitative, mostly ethnographic, approach in my research, as it allows me to examine, understand, and describe the wild side of technologies, i.e., social and cultural experiences of digital technologies use by (older) people from their own perspective over time. I have conducted and supervised long-term, face-to-face, ethnographic studies of digital technologies use (by older people) in several European cities. My HCI research career spans the period from 2009 to now. In terms of publications, I prefer quality to quantity, despite the current ‘publish or perish’ hysteria. My research is increasingly interdisciplinary, for highly stimulating and useful (and difficult) research is conducted at the margin of several branches of knowledge.
Putting my students first in the hallmark of my teaching philosophy and approach. Over time, I have learned that thinking about what my students should do to learn is the most important aspect of lecturing. Whether the lecturer is young or old, or whether s/he speaks slowly or fast, or plays different roles (e.g. guide on your side) … are far less important aspects than if the module is designed to enable students to learn. My lecturing career spans the period from 2004 to now. For me, lecturing is about engineering an inclusive and participatory learning environment, rather than drilling knowledge into students’ heads. I think knowledge is constructed, not received. For me, learning is a huge responsibility, and, to some extent, an honor and a privilege, since I feel I am helping to shape, slightly tough, future generations. I don’t see lecturing as a ‘load’, although I understand when colleagues use the expression ‘teaching load’ to refer to the invisible and huge amount of work that lecturing implies and very few appreciates. I have lectured at four universities (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universidad Carlos II de Madrid, Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat de Lleida) in degrees of Computer Science. I have played different roles, from teaching assistant to module coordinator. I have lectured in Databases, Object-Oriented Programming, Data Structures, Software Engineering, and Human-Computer Interaction. I have organized several editions of the Workshop on Learning Technologies and Active Teaching Methodologies in the Igualada Campus (EPS). I have supervised slightly more than 35 honor projects during my lecturing career.
I am currently accepting PhD students. If you are interested in doing your PhD under my supervision, please feel free to keep in touch. Students must have their own funding / grant – I am happy to work with you to get the money you need to pursue your PhD.
Further information and more details
Further information about my previous, current, and future research and teaching, and about myself, can be found in the sections (see menu at the top of this page) of this blog. I hope you find what you are looking for, or you come across something interesting or useful.
Should you want to keep in touch, you can reach me at the following e-mail address:
sergio <dot> sayago <at> udl <dot> cat