Alistair Morrison


My research interests include ubiquitous computing, information visualisation and ‘mass participation‘ user trials with tens or hundreds of thousands of participants.

Recent work includes Hungry Yoshi - a research application written for the iPhone that has had 300,000 downloads, SGVis - a desktop analysis tool to evaluate such mass participation applications, and investigations into the ethical challenges involved in conducting this large scale ‘app store’-based research.

Previous projects I've worked on include the ESS-funded Integrating Field and Systemic Data in a Visualisation for Collaboration. This involved designing and implementing Replayer: a software system for the synchronised visualisation of video and system log files for use in the evaluation of mobile applications.

I also did my Ph.D. in Glasgow under the supervision of Matthew Chalmers. The main focus of this work was the investigation of fast non-linear multidimensional scaling algorithms. We created efficient MDS algorithms through the combination of clustering, sampling and force-directed placement techniques. The fastest model we produced runs in time proportional to O(N5/4).


I’m a researcher at the University of Glasgow's School of Computing Science. I’m part of Sumgroup - researching Social, Ubiquitous and Mobile systems, and in GIST - the University’s HCI group.

I’m currently working on the Populations project, looking at tools and methods for designers and evaluators running trials of mobile software. This includes writing mobile apps, and researching ways to collect both qualitative and quantitative information from large numbers of users, and ways of analysing such data.

I lecture on Information Visualisation as part of the HCI4 4th year undergraduate course.