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DIZH Exchange

The DIZH Exchange enable members of the DIZH partner universities and interested parties to meet regularly, present and discuss research results. 

On each of the dates, a researcher presents his/her current project to an interdisciplinary audience. You are cordially invited to learn about and exchange information on research projects on topics related to digital transformation during a virtual talk.

Please register for the event link via email

The dates for the coming semester will be displayed here shortly.

Volunteers who would like to present and discuss their project, please contact Sabine Dani.

Previous events

Thursday, 2. December 2021
11:00 – 12:00 

Zoom-Meeting beitreten

Assistive Technology – A promising option for children with dyslexia?

(Lecture in English)

Silvana Flütsch Keravec
PH Zürich, 
Centre for Education and Digital Transformation

The purpose of the Federal «Disability Discrimination Act» is to prevent, reduce or eliminate disadvantages to which people with disabilities are exposed. As such, dyslexia severely affects the educational and professional career of those concerned. The question is whether the use of Assistive Technology (AT) in schools may reduce such disadvantages and which requirements need to be met to achieve such an objective.  

The research project presented here focuses on speech recognition technology. Theoretical reasons for the use of Speech-to-text (STT) can be found in the scientific literature on dyslexia and literacy acquisition, in motivation research, and in the Cognitive Load Theory. The separation of the writing processes into “low level processing” (e.g., handwriting fluency, spelling) and “high level processing” (e.g., generating ideas, structuring text) is essential for the understanding of the use of STT as a compensation tool.

The presentation will outline the theoretical considerations for the use of a speech-to-text software in writing classes. The scheduled intervention study with a mixed methods research design and some first findings of preliminary investigations will be presented and discussed.

Tuesday, 16. November 2021
11:00 – 12:00 

A gender-biased future? Gender’s influence on mental representations of and responses to the future of work

(Lecture in English)

Prof. Dr. Lauren C. Howe

University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration / Chair of Human Resource Management and Leadership

The future of work is a topic receiving increasing societal attention. A key concern is re-skilling individuals for future job opportunities, particularly in ways that increase gender equality. In management, there is scattered research on topics related to the future of work, but absent from the literature is an understanding of how women and men envision the future of work and whether there are gender differences in reactions to and preparation for the future of work. We theorize that since the future of work is inherently uncertain, men and women’s mental representations of the future of work influence how they feel about, prepare for, and thus ultimately shape the future. We propose that, given dominant narratives about the future of work, default representations of this future will be stereotypically masculine in that they focus on the future value of technical skills while undervaluing social and emotional skills that are stereotypically feminine. Further, drawing on insights from social role theory and expectancy-value theory, we theorize that this stereotypically masculine, tech-heavy representation of the future of work will prompt women to 1) feel less positive about the future of work compared to men, yet ironically to 2) prepare for the future of work by training technical skills. Across a series of archival, survey, and experimental studies, we find general support for our theorizing. Our research suggests that without intervention, society may unwittingly create a future of work that falls in line with masculine stereotypes and risks undervaluing women’s contributions.

Tuesday, 26. October 2021
11:00 – 12:00 

Rethinking Smart Cities

(Lecture in English)

Prof. Frédéric Martel 
ZHdK, Zurich Centre for Creative EconomiesZCCE

For quite some time now, the “smart city” has been a concept defended by the corporate world with a strong technological dimension. Today, the concept also tries to address sustainability issues (Green Smart City or Sustainable Smart City, SSC). The Zurich Centre for Creative Economies at the ZHdK University is currently engaged in a collective research project to deepen the perspective around three new dimensions: a more localized and singularized approach of the smart city; a more rural or non-urban approach of the smart city; and finally, a dimension that opens up the concept to artists and culture, as creativity may define a future stage of the smart creative city. Frédéric Martel will present the ZCCe’s ongoing research and its initial findings.

Thursday, 30. September 2021
11:00 – 12:00 

A playful way to train writing motor skills: Developing a serious game to support writing difficulties

(Lecture in English)

Dr. Annina Zysset
ZHAW School of Health Professions, 
Health Sciences Research

Writing difficulties are one of the most common learning disorders among school children and affect participation in school. Serious educational games offer a promising approach to motivate children to train regularly the motor skills required for handwriting. The project team has developed a first prototype of such a game and tested it in a first playtest with children. 

In this presentation, the project and the first results of the playtest will be presented. Furthermore, challenges and chances of a serious education game approach will be discussed. 

Thursday, 27. May 2021
12:00 – 13:00 


Tracing Technology Acceptance during the Covid-19 Pandemic: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
(Lecture in English)

Dr. Sarah Geber
UZH Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung / Mediennutzung und Medienwirkung 

Contact tracing technology has been introduced as part of the Covid-19 containment strategy worldwide. However, current adoption rates are too low in most countries for tracing apps to be effective. Drawing on survey data, the talk will present drivers and barriers to the adoption of tracing apps in Singapore and Switzerland. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings will be discussed.

Monday, 10. May 2021
12:00 – 13:00


Digital dermatology – Studying the impact of digitalization on dermatologists, patients and healthcare
(Lecture in English)

Prof. Dr. Mathias Bonmarin
ZHAW School of Engineering / Optical Measuring Systems

The digitalization of the society will have dramatic repercussions on healthcare. Among the different medical specialties, dermatology will be particularly impacted. Indeed, the spreading of high-resolution smartphone cameras, and the potential use of artificial intelligence for automatic diagnostics and skin disease prediction will revolutionize the field. It will not only change the way dermatologists work; it will additionally impact the patients, health insurances and governments. The outcomes of the Fellowship will help better understand and predict what will be exactly the future of dermatology in a digital era.

Tuesday, 20. April 2021
12:00 – 13:00 


Service Customization: Optimizing Value Creation and Captue by Designing the Customer Journey
(Lecture in English)

Dr. Jürg Meierhofer
ZHAW School of Engineering / Business Engineering and Operations Management

Service customization is a central issue in socio-technical service ecosystems, enabled and fueled by new data-driven approaches, and increasing both value creation for the customer, and value capture for the provider. In this presentation, we present a novel quantitative model for optimizing the design of the provider-customer interaction. Using approaches from multi-objective optimization, this model can be used to determine optimum levels of customization from both the customer and the provider perspective, and thus lead to improved service designs.

Thursday, 8. April 2021
12:00 – 13:00


Market Competition in the Digital Age
(Lecture in English)

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hefti
ZHAW School of Management and Law
Center for Economic Policy / UZH Department of Economics

Digital markets produce an abundance of information, which makes attention a competitive resource. We study the implications of competitive attention based on two essential premises: i) People have limited information processing capacities and ii) consideration sets are formed according to the principle of relative salience.

The equilibrium predictions of the model can help to understand and connect diverse empirical phenomena in digitized competition, such as the Paradox of Choices, the power law dispersions of sales, profits or attention data, the relation between advertising expenditures and market shares, the evolution of market inequality, or why evidence favoring a “Long Tail” effect is mixed at best.

Wednesday, 17. March 2021
12.00 – 13.00 Uhr


Digitalisation of Academic Writing – the Case of “Thesis Writer” (TW)
(Lecture in English)

Dr. Christian Rapp
School of Management and Law
Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning

In this presentation, I will report on an ongoing project called Thesis Writer” which has created a new working space for dissertation writers that is particularly suited to the situation of BA and MA theses. Born out of practical necessity (supervising roughly 800 BA theses annually within just the Department of Management and Law, ZHAW), work on TW led our working group through a large number of basic issues of digital writing which I will briefly mention. In a short presentation of TW, I will explain its basic technology and the recently created features such as process instruction, genre support, formulation aids like phrase books and corpus queries, and also collaborative features.

The main part of my presentation will be devoted to the question of how research can accompany such developmental work and I will sketch out a mixed-method project (one part of my fellowship) designed to better understand what TW actually does, and how both supervisors and students can make best use of it. Digital platforms like TW are not simply additions to ongoing writing practices, but can change the very nature of writing and its organisational contexts. As an unresolved, open issue I would like to instigate a discussion on what the best strategies are to develop, test, and study these types of Ed-tech tools.