UBER at Cyprus University of Technology: New Horizons of Cooperation

In a packed amphitheatre, Cyprus University of Technology welcomed Saswati Saha Mitra, as the keynote speaker at the annual World Usability Day. Saswati Saha Mitra leads Uber’s Global UX Research team. Spread across 5 continents, her team keeps Uber accountable to its global user base. The event was co-organized by the Social Computing Research Centre (SCRC, https://www.socialcomputing.eu/) and the Network for Social Computing Research (NOTRE, http://notre.socialcomputing.eu/), and was supported by the Research center on Interactive media, Smart systems and Emerging technologies (CYENS, https://www.cyens.org.cy/en-gb/). The event was attended by more than 300 attendees, including many undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers, academics, educators and professionals.

Dr. Sotirios Hatzis, the acting director of the Social Computing Research Centre, opened the event, demonstrating the Centre’s work as well as the importance of such events for building bridges of cooperation with the business world within Cyprus and internationally. The NOTRE Project Coordinator, Prof. Panayiotis Zaphiris, referred to the project’s activities, which contributed to the development of a network that reinforces the potential of the newly established Center for Social Computing Research of the Cyprus University of Technology and stimulates its scientific excellence and innovation in the fields of Social Computing and Informatics. The program is funded by the European Commission through the H2020 program.

The main speaker, Saswati Saha Mitra, leader of Uber’s Global UX Research team, focused on UBER’s operations in various countries. The speaker referred to the way in which UBER has developed innovative communication mechanisms, particularly in communities where the internet is not widespread (eg Egypt).

At the end of the event, the participants had the opportunity to discuss with the speakers about the activities and the work of the Social Computing Research Centre, and the opportunities it offers to young and creative researchers. As mentioned in the event, the Centre discusses with UBER the possibility of building further collaborations, which will open up prospects for employment and/or internships for Cypriot researchers and students.