Association of Open University Graduates



AOUG 2014 Awards

The AOUG Research Awards Ceremony took place on 3rd October 2014 in the Michael Young building at the OU campus in Milton Keynes, in front of an audience of the Winners’ families, friends, Supervisors, other OU staff, AOUG members and guests.

This year, the AOUG Foundation for Education offered nine Research Awards to OU Research Faculties and Research Centres. Last year, following discussions with Supervisors about cross-curricular research, the nominations process was opened up, so that any Faculty or Centre could nominate for any Award. In keeping with this, the Faculty Awards have been renamed Research Awards. All of them are named after people who have been prominent within the OU.

The four Research Awards presented by Chairman, Margaret Stobirski, this year were:

AOUG Chancellor Asa Briggs Award for Arts to Bijon Sinha for “The Crete and Cretans of Euripedes: Perceptions and Representations” (introduced by Dr James Robson). This thesis focuses on Euripides’ dramatic representations of Crete, famous from myth, geography, art, literature and philosophy. Bijon’s study takes in a considerable amount of mythical, literary and material evidence in order to outline what we know about Crete and its changing perception in Greek thought and place his case study in an historical and cultural context”

AOUG Vice-Chancellor Sir John Horlock Award for Science to Jon Gregson for “LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) studies of the Galactic Plane” (introduced by Professor Glenn White). Jon is working on the Galactic Science effort for the LOw Frequency Array (LOFAR), an international collaboration led by the Netherlands in partnership with Sweden, Germany and the UK and currently the largest connected radio telescope in the world.

AOUG Vice-Chancellor Sir John Daniel Award for Education and Language Studies to Mark Mukorera for “Exploring the influence of Zimbabwean teachers and learners” (introduced by Mike Solly). This study investigates the influence of teachers’ and learners’ attitudes towards the national language-in-education policy of using English as a medium of instruction on language use in primary classrooms in Zimbabwe. Mark recommends that English and indigenous languages be used to complement each other in order to maximise learning opportunities for students, and that teachers should be encouraged and taught how to do this”.

AOUG Baroness Lee of Asheridge Award for Mathematics, Computing and Technology to Simon Butler for “An Approach to the Structural Analysis of Java Identifier Names” (introduced by Dr Michel Wermelinger). The chief contributions of this research are the identification of a correlation between identifier naming and software quality, advances in techniques for identifier name splitting, the creation of models to support part of speech tagging for identifier names using, and extensive surveys of the structure of identifier names identifying the forms of naming used by software developers. The knowledge acquired through the research and the techniques developed can be applied to provide support for program comprehension: both to help software developers create clear and consistent identifier names as they write software, and to improve tools that help software maintainers locate the source code that they need to modify to make a specific change.

Each Award Winner was introduced by a Supervisor, who described his research and why he had been nominated for the Award. After the Ceremony, there was a chance to find out more about the individual projects from the displays. Photos were followed by a buffet lunch.

Pam Pearce – Publicity Officer