Research News

Explore our news and discover how research at Hellenic American University contributes in scientific and technological advances.

 

HAUniv/HAEC participates in the HOLOTWIN project

Hellenic American University/Hellenic American College is pleased to announce that, thanks to the efforts of the four participating twinning institutions, the HOLOTWIN project has been officially approved for funding by Bulgaria’s Ministry of Science and Education. HOLOTWIN is a University twinning action for enhancing capacity and research excellence in holographic telepresence systems as a catalyst of digitalization. The twinning will activate a process of knowledge transfer towards the Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria), which leverages the academic and research excellence at Aarhus University (Denmark), University of Surrey (UK) and Hellenic American University/Hellenic American College (Greece) in this area of research. The plan of activities includes staff exchanges, brainstorming meetings, research and entrepreneurship workshops, the start of new EU- and nationally funded joint research projects for doctoral students, cross-functional mentoring, training and summer schools.

The kick-off meeting of the HOLOTWIN project has been scheduled for the first week of December 2020. Due to the COVID-19 situation it will be a fully on-line event.

Those interested in getting more information about the project may contact Ms. Didoe Prevedourou, dprevedourou [at] hauniv.edu.

Pandemic and global communication crisis - A corpus-driven analysis

Associate Professor and Associate Provost Dr. Themis Kaniklidou and Alexandra Papamanoli (MAT ‘21) and have had their paper “COVID-19 representations in political statements: A corpus-driven analysis” accepted for publication in the edited volume: Pandemic and Crisis Discourse. Communicating COVID-19. The book, published by Bloomsbury Publishing, is the first to focus on the global crisis communication that has been generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This work provides a qualitative corpus-driven analysis of statements made by political actors and policy makers on COVID-19 and investigates how these contribute to framing the pandemic as a public problem. Political statements have been selected as they operate as windows of interpretation for COVID-19. The analysis draws on Gusfield’s theory (1981) on the construction of public problems with insights from literature on the social construction of diseases (Powers & Xiao, 2008). It particularly draws on three key elements: i) problem ownership i.e. who claims a say in defining a problem, ii) causality or which theory of causes behind a problem is publicly espoused and iii) accountability i.e. who is praised or blamed for solving or not the problem (Gusfield, 1981, p. 6). Data for this paper includes 54 statements culled from 77 articles from the World Section of the NY Times’ online edition during the second week of March i.e. 16.3.2020 - 22.3.2020. Preliminary findings establish links between democracy, human rights, government transparency and how COVID-19 is represented. In this context, we also offer an analysis of the public narratives concerning the multiple actors handling the incidence of the virus. Overall, this paper argues that political discourse plays a key role in the construction of COVID-19 framing it as a public problem.

Construction of identity in the narratives of “return” migration

Dr. Alexander Nikolaou, adjunct faculty member at Hellenic American University, participated in the 24th International Symposium of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, which was organized by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on October 2-4, 2020. He co-presented with former HAU faculty member Dr. Jennifer Sclafani, their work on “Indexicality and the interactional construction of identity in the narratives of 'return' migration”.

Their study investigates narrative accounts of “return” migration as told by second-generation bi-ethnic Greeks (Greek Americans in their majority) who migrated to Athens as adults. Based on a corpus of 12 ethnographic interviews about the linguistic and cultural experience of their ‘returns’, they focus on participants’ recounting of their relocation to their parents’ homeland as an experience of cultural assimilation and conflict, authenticity and hybridity. Narrative discourse has proven to be a fruitful locus for this area of inquiry because it allows speakers to construct and negotiate alignments and disalignments between Self and Other by adopting interactional positions in discourse. In line with current work on discourse and identity, the authors view identity as the product of discursive performance through a variety of linguistic devices.

A Comprehensive Approach to Program Assessment

Dr. Niakaris, Provost of the Hellenic American University, will present her work: “A Comprehensive Approach to Program Assessment”, in the poster session of the NECHE conference in December. Annual program assessment is part of Hellenic American University’s commitment to teaching and learning as reflected in the New England Commission of Higher Education Standard 6. Each year, in addition to student evaluations, one program is selected on a rotation basis for a broader assessment, which is conducted by the Provost. This assessment draws on input from faculty, students, external reviewers, and classroom observations.

In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 program assessment for the Informatics and Engineering Division needed to be conducted online. As a newly appointed Interim Provost, and with the approval of the Academic Directors’ group, I took on the responsibility for conducting the annual program assessment. This new role provided an opportunity to question the effectiveness of program assessment in an online environment in regard to student focus groups, virtual classroom observations with the use of a checklist, post lesson discussions with instructors, and input from external reviewers. The poster presentation will address issues relating to the organization of online program assessment, limitations of observation checklists, and use of reflective practice in giving feedback to instructors.

High fidelity state transfer using polaritons

Dr Panayotis Kalozoumis (Assistant Professor in the Division of IT and Engineering) has had his new paper on "Coherent population oscillations and an effective spin-exchange interaction in a PT-symmetric polariton mixture", published in in the international, peer-reviewed journal Europhysics Letters. The results contribute to the field of quantum technologies, interfacing with the concepts of quantum simulations and quantum computing. This work was done in collaboration with the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser in FORTH and in particular with  Theoretical Quantum Optics and Technology group. 

New results on Giant Gravitons

Dr Dimitris Zoakos (Adjunct Faculty member in the Division of IT and Engineering) published his new work “Giant gravitons on the Schrödinger pp-wave geometry” in the international, peer-reviewed Journal of High Energy Physics. The paper falls within the field of string theory and presents a set of new results about the giant graviton solution of a family of supergravity backgrounds.

Monumentality in the Work of Mark Rothko

Dr Kalliopi Koundouri, art historian and adjunct faculty member, has had her paper on “A particular kind of monumentality in the work of Mark Rothko, ” which she delivered at the International Conference “On Monumentality” organized by the Hellenic Open University (March 2019), selected for publication; it will be out this September. Also, her paper “Which Athens? Between past and present. A hybrid city in the making” will be presented at The Multiple Antiquities of Greek Modernity (19th - 21st centuries) International Conference, 24-26 September 2020, Panteion University, Athens, Greece.

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