David Bowers

Senior Lecturer

My research has two focusses: modelling as an underpinning strategy for database design, and interfaces to communicate complex navigation information.

The first focus has developed from an interest in the comprehension of semantic models, with particular reference to the detection of potential redundancy and ambiguity in conceptual models such as Entity-Relationship models and class diagrams. More recently, I have explored, with my research students, modelling to support object-relational database design, and the fundamental impedance mismatch between OO progamming languages and databases.

Navigation information is real time, often vector- or spatially based, and is used to support both strategic and operational decisions, particularly in open-field navigation such as in the air, on water or in open moorland.The presentation of such information offers some interesting challenges, and the mode in which it is presented can impact significantly on its usefulness. For example, photographs of salient landmarks are often shown - for both screen-based and paper guidebooks - but usually from the perspective of being "in the right place".  One open question is whether or not that matters - if a landmark is used to help you find a safe route, and you happen not to be on that route already, how easily will you be able to recognise that landmark from a direction different from that of the photograph?

In my role as Programme Director for Undergraduate Computing and IT at the Open University, I have overall responsibility for the degrees and other awards in Computing and IT offered by the University, and for the overall undergraduate computing & IT curriculum.

I contribute also to various specific module, including, currently, M258: IT Project and Service Management, TM351: Data management and analysis and MT127/TM227 Accreditation of certified practitioners I & II.

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