What is an IT researcher?
The IT University’s researchers come from many different academic fields: The liberal arts, computer science, psychology, mathematics, sociology, etc. This mixed staff is not surprising when you know the IT University’s definition of IT.
To us, IT is a technology for managing mental constructs such as organisation charts, artworks, mathematical arguments, software, etc. We illustrate it with the IT University’s triangle:
Researchers have very varying academic baggage and experience. Some are veterans in the Danish IT world and have been around since IT was called EDP, computers were data processors and the punch-card machine was state of the art. Other researchers have started in ‘analogue’ academic fields and have subsequently created a unique academic profile for themselves by combining their field with specialised IT knowledge.
It is at the IT University that a graduate in applied psychology can earn a PhD in computer games and learning and go on to found a successful business that produces educational games for children and young people. It is also here that a computer scientist cooperates with a doctor to create the proper electronic health record.
This approach is also found in the education programmes where engineers, writers, economists and musicians digitalise their skills in order to prepare for the future.
The many different views of IT make innovative interdisciplinary research projects possible. The IT University considers the academic diversity to be a great strength and therefore all research is combined in one department.
What the university’s researchers have in common is their passion for the study of the digital world and its possiblities. With research of the highest academic quality, a global perspective, strong peer networks and close business collaborations, the researchers create two things:
- Fundamental understanding and knowledge of essential subjects in the digital age.
- New applications and business areas for IT.
Some researchers want to minimise the distance between the digital and the physical worlds. Others want to create better and more stable software. And yet others want to create a better quality of life for the elderly and the ill by the use of equal parts of modern technology and sociological understanding.
Over the years, the IT University has attracted a number of prominent researchers from Denmark and abroad, and the faculty groups have strong professional networks around the world.
The university contributes to the IT research through its extensive PhD programme. As part of the government’s globalisation strategy, the number of PhDs in Denmark is to be doubled, and the IT University also contributes to this vision by offering first class guidance to young academic talents. The university’s good reputation in the international research environments is reflected in the many qualified applicants for the PhD positions. In the application round of winter 2009, the University received 345 applications for the 11 positions. The applicants were of 60 different nationalities.
While some PhD graduates go straight from the university to attractive jobs in the business sector – such as the Ministry of Finance, the Danish central bank and Disney – others continue their careers as researchers at top universities around the world.