John Rooksby

John Rooksby

About me

I am a Research Associate in Computer Science at the The University of Glasgow. I joined the Univeristy of Glasgow in 2012. Before then, I was at the University of St Andrews.

I have a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Manchester.

Read my blog


My research interests are in Human Computer Interaction and Computer Supported Cooperative Work. In particular I am interested in the real world ways in which people create and use technology. Much of my work in the area of personal tracking and digital health.


UX for mHealth: In 2015/16 I led the SICSA Research Challenge UX for mHealth. This project was funded by SICSA (Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance). Two key events that I organised as part of the challenge were:

GIST: I am an organiser for the Glasgow Insterative Systems Group at the University of Glasgow.


EuroFIT: I'm a researcher on an EU project called EuroFIT: Social innovation to improve physical activity and sedentary behaviour through elite European football. My work as a part of this project focuses on the development and evaluation of fitness apps.

ADUP: I am a co-investigator on The ADUP (Mobile App Data as a Utility for Public Health) project. This is a qualitative study addressing what data is being logged from mHealth applications, and whether and how this could become a resource for public health research. I am working with Marilyn Lennon and Cindy Gray. This research is funded by the RCUK Digital Economy ITaaU Network+.

Populations: I'm a researcher on an EPSRC Programme called Populations: A Population Approach to Ubicomp Systems Design. In this programme we are developing a new science of software structure based upon logging, inference and feedback to developers and users. The principle investigator is Matthew Chalmers.

Key publications

  1. Rooksby J, Asadzadeh P, Rost M, Morrison A, and Chalmers M. (2016) Personal Tracking of Screen Time on Digital Devices. CHI 2016.
  2. Rooksby J, Rost M, Morrison A, Chalmers M (2015) Pass the Ball: Enforced Turn Taking in Activity Tracking. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2417-2426. doi:10.1145/2702123.2702577
  3. Rooksby J, Rost M, Morrison A, Chalmers M (2014) Personal Tracking as Lived Informatics. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2014): 1163-1172
  4. Rooksby J (2013) Wild in the Laboratory: A Discussion of Plans and Situated Actions. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 20(3), 19: 1-17.

Publications list



PhD Student: I am second supervisor for PhD student Claire McCallum. Her project "A Hybrid Approach to Evaluating Mobile Technologies for Health and Wellbeing" is funded by a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith award.

MSc/UG: I supervise MSc / final year dissertation projects in the following areas:

  • Ethereum and blockchain systems
  • Personal tracking and behaviour change

Interns: Some recent interns/projects I have supervised include:

  • Iodine tracker (O. Tufail, Comp Sci, Glasgow)
  • Video study of smartphone use in the living room (T. Smith, Social Sciences, Edinburgh)
  • How is an iPhone used? (S. Popescu, Statistics, Glasgow)


At the University of St Andrews I taught an MSc course on Critical Systems Engineering. Many of my lecture slides are available on slideshare (my slides on failure are popular).

I have also given lectures at the Univesrity of Glasgow on topics relating to Human Computer Interaction and Software Engineering. For example: