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2018 Food: Small devices & Big data

Small devices & Big data for Food


Advanced Training course:
Small devices & Big data for Food
August 15 ‐ 17, 2018
Aalborg University Copenhagen.
Arranged in cooperation with the Richfields consortium and Digital Foodscape Lab studies

There is growing interest in consumer health and its relation to food, behaviour and lifestyle
determinants. The digitalisation of societies create new sets of data on consumer behaviour – for
instance in the cases of food choice and consumption. This offers new opportunities for social
science, consumer studies, marketing studies and food intake studies. Also there is an increased
availability of smart sensors that can assist there is a high prevalence of handheld devices and smart
payment methods huge amounts of digital patterns. As consumers, we create footprints when we as
domestic or public consumer purchases foods and when social media is used to communicate about
food. These data sets create new potentials for scientists, policy makers and businesses to get insight
in to behaviours of populations. However, data is often fragmented, structured in different formats,
key information is lacking, and privacy and ownership are unresolved. These barriers prohibits policy
makers, researchers and companies to develop effective public health nutrition strategies. For
enterprises the barriers mean that it becomes difficult to reformulate food products and to develop
healthier food availability strategies. The digital consumer society seems to be offering scientists new
ways to better understand purchasing habits and food choices. And creating a future data sharing
economy where consumers are donating their data open up new avenues for food business analysts,
marketing researchers and scientists.
In addition to the progress in studies on big food data smart sensors are offering new potentials. An
increasing number of European research groups are working on Informations and Communications
Technology (ICT) based approaches to measure food choice and to assess dietary intake using realtime
ICT technology in fully or semi assisted ways. The facilities differ in the food studied and in
terms of whether they focus on purchase or consumption and whether they rely on real, fake and
virtual food realities. Common to them are the cross disciplinary approach to the challenge in which
behavioural psychology, nutrition, social and sensory science are brought together and in which
academic resources, students, practitioners and enterprises are involved in the development.

Aim of the course

Students will learn about the potentials of applying data created by consumers, at SoMe as well as by
businesses in consumer, behavioural, food and health studies. The students will learn about latest
inventions in ICT assisted devices for food studies. The students will perform a Written Group
Assignment (WGA) within following categories: ethics & privacy, application of Social data &
network analysis, application of BCT and application, artificial intelligence and use of sensor


Learning goals

Students in this course will be able to demonstrate knowledge on consumer, SoMe and business
generated data can provide new insight that can be used to analyse consumer behavior.
Small devices & Big data for Food
Aalborg University, Copenhagen, August 15 ‐ 17, 2018

Programme and lecturers

The course will include pre-course learning tasks so that students will get to know each other before
meeting. The online introductory learning tasks will be moderated according to Gilly Salmon’s 5-stage
model of e-learning with the aim to introduce the students to each other prior to the in-class sessions
and to ease the future team-building and collaboration in class. These tasks are supervised by the
course team of lecturers.

Pre -course activities

Activities before the course will include students
filling in a template on their research, experiences
and expectations. The template will
assist students in having established some link before the first
course day and will allow course coordinators to
do the first sketch for group configuration.

On-course assignment (WGA)

The course assignment is group based and based on the Problem Based Learning model. A group
matchmaking process will be a part of the pre-course activities where course coordinators will suggest
groups of 2-4 people based on the templates handed in before the course. The WGA is the Written
Group Assignment that students will work on during the course in groups. The group will choose a
“hard” topic with a focus on hardware/technology/sensor based applications OR a “soft” topic
focused on data/digital patterns. The group could also choose a combination. The pupose of the
WGA is for the group to choose either a research question that could be solved by combining
different data and/or sensor technologies. Or the group could choose to suggest a combo of data sets
and sensor tech and then work their way backwards and list research questions that could be
answered using that unique combo.

ECTS credits: 5



  • Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, AAU
  • Bjarne Ersbøl, DTU compute
  • Karin Zimmerman, WUR, NL
  • Andreas Kochm Lead Data Scientist, Devoteam
  • Professor Kristian Larsen, Department of Learning & Philosophy, Aalborg University
  • Anders Kristian Munk, Dept of Learning & Philosophy
  • Anders Koed Madsen, Dept of Learning & Philosophy
  • post doc Kwabena T. Ofei, AAU
  • MSc Aleksandar Ladovinski
  • Jens Kartoft, iMotions
  • Jelena Kuzmiconoka, Shova Dengal
  • Professor Thomas Ploug, Aalborg University
  • Chief Data Analyst Erhard Nielsen, Dagrofa
  • Kristoffer Just, BCT analyst, Code
  • Samo Olsen, MAPICTURE
  • Christian Linnelyst, chief digital manager, HomeMate omnichannel retailer



AC Meyers vænge 15, 2450 Copenhagen

Participation is free. Accommodation and travel expenses must be covered by the participants.

Be aware that no-show-fee and cancellation after deadline will be charges with 500,-DKR

Please direct practical questions to Jeanette Mie Arboe jma@learning.aau.dk. Questions about the course can be directed to Bent Egberg Mikkelsen bemi@learning.aau.dk

Download program here

Registration before 5th July 2018 Here