Photo of Ulrik Lyngs

I am a computer scientist and cognitive psychologist, doing a PhD at the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, with the Human Centred Computing group.

My research focuses on attention and self-control in relation to use of digital devices. Outside of academia, I play various instruments in The Karaoke Collective.

I may be available for consultancy, speaking, or workshop facilitation in relation to digital distraction and productivity, or reproducible research and data science with R Markdown — get in touch.

Department of Computer Science
University of Oxford
OX1 3QD Oxford, UK

‘I Just Want to Hack Myself to Not Get Distracted’: Evaluating Design Interventions for Self-Control on Facebook

Summary: Many people use browser extensions such as ‘Newsfeed Eradicator’ to make Facebook less distracting. We studied how removing the newsfeed or adding goal reminders on Facebook affect behaviour and perceived control. Both interventions helped people stay on task and avoid distraction, with large — and distinct — effects on behaviour.

Reducing Digital Distraction logo
The ReDD Workshop: Supporting People in Regaining Control Over Digital Device Use

Summary: Constant digital connectivity can be challenging for mental wellbeing, and make it difficult to focus on work. With the University of Oxford Counselling Service, I created the ’Reducing Digital Distraction’ (ReDD) Workshop, where students reflect on struggles and goals for digital device use, and explore tools and strategies for regaining control.

Self-Control in Cyberspace: Applying Dual Systems Theory to a Review of Digital Self-Control Tools

Summary: Hundreds of apps and browser extensions promise to help people exercise self-control over digital device use by, e.g., removing distractions or limiting time spent. We reviewed design features in 367 such tools from the Google Play, Chrome Web, and Apple App stores and analysed them using a dual systems model of self-regulation.

1st slide of Day 1 R Markdown workshop
Workshop teaching: Reproducible research with R Markdown

Summary: R Markdown lets you mix text written in markdown with chunks of code in languages such as R or Python. It can be used as interactive notebook for data analysis, or exported to a range of formats, such as HTML, Microsoft Word, and PDF. I teach a 2-day workshop introducing the essentials of R Markdown for reproducible research.

Screenshot of an oxforddown PDF compiled in Rstudio
oxforddown: Writing a reproducible Oxford University thesis in R Markdown

Summary: I wanted to write my PhD thesis as a reproducible document in R Markdown, and use a traditional Oxford University LaTeX template for the formatting. For this purpose, I created a package called oxforddown that combines bookdown (with heavy inspiration from thesisdown) with the beautiful and time-tested OxThesis LaTeX template.