• Nathaniel Byrne

Newsletter, 13 August 2020

Calls & Opportunities

NCSC Project - Expressions of Interest Requested

Expressions of interest are requested for a new project fully funded by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on developing anonymisation techniques for logging data to preserve privacy and detect cyber-attacks. The Turing are seeking a PI and one research assistant to undertake this project, starting in mid-September and running to the end of the financial year (31 March 2021), with a possibility to extend. The funder will cover direct and indirect costs, plus overheads.

To express interest, or request further details, please email a short profile on suitability for the project and your CV to Nathaniel Byrne

Responses are requested with a deadline of 20 August 2020.

Call for applications: Theory & Methods Challenge Fortnights in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

A call for applications for the 2021 Theory & Methods Challenge Fortnights in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (TCMF) opened on 1 June 2020.

TMCF is a Turing initiative that brings together experts from across the university partner network and external institutions for a multi-day research event on a specific theoretical or methodological challenge. For this event, members of the Turing research base will be invited to formulate proposals where they present one modern theoretical and/or methodological challenge, and set a plan and a team to start tackling it. The theoretical and methodological challenges can be drawn from any discipline in the remit of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

Proposal submission deadline on 2 September 2019.

Please contact Nathaniel Byrne for more information

NIHR Artificial Intelligence for Multiple Long-Term Conditions

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) invites proposals to undertake programmes of research to spearhead the use of artificial intelligence (AI) methods to develop insights for the identification and subsequent prevention of multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity).

Research funded through this initiative will use AI and data science methods, combined with expertise in clinical practice, applied health and care research and social science, to systematically identify or explore clusters of disease.

The call is now live and the deadline for applications is 29 September 2020.

Call for Azure applications

The Turing is offering the opportunity to apply for an allocation on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing service with limited time availability. The Institute aims to support 5-6 projects with up to $20,000 of Azure credits and potentially 1-2 projects with $50,000 (or more) Azure credits. The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 August. For more information or if you have any questions contact the Research Computing Platforms team at Find out how to submit a request

CrowdTangle opens public application for academics

Developed by Facebook, in collaboration with a global team of university researchers, CrowdTangle is a data platform that supports research into mis/disinformation on social media. It's now out of beta stage and academics are invited to apply for free access. All you need to supply are a couple of paragraphs about your research and how you would expect CrowdTangle to support it.

UoB Events

Every Tuesday, 13:00-14:00

UoB Data Science and Computational Statistics Seminar

This is the Data Science and Computational Statistics Seminar series jointly between the School of Mathematics and the School of Computer Science.

  • Tuesday 18 August 2020: Statistical Learning by Stochastic Gradient Descent Stochastic gradient descent (SGD) has become the workhorse behind many machine learning problems. Optimisation and estimation errors are two contradictory factors responsible for the prediction behaviour of SGD . In this talk, Dr Yunwen Lei (University of Kaiserslautern) reports on generalisation analysis of SGD by considering simultaneously the optimisation and estimation errors.

  • Tuesday 25 August 2020: On the geometry of Stein variational gradient descent Bayesian inference problems require sampling or approximating high-dimensional probability distributions. The focus of this talk is on the recently introduced Stein variational gradient descent methodology, a class of algorithms that rely on iterated steepest descent steps with respect to a reproducing kernel Hilbert space norm.

  • Tuesday 1 September 2020: Solving high-dimensional Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman PDEs using neural network The first part of this presentation will review connections between problems in the optimal control of diffusion processes, Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equations and forward-backward SDEs, having in mind applications in rare event simulation and stochastic filtering. The second part will explain a recent approach based on divergences between probability measures on path space and variational inference that can be used to construct appropriate loss functions in a machine learning framework.

For more details on these and upcoming seminars, please visit the Talk@bham page.

Institute Events

The Turing is committed to working flexibly and staying connected - we’ve reconfigured to virtual engagement. You can watch highlights of our past events at the video archive on YouTube.

Friday 14 Aug 2020, 16:00 - 17:00

DSSGx UK | Multidisciplinary data science

This talk will discuss how to set up and run a multidisciplinary data science team. From who needs to be in the room and why, to how a policy brain can benefit data science projects, Raphaelle and Josie will cover the process, team and specific challenges associated with running multidisciplinary data science projects.

Thursday 20 Aug 2020, 15:00 - 16:30

Turing Lecture: AI for innovative social work

As remote working and online activism take centre stage in light of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, Professor Desmond Upton Patton asks how we might use data science to improve our online experience, and help marginalised communities flourish, online and off.

Wednesday 26 Aug 2020, 14:00 - 17:00

Urban Analytics monthly meet up

This series brings together members of the urban analytics research community once a month for half a day, hosted by the Turing’s Urban Analytics programme. This session will showcase some of the ways the urban analytics community has been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including a look at the RAMP workstream led by Mark Birkin.

Friday 28 Aug 2020, 16:00 - 18:00

DSSGx UK | AI on a social mission

Join Valentine Goddard as she explains how improving access to AI can help societies meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She will also discuss the importance of the arts in shaping the evolution of AI.

Monday 31 Aug 2020 - Friday 25 Sep 2020

Data Study Group - September 2020

The Turing Data Study Groups are popular and productive collaborative events and a fantastic opportunity to rapidly develop and test your data science skills with real-world data. The event also offers participants the chance to forge new networks for future research projects, and build links with The Alan Turing Institute – the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.

Thursday 03 Sep 2020, 16:00 - 17:30

DSSGx UK | Showcase Event

This summer, The Alan Turing Institute, together with the University of Warwick, in partnership with Data Science for Social Good Foundation has hosted the Data Science for Social Good (DSSGxUK) summer project programme, despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Highly talented Data Scientists from all over the world, including the UK, Poland, USA, Canada, Columbia, China, Romania and Mexico have come together (virtually) to work on two high-impact projects.

This showcase event will be a chance to hear from the two teams of researchers on how their work has helped address problems from Ofsted and World Bank. There will also be keynote speeches from Rayid Ghani (Director of the global DSSG programme and former Chief Scientist for Obama 2012) and Dr Indra Joshi (Director of AI for NHSX, leading on the creation of the NHS AI Lab).

As this event is completely remote, we have a rare opportunity to share it online with anyone who has an interest in this work. All are welcome.


Save the date: 24 November 2020

AI and data science in the age of COVID

A research conference that aims to fulfil the Turing's role as a national institute and convene the UK AI and DS community (including frontline COVID-19 responders) to make recommendations for future research in the age of COVID-19.

23- 24 March 2021

The Turing Presents: AI UK

Following the postponement of the event this year, we are pleased to confirm the event will now take place 23 - 24 March 2021.

The Alan Turing Institute continues to pursue its ambitious goals: by advancing world-class research in data science and artificial intelligence (AI), training and inspiring the leaders of the future, and shaping the public conversation. AI UK, a dynamic two-day event, will see the Turing host an unrivalled showcase featuring the very best of UK academic work in AI and machine learning.

Further information will follow in due course, including the release of additional tickets.

Institute News

Journal and paper consultation survey

Information is being gathered on the way that the Turing's research community accesses journals and papers. Please take the time to fill in a survey to help guide what provision the Institute should resource in the future. This survey is intended for those who use electronic published articles as part of their research - information will be collected about your position and journal use in the first section of the survey. Please complete the survey before Tuesday 18 August 2020.

Virtual access to the Institute

The Turing's latest newsletter can be found online. You can also stay connected to the Turing via: Twitter, LinkedIN, Instagram and Facebook

Thanks for your continued support.

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