• Nathaniel Byrne

Newsletter, 15 October 2020

Calls & Opportunities

Wanted – Ideas for engaging with the Turing

As we continue to operate in a virtual world, how can the Turing continue to connect across its network? As mentioned at the Turing Catch-up, we are looking for ideas for virtual engagement activities and platforms through which to deliver them. They don’t just have to be just research focused but could also be ideas for training, social activities or simply how to work better in a virtual environment - all ideas are welcome. Email any ideas to

Theory and Methods Challenge Fortnights update

Despite the challenges we have all been experiencing in the past few months, we are delighted to announce that the TMCF proposal on 'Accelerating Nonconvex Optimizers for Machine Learning', has been awarded funding for a TMCF event in 2021.

Every Turing researcher now has the opportunity to express interest in joining the team tackling the challenge by completing the online form, which also provides a link to the proposal. The deadline for submitting your expressions of interest is Monday 26 October, 23:59 GMT.

Online training call

Applications are now open for the Online Training funding call aimed at enhancing the Turing's training offering for the research community, and beyond. We are inviting all researchers affiliated with a UK-based university, training body or research institution to submit training proposals.

We are offering up to £10,000 to each of the 5-10 successful training initiatives, and the grants are aimed at primarily covering development and teaching time. A successful training proposal will likely share our ethos: accessible science, interactive learning, and creative ideas for bringing data science & AI training to a broader audience.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 20 October 2020. Find out more.

Contribute to The Turing Way’s upcoming Book Dash

The Turing Way invites you to submit an application to participate in the upcoming Book Dash, taking place online from 9 -13 November 2020. Deadline is 22 October 2020.

The Turing Way is an open source and community-developed book project that aims to make data science reproducible, ethical, inclusive and collaborative data science “too easy not to do”. Book Dash is a collaborative event where participants work with others to add to and improve The Turing Way book.

Successful applicants will be able to claim financial reimbursement to support their participation as laid out in the online chapter.

The Turing sponsoring Daphne Jackson Trust Fellowship

The Turing is pleased to announce that we are sponsoring a 3-year part-time Fellowship opportunity with The Daphne Jackson Trust. The Daphne Jackson Trust is dedicated to returning researchers to their careers following a break of two years or more taken for a family, caring or health reason. Their Fellowships offer professionals the opportunity to balance an individually tailored retraining programme with a challenging research project in a suitably supportive environment. The Turing is committed to creating equality of opportunity and promoting diversity and inclusivity. Find out more.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday 26 October 2020

Express your interest to join the Turing’s reviewer pool

Expressions of interest are now welcomed for reviewing Turing initiatives from the Turing Community and beyond. As the Institute is growing, there are an increasing number of activities within the Turing that require advice from expert and generalist reviewers. These include recurrent work linked to academic programmes (e.g. Enrichment Scheme / Data Study Groups / Training Provision), and the review of externally proposed projects that Turing engages with.

We are hoping to create a reviewer pool of individuals who hold diverse expertise and who can be guided by an established framework to ensure transparent and consistent reviewing across these programmes. Find out more and express your interest.

Applications open for the HDR UK-Turing Wellcome PhD Programme in Health Data Science

HDR UK and The Alan Turing Institute are delighted to announce that applications are now open for the next PhD Programme in Health Data Science cohort, starting in 2021. This is run in partnership with seven leading UK universities and is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

This four-year funded doctoral programme will provide in-depth training for graduates interested in bringing their mathematical, statistical and computational skills to health data science.

Deadline to apply is 1 December 2020 at 12 noon (GMT). More info

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.

Events at the University of Birmingham

Tuesdays, 15:00-16:00

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 27 October 2020: To Regulate or Not: A Social Dynamics Analysis of an Idealised Artificial Intelligence Race Dr The Anh Han will present recent work in modelling the AI race and its implications for technology governance and regulation. Namely, we show that, next to the risks of setbacks and being reprimanded for unsafe behaviour, the time-scale in which domain supremacy can be achieved plays a crucial role. When this can be achieved in a short term, those who completely ignore the safety precautions are bound to win the race but at a cost to society?

  • Tuesday 10 November 2020: Dr Panayiota Touloupou is Research Fellow working at the University of Warwick. Dr Touloupou's current research focuses on combining geo-statistical mapping and transmission modelling to provide local estimates of the impact of intervention programs in priority countries in Africa.

  • Tuesday 24 November 2020: Gaussian processes techniques for non-linear multidimensional dynamical systems (Wil Ward, University of Sheffield) Gaussian processes are a highly-effective Bayesian non-parametric tool for performing non-linear regression, including in multivariate systems. However in systems where there are dependent variables interacting non-linearly, or where the dynamics of the system are non-linear, Gaussian processes are no longer a representative function prior. This talk introduces recent developments in using Gaussian processes in approximations for different non-linear systems.

  • Tuesday 08 December 2020: Dr Dennis Sun is Assistant Professor of Statistics at California Polytechnic State University and a Data Scientist at Google who is especially interested in signal processing, data science, statistics education, and statistical software.

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

Monday 14 September - Friday 4 December 2020

Metabolomics course: Understanding Metabolism in the 21st Century

Metabolomics is an emerging field that aims to measure the complement of metabolites (the metabolome) in living organisms. The metabolome represents the downstream effect of an organism’s genome and its interaction with the environment. Metabolomics has a wide application area across the medical and biological sciences. The course provides an introduction to metabolomics, describes the tools and techniques we use to study the metabolome and explains why we want to study it. By the end of the course you will understand how metabolomics can revolutionise our understanding of metabolism.

The course is primarily aimed at final year undergraduate science students and research scientists who are interested in learning about the application of metabolomics to understand metabolism.

Monday 12 October - Friday 6 November 2020

Metabolomics Data Processing and Data Analysis Course

An online course exploring the tools and approaches that are used to process and analyse metabolomics data. You will investigate the challenges that are typically encountered in the analysis of metabolomics data, and provide solutions to overcome these problems. The materials in this course are delivered via the FutureLearn platform over a four week period, with an estimated learning time of four hours per week.

The course would be ideally suited to MSc / PhD students or scientists who are in the early stages of analysing metabolomics data.

Events at the Alan Turing Institute

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.

TPS Seminar: A lawyer's perspective on open source licenses

Taking place on Wednesday 28 October, 12:30 - 14:00 the next Tools, Practices and Systems (TPS) programme seminar will host Richard Fontana, a lawyer at Red Hat. Richard will give a tour of open source licencing - he'll speak for around 30 minutes, leaving time for questions and open discussion.

Please join us (and invite your colleagues, everyone is welcome). Register to attend.

Thursday 5 November (Save the Date)

Synthetic data generation workshop

Turing Researchers are considering setting up a discussion workshop to discuss the latest developments and challenges in synthetic data generation. Several stakeholders working with the Institute have expressed interest in this topic and one of the workshop’s objectives is to identify potential researchers and research projects in the area of synthetic data generation, as well as catalogue internal expertise. Email Derek Snow, Research Associate for machine learning in finance, stating your interest and for more details.


24 November 2020

AI and data science in the age of COVID

This one-day conference will explore the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the AI and data science community can be better positioned to respond to major crises in the future. This is an opportunity to hear from some of the country's leading voices in the UK's response to COVID-19, including David Spiegelhalter, Devi Sridhar, and Neil Lawrence. The conference will include keynote talks for the public, as well as more technical talks suitable for an academic audience. Book your place

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.

Alan Turing Institute News

Institute offices at The British Library to remain closed

Our offices will remain closed. Our plans to reopen were always subject to any rapid developments and this decision has been taken in the light of the new health and safety advice, rising rates of infection and the guidance to ‘only go to work if you must’.

Virtual access to the Institute

You can also stay connected to the Turing via: Twitter, LinkedIN, Instagram and Facebook.

Thanks for your continued support.

54 views0 comments