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Newsletter 18th July 2019



This week in the Turing at Birmingham Newsletter

Alan Turing will be the face of the new £50 note


The Bank of England announced this week that Alan Turing will become the face of the new polymer £50 note. Please, see official announcement here, and comment by Ganna Pogrebna here.

Nathaniel Byrne appointed as a new University Liaison Manager for the University of Birmingham


We are very happy to welcome Nathaniel Byrne as the new Turing University Liaison Manager for the University of Birmingham. Nathaniel is a Research Support Officer at the University of Birmingham Medical School. He helped set up the Global Health Research Network, arranging quarterly networking events for academics with an interest in Global Health Research and curating content to raise the profile of Global Health Research across the University. He is expected to join the Turing at Birmingham team in early August.

Biao Cai (Turing Fellow) receives a grant from Innovate UK


We are very happy to announce that an Innovate UK project ‘DIADEM: Defect Identification Additive Manufacturing’ has been awarded to Prof Moataz Attallah and Dr Biao Cai (Alan Turing Fellow) at School of Metallurgy and Materials, collaborating with GROW SOFTWARE LIMITED. The project will train machine learning model to automatically identify defects in additive manufacturing. We would like to congratulate Biao on this great achievement!

ACM FAT* 2020

ACM FAT* 2020 will take place in Barcelona from January 27th to January 30th, 2020. ACM FAT* is an interdisciplinary conference dedicated to bringing together a diverse community of scholars from computer science, law, social sciences, and humanities to investigate and tackle issues in this emerging area.


Research challenges are not limited to technological solutions regarding potential bias, but include the question of whether decisions should be outsourced to data- and code-driven computing systems.


We particularly seek to evaluate technical solutions with respect to existing problems, reflecting upon their benefits and risks; to address pivotal questions about economic incentive structures, perverse implications, distribution of power, and redistribution of welfare; and to ground research on fairness, accountability, and transparency in existing legal requirements.

The conference in 2020 will have five tracks (see Call for Papers):

  1. Computer Science

  2. Law

  3. Social Sciences and Humanities

  4. Practice and Experience

  5. Education

ACM FAT* builds upon two previous successful conference editions and years of workshops on the topics of fairness, accountability, transparency, ethics, and interpretability in machine learning, recommender systems, the web, and other technical disciplines.

Further details and the call for papers is here

Turing Call for Proposals: Theory and Methods Challenge Fortnights


Deadline: September 2, 2019


The Alan Turing Institute is seeking research proposals from across the Turing research community to establish new ‘Theory & Methods Challenge Fortnights in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence’ (TMCF) event series. There will be two events per academic year and each event will last between 8 and 14 days. They can be held at locations across the Turing university partner network or at the Turing’s offices in London.


The Theory & Methods Challenge Fortnights will bring together experts from the Turing and other institutions to join forces for a multi-day research event on a specific theoretical or methodological challenge. These theoretical and methodological challenges can be drawn from any discipline in the remit of data science and Artificial Intelligence. The Institute expects that the theoretical and methodological contributions stemming from the challenge, impact or have the potential to impact, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence or at least one of the associated disciplines in a fundamental way.


The successful proposals will receive sufficient funding to fully cover travel, subsistence, accommodation (and daycare costs as necessary) for the challenge team for a maximum of 2 weeks.


See here for more information.


If you are a fellow who wants to apply for the challenge, email tcmf@turing.ac.uk for any queries.


If you are NOT a fellow, but still have ideas for the challenge, email gpogrebna@turing.ac.uk.

Workshop on Risk, Choice and Social Preferences

On July 22-25 we will be hosting a research visit from Michel Regenwetter (University of Illinois at Urbana Campaign) at the University of Birmingham. Michel works on models of imprecision and noise. As a part of his visit, we will organize a workshop on July 24-25 on “Risk, Choice and Social Preferences”. The workshop is sponsored by the Behavioural, Experimental and Data Science (BEADS) network and BRIDGE programme.


The speakers are:

  • Graham Loomes (Warwick Business School)

  • Michel Regenwetter (University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign)

  • John Hey (University of York)

  • Silvia Sonderegger (University of Nottingham)

  • Thomas Hills (University of Warwick)

  • Brit Grosskopf (University of Exeter)

  • Eva

  • Sasha Talavera (University of Birmingham)

  • Michalis Drouvelis (University of Birmingham)

If you would like to attend, register via this link by Friday, July 20th 12:00

Turing Call For Proposals: Defense and Security


We are seeking proposals for projects addressing challenges in the fields of information value, information algebra and topological data analysis. Additional detail on these challenges is in the call guidance here and applications should be made through Flexigrant here.


Please note the following:

  • The application deadline is 16:00 on Friday 2 August 2019

  • Projects will need to start around early October 2019 and be completed by 31 March 2021

  • A total of £750K funding is available, to be split between three projects

  • Projects can be funded at 100% FEC

  • Projects must finish and reports be submitted by 31 March 2021 (there is no possibility of extension due to restrictions on the funding being used by end of FY)

Further information on the D&S programme challenges and goals, and existing programme projects, is available here.


If you have queries regarding the topic areas, please contact the Programme Director for Defence & Security, Mark Briers, via the shared mailbox dsprogramme@turing.ac.uk

If you have any queries on the application process, eligible costs, or management of the funding, please contact me (Research Project Manager) via the shared mailboxdsprogramme@turing.ac.uk

Free Introduction to the news media event

Are you interested in how the media works? Would you like to help journalists report your subject area better? This event in October might be for you.


Our friends at the Science Media Centre will hold their next 'Introduction to the News Media' event Thursday 24 October from 13:00 to 17:00 at the Wellcome Trust. Any scientists at least part way into their careers and new to working with the media are welcome to come along. (Note: This event is not aimed at students)


The session is free to attend but space is limited.


Register via the instructions in the full invite and cc press@turing.ac.uk so we know who will attend

Royal Society Research Professorships open to applications


Applications for the Royal Society Research Professorships are now open. These awards provide long term support for world-class researchers and allow them to focus on carrying out significant research projects. This scheme is open to both UK-based and international researchers wishing to hold an appointment in a UK university or research institution

Innovate UK funding call: Partner with Singapore on disruptive project


A share of £1 million is available for partnerships between the UK and Singapore which develop disruptive and game-changing innovations in a variety of fields. The funding is available through Innovate UK and the EUREKA Network. EUREKA is an intergovernmental network, bringing together 41 member states to facilitate wider international cooperation and innovation. The deadline for applications is 26 September 2019. Find out more

Canada UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative

The three Canadian federal research agencies and UKRI have launched the Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative. This is an interdisciplinary call aimed at building competitive, resilient and healthy economies and societies through responsible AI.


The deadline for applications is 12 September 2019


Up to £8.2 million in funding will be made available for this joint research call. The call aims to support innovative and cutting-edge interdisciplinary AI research that encourages the exploration of new interdisciplinary research methodologies, approaches and tools that cuts across at least two of the following research domains:

  • social sciences and humanities

  • health and biomedical sciences

  • natural sciences and engineering (including computational and/or mathematical sciences)

Find out more

Fourth Research Software Engineering Conference

The Fourth RSE Conference will open on Tuesday 17th September and run for three full days at the University of Birmingham. With almost 100 speakers presenting talks, workshops, walkthroughs, posters and panels we have an exciting programme covering many aspects of research software, including: engagement, careers, teaching, cloud technologies, machine learning, software tools and High Performance Computing. We also have two exciting keynote speakers, and many opportunities to meet RSEs and researchers from around the world.


See the conference website and twitter

Turing Network Data Study Group


Consisting of primarily academic based challenges in Bristol 5 August to 9 August 2019. The call for participants is OPEN.


Deadline for applications: Monday 8 July at 12noon.


Find out more and apply

Turing Data Study Group


In London 2 September to 6 September 2019 consisting of mostly challenges from mobile phone companies from around the world, the call for participants will open within the coming weeks. Join our Data Study Group newsletter to learn more.

Job Opportunity – AI Fellowships Manager

For more information see here

Data Science x Biomedical Science 22 July – 25 July 2019

For the first time, the Francis Crick Institute, The Alan Turing Institute and Entrepreneur First are coming together to host a summer school, supported by UK SPINE KE.


Hosted at the Francis Crick Institute on 22 July – 25 July 2019, the programme will combine expertise from the data science and biomedical science communities to solve real world problems, through entrepreneurship.


The summer school is open to scientists who are curious, want to solve real world challenges and have an interest in entrepreneurship. This applies to you whether you already have an idea or simply want to find out more and meet like-minded scientists and academics.


Over four days, we will work to demystify entrepreneurship as a career option and explore key techniques and approaches that are essential to translating research into real world solutions.


Limited places available: A four-day entrepreneurship event bringing together expertise and technical insight from the UK’s leading scientific communities

Apply by 24th of June here

Call for pilot projects on AI for Climate Action, 19 July 2019 - 17:00

The Alan Turing Institute (Turing) invites ideas for pilot projects from multidisciplinary teams of researchers working in partnership, to apply data science approaches to environmental and sustainability challenges.


The call has three key focus areas:

  • The science of Climate Change

  • Reducing carbon emissions

  • Climate change impacts and resilience

This call aims to catalyse new collaborations between environmental scientists and data scientists. It is designed to enable groups of researchers with complementary skills and expertise to explore opportunities at the nexus of sustainability and data science research.


In this first call, up to two 6 month projects are intended to be supported. An award of up to £50,000 will be offered to each selected proposal. We plan to fund further projects in subsequent years.


Applicants should provide a costing which covers 100% of direct costs plus an overhead rate of £32,500 per 1 researcher FTE (pro-rated).


Applications should be completed and submitted by 17:00 GMT, 19th July 2019 to the Turing’s FlexiGrant portal with the following documents:

  • A copy of your proposed research case for support (two pages maximum, plus a maximum of one additional page for references) - This should include background and a description of the proposed research, aims and objectives, tools and methods, relevance and beneficiaries

  • A fully completed costing using your institution’s costing tool - This should include a budget table (template provided) and narrative justification of resources

Additional FlexiGrant sections should also be completed, details of which can be found on the call guidance linked on this page.


See here for more information

Turing Day

On October 15, 2019 Adrian Smith together with the Turing team will be visiting the University of Birmingham.

Details of the visit will be publicized in due course.

Happiness in Cities Festival, Urban Analytics Workshop – October 24, 2019

Turing at Birmingham together with the Birmingham Business School will be running the Happiness in Cities Festival at the new University of Birmingham Hotel at The University of Birmingham October 21-27, 2019


On Thursday, October 24th, 2019 we are planning an academic workshop in Urban Analytics.

If you want to get involved with the event organization or if you are interested in presenting, get in touch with Ganna Pogrebna.

Sustainable Finance Interest Group is seeking members

Turing has recently established a new Sustainable Finance Interest Group to explore how data science techniques can be deployed to align financial institutions with global environmental sustainability. Interest Groups allow researchers to gather around areas of interest in data science and AI, with the aim to share ideas and knowledge and spark new ideas for collaborations and projects.


Researchers, scholars, and practitioners interested in how data science can support sustainable finance are invited to join.


The 2019 meetings will take place on the following dates at The Turing's offices:

  • Tuesday 8th October, 1400-1600

  • Thursday 21st November, 1400-1600

Email g.pogrebna@turing.ac.uk if interested.

Research Software Group


The Research Software Group (also part of Advanced Research Computing) are available to help with any research software-related queries. We offer advice, coding, coaching and training for researchers – from people wanting to start writing software through to people looking to do complex parallel workloads on large supercomputers. For more information see the BEAR Software pages.

Upcoming events

29 August: 09:30-17:30 Cambridge networks day Cambridge CNDay is a one day, interdisciplinary meeting on complex networks and their applications.

29-30 August: 18:00-20:00

Vocal interactivity in-and-between humans, animals and robots QMUL, Mile End Campus

VIHAR-2019 will bring together researchers studying vocalisation and speech-based interaction in-and-between humans, animals and robots from a variety of different fields

Turing travel grant

The Turing Travel Grant is available for PIs, PhD students and Research Software Engineers to take part at Turing events and activities.


To apply please contact g.pogrebna@turing.ac.uk . Please pass this information to anyone who might be interested.


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