• Nathaniel Byrne

Newsletter, 23July 2020

Calls & Opportunities

LAST CHANCE: Data Study Group - September 2020

The next Data Study Group will place this September. Please note that due to COVID-19, this Data Study Group will be run completely remotely.

Dr Anas Rana, Research Fellow in the Centre for Computational Biology at the University of Birmingham, will be Principal Investigator on the CRUK Cambridge Institute challenge - Modelling interactions driving breast cancer development. More details can be found on CCB's website. This is one of four projects:

  • CRUK Cambridge Institute - Modelling interactions driving breast cancer development

  • Greenvest Solutions - Forecasting wind energy production using satellite data

  • catsAi - Communicating high-street bakery sales predictions using counterfactual explanations

  • University of Strathclyde and Supergen Energy Networks Hub - Using machine learning to predict the onset of blackouts

For full details of this format, including the exact time commitment involved, please read the event page carefully.

Deadline for application is Monday 27 July at noon.

LAST CHANCE: Turing Internship Network

The Alan Turing Institute is pleased to announce the launch of a new training scheme called the Turing Internship Network. Launched in July 2020, the Turing Internship Network is a national engagement scheme between our business partners and doctoral students across the UK who are studying any topic with a data science and/or AI focus.

The Turing's role is to facilitate and convene, pairing internship projects put forward by industry with talented doctoral students. The business partners will host, supervise, and provide a salary for the successful interns.

Ten prestigious internships are currently open for applications until 10 August 2020, 12:00 BST. For more information, please see the project descriptions and FAQs.

There are two rounds of applications deadlines:

  • First deadline: 27 July 2020 12:00 am BST – initial shortlisting

  • Second deadline: 10 August 2020 12:00 am BST – final shortlisting (if applicable)

NEW: Contribute to the Turing response to UK Government's R&D Roadmap

As you may be aware, the Government recently published their UK Research and Development Roadmap. Over the coming months the Government intends to develop the proposals in this Roadmap in a R&D plan and have invited responses to the Roadmap in an online survey of high-level questions.

The Turing are consider a response based on the following eight questions:

  • How can we best increase knowledge and understanding through research, including by achieving bigger breakthroughs?

  • How can we maximise the economic, environmental and societal impact of research through effective application of new knowledge?

  • How can we encourage innovation and ensure it is used to greatest effect, not just in our cutting-edge industries, but right across the economy and throughout our public services?

  • How can we attract, retain and develop talented and diverse people to R&D roles? How can we make R&D for everyone?

  • How should we ensure that R&D plays its fullest role in levelling up all over the UK?

  • How should we strengthen our research infrastructure and institutions in support of our vision?

  • How should we most effectively and safely collaborate with partners and networks around the globe?

  • How can we harness excitement about this vision, listen to a wider range of voices to ensure R&D is delivering for society, and inspire a whole new generation of scientists, researchers, technicians, engineers, and innovators?

Any contributions to the Turing's response are welcome (up to 300 words for each of the questions above). Submissions should be written in an accessible manner with a clearly defined contribution. Any references to relevant projects or work currently underway at the Turing are particularly welcomed.

Please send your submissions to Iain Styles by 31 July 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.

Please contact Nathaniel Byrne for more information

New 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.

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

Survey of Turing contributions to open source communities

The Tools, Practices & Systems are looking for researchers who have contributed to an open source project. Please share your experiences via the short survey.


Facebook funding awarded research led by UoB

Facebook has awarded funding to a team of academics from the City-Region Economic Development Institute (City-REDI) at the University of Birmingham, the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol, and the Alan Turing Institute, to undertake data-driven research focusing on how the ongoing digital revolution affects regional economic growth and the industrial landscape, and which businesses and places reap higher benefits from digitalisation in the UK.

The project will:

  • Quantify the potential regional advantages associated with early engagement in the digital world for industrial and regional growth;

  • Analyse the productivity gains linked to high-intensity digital environments for business performance; and

  • Evaluate what spillover effects the digital economy also provides to the UK.

UoB's Research Computing Management Committee (RCMC)

The University's Research Computing Management Committee exists to ensure the academic needs of researchers are being addressed by BEAR (the Birmingham Environment for Academic Research), and to oversee and advise on its operation and development. The RCMC is especially keen to reach potential new users of ARC (Advanced Research Computing) so as to understand how better it can represent them. Membership of the RCMC is drawn from academic researchers and ARC staff in IT Services. The full remit is online. More information can be obtained from the RCMC Chair Andrew Morris.

UoB Events

Tuesday 21 July 2020, 09:30–11:30

Online Amazon 101 session

Amazon Web Services and University of Birmingham Business Engagement invite the UoB academic community to this tailor made session for researchers we will explore cloud computing and the various programs delivered by AWS for education and research in education.

This session is relevant to those who are interested in cloud based support for research to build cloud-hosted publicly available science-as-a-service applications, software, or tools to facilitate research and research activities in the research community. The session will give an overview of cloud related learning, where case studies will be presented showing how AWS is being used to support academic research and education and train a broader community on the usage of cloud services for research workloads. There will be opportunity to interact and a Q&A. Register your place

Every Tuesday (times vary)

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 28 July 2020, 13:00-14:00: On COPs, Bandits, and AI for Good: In the recent years there has been an increasing interest in applying techniques from artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle societal and environmental challenges, ranging from climate change and natural disasters, to food safety and disease spread. These efforts are typically known under the name AI for Good...

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 24 Jul 2020, 16:00 - 17:00

DSSGx UK | The Turing Way

The Turing Way is a handbook to support students, their supervisors, funders and journal editors in ensuring that reproducible research is "too easy not to do". It includes training material on version control, analysis testing, collaborating in distributed groups, open and transparent communication skills, and effective management of diverse research projects. The Turing Way is openly developed and any and all questions, comments and recommendations are welcome at our github repository.

In this talk, Kirstie Whitaker, lead developer of The Turing Way, will take you on a whirlwind tour of the chapters that already exist and the directions in which we're continuing to develop

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Turing Lecture: Is education AI-ready?

COVID-19 is revolutionising the way we teach and learn, but what role should AI play in this? Join Professor Rose Luckin as she discusses the current stage of AI's application in education, and the ways in which AI has supported teachers and learners during the pandemic. Professor Luckin will also look to the future and consider how AI could be used to support a COVID-compliant transformation for our education system. This is the first event in a new mini-series for The Turing Lectures which will explore the role of AI and data science in our lives post-lockdown. Register now.

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.

Monday 14 Sep 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.

It’s hard work, a crucible for innovation and a space to develop new ways of thinking.

Other events

6 August 2020, 18:00

LMS-Bath Symposium on the Mathematics of Machine Learning

Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb, University of Cambridge will be delivery her public lecture "Looking into the black box: how mathematics can help to turn deep learning inside out" as part of the LMS-Bath Symposium on the Mathematics of Machine Learning. Deep learning has had a transformative impact on a wide range of tasks related to Artificial Intelligence, ranging from computer vision and speech recognition to playing games. Still, the inner workings of deep neural networks are far from clear, and designing and training them is seen as almost a black art. In this talk we will try to open this black box a little bit by using mathematical structure of neural networks described by so-called differential equations and mathematical optimisation.


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.

Virtual access to the Alan Turing Institute

The Turing Institute has requested feedback about communication and involvement since their head office in the British Library closed in March.

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.