• Nathaniel Byrne

Newsletter, 9 July 2020

Calls & Opportunities

Data Study Group - September 2020

The Alan Turing Institute is delighted to share with you the details of the next Data Study Group taking place this September. Please note that due to COVID-19, this Data Study Group will be run completely remotely.

Previous Data Study Groups have been intensive five day collaborative hackathons hosted at the Turing. Due to the restrictions in place for in-person gatherings, the September Data Study Group will run remotely over four weeks from 31 August - 25 September, and will be divided into two stages.

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

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 1st 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

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.

We are planning to hold a networking and engagement event on the 17th July. Further details will be released shortly. Please register your interest in the event here.

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 14 July, 2:003:00pm

MDS Birmingham Professional Programme with Professor Andrew Beggs

UoB Professor and Turing Fellow, Andrew Beggs, was at the forefront of supporting the UK with establishing its testing facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He will present a lay-person's talk giving a greater understanding of testing, how this impacted the UK's response to the crisis and what lies ahead. Register to attend via Eventbrite

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 14 July 2020, 14:00-15:00: Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Image Segmentation with Anatomical Knowledge This talk focuses on segmentation of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) images from both healthy and pathological subjects. Specifically, we will propose three different approaches that explicitly consider geometry (anatomy) information of the heart.

  • Tuesday 21 July 2020, 13:00-14:00: Recent developments of Monte Carlo sampling strategies for probability distributions on submanifolds Monte Carlo sampling for probability distributions on submanifolds is involved in many applications in molecular dynamics, statistical mechanics and Bayesian computation. In this talk, Dr Wei Zhang, of the Zuse Institute Berlin, will talk about two types of Monte Carlo schemes that are developed in recent years

  • 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 10 July, 16:00 - 17:00

The Companies We Keep: Building a network graph of UK corporate ownership in search of “shady” activity

This talk will be delivered by Dr Adam Hill, who is lead data scientist at HAL24K who are helping to build models and machine learning solutions for smarter cities and infrastructure. In a partnership between DataKind UK and Global Witness, HAL24K have built the world’s first network graph mapping all of the UK public data on those who control corporate interests in the UK. It comprises in excess of 4.5 million companies and 4 million individual people. Adam will present how they built this amazing data structure using Python tools for cleaning and data processing and a Neo4j graph database storing the network graph itself. In addition, Adam will share some of the insights derived from this process. Register to attend.

Tuesday 14 & 21 July, 4-6pm

Data X Biomedical Science: Startup Masterclass Series

The Alan Turing Institute, the Francis Crick Institute, and Entrepreneur First are coming together again to host a Startup Masterclass series:

  • 14 July, 4-6pm, Using your ‘Edge’ as a researcher to found a company

  • 21 July, 4-6pm, Communication 101: how to talk to customers and investors and how to pitch your idea

See the Entrepreneur First website for more details

Friday 17 Jul 2020, 16:00 - 17:00

Lawless AI? Data science in society

Data Science for Social Good presents the first in a series of virtual public talks as part of the DSSGx UK programme. In this opening webinar, Chris Holder joins us to discuss to role of regulation, consent, and legal liability when it comes to AI in society.

Chris is a leading expert at the intersection of law, technology, and data science, as one of the earliest specialist IT outsourcing lawyers in the UK, and one of the first to recognise the significance of AI and robotics for the future development of technology and the law.

Wednesday 22 Jul 2020, 15:00 - 17:00

Using AI to classify drivers of the global forest loss

The seminar will be given by Dr Philip Curtis, co-founder of the start-up Juniata Analytics that is developing a system to help food businesses measure and report the environmental and social impacts of their supply chains. Juniata Analytics provides consulting services and is currently finishing a project with ReFED, a think tank dedicated to reducing food waste, to deliver a first of its kind food waste tracking model and solutions prioritisation tool. Register to attend the Zoom webinar

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.

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.

Tuesday 24 Nov 2020, 10:00 - 18:00

AI and data science in the age of COVID-19

Lessons learned and the way ahead

This one day conference will explore the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will be for researchers and policymakers to share best practice and work together to understand how the UK AI and data science research community can be better positioned for the future.


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.

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