• Ganna Pogrebna

Turing@Birmingham Day Report and Newsletter October 17th 2019

Professor Sir David Eastwood (Vice-Chancellor and Principal at the University of Birmingham) and Professor Sir Adrian Smith (Director and Chief Executive at the Alan Turing Institute)

Turing at Birmingham Day took place on October 15, 2019

Thanks to everyone who attended Turing at Birmingham Day on Tuesday, October 15th! The University of Birmingham hosted the Alan Turing Institute Director and CEO, Sir Adrian Smith, and members of the Institute's senior management team, including: Dr Donna Brown (Director of Academic Engagement), Professor Mark Briers (Programme Director, Defence and Security Programme), Professor Chris Holmes (Programme Director, Health & Medical Sciences Programme), Dr Lukasz Szpruch (Programme Director, Finance and Economics Programme), Professor Jon Rowe (Programme Director, Data Science for Science Programme), and Dr Theo Damoulas (Deputy Programme Director, Data Centric Engineering Programme). The event also featured a showcase of the University of Birmingham AI projects: Ganna Pogrebna (Turing University Lead for the University of Birmingham), Dr Iain Styles (School of Computer Science, Turing Fellow), Professor Jean-Baptiste Cazier (Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, Turing Fellow), Professor Sylvie Delacroix (Birmingham Law School, Turing Fellow), and Dr Luisa Orsini (School of Biosciences, Turing Fellow) gave an overview of the cutting-edge data science research at the University of Birmingham. One of the speakers was Dr Emmanouil Tranos (University of Bristol, Turing Fellow), who talked about urban analytics research at the Alan Turing Institute, the University of Birmingham and the University of Bristol. We are very grateful to all speakers, participants and the event sponsor - Economic and Social Research Council! Feedback has been very positive from both the Institute and the University. If you attended the event or could not attend, but still want to know more about the Turing at Birmingham initiative, get in touch with us.

Professor Tim Jones (Provost and Vice-Principal at the University of Birmingham), Professor Sir Adrian Smith (Director and Chief Executive at the Alan Turing Institute) and Professor Tim Softley (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Birmingham)

Professor Tim Softley (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Birmingham), Professor Tim Jones (Provost and Vice-Principal at the University of Birmingham), Professor Sir Adrian Smith (Director and Chief Executive at the Alan Turing Institute), Dr Donna Brown (Director of Academic Engagement at the Alan Turing Institute) and Professor Mark Briers (Programme Director for Defence and Security and Co-Chair of the Research and Innovation Advisory Committee)

Turing at Birmingham Day in Pictures

Turing Inclusivity Hub

The Alan Turing Institute has launched its new inclusivity Hub. As the national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, The Alan Turing Institute is committed to redressing gender inequality in the fields of data science and machine learning. Digital technologies are changing the way in which we live our lives and it is imperative for women, and other under-represented groups, to be equal partners in developing the algorithms, setting the research agendas, and building the applications underpinned by data science and AI. Increasing women’s participation is the only way to ensure that their perspectives and priorities will inform the insights that this new field will generate, and the uses to which it is put in society.Check it out by clicking on THIS LINK. Get involved!

Opportunities at the Ada Lovelace Institute

The Ada Lovelace Institute is a new research and deliberative body, funded and incubated by the Nuffield Foundation, with the mission to ensure that data and artificial intelligence work for people and society. With £5 million secured for its first five years, the Institute is already emerging as a leading independent voice on the ethical and societal impacts of data and artificial intelligence (AI) and society, and building relationships in the public, private and civil society sectors in the UK and internationally. The Institute, based in Central London, has been established by the Nuffield Foundation in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute, the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Statistical Society, the Wellcome Trust, Luminate, techUK and the Nuffield Council on Bioethics. The Ada Lovelace institute has two open opportunities at the moment: Head of Research position: find out more HERE The closing date is 8 November 2019. Board Members: find out more HERE The closing date is 27 October 2019.

The Happiness in Cities Festival

October 22-26, 2019

On October 22-26, 2019 we are hosting the Happiness in Cities Festival at Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel! According to the United Nations, 68% of the world population will live in urban areas by 2050. Yet, modern cities still fail to maximize people's potential. Using an example of the city of Birmingham, the Happiness in Cities project aims to understand how different communities across Birmingham contribute to the city's development and how this diversity can help us build happier cities. The Festival will feature many different events: please, register for each event separately (the information on how to sign up is provided below) Apart from many exciting events, the Festival will feature the Art of Happiness in Cities Exhibition - a custom photo exhibition produced by Alexander Kharlamov using film photography and silver gelatin printing. The exhibition will feature many different communities from all parts of Birmingham to showcase diversity, inclusivity and multi-cultural vibrance of the City of Birmingham.

All events are free but we are collecting donations - 100% of the donations will go to Birmingham PHAB Camps. Birmingham PHAB Camps is a Birmingham-based charity that runs holidays with the special purpose of integrating children of all abilities, backgrounds, faiths and ethnicity from Birmingham. Support the project by visiting the exhibition between October 22nd – 26th 2019 and spreading the word via social media using hashtag #UrbanHappinessBrum19Make a donation to PHAB via this website.

The Happiness in Cities Festival

DAY 1: The Future of Our City: Where Next for Leadership Inclusivity?

October 22, 2019

Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel

The University of Birmingham's WE LEAD in collaboration with local theatre innovators, Stan’s Cafe and author Jon Bloomfield invites you to join us for a unique experience of research through visual and performance arts. This event will create new contexts for collaborations between artists, entrepreneurial leaders, authors and academics by showcasing creative interpretations and interventions relating to research of our City and the role of entrepreneurial leadership and inclusivity in the making of modern Birmingham.

Stan’s Cafe, will perform a short, sketchy drama, written especially for this event which finds three entrepreneurs facing the challenges of running their own very peculiar businesses as they chase their dream. Through photographic installations we will showcase the unfiltered stories of the contribution of entrepreneurs to our City with Indi Deol, Founder, Desiblitz and Deirdre Figueiredo, Director, Craftspace.Performance and Fire side chat with Bloomfield, Author, ‘Our City: Migrants and the Making of Modern Birmingham.’

We will be joined by cross-sector cast of senior leaders for an interactive discussion with the audience led by Professor Kiran Trehan.

The Cast: Rosie Ginday, Founder, Miss MacaroonMac Alonge, Founder, The Equal GroupAnita Bhalla, Chair, West Midlands Leadership CommissionIan Harris, Founder, ID SecurityWade Lynn, Founder, Cleone Foods, Representatives from Birmingham Young Professionals


The Happiness in Cities Festival

DAY 2: Building the Technology Ecosystem to Innovate Financial and Professional Services in the West Midlands

October 23, 2019

Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel

There is an opportunity for our region to harness disruptive technologies to ensure we respond to the pace of change, build our global resilience and ensure we are not left behind. To do so we will need to identify how we make our mark in this space. Join our panel discussion that will explore how we adopt new technologies to innovate financial and professional services in the West Midlands by taking an honest look at where our capabilities lie and how we turn these to our advantage.

Panel: Julian Wells, Director Whitecap Consulting and FinTech SpecialistKarolina Kuszowska, Business Development Executive West Midlands Growth CompanySuzi Evans, Director Tax, DeloitteIan Tait, CIO, Delta Financial Systems.

This event is being joint hosted by City REDIBPS and GBSLEP as part of the Birmingham Business School Urban Festival, and will draw upon current research and analysis.


The Happiness in Cities Festival

DAY 3: Urban Analytics Workshop

October 24, 2019

Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel


9:45-10:00 Welcome and Overview of the Happiness in Cities Project

Ganna Pogrebna (University of Birmingham & The Alan Turing Institute)

10:00-10:30 Modelling Clusters from the Ground Up: a Web Data Approach

Emmanouil Tranos (University of Bristol)

10:30-11:00 Measuring Human Behaviour within Urban Environments Using New Forms of Data

Federico Botta (Warwick Business School)

11:00-11:30 Exploring Spatial Navigation Strategies with Social Media

Nataliya Tkachenko (University of Warwick & The Alan Turing Institute)

11:30-12:00 The Life cycle of Urban Analytics

Eiman Kanjo (Nottingham Trent University)

12:30-13:00 Improving the liveability of cities through urban analytics

Eime Tobari (Aecom)

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:30 TBA

Parth Mehta (Siemens)

14:30-15:00 Secure Resource-Sharing in High-Density Smart-City Networks

Spyros Angelopoulos (Tilburg University)

15:00-15:30 Seasonality in Rental Housing Market and Distance to Universities

Okan Yilmaz (Swansea University)

15:30-16:00 Street-level bureaucracy: best to be grey (or silver) on Friday, in Halifax

Oleksandr Talavera (University of Birmingham)

16:00-16:30 The Dynamics of Online House Prices in the UK

Claudio Piga (Huddersfield University)


The Happiness in Cities Festival

DAY 4: Sustainable Future in the City: Student Competition 2019

October 25, 2019

Hornton Grange, Edgbaston Park Hotel

The deadline for the Student Competition entries has now passed. On October 25, the committee will select one project as a competition winner. 5 student project were shortlisted for the award.

The schedule for the event is as follows:

10:00-10:30 Arrival and registration

10:30-11:00 Shanshan Mao and Zixiang Ma

11:00-11:30 Daniel Stoica

11:30-12:00 Aidan Dyde

12:00-12:30 Matthias Loira

12:30-13:00 Bowen Yan, Jinman Zhang and Zixin Li

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-14:30 Committee deliberations

14:30 Results announcement

Members of the selection committee:

  • Dr Allan Beltran (Lecturer in Environmental Economics, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham)

  • Dr Spyros Angelopoulos (Assistant Professor of Information Management at Tilburg University)

  • Dr Anna Isakova (AMRSC MICRA Business Development Manager, University of Birmingham Enterprise Ltd)

  • Jonathan Roberts (ARLI Business Engagement Manager, University of Birmingham)

  • David Terry (Business Engagement Manager – ATETA Birmingham Energy Institute)

If you want to join the event on October 25, 2019 as an attendee, register via Eventbrite (see the registration link below). Free lunch is provided.


IBM Fellowship Programme

IBM is pleased to announce the 2020 Two-Year Worldwide IBM PhD Fellowship for the academic years of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Strong collaboration with faculty, students and universities is vital to IBM. The IBM PhD Fellowship Program advances this collaboration by recognizing and supporting exceptional PhD students who want to make their mark in promising and disruptive technologies. Focus areas include the following topics of particular interest:• AI / Cognitive Computing • Cloud / Open Source • Data Science • Internet of Things • Quantum Computing • Security / Cyber SecurityThe 2020 IBM PhD Fellowship includes:In the US, fellowship recipients while in school will receive a stipend for living expenses, travel and to attend conferences ($35,000 for 2020-2021 and $35,000 for 2021-2022). Fellowship recipients will also receive $25,000 toward their education in 2020-2021.Outside the US, fellowship recipients while in school will receive a competitive stipend for living expenses, travel and to attend conferences for the two academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Fellowship stipends vary by country. Students should have three years remaining in their graduate program at the time of nomination. For example, nominees that are enrolled in a four year graduate program should have completed two years of their graduate program as of summer 2020 in order to benefit the most. All IBM PhD Fellowship awardees are matched with an IBM mentor according to their technical interests and are encouraged to participate in an internship at least once while completing their studies. Students receiving a comparable fellowship or internship from another company or institution during the same academic period may not be eligible for an IBM PhD Fellowship. Nominations are accepted until late October.

For more program details and FAQs go to Nominations will be accepted until October 29, 2019

Turing Save Haven Secure Compute Environment

Turing’s Safe Haven secure compute environment is currently available through the Alan Turing Institute. Check out the background information here  and a more in depth paper can be found via this arxiv link:

Calls & Opportunities

Call for projects: Crick-Turing Biomedical Data Science Awards

The Turing and The Francis Crick Institute (the Crick) are launching a call for the Crick-Turing Biomedical Data Science Awards. The call aims to catalyse productive collaborative research between biomedical investigators and data scientists. Awards will provide funding for post-doctoral level researchers working in the field of AI and data science. Researchers will be based at the Crick for up to 12 months to pilot research projects collaboratively developed with a biomedical investigator to apply data science approaches to biomedical challenges.

Expressions of interest should be submitted by Wednesday 23rd October 2019 (11am BST).

Please contact Nathaniel Byrne,, for further details and how to apply for this opportunity.

Call for Literature Reviews

The Institute is seeking to commission literature reviews to inform future research directions. Each review should be up to 5,000 words in length and should summarise relevant academic and policy literature, identify knowledge gaps and highlight opportunities for future work. They should be written for an interested non-specialist audience and should set out the key questions in the field, the empirical challenges to answering these questions, the approaches existing work has taken, and the results found. The reviews should be international in scope.

The deadline for applications is Friday 25th October 2019 (4pm BST).

Please contact Nathaniel Byrne,, for further details and how to apply for this opportunity.

3D-Printed Metal Bridge: Call for Research Champion and Ideas for Research Projects

The Turing’s data-centric engineering programme is now seeking out a Research Champion and ideas from researchers for projects to utilise the data that will be collected from the world’s first 3D-printed steel bridge. The smart bridge, a 12 m long metal 3D printed stainless steel bridge, will be installed over a canal in the centre of Amsterdam early 2020. A sensor network has been installed on the bridge to monitor structural behaviour over time. More details about the project can be found here.

If you are interested to get involved, a short description of your research interests related to the dataset, needs to be submitted to the Programme Manager by Thursday 31st October. Please contact Nathaniel Byrne,, for further details and how to apply for this opportunity.

Watch the Video by Our Turing Fellow Aaron Sloman

Our Turing Fellow, Professor Aaron Sloman, recorded a video on Meta-Configured Genome (MCG) project (based on his collaboration with Jackie Chappell at the School of Biosciences). You can watch the video by clicking on this link:


Upcoming Events

Monday 21 Oct 2019

Data Debate: Cities – smart or sinister?

AI is increasingly being used to help transform our cities and manage traffic, crime, economic development, sustainability and improve our everyday lives. But at what cost? How much privacy are we surrendering, what are the implications and are they worth it? Our panel of experts will debate all these issues and more.

Monday 28 Oct 2019

Spatial Relationships in Text as Data

This one-day collaborative workshop will centre on interaction between participants from a wide range of disciplines. Participants will already work with spatial data (including texts) of a kind presenting major challenges to common technologies (such as geographical information systems, GIS). Their spatial data will be qualitative, in the sense of Qualitative Spatial Representation (QSR) in AI.

Monday 28 Oct 2019 - Tuesday 29 Oct 2019

Robotics and AI for health and social care

The UK government and parliament have identified the need to support research and innovation in the field of robotics and AI for health and social care. This is in response to the expected growth in needs for the ageing population, and the contribution AI and robotics technologies can offer. Hosted at the Alan Turing building at University of Manchester.

Thursday 31 Oct 2019 - Friday 01 Nov 2019

Introduction to Spark for Data Scientists

Apache Spark is a library for handling and processing large-scale datasets in parallel, making it especially valuable when dealing with “big data”. This workshop will introduce Spark from scratch, so that participants can gain confidence in using Spark before using it in their own projects and research

Thursday 31 Oct 2019

Explainability in finance

Financial Services organisations are interested in adopting Deep Learning / Machine Learning in a variety of domains, but these models are not always easily explainable to regulators and other stakeholders. The more complex, 'black box' models require state-of-the-art tools that would give organisations the confidence and the ability to explain algorithmic decisions and outcomes.

Tuesday 24 Mar 2020 - Wednesday 25 Mar 2020

Turing Presents: AI UK

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. For the first time a dynamic, two-day showcase will see the Turing bring together all three of these goals in an unrivalled showcase featuring the very best of UK academic work in AI and machine learning (ML).

Monday 11 Nov 2019

Provenance, security & machine learning

This workshop aims to bring together researchers with expertise in security, data management, and machine learning, each of which bear on this challenge. The workshop will also involve participants in the DARPA Transparent Computing programme who can share experience and understanding of the problem and the available datasets. Breakout sessions will be organised to enable participants to contribute to a research vision and agenda for future work in this area, which will form the basis of a workshop report.

Future Events

Monday 18 Nov 2019

Creativity and design in AI Thursday 21 Nov 2019 - Friday 22 Nov 2019

1st International conference on decision support and recommender systems Wednesday 27 Nov 2019

Hate and harassment: can technology solve online abuse? Wednesday 27 Nov 2019

Turing Bright Club comedy showcase Friday 29 Nov 2019

Data Debates: AI and fake news Wednesday 04 Dec 2019

Turing Lecture: Secrets and lies Monday 09 Dec 2019 - Friday 13 Dec 2019

Data Study Group - December 2019 Monday 20 Jan 2020

Computational archival science (CAS) symposium Friday 24 Jan 2020

Reliability and reproducibility in computational science

Many events are recorded, find the archive on YouTube.

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