• Nathaniel Byrne

Turing@Birmingham Newsletter, 10 December 2020


Applications open for 2021-22 Enrichment scheme

Now entering its sixth year, the Enrichment scheme offers students currently enrolled on a doctoral programme at a UK university the opportunity to undertake a 6-, 9-, or 12-month placement at the Turing or at one of the two new locations in the scheme.

For the first time this year we are partnering with the Jean Golding Institute at the University of Bristol and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics at the University of Leeds to offer a new exciting opportunity for Enrichment students to engage with an even more diverse community of researchers located in three areas in the country. Students continue their PhD in conjunction with their current supervisor, while enriching their research and making new collaborations during their time spent on the scheme. Enrichment places are offered part-time or full-time with a choice of three different start dates. Find out more.

Become a Data Study Group Principal Investigator

As part of the Institute’s mission to train the next generation of data scientists, we are looking for early career researchers who want to act as a Principal Investigator (PI) on the following DSG challenge:

Challenge Owner: Entale

Challenge: Item based recommender systems for personalised podcast suggestions

Useful Skills: Supervised & unsupervised learning methods, recommender systems

Challenge Owner: NHS Resolution

Challenge: Predicting claim settlement dates and initial reserve to understand & forecast financial responsibility

Useful Skills: Time-to-event analysis, probabilistic forecasting, actuary, experience working with insurance data

The deadline for applications is close of play on Monday 15 December.

Data Study Group PI training sessions will take place on 16 December. Training will be provided to support DSG PIs when scoping challenges and talking to industry/non-academic partners. Find out more about Data Study Groups (DSGs) and the role of a Principal Investigator (PI). To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter to


New Turing Interest Groups launched

The Institute is pleased to announce that 15 new Turing Interest Groups have launched. Interest Groups aim to promote research collaboration, share knowledge, and communicate emerging scientific concepts to the wider Institute and beyond, around a shared area of interest in data science and AI. These are:

New £4m high performance computing facility to be established at University of Birmingham

The project is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham, The Rosalind Franklin Institute, The Alan Turing Institute and Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron. It is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation and an allocation of this service will be available to EPSRC-funded researchers.

Called 'Baskerville' and named after John Baskerville, the enlightenment-era Birmingham industrialist, the Tier 2 accelerated compute facility will provide a state-of-the-art platform for graphics processing unit (GPU)-accelerated computing. It will help researchers to accelerate machine learning algorithms and simulation technology, with wide-ranging applications in computer vision, language processing, molecular modelling, and materials science. Professor Iain Styles, of the University of Birmingham’s School of Computer Science, Director of the University’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, and Turing University Lead for Birmingham, led the bid.

Dr Per Lehre awarded Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships

Congratulations to Dr Per Lehre of the University of Birmingham's School of Computer Science, one of a number of outstanding researchers who have been chosen to develop AI technologies through prestigious fellowships announced last week.

In all, 15 leading researchers from various UK institutes, including the Turing, have been awarded Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships, named after AI pioneer Alan Turing. The fellowships are supported by a £20m government investment, being delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to lead innovative, creative AI research with transformative impact.

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

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.

Events: University of Birmingham

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.

  • Thursday 17 December 2020, 15:00-16:00: Machine Learning and Dynamical Systems meet in Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Spaces (Dr Boumediene Hamzi, Imperial College London) In this talk, we introduce a data-based approach to estimating key quantities which arise in the study of nonlinear autonomous, control and random dynamical systems. Our approach hinges on the observation that much of the existing linear theory may be readily extended to nonlinear systems–with a reasonable expectation of success–once the nonlinear system has been mapped into a high or infinite dimensional Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space.

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

Events: 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.

Data Seminar Series

An international showcase to the best scholarship involving geography and data co-sponsored by Newcastle University, University of Bristol and the Alan Turing Institute.

Research programmes showcase

The Alan Turing Institute is pleased to invite you to its first Research Programmes Showcase, a new event series connecting the Turing’s University Partners to its

research programmes. The events will:

  • Provide valuable insight into how you can get involved

  • Offer the opportunity to learn more about the research ambitions, partners and key projects of each programme

  • Feature a presentation and panel discussion via an audience Q & A session

  • Include a networking session with key members of the programme

You can find details of all scheduled events below, the public policy programme will be announcing their date shortly. To book your place, click on the event title:

Turing ‘sandpit’ events on themes of the Greater Manchester local industrial strategy

The University of Manchester’s Institute for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (IDSAI) is hosting four Turing ‘sandpit’ events in January and February 2021, based around the major themes of the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy, with input from the related Turing programmes. The sandpits will focus on the following themes: Health and Care Innovation; Advanced Materials and Manufacturing; Clean Growth and Digital Transformation. Funding is available to support collaborative feasibility studies (£10k-£15k) co-developed at the sandpit events. To register your interest, complete the EOI form.


Tuesday 15 December 2020, 12:00-15:30

Institute of Mathematics Online Event

Mathematics of Big Data: Lessons from COVID-19

Generating a causal understanding of interventions for COVID-19 requires a confluence of several topics: statistical modelling and causal inference, estimation of mathematical models, and working with Big Data. This raises several difficult challenges that current mathematical approaches have gained some limited traction on. This event explores the mathematical challenges and opportunities that the COVID-19 epidemic has highlighted, that will go on to be important into the future.

Registration is currently open via the MyIMA Portal.

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.

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