• Nathaniel Byrne

Turing@Birmingham Newsletter, 5 March 2021

AI UK: Introducing health highlights

The Turing's national showcase event is less than three weeks away. AI UK will reflect on the role that AI and data science has played in the scientific response to the pandemic and address a wide range of topics, including: health applications of AI and what we can learn from bringing research to the medical science market; the potential of using data science and AI to improve mental health provision and services; and demonstrations of AI powered tools such as wearables, disease diagnosis, appointment schedulers and more. Demonstrations to highlight include:

  • Professor Francesca Toni and Emanuele Albini - Interactive schedule explainer for radiotherapy appointments: Why was my appointment rescheduled?

  • Dr Kangrui Wang - Online Disease Diagnosis

  • Dr Alex Casson - The Wearable Clinic for Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring

  • Professor Paul Watson - How can analysing the way we walk identify medical problems?

Find out more.

Calls & Opportunities

NEW: Call for contributions to Royal Statistical Society 2021 Conference

This year's Royal Statistical Society International Conference will take place from 6-9 September in Manchester. The conference welcomes all statisticians and data scientists, and regularly attracts around 600 participants from over 30 countries.

The organisers are currently seeking submissions for talks which can be on any topic related to statistics and data science. If you've been involved in projects, new developments, or research, why not share your work with the wider RSS community. The deadline is Tuesday 6 April.

Full details can be found on the conference website.

Research call on AI, data-driven technologies and ethnic minorities

In the spring we will be launching a research call in partnership with NHSX’s NHS Artificial Intelligence Lab, which will be administered by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). Funding will be available for projects that support the advancement of artificial intelligence and data-driven technologies in health in a way that better meets the needs of minority ethnic populations. We will be sharing more information about this opportunity soon.

Sign up to Turing Interest Groups

The Institute has announced 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:

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.


University of Birmingham Positions

Research Fellow in Computational Toxicology

The University of Birmingham's School of Bioscience seek an enthusiastic candidate to champion a new partnership in computational toxicology and chemical risk assessment between the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), UK Health and Safety Executive’s Science and Research Centre, and the University of Birmingham. The successful applicant will contribute to the creation and translation of knowledge about the application of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) to the risk assessment of food-related chemicals, with the specific goal to improve and streamline the current risk assessment processes at the FSA.

Over a 4-year period, the post holder will undertake a range of collaborative activities at each of the three partner locations, including an extensive scoping of the applicability of computational NAMs to the FSA as well as case studies to demonstrate the computational approaches. The first case study will implement a workflow for analysing in vitro ‘omics’ toxicity data using benchmark dose modelling and physiologically-based kinetic (PBPK) modelling to derive health-based guidance values, including to investigate the uncertainties associated with such an approach.

Please apply directly through our website. Closing date: 22nd March 2021

Events at the University of Birmingham

Data Science and Computational Statistics Seminar

The Data Science and Computational Statistics Seminar series is jointly between the School of Mathematics and the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham. Seminars are scheduled for Tuesday afternoons. Upcoming seminars:

  • 16 March 2021, 15:00-16:00: Roots of random functions. Assistant Professor Oanh Nguyen, Department of Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, presents approaches via the local universality method to study questions about the roots. As one of the applications, we prove that the number of real roots of a wide class of random polynomials satisfies the Central Limit Theorem.

For more information, please visit the Seminar page on Talks@Bham.

Events at the 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.

Tuesday 2 March, 12:30 – 14:00

The Turing Lectures:

How to talk to robots with Tabitha Goldstaub

The first Turing Lecture of 2021 will feature Tabitha Goldstaub. Tabitha is co-founder of CogX and chair of the UK government's AI Council. She is also an advocate for increased diversity in tech, Tabitha is the author of How To Talk To Robots - A girls guide to a world dominated by AI. She's also a co-founder of Future Girl Corp and is an advisor to TeensInAI and on the board of Tech UK.

This lecture will cover aspects of the AI Roadmap and Tabitha's journey to becoming one of the capital's most influential people in tech. This will be followed by a fireside chat, hosted by Adrian Weller, Programme Director for AI at the Turing, and an interactive audience Q&A. Book now.

Thursday 11 March, 13:00 - 16:15

Digital Identity: A Focus on Evolving Use Cases & Risks

Hosted by the Trustworthy Digital Infrastructure for Identity Systems project, this workshop is designed to advance collective understanding of use cases, cultural considerations and how behaviours are evolving with the implementation of national digital identity systems, and technology generally. Discussions will inform research into understanding the threats and risks that are associated with trustworthy systems design and will explore opportunities for managing them. Register now.

Tuesday 16 March, 15:00 - 17:00

Urban Analytics monthly meet up

This series brings together members of the urban analytics research community once a month for presentations and discussion of recent research, hosted by the Turing’s Urban Analytics programme.

Book your place.

Wednesday 17 March, 14:00 - 17:00

Uncertainty and risk workshop

This workshop will commemorate the centenary of the publication of Frank Knight’s "Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit" and John Maynard Keynes’ “A Treatise on Probability”. This workshop is organised by the University of Oxford and supported by The Alan Turing Institute. For further details and regular updates, please visit the official event website.

Wednesday 7 April, 15:30 - 17:00

The Turing Lectures:

The changing role of national statistics offices in a data-driven future with Ian Diamond

The Institute will be joined by The UK's National Statistician, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, for this Turing Lecture hosted by Institute Director, Professor Sir Adrian Smith.

In this talk Ian, will set out his view of the role of National Statistics Offices in today’s world and how that contrasts with previous decades. He will explore how National Statistics Offices are responding and innovating, moving to new methods enabling robust statistics and analysis in real time and based on data collected from a range of sources, both traditional and novel.

Book your place now.

Wednesday 28 April, 12:30 - 14:00

Tools, Practices and Systems monthly seminar

The Tools, Practices and Systems monthly seminar brings together researchers, data scientists and software engineers across the Turing and beyond to connect and discover the latest in open research and infrastructure from a mix of internal and external speakers.

Book your place.

Community Events

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.

This is an initial call for expressions of interest in one or more of the following themed sandpit events:

  1. Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (10 and 11 March)

  2. Health and Care Innovation (16, 17 and 18 March)

  3. Digital Transformation in the Creative Sector (25 and 26 March)

  4. Clean Growth (21 and 22 April)

To register your interest, complete the EOI form.


21 - 25 June 2021

WebSci’21 | 13th ACM Web Science Conference

Hosted by the University of Southampton, UK, delivered online

The 13th ACM Web Science Conference (WebSci’21) is an interdisciplinary conference where a multitude of research disciplines converge with the purpose of creating a greater insight into a complex global Web than the sum of their individual parts. We invite participation from diverse fields including computer and information sciences, communication, economics, informatics, law, linguistics, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.

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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