DATA@Birmingham Newsletter, 22 March 2021

Welcome to the first DATA@Birmingham (Data science & Artificial intelligence and Turning Activities), which brings the University’s Turing activities into the Institute of Interdisciplinary Data Science & Artificial Intelligence.

Join the Turing for AI UK next week

Thank you to everyone who has registered for AI UK, 23 - 24 March, and contributed to the programme. The programme is now complete – we encourage you to take a look. Highlights include:

  • Amanda Solloway MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, will kick off AI UK with an opening address about progress in the face of great challenges and the National AI Strategy.
  • Can AI solve it? Co-hosted by Accenture, our AI UK Diamond Sponsor, and the Turing’s [Data Study Group}9 team, tune in to see how industry and academics work together to turn data science and AI problems posed by businesses – in this session Rolls-Royce and NHS Resolution – into academic challenges.
  • Machine learning for finance: Hear three talks on the latest research in machine learning in finance, moderated by [Adriano Koshiyama}(, Research Fellow, featuring Lukasz Szpruch, Programme Director for Finance and Economics, Turing Fellow Vaishak Belle, and Turing Fellow Stephen Roberts.
  • The Climate Emergency: Howard Covington, Chair of the Board of Trustees, opens this important theme. Further sessions on the theme will then follow. Modelling and predicting climate change, hosted by Eirini Malliaraki, featuring research presented by Scott Hosking, Senior Research Fellow; Gavin Shaddick, Turing Fellow; and Emily Lines, Turing Fellow. Climate change mitigation and adaptation, with research showcased by Jonathan Rowe, Programme Director for Data Science for Science and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Projects at the University, and Turing Fellow; Sabina Leonelli, Turing Fellow; and Ruchi Choudhary, Data-Centric Engineering Group Leader.
  • Data science for socio-economic shocks: Join Chief Data Scientist Louisa Nolan from the Office of National Statistics (ONS); Karen Croxson, Deputy Chief Economist / Head of Social Data Science, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other experts discussing how AI and data science can help us recover from the impact of COVID-19.
  • Matt Parker, known as the Stand-up Mathematician. His book “Humble Pi” was the first maths book to be a Sunday Times #1 bestseller. His YouTube videos on the Stand-up Maths and Numberphile channels have amassed over 100 million views. Enjoy an entertaining comedy set exclusively for our AI UK audience.

Find out more

Calls and opportunities

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.

Job Opportunities at the University of Birmingham

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.

Job Opportunities at the Alan Turing Institute

Turing AI for Science and Government ( (ASG) programme ) has launched new cross-theme research initiatives with some appointments already made. Below are a list of advertised PDRA roles related to these new and exciting research initiatives, please share with your networks:

  • Foundations of AI Enabled Digital Twins, deadline: 25 March 2021
  • Fleets and Supply Chains, deadline: 1st April 2021
  • Causal Inference and Causal Modelling in Complex Interconnected Systems, deadline: 28 March 2021
  • Agent Computing Models to Study Socio-Economic Shocks and Policy Interventions, deadline: 31 March 2021
  • Mathematical Modelling of Resilience in Complex Systems, deadline: 18 April 2021

 Click here  to access and apply.

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:

  • Tuesday 27 April 2021, 13:00-14:00, Franca Hoffmann(University of Bonn).
  • Tuesday 11 May 2021, 15:00-16:00,  Stochastic optimal control and importance sampling for diffusion processes , Han Cheng Lie (University of Potsdam).
  • Tuesday 08 June 2021, 15:00-16:00, Aretha Teckentrup (University of Edinburgh)
  • Tuesday 22 June 2021, 15:00-16:00, Yulong Lu (University of Massachusetts)

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.

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.

Research Programme Showcases

Thank you to everyone who has so far attended sessions in our Research Programmes Showcase event series. The final sessions in the series will take place on Monday 12 April with the public policy programme and Thursday 15 April with the finance and economics programme. The events will:

  • Provide 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

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.

Wednesday 28 April, 12:30 - 14:00

Tools, Practices & Systems will be hosting the Open Science Team from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (Open Science - Chan Zuckerberg Initiative) who will be talking to us about their practical support for Essential Open Source Software for Science funding calls and why supporting new and existing open infrastructure is critical for driving forward innovation in biomedical sciences. Book your place.

Wednesday 26 May, 12:30 - 14:00

Tools, Practices & Systems will be hosting Kaitlin Thaney, Executive Director of Invest in Open Infrastructure, an initiative dedicated to improving funding and resourcing for open technologies and systems supporting research and scholarship. She’ll be giving an overview of the work IOI is doing to support open, community-owned infrastructure. Book your place.


12 – 16 April 2021, NVIDIA GTC Spring 2021

Join NVIDIA for breakthroughs in AI, data centre, accelerated computing, healthcare, intelligent networking, game development, and more. Discover the advanced technologies that are transforming today’s industries.

Register now for free access to over 1400 sessions during GTC, including Turing award-winners Yoshua Bengio, Yann LeCun, and Geoffrey Hinton.

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.

Virtual access to the Alan Turing Institute

You can also stay connected to the Turing via: Twitter, LinkedIn , Instagram and Facebook.

Thanks for your continued support.