DATA@Birmingham Newsletter, 23 April 2021

Turing Fellows Showcase featured speakers
Turing Fellows Showcase featured speakers

Welcome to DATA@Birmingham (Data science & Artificial intelligence and Turing Activities) newsletter, bringing the University’s activities with the Alan Turing Institute into the Institute for Interdisciplinary Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

New Turing Fellow call announced

The Alan Turing Institute has announced a new call for Turing Fellows in early May 2021. Mid-to-senior career stage researchers based at the University are invited to apply. Turing Fellows are academics with proven research excellence in data science, artificial intelligence or a related field whose research would be significantly enhanced through active involvement with the Turing network of universities and partners. Current Turing Fellows are eligible to apply. We are committed to building a diverse network of Fellows and encourage applicants from a range of backgrounds to apply.

The call will remain open for applications for six weeks until mid-June 2021. Successful applicants will be appointed as Turing Fellows for 12 months initially with all fellowships commencing on 1 October 2021.

Full details of the call will be made available in early May, in the meantime, you can find out more about the call on the Turing's annoucement page here. In the meantime, please contact Nathaniel Byrne, University Liaison Manager, if you have any further questions.

Data Study Group at the University of Birmingham

The Alan Turing Institute is partnering with the University of Birmingham to deliver a Data Study Group from Monday 28 June – Friday 16 July 2021.

We will shortly be recruiting participants and would like to bring this to your attention for consideration.

Turing Data Study Groups (DSGs) are intensive, collaborative hackathons that bring together organisations (Challenge Owners) from industry, government, and the third sector with talented multi-disciplinary researchers from academia. Challenge Owners provide real-world problems and datasets to be tackled by carefully selected researchers who brainstorm and engineer data science solutions, presenting their work at the end of the study group. You can find out more about Data Study Groups here.

These events are a fantastic opportunity for early career researchers to rapidly develop their data science skills using real-world data. The event also offers participants the chance to forge new networks for future research projects and build links within The Alan Turing Institute, its university partner network, and industry. PhDs, postdocs, those with equivalent non-traditional qualifications/experience and other early career researchers are encouraged to apply.

Please note that due to ongoing COVID-19 precautions, the July 2021 Data Study Group will run remotely over three weeks with optional precursor events during the first week and the study group over weeks two and three. For full details of this format, including the time commitment involved, please visit the latest Turing event page.

Full details, including information on the Challenges and how to apply will be circulated in due course. In the meantime, if you would like any more information or have questions about the DSG, please contact Kim Ekste, DSG Project Manager.

Events at the University of Birmingham

Turing Fellow Projects Presentations

The first in a series of free events in which the University of Birmingham’s current cohort of Turing Fellows will present the work done during their Fellowship. In this first session, we will hear from:

  • Professor Andrew Beggs, who will explain how his Turing fellowship has helped contribute to the UKs COVID-19 fight in his talk "From molecular diagnostics to image AI: How a Turing Fellow got repurposed".
  • Professor Jean-Baptiste Cazier, whose fellowship project became part of the UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project that is assessing the impact of COVID on cancer patients.
  • Professor Sylvie Delacroix, whose talk on "Bottom-up data trusts: disturbing the one-size-fits-all approach to data governance" will explain how data trusts can enable data to be shared for personal or public benefit without exposing individuals, communities and society to harms resulting from data misuse.

More information and registration details for the event can be found here

For further information, please email Nathaniel Byrne, Turing University Liaison Manager.

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:

  • 27 April 2021, 13:00-14:00, Kalman-Wasserstein Gradient Flows (Franca Hoffmann, (University of Bonn)
  • 11 May 2021, 15:00-16:00, Stochastic optimal control and importance sampling for diffusion processes (Han Cheng Lie, University of Postdam)
  • 25 May 2021, 15:00-16:00, Furqan Aziz (University of Birmingham)
  • 8 June 2021, 15:00-16:00, Aretha Teckentrup (University of Edinburgh)
  • 22 June 2021, 15:00-16:00, Yulong Lu (University of Massachusetts)
  • 6 July 2021, 15:00-16:00, Unbiased Inference for Discretely observed Hidden Markov Model Diffusions, Neil Chada (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology)
  • 20 July 2021, 15:00-16:00, Allen Hart (University of Bath)

For more information and links to the talks, please visit the Seminar page on Talks@Bham.

Events at the Alan Turing Institute

The Turing is committed to working flexibly and staying connected. You can watch highlights of our past events at the video archive on YouTube.

Professor Marc Lipsitch visiting lecture on methodological challenges and approaches in COVID-19 epidemiology

Friday 23 April, 16:00 - 17:00. In this seminar hosted by the Turing-RSS Laboratory and Joint Biosecurity Centre, Professor Lipsitch will discuss the challenges of understanding COVID-19 transmission, clinical course, and prevention. Please register for the event here. You can find out more about the Turing-RSS Laboratory here, and find out more about the Joint Biosecurity Centre here.

Urban Analytics monthly meet up

Wednesday 28 April & Thursday 29 April - 13:00. Longer than the standard monthly meetings, this two half-day event aims to capture the feeling of the programme's residential six-monthly meetings in an online format. Packed with content including interesting talks, informal networking opportunities, an exhibition space you can browse at your leisure, and a social event, this is set to be the Turing Urban Analytics event of the year. Please register for the April meet up here.

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 on April's seminar here.

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 for May's seminar here.

Data as an Instrument of Coloniality

Thursday 27 May, 15:30-17:00. Confronted with the new infrastructures of data colonialism, which perpetuate old racial, gender and class injustices, we must learn from past and present anti-colonial and anti-racist movements and thinkers. Decolonising our data in this context means developing new strategies for resisting the new extractivist order, and for re-imagining internet governance and the digital commons.

Find out more and register for Data as an Instrument of Coloniality.

The Turing Lectures: Do you see what I see? with Cordelia Schmid

Tuesday 04 May 2021Time: 16:00 - 17:30. Cordelia Schmid is a computer vision researcher and research director at France's National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (Inria). Cordelia also holds a joint appointment at Google Research. This will be a cross-disciplinary, technical talk, suitable for researchers in the field. You can reserve your place at May's Turing lecture here.

The Turing Lectures: with René Vidal

Tuesday 8 June, 15:00 - 16:30. René Vidal is a 2021 Edward J. McCluskey Technical Achievement Award winner, for "pioneering contributions to subspace clustering and generalized principal component analysis with applications in computer vision and pattern recognition". Reserve your place at June's Turing Lecture here.

Job Opportunities at the Alan Turing Institute

The Turing are seeking a Casual Worker to join as Data Study Group Science Team Support. This role will support the delivery of Data Study Groups in academic and scientific assessments of incoming challenges, participant applications and final reports. The role will also provide support during a DSG event, primarily supporting the facilitators but also the participants to help ensure a smooth and enjoyable event for all stakeholders.

We would appreciate it if you could share the below link (with info on the role and how to apply) with relevant networks. Relevant networks, on this occasion, means students who are interested in a short term opportunity and Working towards a PhD (or equivalent experience and/or qualifications) in a data science related field - include Statistics, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, or related discipline.

The advert, job description and application form can be found here.


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. Visit the conference website for full details.

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.

Visit the conference website for more details.

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.

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.