Dr Max A. Little

Dr Max A. Little

School of Computer Science
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Max Little is a world-leading expert in signal processing and machine learning. His research in machine learning for digital health is highly influential and is the basis of advances in basic and applied research into quantifying neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. He has published over 60 articles in the scientific literature on the topic, two patents, and a textbook. He is an advisor to government and leading international corporations in topics such as machine learning for health.

Please follow the link below to find out more information about Max's work:

Dr Max Little- personal web page


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • D.Phil. (Oxon) in Applied Mathematics, University of Oxford
  • B.Sc. (Honours) in Mathematics, Open University


TED Talk

Postgraduate supervision

  • Ugur Kayas, The mathematical structure of deep learning (provisional title), University of Birmingham, UK, 2018 – present (primary supervisor)

  • Yazan Qarout, Identifying surprising user behavior from wearable devices (provisional title), Aston University, UK, 2018 – present (co-supervisor)

  • Adam Farooq, Bayesian nonparametrics for high dimensional signals (provisional title), Aston University, UK, 2018 – present (co-supervisor)

  • Anna Beukenhorst, Wearable devices for digital epidemiological study of musculosketal diseases (provisional title), University of Manchester, 2017 – present (co-supervisor)

  • Alex Oldroyd, Title TBA, University of Manchester, 2017 – present (co-supervisor)

  • Katy Weihrich, Identifying patterns of physical activity in musculoskeletal disease (provisional title), University of Manchester, 2017 – present (co-supervisor)

  • Reham Badawy, Detection of pre-clinical Parkinson’s disease using smartphones (provisional title), University of Birmingham, UK, 2014 – present (primary supervisor)

  • Jordan Raykov, A deterministic inference framework for discrete nonparametric latent variable models, Aston University, UK, 2013 – 2017 (primary supervisor)

  • Paul Moore, Mathematical modelling, forecasting and telemonitoring of mood in bipolar disorder, University of Oxford, UK, 2008 – 2014 (primary supervisor)

  • Ben Fulcher, Highly comparative time-series analysis, University of Oxford, UK, 2009 – 2012 (co-supervisor)

  • Athanasios Tsanas, Accurate telemonitoring of Parkinson’s disease symptom severity using nonlinear speech signal processing and statistical machine learning, University of Oxford, UK, 2008 – 2012 (co-supervisor)


Causal inference in machine learning, statistical machine learning in signal processing, wearable devices for neurological disorders.

Other activities

National and international steering committees, advisory roles:

  • Parkinson’s UK College of Experts, UK, 2019 (by invitation)

  • Data Science Prize Review Panel, Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, NY, USA, 2017

  • Udall Center P20 External Advisory Board Member, Rochester University Medical Center, NY, USA, 2015 – present

  • Nesta Health Lab “NHS in 2030” Report, Nesta, UK, 2015 (advisor)

  • Wearable Technology Research Committee, Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, NY, USA, 2016 – present

  • National Institute on Aging Alzheimer’s Disease Summit 2015, National Institutes of Health, MD, USA, 2014 – 2015

  • X-Prize Foundation, CA, USA, 2014

  • Accelerometry Data Steering Group, UK Biobank, Wellcome Trust, UK, 2014 – present

  • Data Sharing Steering Group, Parkinson’s UK, 2014 – present

  • Dementia Innovation Unit Citizen Science Platform, Department of Health, UK, 2014

 Reviewer, national funding bodies:

  • Health Research Council, New Zealand, 2019
  • MRC, UK, 2018
  • National Institutes for Health, USA, 2017
  • Networks of Centers of Excellence, Canada, 2013
  • EPSRC, UK, 2009
  • Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Netherlands, 2014, 2019
  • National Science Centre, Poland, 2013, 2016, 2017
  • Czech Science Foundation, 2016
  • Icelandic Research Fund, Iceland, 2011
  • Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, USA, 2016 – present
  • Parkinson’s UK, 2014


Recent publications


Omberg, L, Chaibub Neto, E, Perumal, TM, Pratap, A, Tediarjo, A, Adams, J, Bloem, BR, Bot, BM, Elson, M, Goldman, SM, Kellen, MR, Kieburtz, K, Klein, A, Little, MA, Schneider, R, Suver, C, Tarolli, C, Tanner, CM, Trister, AD, Wilbanks, J, Dorsey, ER & Mangravite, LM 2022, 'Remote smartphone monitoring of Parkinson's disease and individual response to therapy', Nature Biotechnology, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 480-487. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41587-021-00974-9

Oldroyd, A, Little, MA, Dixon, W & Chinoy, H 2019, 'A review of accelerometer-derived physical activity in the idiopathic inflammatory myopathies', BMC Rheumatology, vol. 3, 41. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41927-019-0088-1

Beukenhorst, AL, Parkes, MJ, Cook, L, Barnard, R, van der Veer, SN, Little, MA, Howells, K, Sanders, C, Sergeant, JC, O'Neill, TW, McBeth, J & Dixon, WG 2019, 'Collecting symptoms and sensor data with consumer smartwatches (the Knee OsteoArthritis, Linking Activity and Pain Study): protocol for a longitudinal, observational feasibility study', JMIR Research Protocols, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. e10238. https://doi.org/10.2196/10238

Wang, H, Lane, JM, Jones, SE, Dashti, HS, Ollila, HM, Wood, AR, van Hees, VT, Brumpton, B, Winsvold, BS, Kantojärvi, K, Palviainen, T, Cade, BE, Sofer, T, Song, Y, Patel, K, Anderson, SG, Bechtold, DA, Bowden, J, Emsley, R, Kyle, SD, Little, MA, Loudon, AS, Scheer, FAJL, Purcell, SM, Richmond, RC, Spiegelhalder, K, Tyrrell, J, Zhu, X, Hublin, C, Kaprio, JA, Kristiansson, K, Sulkava, S, Paunio, T, Hveem, K, Nielsen, JB, Willer, CJ, Zwart, JA, Strand, LB, Frayling, TM, Ray, D, Lawlor, DA, Rutter, MK, Weedon, MN, Redline, S & Saxena, R 2019, 'Genome-wide association analysis of self-reported daytime sleepiness identifies 42 loci that suggest biological subtypes', Nature Communications, vol. 10, 3503. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11456-7

Dashti, HS, Jones, SE, Wood, AR, Lane, JM, Van Hees, VT, Wang, H, Rhodes, JA, Song, Y, Patel, K, Anderson, SG, Beaumont, RN, Bechtold, DA, Bowden, J, Cade, BE, Garaulet, M, Kyle, SD, Little, MA, Loudon, AS, Luik, AI, Scheer, FAJL, Spiegelhalder, K, Tyrrell, J, Gottlieb, DJ, Tiemeier, H, Ray, DW, Purcell, SM, Frayling, TM, Redline, S, Lawlor, DA, Rutter, MK, Weedon, MN & Saxena, R 2019, 'Genome-wide association study identifies genetic loci for self-reported habitual sleep duration supported by accelerometer-derived estimates', Nature Communications, vol. 10, no. 1, 1100. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08917-4

Badawy, R, Hameed, F, Bataille, L, Little, MA, Claes, K, Saria, S, Cedarbaum, JM, Stephenson, D, Neville, J, Maetzler, W, Espay, AJ, Bloem, B, Simuni, T & Karlin, DR 2019, 'Metadata concepts for advancing the use of digital health technologies in clinical research', Digital Biomarkers, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 116-132. https://doi.org/10.1159/000502951

Arora, S, Baig, F, Lo, C, Barber, TR, Lawton, MA, Zhan, A, Rolinski, M, Ruffmann, C, Klein, JC, Rumbold, J, Louvel, A, Zaiwalla, Z, Lennox, G, Quinnell, T, Dennis, G, Wade-martins, R, Ben-shlomo, Y, Little, MA & Hu, MT 2018, 'Smartphone motor testing to distinguish idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder, controls, and PD', Neurology, vol. 91, no. 16, pp. e1528-e1538. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000006366

Raykov, YP, Boukouvalas, A & Little, MA 2016, 'Simple approximate MAP inference for Dirichlet processes mixtures', Electronic Journal of Statistics, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 3548-3578. https://doi.org/10.1214/16-EJS1196

Raykov, YP, Boukouvalas, A, Baig, F & Little, MA 2016, 'What to do when K-means clustering fails: a simple yet principled alternative algorithm', PLoS ONE, vol. 11, no. 9, e0162259. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0162259

View all publications in research portal