Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Thought Leadership Event: Dr Sandy Brownlee on "Improving trust in the results of search-based optimisation"

 Date: 21st January 2021, 14:00 - 15:00

Speaker: Dr Sandy Brownlee, University of Stirling
TitleImproving trust in the results of search-based optimisation 

The event was hosted by BT Applied Research's Dr Gilbert Owusu and his team.

Search-based methods, including techniques like metaheuristics, local search, and evolutionary algorithms, are powerful tools for finding good solutions to difficult optimisation problems. Usually the problem is formulated as a representation (what a solution looks like) and a fitness function (which measures the quality of solutions). The algorithm will explore the space, generating new solutions through a variety of randomised processes, and eventually settle on a good solution. Sometimes the solutions found by these processes can be a little unexpected or "outside the box", which can make acceptance difficult. 

In this talk, I looked at a few approaches I've taken to using visualisation for trying to improve trust in the solutions of search-based optimisation. These are about trying to understand what the algorithm has learned about the problem during the search, and how robust the solutions it found really are. 

The example applications are a software tuning problem and some problems in building design, but the general principles should be much more widely applicable. 

Dr Sandy Brownlee joined the Division of Computing Science and Mathematics at the University of Stirling in 2013, where he is currently a Lecturer. He gained BSc and PhD degrees from Robert Gordon University in 2005 and 2009 respectively, and has also worked at Loughborough University, and as a software engineer in the energy industry. He is interested in "explainable" optimisation: techniques that find good solutions for optimisation problems but also reveal underlying information about the problem to help people make informed decisions. 

His main focus is in metaheuristics, including evolutionary algorithms and estimation of distribution algorithms; related issues such as fitness modelling (and mining such models), handling constraints and multiple objectives, decision support, and what makes particular algorithms suited to particular problems. This work has resulted in over 60 publications in peer-reviewed venues, and has found applications in areas including scheduling and simulation-based optimisation in civil engineering and transport, software engineering, healthcare, and art. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Thought Leadership Event: Prof M Jones, Prof D Archambault, Prof X Xie on "Data Visualisation Techniques"

Date: 26th November 2020, 13:30 - 14:30
Speakers: Professors from the Computational Foundry at Swansea University.
Title: Data Visualisation Techniques 
Registration is closed now

The event was hosted by BT Applied Research's Dr Anasol Pena Rios (2020 WeAreTechWomen100 Award winner).

Prof Mark Jones
"Interesting algorithms, techniques and visualisations!"

In the past few years I’ve been interested in developing new approaches for rendering, accelerating algorithms and immersing human experts in their data. Some of the areas I’ve been deeply involved with have involved the following techniques: photon mapping, ray tracing, global illumination, visualization, kernel density estimation, accelerometry data, Machine Learning, lossless data compression, transfer functions, probability density functions, clustering, Monte-Carlo techniques, statistics, GPU acceleration, distance measures, Lloyd’s relaxation, Voronoi diagrams, vector/chamfer distances, volume rendering, data structures (kd-trees). 

I will show some work in these areas and adapt the talk as we go along depending on the kinds of research you’d like to hear about.

Mark W. Jones received B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Swansea University. He is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Swansea University. His research interests include global illumination, visualization, data science, and associated algorithms and data structures.

He has published over 25 journal papers since 2013 in the area of Visual Computing, Data Analysis, and Machine Learning, received Best Paper and ACM Computing Reviews Best of 2013 awards. He has been an investigator on six EPSRC projects (including three multi-site, and four as PI in the complementary areas of Computer Graphics and Visualization) and has been an active member of the UK Visual Computing community for 25 years, including programme chair of BMVC 2015 and conference chair of the EGUK conference in 2002 and 2003. He has over 80 papers in the area of Visual Computing, and a patent.


Daniel Archambault
"Visualising and Clustering Networks and Text"

Networks and text are important data types in data science, but as their scale increases it is difficult to visualise all of the information directly. 

In this presentation, I present some of my research on visualising and clustering this information for effective analysis. In particular, an analysis of the Irish blogosphere and an experiment to compare automatically detected and human-generated clusters in social media networks.

Daniel Archambault is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Swansea University. His main area of research is visual analytics, in particular for networks, and human-centred perspectives of visualisation. In this talk, he will present some projects on network and document clustering and visualisation. 


Prof Xianghua Xie
Visual Learning and Graph Deep Learning” 

Xianghua Xie is a Professor in the Visual Computing Group at the Department of Computer Science, Swansea University. He was a recipient of an RCUK Academic Fellowship (tenure-track research-focused lectureship) between September 2007 and March 2012. He was appointed as a Senior Lecturer from October 2012, then an Associate Professor in April 2013, and a full Professor from March 2019. Prior to his position at Swansea, he was a Research Associate in the Computer Vision Group, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, where he completed both his PhD (2006) and MSc (2002) degrees.

Professor Xie has strong research interests in the areas of Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence and their applications to real-world problems. He has been an investigator on several research projects funded by external bodies, such as EPSRC, Leverhulme, NISCHR, and WORD. 

Among his research works, those of significant importance include detecting abnormal patterns in complex visual and medical data, assisted diagnosis using automated image analysis, fully automated volumetric image segmentation, registration, and motion analysis, machine understanding of human action, efficient deep learning, and deep learning on irregular domains. 

By 2020, he has published over 150 fully refereed research publications and (co-)edited several conference proceedings. He is an associate editor of IET Computer Vision and an editorial member of a number of other international journals and has chaired and co-chaired several international conferences, e.g. BMVC2015 and BMVC2019. More information is here

Friday, 20 November 2020

Thought Leadership event, NG-CDI series: Dr Ajith Parlikad on “Intelligent Asset Management for Service Assurance & Infrastructure Management"

3rd in a series on "NG-CDI: Next Generation Converged Digital Infrastructure" 

Video replays of the first two events: NG-CDI Archive

Thought Leadership events overview


Date: 8th December 2020, 13:00 - 14:00
Registration is closed now

Speaker
: Dr Ajith Parlikad. Reader in Asset Management, University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacture.

Introduced by: Arjun Parekh. Self-Learning Networks, BT Applied Research.

Title: “Intelligent Asset Management for Service Assurance & Infrastructure Management”

“Adding intelligence to network assets offers the possibility that the infrastructure can trigger appropriate maintenance processes. Prognostic maintenance scheduling concentrates engineering effort on reducing the risk to customer service and costs. Assets can learn from their own experiences, or from swarms of similar assets to anticipate their remaining useful life and co-operatively decide the best means to maintain service, reconfiguring themselves or calling for human help. Risk models embrace the likely propagation of problems across the regions of the network and between other networks such as the power network. The prospect is offered of determining the best action at the time, based on the dynamics of the existing traffic pattern.”

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

BT-Pembroke Lecture: Dr Richard Caddis, BT on "Black swan or new normal? The changing face of managing during COVID-19"

Speaker: Dr Richard Caddis, Director of Health, Safety & Wellbeing, and Chief Medical Officer at BT
Date: Monday 16th November 2020, 6pm - 7pm. 
Registration: Open

The annual BT-Pembroke Lecture, which will be held via Zoom on Monday 16th November from 6pm to 7pm. The lecture will be given by Dr Richard Caddis, Director of Health, Safety & Wellbeing, and Chief Medical Officer at BT. Richard will present ‘Black swan or new normal? The changing face of managing during COVID-19’. 

BT has been a member of the Pembroke College Corporate Partnership Programme since 2003. This longstanding and mutually beneficial partnership is celebrated annually at the BT-Pembroke Lecture.

This year’s lecture focusses on the COVID-19 pandemic and the huge implications for us all. How should companies respond to a pandemic and what does that response mean for their employees? Dr Richard Caddis will explain the role of a chief medical officer in a large corporation and how BT has responded to the pandemic. He’ll delve into the role of companies in ensuring their employees’ health, safety & wellbeing, and will explore what this and past pandemics can tell us about pandemics in the future.

Please register to attend attend here and joining instructions will be sent nearer to the time. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Pembroke College at Corporate@pem.cam.ac.uk

Friday, 6 November 2020

Frank Carver: Speaker at the TFNetwork Lightning Talk competition

Let's Get Physical - Autumn 2020 Virtual Conference
PGR SPOTLIGHT DAY

Held on 12th - 16th October 2020: Five days of Physics goodness on

- Optics
- Wireless
PGR Spotlight day
Quantum 
Data Science & AI

Find out more.

Frank Carver has over a quarter of a century of experience in the software industry as an employee, consultant and entrepreneur, and is also a qualified teacher and trainer with experience teaching at college and university level. Recently, Frank has become increasingly concerned with the huge environmental impact of computer technology, combined with a general disregard for such issues in business and academia, and has taken a few years off work to research for a PhD in the area. Frank lives in Ipswich with his family and currently survives by coaching students on how to thrive in the complex and unfamiliar world of today’s university. 
Poster presentation

What do Software Developers Know About Sustainability?

Exact values vary, but some 2019 sources estimate that the internet and its associated technology consumes as much as 10% of the world’s electricity and has an environmental impact equivalent to the aviation industry. While the use of aviation has drastically reduced because of the COVID19 pandemic, use of the internet has greatly increased, so the current usage is probably considerably higher. The aim of this ongoing PhD research is to educate and inform developers to make smarter choices about the impact of their work, but in order to do that it is important to understand how software developers learn their skills and attitudes in the first place. That means examining how, and what, they are taught.
 

Hannah Steventon: Speaker at the TFNetwork Lightning Talk competition

Let's Get Physical - Autumn 2020 Virtual Conference
PGR SPOTLIGHT DAY

Held on 12th - 16th October 2020: Five days of Physics goodness on 

Optics
Wireless
PGR Spotlight day
Quantum 
Data Science & AI

Find out more.

Dr Hannah Steventon is a Research Associate at the University of Suffolk, working on the DfT-funded Smarter Suffolk project with Suffolk County Council, BT and other partners. Smarter Suffolk is building a county-wide Live Lab of thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, measuring environmental and traffic conditions across the county to showcase competing innovative technologies. Big Data sets will be accumulated in a vendor-neutral data exchange for analytics applied to a range of Local Authority services. Existing and new communications networks are enabling the IoT deployment, in part using the existing powered lighting column infrastructure.

Initially a hydrogeologist, in her early career Hannah led regeneration projects for large civil engineering firms to assess and remediate contaminated land. Her professional experience includes sophisticated software analysis and modelling of large data sets, site project management of civils contractors, and laboratory chemical analysis. Her doctoral research showed how natural organic matter affects the movement of contaminants through the ground, and she taught Hydrogeology and Pollution at Birkbeck, University of London.

In recent years, as a computing educator and STEM Ambassador, Hannah taught hundreds of children coding, electronics and control systems, using the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Crumble and Micro:Bit. Projects have included running children’s code on the International Space Station; developing an IoT device to win a major national competition; robots in school corridors; and a large class of 10 year olds soldering self-built games consoles.

Hannah holds a MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, and an MSc and PhD in Hydrogeology from University College London. She is a Chartered Geologist and Fellow of the Geological Society, and a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator.

Interesting fact

When Hannah used to teach computing to ten year olds, the children wrote Python programmes to run on a Raspberry Pi to measure temperature and warn when it was too hot or cold. The children’s code was sent to run in space measuring temperature on the International Space Station and displaying the outcome to the astronauts. 
LinkedIn
Poster presentation

Smarter Suffolk: Sensors and data for public services
Download slides (.pdf)





Daniel O'Connor, UCL: Speaker at the TFNetwork Lightning Talk competition

Let's Get Physical - Autumn 2020 Virtual Conference
PGR SPOTLIGHT DAY

Held on 12th - 16th October 2020: Five days of Physics goodness on 

Optics
Wireless
PGR Spotlight day
Quantum 
Data Science & AI

Find out more.

Daniel O'Connor is a University College London (UCL) PhD student sponsored by BT, researching quantum annealing and its potential for practical implementation. 

He enjoys a good cup of coffee, and a game of football.
LinkedIn

Quantum annealing for network optimisation
Download slides (.pdf)