news

 Keeping up to date with the latest events, activities and collaborations happening at the Data Science Institute 

 

Happenings

February 13 2017: DSI Distinguished Speaker- Beyond Big Data, Professor Paul Cohen

Image result for Professor Paul Cohen DSI Distinguished Speaker- Beyond Big Data 

 

As part of the Data Science Institute Distinguished Speaker Series, Professor Paul Cohen from the University of Arizona gave a talk on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Big Mechanism program. During his talk, he discussed how the program planned to develop technology to help humans build causal, mechanistic models. He made a point to explain why cancer biology is a good challenge problem and how developments in big data allow this to happen.

 

February 28, 2017: The GDO featured in a documentary shown on BBC

Can an evolutionary biologist create a top ten hit with computers? The Secret Science of Pop coming soon on BBC FourImage result for science of pop bbc

Evolutionary biologist and Head of our Social and Cultural Analytics lab, Professor Armand Leroi, believes data science can transform the pop world. Asking the question, "Can algorithms find the secret to pop success?", Armand and hit producer Trevor Horn try to take a song and turn it into a potential chart topper. Check out "The Secret Science of Pop", filmed inside the GDO, which is available to watch on the BBC4 website.

February 2 2017: Presenting Dr. Vahid Elyasigomari

Image result for Vahid ElyasigomariOne of our research associates, now Dr. Vahid Elyasigomari, successfully completed his PhD in January. His research presented an investigation into gene expression profiling using microarray and next generation sequencing (NGS) datasets, in relation to multi-category diseases such as cancer.  As a result, new methods were proposed to enhance the gene selection and the accuracy of cancer classification using optimisation based approaches. Furthermore, a new pipeline was proposed for the analysis of RNA-Seq data that includes pre-processing steps, and downstream analysis such as differential gene expression analysis and differential exon usage. Congratulations to him and to future success!

February 1 2017: David Hand's Schrodinger Lecture- Data, Data Everywhere But Let’s Just Stop and Think

Image result for david handDavid Hand's Schrodinger Lecture- Data, Data Everywhere But Let’s Just Stop and Think

Big data and open data hold tremendous promise. But the hype often ignores the difficulties and risks associated with this promise. Beginning with the observation that people want answers to questions, not simply data, statistician Professor David Hand explores some of the difficulties and risks which lie along the path to finding those answers, and examines how they may be overcome.
Watch the event video on YouTube

January 31 2017: Dr. Miguel Molina-Solana awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship

Image result for dr miguel molina solanaDr. Miguel Molina-Solana, a DSI Research Associate, has been awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship. These fellowships support the mobility of experienced researchers through European Fellowships and Global Fellowships. Dr. Miguel Molina-Solana's  research project proposes a novel and complementary approach to data interpretation by means of sound, and aims to address the scientific question of “Can sound be used for Data Science?”. Its results will be of relevance to identify patterns in real-time continuous data, and it will be tested in the context of real-time energy monitoring in a building.

January 2017: Presenting a new lecturer at the DSI: Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye

Yves-Alexandre de MontjoyeSince the opening of the Data Science Institute, we have had one professor in our midst supervising PHD candidates and heading the DSI, Professor Yike Guo. As we continue to grow as a research institute, we have warmly welcomed Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye as a new assistant professor to the DSI. In addition to being an assistant professor here at Imperial College, he is a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab, and a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard IQSS. Over a period of 6 years, he obtained an M.Sc. from Louvain in Applied Mathematics, a M.Sc. (Centralien) from Ecole Centrale Paris, a M.Sc. from KULeuven in Mathematical Engineering as well as his B.Sc. in engineering at Louvain. His research aims at understanding how the unicity of human behavior impacts the privacy of individuals--through re-identification or inference--in large-scale metadata datasets such as mobile phone, credit cards, or browsing data. Yves-Alexandre was recently named an Innovator under 35 for Belgium (TR35). [To read more about his prior history and work, click here]. He recently wrote a white paper for Brookings on the use and privacy metadata as well as op-eds for the World Economic Forum, Christian Science Monitor, and Le Monde. Taking a permanent place at the DSI in January 2017, he will be heading his own research group alongside the group already present under Professor Guo. This will further influence the research we are able to conduct and the expansion of collaborations and partnerships. We are honored to have such a strong minded, intelligent and innovative mind to welcome our team. 

December 14, 2016: Behaviour Analytics Lab Launch

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December 14, 2016- The Behaviour Analytics Lab launched this week at the Data Science Institute. Lab directors Yike Guo and Aldo Faisal introduced the new lab to facilitate cross campus research collaborations in order to understand behaviour in a computational, or objective, way. Faisal opened the launch with a talk on how learning and understanding behaviour more will be beneficial to many areas, such as healthcare and business. Understanding human behaviour could lead to behavioural biomarkers, used for predicting how well two groups or two people will work together in a work environment or for rehabilitation purposes. He discussed two flagship projects to be worked on through the lab, as well as a seminar series which will start in the spring. One of the projects involved multi-Kinect tracking along the DSI walkway; the other called Life Centurion which involves giving 100 smart phones and 100 smart watches to 100 people for 100 days and tracking their movements. He stressed the transition from big data to big knowledge.

The launch also welcomed four distinguished speakers: Mauricio Barahona, Paul Matthews, André Brown and Adam Hampshire. Each presented on how behaviour analytics could be beneficial to their field of study. Mauricio Barahona, from the Department of Mathematics, discussed graph theory for Twitter networks, flows, roles and directionality. Directionality of networks matters, especially in concern with social media. As social media is based around human behaviour, there is a lot of data able to be analysed. Paul Matthews, from the Department of Medicine, addressed behavioural and data science for precision medicine. With hopes to be able to anticipate asthma flares, calculating depression through how we move, and learning more about the interaction between how the patient feels how their body reacts, Matthews further showed the place behaviour analytics will have in medicine. André Brown from the Institute of Clinical Sciences presented his study on understanding animals/humans in natural environments, through his research on worms. As the wiring of their brains is known and they are easy to raise in labs, worms were given different compounds and tracked through images. Brown found that with a single gene change, the worms began clumping together. Although worms are small in scale to humans, it gives reason and stimulus for further research on behaviour. The last speaker was Adam Hampshire from the Computational, Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory. He presented several studies regarding internet based cognitive testing and training. Using the internet, large scale populations can be tested and tracked, costing much less than other methods. In the few studies presented, the internet is shown as a key method to analysing behaviour in such ways as pharmaceutical trials and training cognition after traumatic brain injury.

The launch was a great success and all feedback has been positive. Now, with the help of the Behaviour Analytics lab at the Data Science Institute, we have a forum for individuals and groups across campus to work on our issues concerning behaviour analytics together. 

December 12, 2016: OPAL (Open Algorithms) receives funding from the Agence Francaise de Development

opal

Earlier today, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) announced that it was going to support the development of the OPAL (OPen ALgorithms) project. A partnership between Imperial's Data Science Institute, the MIT Media Lab, Orange, and the World Economic Forum, OPAL aims to develop software and open algorithms to safely use mobile phone data for public good in developing countries. The announcement was made at the Open Government Partnership Summit in Paris by AFD's Deputy CEO Jérémie Pellet and is part of the "Paris Declaration on Open Government" which will be submitted for signature to the 70 participating countries. (Open Governement Partnership).

OPAL aims to allow mobile phone data to be used to strengthen the accuracy, timeliness, and reliability of key development indicators
and statistical information in developing countries. The development of the OPAL platform will be led by Data Science Institute's Dr.Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye. This secured data processing infrastructure and set of specialized open algorithms will allow national statistical offices to extract statistical informationfrom mobile phone data while truly preserving people's privacy. Algorithms will produce statistics related to population density, mobility, or approximations of literacy rate will based on mobile data from telecom operators. These will be run on the platform behind the
operators firewalls and be accessible through auditable APIs. The platform will be piloted in 2018 in Senegal with Sonatel and inColombia with Telefónica, unleashing the power of big data held by private companies for the public good in a privacy-conscientious manner.

November 23,2016: EPSRC Centre for Mathematics of Precision Healthcare Launch

esprc

The EPSRC Centre for Mathematics of Precision Healthcare at Imperial will be launching next week, the 23rd November at 5:30 pm [Imperial College, Huxley 311]. This centre will act as a focal point by linking up mathematical, computational and medical capabilities at Imperial around the theme of multi-scale networks for data-rich precision healthcare. The schedule of the launch is as follows:

                                Introduction: Professor James Stirling, Provost, Imperial College
                                Precision Healthcare and Public Health Policy: Professor Beth Noveck
                                Mathematical Data Science for Precision Medicine: Professor Paul Matthews
                                Introduction to CMPH: Professor Mauricio Barahona

November 19th, 2016: Lecture by Professor Nick Jennings: On Human-Agent Collectives

November 19th, 2016

This week we were lucky to have Imperial Vice-Provost Nick Jennings hold a lecture on Human-Agent Collectives. Data and computation is changing the way we work with computers- humans and software agents working together to fulfill their individual and collective goals. These human-agent collectives (HACs) have the potential to help meet societal challenges of "sustainability, inclusion and safety". During his talk he explored the science needed to understand, build and apply these collectives with real-world applications, such as the smart grid, disaster response and citizen science.  There are four key aspects in creating this Human-Agent Collective: flexible autonomy, agile teaming, incentive engineering and accountable information infrastructure. He urged at the importance of bringing digital and physicals worlds into one place. Check out more about the lecture here.

 

September 28, 2016: Friends of Imperial: Behind the Scenes at the Data Science Institute

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As a Friends of Imperial event, the Data Science Institute gave a behind-the-scenes look into the Data Observatory on September 28. The head of the DSI, Professor Yike Guo, gave a great presentation on the immense data processing capacity of the GDO and the importance of big data and visualization to research. 

September 27, 2016: Why data is the new coal (via The Guardian)

deepCheck out the Data Science Institute featured in The Guardian news article about the importance of big data and deep learning.

Click here to read the article.

September 19, 2016: NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre receives the BRC award

The NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is a partnership between Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London. The BRC is structured into 8 Research Themes and 4 Cross-Cutting Themes, reflecting the breadth and quality of research undertaken on the five Imperial sites. The BRC undertakes translational, experimental medicine research – taking discoveries from basic laboratory science and facilitating their translation quickly and efficiently into clinical settings, delivering improved health outcomes for our patients. NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre received the BRC award, along with the help of the GDO in the video. Check it out more about the 90 million pound award for biomedical research granted to them and more here

If you want to see the other BRC awardees across the country, they’ve been announced on the DoH website:

 

September 15, 2016: EU science head commissioner meets Imperial researchers

DSI

 

 

President Gast and European Commissioner Carlos Moedas visited the Imperial Campus earlier this week. They stopped by the DSI to see the research underway at the institute. Read about the visit here.

(Prof. Yike Guo pictured left inside the GDO)

September 12, 2016: Inside the Brain of a Gambling Addict on the BBC

gambling

BBC Panorama film an experiment designed to reveal how the brain of a person addicted to gambling differs from that of others, featuring the Data Observatory here at the DSI. 

Click here to watch from the BBC website.

August 31, 2016: Data Scientists Uncovered: Episode 2

Read our new blog here. Part of the interview is below.

Before departing the DSI for the data-driven community of Silicon Valley in California, Dr. Lei Nie sat down to discuss his research interests and his paper concerning brain networks. He will be missed here at DSI and much luck in the future! Click here for more on Lei Nie

l.nie13

- What was your research focus before writing this paper?

Before this area of research, I was mostly focused on biological network inference. Inferring protein networks then directed my focus to brain networks. A network, in a simple way, is defined as several nodes and connections between the nodes. For most networks, nodes are well defined. For example, in a protein network, a node is defined as a specific protein; the connections are the interactions between the proteins. When my research began to focus on the brain networks, I found that the brain networks are different.  The definitions of nodes are unclear in brain networks. For example, a node could be a neuro or a piece of tissues or a brain region. They vary in size and other properties. I wanted to find a proper way to define the nodes of brain networks.

- What are your main interests in research/ What areas are you primarily interested in

In most previous work, the nodes of a brain network are defined using brain parcellations. A brain parcellation is to divide a brain into several regions focusing on specific functions. A node abstracts a brain region and a connection models the relationship between two brain regions.

In most previous studies for brain networks, brain parcellations are fixed across all subjects. Every subject is assumed to have identical parcellations.  Recent studies show this is not true, parcellations vary across subjects. If you assume all are exactly the same, it will introduce extra noises when analyzing the brain networks. I wanted to design a method to infer the individual variations of the brain parcellations.

{...} Read more here.

August 31, 2016: "Our Lives in Data" at Science Museum Lates

Visually Exploring Bitcoin, Information Age

Check out the events page here.

At the Science Museum Lates event, which took place at the Science Museum, our team at the DSI presented Visually Exploring Bitcoin, Information Age. Through engaging visualisations our team from the Data Science Institute at Imperial College will helped visitors identify and understand unusual transaction patterns in the Bitcoin network. To find out more about our Bitcoin study,  click here.   Here are some photos from the event: 

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August 8, 2016: Professor Roger King visits from Mississippi State University

Roger KingA visiting professor from Mississippi State University, Roger King, was welcomed to the Data Science Institute earlier this week.  Dr. Roger Lee King is the Executive Director of the Institute for Computational Research in Engineering and Science (ICRES) and a Giles Distinguished professor. While visiting, he was introduced to how the institute works, as well as was given a presentation inside of the Global Data Observatory. 

To read more about Roger King, click here,

August 5th 2016: Big data research is 'unlocking the Chinese economy'

yike

 

Our very own,Professor Yike Guo, explains how the shift in China towards digital payment tools is providing insights into customer behaviour in the country. To read further about Big Data's role in the Chinese economy and how the DSI is helping, please read here.

July 27, 2016: 25 hospitals CEOs from China Ministry of Health Visit the DSI

china

Earlier this week, Imperial College welcomed the top 25 hospitals CEOs from China Ministry of Health Visit to discuss advanced hospital quality management in the big data era. This collaboration of the medical/health sector with big data comes with the intentions of enhancing and improving hospital quality management through the massive amount of data gathered within these sectors. During their visit to the Data Science Institute, they were presented with examples from research projects in data science applied to the medical and healthcare sectors that are already underway at the DSI. 



July 11, 2016: NEW DSI Blog and new Video Blog

Please take a look at our new blog featuring our new series on the publications our researchers are working on/have worked on. To view this blog please click here.

The series is called Data Scientists Uncovered. Our first video introduces Axel Oehmichen and can be viewed on our Youtube channel as well as the blog.

July 1, 2016: Central Bank Governors- Data Science and Central Banks as Data Users

central bank

 

Earlier this month, Central Bank Governors from all over the world gathered for the 5th Central Bank Governors' Think Tanking. With a focus on Smart Partnership Adaptive Flexibility Approaches in the Digital Age, Governors addressed financial inclusion issues, as well as some of the technological and digital disruptions likely to bring both opportunities and challenges for developed and developing countries alike. Welcomed into the Data Science Institute, Professor David Hand and Mr Dominic McDonagh gave special insights into data science and central banks as data users, presented in the GDO. 

To read more about the Think Tanking event, please click here.

June 28, 2016: Sir Michael Uren Visits the Data Science Institute

michael Uren

Sir Michael Uren, who's made his mark at Imperial with his donation and opening of the Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Hub, stopped by the Data Observatory during his trip to Imperial College. The centre houses life-changing research into new and affordable medical technology, helping people affected by a diverse range of medical conditions. 

To check out his presence at Imperial College, click here.