Distinguished Lecture series 2024

This years Distinguished Lecture series was delivered yesterday ( Tuesday 12th March) by Professor Neil Lawrence, University of Cambridge

In his talk on, ‘The Atomic Human Understanding Ourselves in the Age of AI’ he gave an overview of where we are now with machine learning solutions, and what challenges we face both in the near and far future. These include the practical application of existing algorithms in the face of the need to explain decision-making, mechanisms for improving the quality and availability of data and dealing with large unstructured datasets.

MIP Modelling Made Manageable

Can a user write a good MIP model without understanding linearization? Modelling languages such as AMPL and AIMMS are being extended to support more features, with the goal of making MIP modelling easier. A big step is the incorporation of predicates, such a “cycle” which encapsulate MIP sub-models. This talk explores the impact of such predicates in the MiniZinc modelling language when it is used as a MIP front-end. It reports on the performance of the resulting models, and the features of MiniZinc that make this possible.

Professor Mark Wallace is Professor of Data Science & AI at Monash University, Australia. We gratefully acknowledge support from a SICSA Distinguished Visiting Fellowship which helped finance his visit.

Professor Wallace graduated from Oxford University in Mathematics and Philosophy. He worked for the UK computer company ICL for 21 years while completing a Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence at the University of London and a PhD sponsored by ICL at Southampton University. For his PhD, Professor Wallace designed a natural language processing system which ICL turned into a product. He moved to Imperial College in 2002, taking a Chair at Monash University in 2004.

His research interests span different techniques and algorithms for optimisation and their integration and application to solving complex resource planning and scheduling problems. He was a co-founder of the hybrid algorithms research area and is a leader in the research areas of Constraint Programming (CP) and hybrid techniques (CPAIOR). The outcomes of his research in these areas include practical applications in transport optimisation.

He is passionate about modelling and optimisation and the benefits they bring.  His focus both in industry and University has been on application-driven research and development, where industry funding is essential both to ensure research impact and to support sufficient research effort to build software systems that are robust enough for application developers to use.

He led the team that developed the ECLiPSe constraint programming platform, which was bought by Cisco Systems in 2004. Moving to Australia, he worked on a novel hybrid optimisation software platform called G12, and founded the company Opturion to commercialise it.  He also established the Monash-CTI Centre for optimisation in travel, transport and logistics.   He has developed solutions for major companies such as BA, RAC, CFA, and Qantas.  He is currently involved in the Alertness CRC, plant design for Woodside planning, optimisation for Melbourne Water, and work allocation for the Alfred hospital.

Event details

  • When: 19th June 2019 11:00 - 12:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: AI Seminar Series
  • Format: Lecture, Seminar

St Andrews Bioinformatics Workshop 10/06/19

Next Monday is the annual St Andrews Bioinformatics workshop in Seminar Room 1, School of Medicine. Some of the presentations are very relevant to Computer Science, and all should be interesting. More information below:


14:00  – 14:15: Valeria MontanoThe PreNeolithic evolutionary history of human genetic resistance to Plasmodium falciparum

14:15 – 14:30: Chloe Hequet: Estimation of Polygenic Risk with Machine Learning

14:30 – 14:45: Roopam Gupta: Label-free optical hemogram of granulocytes enhanced by artificial neural networks

15:00 – 15:15: Damilola Oresegun: Nanopore: Research; then, now and the future

15:15 – 15:30: Xiao Zhang: Functional and population genomics of extremely rapid evolution in Hawaiian crickets

15:30 – 16:00: Networking with refreshments

16:00 – 17:00: Chris Ponting: The power of One: Single variants, single factors, single cells

You can register your interest in attending here.

Event details

  • When: 10th June 2019 14:00 - 17:00
  • Format: Lecture, Talk, Workshop

Inaugural Lecture: ‘Constraint Satisfaction and the Crystal Maze’ by Professor Ian Miguel

The School of Computer Science is delighted to announce the Inaugural Lecture of Professor Ian Miguel.


Title: ‘Constraint Satisfaction and the Crystal Maze’

Abstract: In numerous contexts today we are faced with making decisions of increasing size and complexity, where many different considerations interlock in complex ways. Consider, for example, a staff rostering problem to assign staff to shifts while respecting required shift patterns and staffing levels, physical and staff resources, and staff working preferences. The decision-making process is often further complicated by the need also to optimise an objective, such as to maximise profit or to minimise waste. In this talk I will introduce the field of Constraint Programming, which offers a means of solving such problems automatically. Using an illustrative example from the annals of the Crystal Maze, a popular TV game show from the 1990s, I will explore the process of modelling and solving problems with constraints and discuss some of the most significant challenges in the field.

The lecture will be held at School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle

and there will be a reception afterwards, in Lower College Hall.


Event details

  • When: 23rd September 2015 17:15 - 18:30
  • Where: St Andrews
  • Format: Lecture

Distinguished lecture 2014

The first of this academic year’s distinguished lectures will be given by Prof Luca Cardelli of Microsoft Research and the University of Oxford, 0930–1600 on Tuesday 25 November in Lower College Hall.

Continue reading

Event details

  • When: 25th November 2014 09:15 - 16:00
  • Where: Lower College Hall
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series
  • Format: Distinguished lecture, Lecture

Confessions of a start-up founder

Prof Simon Dobson will be giving a lecture for CS3053 about his experience as founder and CEO of a start-up company spun-out of a university. This will focus on the business aspects — getting the company started, running it, growing, funding it, and eventually winding it down — rather than on the technology, and try to extract some lessons from what went right (and wrong).

Event details

  • When: 11th February 2013 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Maths Theatre C
  • Format: Lecture

Professor Aaron Quigley Inaugural lecture

Professor Aaron Quigley will be giving his Inaugural Lecture in School III on Wednesday 31st October at 5:15 p.m.

Billions of people are using interconnected computers and have come to rely on the computational power they afford us, to support their lives, or advance our global economy and society. However, how we interact with this computation is often limited to little “windows of interaction” with mobile and desktop devices which aren’t fully suited to their contexts of use. Consider the surgeon operating, the child learning to write or the pedestrian navigating a city and ask are the current devices and forms of human computer interaction as fluent as they might be? I contend there is a division between the physical world in which we live our lives and the digital space where the power of computation currently resides. Many day to day tasks or even forms of work are poorly supported by access to appropriate digital information. In this talk I will provide an overview of research I’ve been pursuing to bridge this digital-physical divide and my future research plans. This talk will be framed around three interrelated topics. Ubiquitous Computing, Novel Interfaces and Visualisation. Ubiquitous Computing is a model of computing in which computation is everywhere and computer functions are integrated into everything. Everyday objects are sites for sensing, input, processing along with user output. Novel Interfaces, which draw the user interface closer to the physical world, both in terms of input to the system and output from the system. Finally, the use of computer-supported interactive visual representations of data to amplify cognition with visualisation. In this talk I will demonstrate that advances in human computer interaction require insights and research from across the sciences and humanities if we are to bridge this digital-physical divide.

Event details

  • When: 31st October 2012 17:15 - 18:15
  • Where: Various
  • Format: Lecture

Inaugural Lecture: The computer is the new microscope by Professor Simon Dobson

Professor Simon Dobson, School of Computer Science, will deliver his Inaugural Lecture “The computer is the new microscope” in the Lecture Theatre, Medical and Biological Sciences Building, on Wednesday 7 December 2011 at 5.15 p.m.  PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE.

The Princpal will take the Chair and the Dean of Science will give the vote of thanks.

The School will host a reception in the coffee area (near the foyer) of the Jack Cole Building.

Event details

  • When: 7th December 2011 17:15 - 18:15
  • Format: Lecture

From Recommendation to Reputation: Information Discovery Gets Personal

Speaker: Barry Smyth
Affiliation: University College Dublin
Biography: Prof. Barry Smyth holds the Digital Chair of Computer Science in University College Dublin.He is the Director of CLARITY

These lectures will focus on how personalization techniques and recommender systems are being used in response to the information overload problem that face web users everyday. Personalization research brings together ideas from artificial intelligence, user profiling, information retrieval and user-interface design to provide users with more proactive and intelligent information services that are capable of predicting the needs of individuals and adapting to their implicit preferences. We will review core ideas from recommender systems research, drawing on the many practical examples that have underpinned modern web success stories, from e-commerce to mobile applications. In addition we will explore how the next generation of web search is likely to be influenced by recommender systems techniques that can facilitate a more social and collaborative approach to web search, which complements the purely algorithmic focus of contemporary search engines.

Physics: Lecture Theatre B: 11.00-12.00noon
Purdie: Lecture Theatre A:14.0-17.00


Event details

  • When: 22nd June 2011
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series
  • Format: Lecture