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Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science

20 May 2019

Welcome to our new cohort!

The CDT is now in its second academic year of operation. A very warm welcome to our new cohort comprising 10 students that started in the CDT week commencing 24 September. This term, they have completed the 2-day workshop in Software Carpentry and, on 28th September, joined the Management Team and the 2nd year cohort for some lunch and supervisor presentations on projects that are available. These ranged from DES/DECam follow-ups of Gravitational Wave events to Modelling the multi-phase interstellar medium of galaxies. Students have confirmed their projects. Students attended the 3-day CDT Conference, held in Edinburgh from the 19th-21st November.

Summer School, July 2018 (extract from article by Ben Henghes, 2nd year cohort)

This July, University College London hosted the first ever STFC summer school in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. 120 PhD students from universities across the country were brought together to spend a week and a half learning about the forefront of AI technology. With lectures from several industry leaders; including Intel, NVidea, ASI, and Dell, the summer school aimed to give a solid grounding in the basics of machine learning before providing a glimpse into some of the latest technologies now being applied.

One of the best things about assembling people from such a wide range of disciplines, with a common interest in machine learning and AI, was the incredible diversity of the work presented. Over the course of three poster sessions, we had the opportunity to discover what was being researched; from classifying solar winds and galaxies to using neural networks for novel detection methods in the LHC. And for one evening, this was combined with a chance to meet and talk with professionals from various CDT industry partners with companies like ASOS, TFL, and NCC.

Social activities during the school were also very popular. On one of the evenings, everyone come together for a quiz night, with each team setting a round of obscure questions to the rest, and the school ended in spectacular fashion, making the best of the record-breaking summer weather in a Thames river cruise (with a BBQ)!

Here is a short (2-3 min) video about the STFC UCL summer school 2018. We are uploading videos of our Guest lectures and will Tweet when these are available!

A Testimonial of the CDT

Since the DIS CDT at UCL was set up, the interactions between members of High Energy Physics and the Centre has provided students like myself with an opportunity to expand our knowledge-base beyond the scope of our PhD work and make useful contacts. The most profound of these was the STFC Summer School in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning which I attended this summer, hosted at UCL. There, industry leaders from the likes of ASI, Intel, NVidia and Dell delivered workshops outlining the basic and current development into Machine Learning techniques and how to practically apply them. As well as this, I met like-minded students with whom I exchanged practical knowledge and advice. Furthermore, events hosted by the DIS CDT throughout the year have allowed me to keep abreast of recent developments and speak with professional practitioners about their work.

All of the above has been invaluable to me while applying for my most recent research placement as RA in Data Science and Machine Learning at the Global Environmental Group at Imperial. It would have been very difficult to demonstrate my familiarity with Machine Learning without the Summer School and many of the techniques we looked at during lectures were exactly what I used when completing the Data Analysis task that was required for my interview. Prior to my interview, I also met to discuss some of the nuances of the techniques I had used with members of the DIS CDT, who were only happy to share their expertise. Furthermore, I believe my interactions with the DIS CDT and its members allowed me to demonstrate my familiarity and passion for Data Science during the interview, after which I was successful in obtaining the position.

In summary, although I have not been a member of the CDT, the resources, network and presence of the DIS CDT has been pivotal in allowing me to develop as a Data Scientist in the early stages of my career.

Ricky Nathwani, from UCL HEP group, finishing PhD in March 2019.

Recruitment for 2019 CDT Cohort

The advertisement for the 2019-2020 cohort intake is now live on FindaPhD.com at https://www.findaphd.com/search/PhDDetails.aspx?CAID=4086. circulate the link to anyone that you think might be interested in applying!

Introducing Mike Witcombe: New CDT Co-Manager

Mike Witcombe (m.witcombe@ucl.ac.uk) has joined the Management Team of the CDT, and will be co-managing the CDT with Jaini Shah. Mike is based in room E25B in the COMPLeX section of the Physics building, next to the First Year office. Mike joins UCL from Queen Mary University, where he supported the Mathematics PhD programme.

Dates for your diaries

  • 11 December: upgrade presentations by the 2nd year cohort. 9am to 3.30pm in E3/E7
  • 12 December: industry partner placement pitches. 1pm to 4pm G22 Pearson building, followed by a drinks & networking reception.

Follow us on Twitter! @ucl_cdt_dis

We encourage all supervisors and colleagues to follow our Twitter page and support our activities. If you have any news about your research, photos of events, or information to share, please email Mike Witcombe (m.witcombe@ucl.ac.uk) or Jaini Shah (jaini.a.shah@ucl.ac.uk).

Many Thanks,
CDT Management