School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

IADS Colloquium - with Dr Ruth Ahnert & Dr William Marsh

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20 March 2019

Time: 3:00 - 4:00pm
Speaker: Dr Ruth Ahnert and Dr William Marsh
Venue: QMUL Mile End campus, Laws Building, room 112. Campus map:

We are honoured to have two speakers presenting at the 6th colloquium of the Institute of Applied Data Science. Although they are prominent in very different disciplines, they are connected through a strong affiliation with the Alan Turing Institute.

Firstly, we present Dr Ruth Ahnert, Senior Lecturer in Renaissance Studies, from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences with her talk - 'Living with Machines'.

Ruth Ahnert will be talking about a new AHRC-funded project, Living with Machines, which is based at the Alan Turing Institute. Living with Machines is both a research project, and a bold proposal for a new research paradigm. In this ground-breaking partnership between The Alan Turing Institute, the British Library, and the Universities of Cambridge, East Anglia, Exeter, and London (QMUL), historians, data scientists, geographers, computational linguists, and curators have been brought together to examine the human impact of industrial revolution. The project aims:
• to facilitate new historical findings about the effects of the mechanisation of labour on the lives of ordinary people during the long nineteenth century;
• to provide new ways of marshalling the UK’s growing number of digitised historical texts and documents;
• to develop innovative computational models, tools, code, and infrastructure that will be transferable to other research projects;
• to achieve this through radical collaboration, shaping a new domain of inquiry that challenges discipline-specific assumptions about how we ask and answer research questions, how we work, publish, and share our research outcomes.

Secondly, we welcome Dr William Marsh, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and Turing Fellow in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, who will talk about 'Clinical Decision Support: Principles, Experience and Research Challenges'.

William is Principal Investigator on another new project funded by the Alan Turing Institute: 'Knowledge Discovery from Health Use Data' (KNIFE). He will talk about his experience of developing decision-support tools and the background to the KNIFE project. Decision support tools are commonly developed from small datasets even though lots of medical data exists in electronic patient record systems. Thanks to the work of others (including at QM), it is becoming possible to assess this data but there are lots of practical challenges, which we will outline. Given data, you can use your favourite AI/ML technique to create/train a predictor and show that it is accurate in a cross validation. But doing this is only the start: you are still far from creating a usable decision-support tool. We review some of the lessons learnt in work at QMUL and online future directions.


All are welcome; there will be an opportunity to meet with the speakers and other members of the Institute and exchange ideas over tea and coffee after the talks.

Contact: Dr Emmanouil Benetos,