Presenting at Sussex Uni Research Day

Last week I was kindly invited to speak at a Research Day for the Infomatics dept at Sussex Uni. by Inman Harvey and Anil Seth.  The plan was to talk about ‘life after my MSc [10 years back]’ and to figure out if and how we could get more students involved with tech companies in Brighton.

Of the 30 attendees it was lovely to spot 10 old faces including my evolutionary-hardware thesis supervisor Adrian and old-drinking-buddy Andy who is now involved with the MSc programme.

The first part of the morning was spent looking through a set of research proposals from members of the dept. who were presenting short, low-cost projects.  The projects were vying for funding from a limited pot, in part the exercise was to present the wide range of research to everyone in the room.  Projects included:

  • “Using Motion Capture to learn geometric transformations” (using Animazoo‘s motion-capture systems)
  • “Music Interfaces for Mobiles” (involving novel iPhone development…I wish we’d had tech like iPhones back during my MSc)
  • “Further experiments in perceptual crossing”
  • “Optimal Computation meets Compiler Optimisation”
  • “Towards an earlier diagnosis of infants with, or at risk of, cerebral palsy” (most voted for – a clear contender for using the funds to prime the pump for a larger project)
  • “Network formations: from neural development to epidemiology, through ant foraging”
  • “Prototype interface for pilot studies of visual attention research around ‘design for attention'”

Three of the talks received full funding, two part funding and one required further work.  The range of the topics was wide, I was particularly interested to see iPhones making an entry and the visual tracking system applied to cerebral palsy detection was darned cool.

Later I got to speak on my past and the local industry.  I explained how I’d worked in MASA, started Mor Consulting and co-founded ShowMeDo and FivePoundApp and was heavily involved with the local tech scene.  Outlining the range of high-tech companies was fun (from NCsoft through FuturePlatforms and Madgex and out to Ambiental).

During discussion there and later in the pub it is clear that there is interest in encouraging links between the dept. and local high-tech companies.  A possible way forward might be to encourage companies to propose MSc and 3rd year projects (talk to me if you’re curious).

I’ll also be posting research news about the dept. here (getting news out) and posting some of our events into the Alergic mail list (sending news in).  It was great seeing some ex-MScs at the last FivePoundApp, hopefully we’ll see more students out at our events in 2009.


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight and in his Mor Consulting, sign-up for Data Science tutorials in London. He also founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.