School of Science and Technology Seminar Schedule 2012-2013

Time: Wednesdays 3-5
Location: G230 (The Grove building).
A more broadly available version is here.


DateSpeakerTitleFurther Information
March 20Dr Ali C. Tasiran and Dr Zainab Kazim Ali A survival analysis of the onset peace in South-Asia The South-Asian countries of the world are predominantly those which have had the longest wars. There conflicts have also multiple repeated spells. In this paper we explore why wars in South-Asia are so prolonged and costing so many lives. What are the economic, demographic, political and military determinants of the wars there? Are there any regional specific factors playing a role in these outcomes? What are the chances of termination wars with different outcomes: victory, ceasefire or peace? To find out the answers to these questions, we employ a survival analysis for the wars in the region using data from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka for the period 1946-2011. After a descriptive analysis, we estimate semi-parametric Cox proportional hazard models and then fully parametric transition models. The analysis will shed light on the dynamics of the onset of peace in the region. In order to improve the estimates in the analysis, we also impute values for the missing observations using Expectation Maximization Algorithm with Bootstrapped Sample data sets.
March 27Andris Abakus (Birkbeck)The Synoptic Problem: binary time series and hidden Markov modelsAndris Abakuks is a Lecturer in Statistics at Birkbeck College. Over the last ten years his main research interest has been in the applications of probability and statistics to problems in theology and New Testament studies, principally statistical aspects of the synoptic problem, that is, the study of the various hypotheses concerning the relationships among the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Abstract: Assuming that Mark was the first of the synoptic gospels to be written, the use of Mark by Matthew and Luke is investigated by first constructing binary time series that represent the verbal agreements between Matthew and Mark and between Luke and Mark. An important issue is whether Matthew and Luke were independent in their use of Mark.

Hidden Markov models are fitted to the binary series, and then through the process of "decoding" the most likely sequence of underlying hidden states is found. This leads to the identification of passages that may be of particular interest for investigating any dependence between Matthew and Luke in their use of Mark.
April 3Easter Break
April 10Jing Xu (Birkbeck)Modelling covariance structure for incomplete multivariate longitudinal dataThis paper proposes methods for capturing more complicated covari- ance structures and an EM-algorithm to deal with missingness which can arise in the multivariate longitudinal data setting. An application to a set of bivariate visual data illustrates our methodology.
April 17 Gill WhitneyAccessibility Standardisation Process and PracticalityThe changing nature of ICT applications has had an irreversible effect on the field of digital inclusion, as the digital excluded are increasingly excluded from systems and products which can not be replicated in non-electronic means. Modern web 2.0 applications can make use of the large amounts of information available from broadband connections and the multi-media capabilities of the user device, examples range from massively multiplayer online games (mmog) to mobile use of geographic information systems to remote healthcare monitoring. For these systems to be accessible relevant information needs to be passed to the designer or specifier. This information can and should be in the form of internationally agreed standards. The lack of accessibility of many ICT products and services suggests that this information is not successfully reaching those who need it.
Recent research with the committee members of the British Standards Institute was carried out to identify whether standardisers have an unmet need for information on accessibility for older and disabled people. Information was collected from standardisers who are designing accessibility standards and those who are working in other areas to enable us to collect a realistic picture of the likely users of any future advice. This work was carried out as part of the work of the ISO JTAG TAG for the revision of ISO/IEC Guide 71.
The most interesting result of this work was the fact that 33.3% of the people said yes to the question “Do any of your standardisation activities involve the standardisation of products or services where the accessibility for older and disabled people needs to be considered?” whilst 76.7 had said yes to “Do any of your standardisation activities involve the standardisation of products or services which are designed to be used by people?”. Therefore suggesting that older and disabled people are not considered an obvious subset of the group people and that products and services designed for the general population do not need to be accessible.
April 24Dr Ian MitchellFaking ITEvery file we save relies on a file system; many file systems have the ability to retrieve, recover and delete. Deleting and recovering files in IT has developed in two areas: logical; and physical. The logical facilitates us to plausibly deny under interrogation the information stored, whilst physical developments, e.g. SSDs, make it particularly difficult to recover information. This seminar investigates some of the challenges for Computer Forensics in Seizure, Acquisition and Analysis stages and how to tell if our suspects are faking it, or IT is faking us.
May 1 G230Ioannis Doumanis and Dr Serengul Smith From Desktop to Mobile Applications of Embodied Conversational Agents A review of my research and potential pathways for R&D and collaborationThis talk will give an overview of my research in the applications of Embodied Conversational Agents in desktop and mobile enviroments. The talk will start with the overview of my existing project on the development of the trainer-adaptive simulation tool in collaboration with the University of Westminister. It will then continue with an overview of my background in the application of ECAs in mobile cultural heritage systems. In particular, it will give an overview of the significant findings they were generated and how the knowledge gained will aid the succesfull development of the Westminister project. Finally, it will highlight a number of potential pathways for the further development of the project (e.g., mobile learning, haptic input) and collaboration with any interested researchers.
May 8 G230Dr Tony Belpaeme (Plymouth)Robots learning concepts through interaction A relative new trend in machine learning is interactive learning. Rather than passively absorbing knowledge, a learning agent can shape its learning experience through interaction with its teacher. As such, the learning becomes a bidirectional exchange. Within a human-robot interaction context, active learning as a mechanism has also great potential, as an active learning robot may be able to more effectively influence a human teacher due to its abilities to tap into ‘natural’ communicative channels. In a series of experiments, both in simulation and using a robotic platform, we examine how a learner that actively tries to influence the learning session can become more effective. Results show how interactive learning leads to more effective and faster learning. In addition, social cues provided by the robot are picked up by the human teacher and have a positive impact on the robot learning performance. Finally, we observed gender differences, with female interactants being significantly more receptive to social cues displayed by the robot.
May 22 C111Cancelled due to illness
May 29 C111Prof Richard ComleyBrain Computer Interface – The Ultimate HCI?The goal of a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) is to enable the activity of a human brain to be used directly to control the actions of a computer, through thought alone. While there have been a number of significant advances in recent years, a useable BCI is still some way off. In this seminar, an overview of BCI technology and techniques will be presented together with details of work that is currently being undertaken here at the University.
June 5 C111 Doctoral Students
Ebrahim LarijaniVerification of Quantum Programs
June 12 C111Dr Simon Attfield and Lawrence Chapin Predictive Coding, Storytelling and God: Narrative Understanding in e-Discovery Abstract: Of all the challenges facing e-discovery practitioners, none is more daunting than searching for that needle-in-the-haystack in masses of electronically stored information, identifying the comparatively small set of documents relevant to the matter at hand, and from among those, finding the rarer documents that really matter. Practitioners are asked to do all this, and do it well - effectively and efficiently. ‘Predictive coding’ is an application of machine learning to this problem which has been attracting a lot of interest recently. By iteratively learning from human relevance decisions, predictive coding generalises human relevance decisions from a relatively small set of exemplars to a larger collection. These gains, however, depend as much on the theory of relevance developed by the human handler in-the-loop’, and the review team in general, as on that developed by the machine. In this talk we develop the case for the centrality of narrative for the human theory of relevance. After differentiating human and machine theories of relevance and discussing the way in which these symbiotically co-evolve during predictive coding iterations, we examine the human theory in more detail. We draw on sources from philosophy, psychology and practice to make the case for the centrality of story-telling in constructing and anchoring the human theory of relevance. We then use this to inform a series of guidelines for predictive coding based review around the notion of narrative.
Lawrence Chapin is an attorney in New York City engaged in managing complex projects in the banking and financial services fields for a global e-discovery provider. His prior e-discovery work involved mass tort litigation, pharmaceutical regulation and patent prosecution. His previous publications include writings on the role of narrative in electronic discovery. His return to the law in this field follows careers as labor law litigator, Wall Street executive in the international equity markets, and non-profit chief executive officer. He received a B.A. in History from Hartwick College, a J.D. from Hofstra University Law School, an LL.M. in Labor Law from New York University School of Law, and a M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary (Richmond).
Simon Attfield is a Senior Lecturer in the Interaction Design Centre at Middlesex University. His research lies in the area of understanding how people work with information, processes involved in individual and collaborative investigatory sensemaking, and implications for interactive systems design. He has conducted field-based user-studies in news, legal and healthcare settings, including a series of in-depth studies of large e-discovery investigations at a London-based, corporate law firm. With Ann Blandford he is co-author of the book Interacting with Information, part of the Morgan Claypool series of Synthesis Lectures on Human-Centered Informatics. He received a B.A. in Philosophy and a BSc. in Experimental Psychology from Sussex University, and a PhD in Human Computer Interaction from University College London.
June 19 C111Open
June 26 C111Dr Xiaohong GaoImage-guided Neurosurgery This talk will present the cutting edge technology of image-guided key-hole brain surgery, the brief history, the procedures that are involved, the challenges neuro-surgeons are facing, and the technical aspects of the research work that we are currently working on as part of on-going EC funded project WIDTH (Warehousing images in the digital hospital,
July 3 C111Dr Mahdi Aiash Moving towards Information-Centric Networking: Unveiling the challenges The vast majority of current Internet usage is data retrieval and information exchange; Internet users are mainly interested in getting data regardless of their locations. As a result, the focus has been shifted from the current Host-Centric to Information-Centric Networking (ICN). In this new model, information can be cached and accessed from anywhere within the network rather than from end hosts only; customers would simply show interest in accessing specific data contents without knowing the location of the data. However, customers will expect to get the data from the best available source. The ICN, in that sense, breaks the current server-client communication model, and pushes towards a distributed networking which places more attention on WHAT data are being exchanged rather than WHO are exchanging them. The presentation sheds light on the challenges resulted from moving towards ICN. It briefly describes the research, within our group, to address some of these challenges.
July 10 C111Dr Chang Lin (Fujian Medical University) The Application of imaging tools to clinical operationsThe application of imaging tools to clinical operations, including image-guided neuro-surgery based on MR, NET (nose, ear, and throat) operation based on CT, and the application of PETCT and fMRI on aging related diseases. The talk will deal with the application of image analysis to skull base diseases. It will include 1) imaging evaluation of the dura mater and choice of surgical management for huge JNA, and 2) Experience with 3D imaging in skull base lesions.
July 17 C111Prof Mehmet KaramanogluPast, present and what next? Let’s not worry about the future just yet.As one of the newcomers to the school, it would be a good idea to stop and take stock and to share what I have been doing at Middlesex for the past three decades. I’ll try and capture some of the areas I have been working on and share some of the areas that I am currently focusing on. Most of my work involved industry based research and development particularly in automation, which also included a significant level of knowledge transfer. This ranged from automating nuclear medicine dispensing for hospitals (BNFL) to implementing manufacturing principles to stock photography production (now Getty Images) and many other applications such as ensuring that residue pesticides in your cereal is at a safe level by the time it reaches your breakfast table (Rhone Poulenc).
Given my manufacturing and automation related interest and the significant expertise available in the School in software, machine learning and AI, it would be a timely opportunity to try to bring manufacturing research to the fore. This then brings me to the “what next?” question and perhaps the future.
The area that springs to mind is Cognitive Manufacturing. This is a new concept and is very much undefined plus there is much to be discovered. In research terms, this is a good place to be. I am already acutely aware that I’ll need many experts to make this a worthwhile attempt. If this is something that may interest you, come along and join the discussion.
July 24 C111Dr Matthew M. JonesFilling in Holes in SurfacesThis talk will be about 2-dimensional surfaces and how we measure distances between them effectively. I’ll go through the problems that occur when there are holes in the surfaces and explain how this can be circumvented (to some extent) by filling in these holes nicely. I’ll introduce some new concepts in the process, in particular the Nielsen extension, which I’ll show turns out to be exactly the right thing for the job.
July 31 C111Open
Aug. 7 Summer Break
Aug. 14 C111Summer Break
Aug. 21Summer Break
Aug. 28Summer Break

Past Seminars can be found from earlier in 2012-2013 and from 2011-2012.
This page was developed by Chris Huyck
This page last modified: