First PAI-Link Seminar: Maciek Glowacki, Mauro Camara Escudero (University of Bristol) and Ben Winter (Bangor University)

New opportunity: AstraZeneca to fund Compass PhD project

Novel semi-supervised Bayesian learning to rapidly screen new oligonucleotide drugs for impurities.

This is an exciting opportunity to join Compass’ 4-year programme with integrated training in the statistical and computational techniques of Data Science. You will be part of a dynamic cohort of PhD researchers hosted in the historic Fry Building, which has recently undergone a £35 million refurbishment as the new home for Bristol’s School of Mathematics.

This fully-funded 4 year studentship covers:

  • tuition fees at UK rate
  • tax-free stipend of up £19,609 per year for living expenses and
  • equipment and travel allowance to support research related activities.

This opportunity is open to UK, EU, and international students.  (more…)

Video: The Data Science behind COVID Modelling

We are excited to share Dr Daniel Lawson’s (Compass CDT Co-Director) latest video where he will tell you about the Data Science behind Bristol’s COVID Modelling.

Mathematics has had a hidden role in predicting how we can best fight COVID-19. How is mathematics used with data science and machine learning? Why is modelling epidemics such a hard problem? How can we do it better next time? What will data science be able to do in the future, and how do you become a part of it?

Skills for Interdisciplinary Research

To acknowledge the variety of sectors where data science research is relevant, in March 2021, the Compass students are undertaking a series of workshops led by the Bristol Doctoral College to explore Skills for Interdisciplinary Research.  Using the Vitae framework for researcher development, our colleague at BDC will introduce Compass students to the following topics:

Workshop 1: What is a doctorate? A brief history of doctorates in the UK, how they have changed in the past two decades, why CDTs?, what skills are needed now for a doctorate?

Workshop 2: Interdisciplinarity – the foundations. A practical case study on interdisciplinary postgraduate research at Bristol.

Workshop 3: Ways of knowing, part 1 – Positivism and ‘ologies! Deconstructing some of the terminology around knowledge and how we know what we know. Underpinning assumption – to know your own discipline, you need to step outside of it and see it as others do.

Workshop 4: Ways of knowing, part 2 – Social constructionism and qualitative approaches to research. In part 1 of ways of knowing, the ideal ‘science’ approach is objective and the researcher is detached from the subject of study; looking at other approaches where the role of research is integral to the research.

Workshop 5: Becoming a good researcher – research integrity and doctoral students. A look at how dilemmas in research can show us how research integrity is not just a case of right or wrong.

Workshop 6: Getting started with academic publishing. An introduction on the scholarly publishing pressure in contemporary research and it explores what that means in an interdisciplinary context.

Responsible Innovation in Data Science Research

This February our 2nd year Compass students will attend workshops in responsible innovation.

Run in partnership with the School of Management, the structured module constitutes Responsible Innovation training specifically for research in Data Science.

Taking the EPSRC AREA (Anticipate, Reflect, Engage, Act) framework for Responsible Innovation as it’s starting point, the module will take students through a guided process to develop the skills, knowledge and facilitated experience to incorporate the tenets of the AREA framework in to their PhD practice. Topics covered will include:
· Ethical and societal implications of data science and computational statistics
· Skills for anticipation
· Reflexivity for researchers
· Public perception of data science and engagement of publics
· Regulatory frameworks affecting data science

Lecture on Sequential Monte Carlo Samplers by Nicolas Chopin, ENSAE and Institut Polytechnique de Paris

Student perspectives: Three Days in the life of a Silicon Gorge Start-Up

A post by Mauro Camara Escudero, PhD student on the Compass programme.

Last December the first Compass cohort partook a 3-day entrepreneurship training with SpinUp Science. Keep reading and you might just find out if the Silicon Gorge life is for you!

The Ambitious Project of SpinUp Science

SpinUp Science’s goal is to help PhD students like us develop an entrepreneurial skill-set that will come in handy if we decide to either commercialize a product, launch a start-up, or choose a consulting career.

I can already hear some of you murmur “Sure, this might be helpful for someone doing a much more applied PhD but my work is theoretical. How is that ever going to help me?”. I get that, I used to believe the same. However, partly thanks to this training, I changed my mind and realized just how valuable these skills are independently of whether you decide to stay in Academia or find a job at an established company.

Anyways, I am getting ahead of myself. Let me first guide you through what the training looked like and then we will come back to this!

Day 1 – Meeting the Client

The day started with a presentation that, on paper, promised to be yet another one of those endless and boring talks that make you reach for the Stop Video button and take a nap. The vague title “Understanding the Opportunity” surely did not help either. Instead, we were thrown right into action! (more…)

Compass Seminars

The Compass Seminars will be starting next week with an exciting talk by Yuege Xie, a PhD student at UT Austin. You might wonder why we need another seminar series and how this will differ from the Data Science or Statistics Seminars. You can find out more below.

Short-Term Goals

To start off, the primary audience will be the two cohorts of PhD students in the Compass CDT, although anyone is welcome and, in fact, encouraged to attend. The aim is to take advantage of the current situation and attract speakers whose work is closely related to the students’ research areas. Each speaker will be encouraged not only to provide an exhaustive background on the talk but also to structure the talk as a tutorial, where possible. This practical and workshop-like approach differs from the other two seminars and it has been designed to keep PhD students engaged and allow them to explore different research areas in a more accessible way.

For the last month of TB1, one of the main goals will be to get the series up-and-running by establishing a line-up of speakers that has been suggested by the first cohort of Compass students, so keep an eye out on our calendar!

Long-Term Vision

As the series gains momentum, the vision that we have for this seminar series is to be a platform for PhD students in Statistics, Data Science and Machine Learning across the UK to network with fellow researchers, to get exposed to different research areas in an accessible way, and to participate in collaborative tasks and challenges such as Hackathons and Kaggle-like competitions. By building a strong national community of young data scientists we will be able to attract important industry speakers and professors from around the world.


At the moment, work is underway to expand the audience of this seminar series and we will surely keep you updated! Come join us next Thursday and get a Deliveroo voucher after completing a feedback survey at the end!

Mauro

JGI event: Data Science Seminars

The Jean Golding Institute runs an annual series of Data Science Seminars

Upcoming seminars (if you are interested in attending you can sign up with Eventbrite using the links below):

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