As we start 2022, we look back at our Compass achievements over 2021…
Invited speakers and seminars
Over the course of the year we invited seminar speakers Ingmar Schuster on kernel methods, Nicolas Chopin offered a two-part lecture on sequential Monte Carlo samplers, Ioannis Kosmidis on reducing bias in estimation and a special two-part lecture from Barnett Award winning Jonty Rougier on Wilcoxon’s Two Sample Test.
In May, Compass PhD student, Mauro Camara Escudero, set up PAI-Link: a nation-wide AI postgraduate seminar series.
Last year also saw the launch of our DataScience@work seminar series, at which we had 5 external organisations speak (Adarga, CheckRisk, Shell, IBM Research and Improbable) and the British Geological Survey opened this academic year’s seminar series with a talk from alumna Dr Kathryn Leeming.
Training and internships
We ran training sessions on themes such as interdisciplinary research, responsible innovation and a Hackathon run with Compass partners LV= General Insurance, which is recounted by Doug Corbin in his blog post. Compass held its first Science Focus Lab on multi-omics data and cancer treatment with colleagues from Bristol Integrative Epidemiology unit.
Five Compass students were recruited to internships with organisations such as Microsoft Research, Adarga, CheckRisk, Afiniti and Shell.
The Student Perspectives blog series started up last year with Three Days in the Life of a Silicon Valley Start-up. This student-authored series explored topics such as air pollution in Bristol, the different
Michael Whitehouse contributed to a Sky News report on the potential impact of the pandemic on the Tokyo Olympics by modelling the rise of COVID-19 cases in Japan.
Compass ran its first Access to Data Science event – an immersive experience for prospective PhD students which aimed to increase diversity amongst data science researchers by encouraging participants such as women and members of the LGBTQ+ and BAME communities to join us.
Research and studentships
Our second cohort of students selected their mini-projects (a precursor to their PhD research) and our third cohort of students joined the Compass programme in September 2021.
Annie Gray presented her paper ‘Matrix factorisation and the interpretation of geodesic distance’ at NeurIPS 2021. Conor Newton gave a talk at a workshop in conjunction with ACM Sigmetrics 2021 and he and Dom Owens won the poster session of the Fry Statistics Conference. Jack Simons paper ‘Variational Likelihood-Free Gradient Descent’ was accepted at AABI 2022. Alex Modell’s paper ‘A Graph Embedding Approach to User Behavior Anomaly Detection’ was accepted to IEEE Big Data Conference 2021. Danny Williams and supervisor Song Liu were awarded an EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account for their project in collaboration with Adarga.
We also created links with new industrial partners – AstraZeneca, ILRI and EDF – who are each sponsoring Compass PhD projects for the following students: Harry Tata, Dan Milner, and Ben Griffiths and Euan Enticott.