Because good research needs good data


Meet our IDCC17 Speakers

Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea

Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea is the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh and will be delivering the Welcome address at the Pre-Conference Drinks Reception on the evening of Monday 20 February.

Tim worked as a researcher in the Computer Science Department of the University of Texas at Austin, the Bionics Research Lab at the University of Edinburgh and the Systems Concepts Lab, Xerox PARC, California.
In 1978 he founded the Computers and Learning Research Group at the Open University and was promoted to a personal chair in Information Technology and Education in 1986. He was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Open University in 1993.
In 1997 he was elected Master of Birkbeck and subsequently appointed Provost of Gresham College and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of London. He held all three posts concurrently until he returned to Edinburgh as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University in October 2002.
His academic output, produced mainly in collaboration with others and on topics relating to computer based learning, artificial intelligence, and mathematics education, includes 10 books, 22 BBC television programmes and over 100 journal articles.
He is currently researching Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and during study leave at Stanford University in early 2012 initiated a partnership with Coursera, a social entrepreneurship company that operates a MOOC platform.

Maria Wolters

Maria will be delivering the opening keynote at 9.15 am of Tuesday 21 February.

Maria is a Reader in Design Informatics at the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, an Academic Associate of the School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, and a Faculty Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute.

In her work, she looks at ways to make eHealth and wellbeing solutions useful for people with chronic mental, physical, or cognitive illness. She is particularly interested in the rich information hidden in patterns of missing data, and uses both quantitative and qualitative approaches in her work. Maria believes that people should have control over their own data, and collaborates with the University of Edinburgh Cybersecurity group on the privacy and security of health data.

Maria holds a PhD in Communication Research and Phonetics from the University of Bonn, Germany, and used to work as Research Scientist on the EU project ForgetIT on managed forgetting in personal and organisational preservation.

Maria's talk, 'Rich Information Hides in Missing Data', tackles topics such as how patterns of missingness can be informative, how data that goes missing (i.e. is forgotten) for the right reasons can improve the overall quality of the curated data set and why reasons for missing data matter.

Alice Daish

Alice will be delivering the closing keynote at 4.30 pm on Tuesday 21 February

Alice is the Data Scientist at The British Museum focusing on making the museum data-driven by 2018. Co-Founder of R- Ladies Global and mentor at R-Ladies London. Registered scientist previously trained in ecology and quantitative biology. Interests include data science leadership and transformation, R and data science, datafication and gender diversity in STEM.

In her talk entitled 'Data-Driven Museums', Alice, the first data scientist at a museum, shares her experience and learning on the journey to transform the British Museum, a traditionally un-data-orientated organisation, into being data-driven, armed with data science processes and plenty of enthusiasm. She argues that, by valuing data and using data science processes, any organisation can become data-driven. Alice's lecture will cover valuing of data, data science at the British Museum, transformation advice and vision for the future.

Chris Williams

Chris will delivering the opening keynote at 9 am of Wednesday 22 February

Chris is Professor of Machine Learning in the School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, and University Liaison Director for the Alan Turing Institute. He is interested in a wide range of theoretical and practical issues in machine learning, statistical pattern recognition, probabilistic graphical models and computer vision. This includes theoretical foundations, the development of new models and algorithms, and applications. His main areas of research are in visual object recognition and image understanding, models for understanding time-series, unsupervised learning, and Gaussian processes.

He obtained his MSc (1990) and PhD (1994) at the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Geoff Hinton. He was a member of the Neural Computing Research Group at Aston University from 1994 to 1998, and has been at the University of Edinburgh since 1998. He was program co-chair of NIPS in 2009, and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Machine Learning Research and Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

Chris will talk about "Towards Automating the Data Analytics Process", a project which aims to produce a suite of intelligent decision support tools to address the issues found in the data understanding and preparation stages, so as to dramatically accelerate the development speed of working data scientists. He will also give a brief overview of work at The Alan Turing Institute.

Gavin McLachlan

Gavin will be presenting the awards for best research paper and best poster on the afternoon of Wednesday 22 February.

Gavin McLachlan is Chief Information Officer and Librarian to the University and is responsible for the overall management of the Information Service Group, which includes Computing Services, Learning Technology Services, and Library, Museum and Gallery Services.



Clifford Lynch

Cliff will be doing the summing up at the end of the Conference on Wednesday 22 February

Clifford has led the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) since 1997. CNI, jointly sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and EDUCAUSE, includes about 200 member organizations concerned with the intelligent uses of information technology and networked information to enhance scholarship and intellectual life. CNI’s wide-ranging agenda includes work in digital preservation, data intensive scholarship, teaching, learning and technology, and infrastructure and standards development.

Prior to joining CNI, Lynch spent 18 years at the University of California Office of the President, the last 10 as Director of Library Automation. Lynch, who holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, is an adjunct professor at Berkeley’s School of Information. He is both a past president and recipient of the Award of Merit of the American Society for Information, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Information Standards Organization. 

In 2011 he was appointed co-chair of the National Academies Board on Research Data and Information (BRDI); he serves on numerous advisory boards and visiting committees. His work has been recognized by the American Library Association’s Lippincott Award, the EDUCAUSE Leadership Award in Public Policy and Practice, and the American Society for Engineering Education’s Homer Bernhardt Award.