Latest two academic promotions
Review of Professor Edmund Rolls' Book, "Brain Computations: What and How"
Professor Edmund T Rolls' book, Brain Computations: What and How, has now been reviewed in Brain, where it has been described as "the first complete attempt to summarize our current knowledge about computation in the brain". The book considers what is computed in each brain system; and how it is computed. The reviewer considers that this book may provide a grand unifying theory, with biologically plausible models of brain computations. The book review, and information about Brain Computations: What and How (Rolls 2021) Oxford University Press are available here.
Emeritus Professor Roland Wilson – Celebration and Memorial
Colleagues, friends, family and former students of Professor Roland Wilson gathered last Friday to celebrate his life and to inaugurate a bench in his memory. The bench is located outside the Department, surrounded by daisies at this time of year, overlooking the lake and the fountains.
Roland's son and daughter toured the Department and visited one of the research groups which is building on Roland’s intellectual legacy under the leadership of his former PhD student Nasir Rajpoot (now a Professor in the Department). Dr Abhir Bhalerao, also a former student and close colleague of Roland, said a few words about Roland's contribution to our community and his lasting importance to us. Head of Department Professor Yulia Timofeeva cut a ribbon on the bench before we all returned to the common room to share memories and anecdotes.
Although an emotional occasion for many of us, it was very nice to be able to gather together again after the restrictions of the last two years and to remember Roland and his legacy.
A team of TIA researchers have published their study on a new deep learning algorithm that can pick up the molecular pathways and development of key mutations causing colorectal cancer more accurately than existing methods, meaning patients could benefit from targeted therapies with quicker turnaround times and at a lower cost. The research was funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the UHCW NHS Trust, University of Nottingham and WHO IARC. The study has just been published in the prestigious Lancet Digital Health journal.
We are pleased to report that Dr Simon Graham, Senior Research Fellow from the Department of Computer Science, has received a SEM Faculty Thesis Prize.
Each year, the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine (SEM) funds a prize for the best PhD/EngD thesis in each of its ten departments. Each department nominates a winner out of the applications received after a judging process as determined by the Faculty.
Dr Simon Graham commented regarding his award:
My research focussed on the development of computational tools for the automatic analysis of digitised cancerous tissue samples. Now, I am continuing my research in the area of computational pathology and soon hope to see it utilised in a clinical setting, where it may help improve cancer recognition and treatment planning. I would like to thank my supervisor Professor Nasir Rajpoot and all my collaborators within the Tissue Image Analytics Centre and at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire for their support during my PhD.
In further good news, Dr Tanaya Guha and Dr Ramanujan Sridharan have been promoted to Associate Professor, effective from 1 July 2021 and 2 October 2021 (respectively). Many congratulations to them, whose recommendations in particular state:
[Dr Guha has] grown her research group to five PhD students currently, and attracted a portfolio of research grants in her career, including recently a substantial award from Ford. ... In engagement, Dr Guha has been raising the visibility of Warwick in her national and international research communities through her invited talks, leadership in the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing, programme committee memberships, and conference organisation activities. She has also contributed substantially to the Sutton Trust summer school, a key outreach programme.
Dr Sridharan’s high standing in the research community is confirmed by his invited talks at international meetings and leading universities, memberships of the programme committees of prestigious conferences, and his organisation of international research events. ... In teaching, Dr Sridharan has successfully led (jointly and individually) two undergraduate modules. The feedback from students has been generally positive, with many appreciative of Dr Sridharan’s innovative and energetic delivery.
Each year, the University of Warwick's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine (SEM) funds a prize for the best Warwick-affiliated research output from an Early Career Researcher. Each department nominates a winner, or joint winners, out of the applications received after a judging process as determined by the Faculty.
Professor Yulan He, who led the Department's selection, commented:
Pavel's paper on quantile summary, co-authored with Professor Graham Cormode, was published in a top-tier conference on theoretical databases, Symposium on Principles of Database Systems (PODS) co-located with SIGMOD. The tight lower bound for quantile summaries proposed in this work is a deep theoretical exploration central to data management. The work led to a collaboration with Splunk, a US-based company that focuses on processing machine-generated big data. The follow-up paper has been accepted to the 2021 edition of the PODS conference. The result has a great potential for a broader impact. Josiah's work is on medical imaging. Together with Dr Sharon Collier and Professor Till Bretschneider, they proposed an enhanced 3D segmentation method (with a curvature-based enhancement term), which outperforms the best-of-breed random walker method in Dictyostelium image volumes. The work was published in a top journal, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, with an impact factor of 6.68. Josiah presented his method at the Actin 2020 meeting and was awarded a prize for best imaging in a talk by the Royal Microscopical Society and has been featured in an article in their inFocus magazine.