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Research Projects

I am always interested to hear from well qualified prospective research students (particularly Ph.D. students) who are interested in working in Computational Statistics and Probability. Below are some examples of projects I am currently interested in offering, and which might be interesting to study - I'm happy to discuss these projects during one of my office hours, or by appointment. Feel free to suggest other projects you may be interested in (although be aware I may not!), and contact me directly at m dot pollock at warwick dot ac dot uk.

** Former students can be found here (including where available copies of dissertations), which may be of interest to prospective students **

Ph.D. projects

  • General Note / Format: The typical expectation is we would meet regularly once per week for around an hour (excluding mandatory (!) vacation), and may meet more often depending on the where we are in the project (for instance: near the beginning, near submission etc.). I only offer projects jointly with other researchers whom I too can learn something interesting from, and indeed finding open research problems at the intersection of the interests of two researchers can be very fruitful. All projects listed are starting points for a good paper, but the expectation is this will organically develop and be led by the students interests. All students are expected to sit-in on practical training, and regularly attend (my) research group meetings, along with relevant seminars and reading groups.
  • Application: Please contact me in advance if you are an external applicant, clearly stating your motivations for both your topic and for pursuing a Ph.D. - I get a lot of Ph.D. enquiries, and although I don't expect (any) in-depth knowledge of the topic, it's critical you can demonstrate you are well motivated and that we will "get along". Ultimately I don't make any decisions on admission or funding, and so you will need to make a formal application to the university (making sure you clearly state in your application you want to work with me), details for which can be found here...
  1. Fusion (PDF Document)
    1. Project 1: Fusion Methodology (jointly with Hongsheng Dai (Essex))
    2. Project 2: Fusion Theory (jointly with Gareth Roberts (Warwick))
    3. Project 3: Privacy Applications (jointly with Gareth Roberts (Warwick) and/or Louis Aslett (Durham))
    4. Project 4: Genetic Applications (jointly with Paul Jenkins (Warwick))
    5. Project 5: Criminality Applications (jointly with Jim Q. Smith (Warwick))
  2. Teleportation MCMC (PDF Document)
    1. Project 1: Teleportation Theory (jointly with Gareth Roberts (Warwick) and/or Andi Q. Wang (Oxford))
    2. Project 2: Teleportation Methodology (jointly with Gareth Roberts (Warwick))

Masters / Dissertation projects

  • General Note / Format: It is advisable (although not strictly necessary) to contact me in advance before selecting one of my projects, this gives both of us the opportunity to discuss some of the practical details of the project and ensure we are "on-the-same-page" with regards the topic and my expectations. If you don't contact me in advance you could be in for a shock! Depending on the number of research students I have at any one time, and depending on what topics each is looking at, the format of my supervision varies. Typically, I can spend up to one regular hour per week "during full term" (Summer period for M.Sc.) meeting face-to-face (depending on progress), and I am willing to read and give feedback on small written excerpts of work each week - of course, how you use the time I am making available is up to you! I also expect research students to attend regular (bi-weekly) group meetings where practical guidance and skills are discussed, and where everyone is expected to present their progress to the group. 
  1. Armageddon (PDF Document)
  2. Chess ratings (PDF Document)
  3. Cracking ciphers using simulation
  4. Gerrymandering: Finding evidence of the political beast (PDF Document)
  5. Life Insurance Investment Guarantees (PDF Document)
  6. Markov Melding (PDF Document)
  7. Path-space rejection sampling for financial models
  8. Pre-fetching: Parallelisation of MCMC (PDF Document)
  9. Simulating quasi-stationary distributions
  10. Statistical topics in political opinion polling

Undergraduate (Summer URSS) projects

  • General Note / Format: I'm happy to support students who want to apply to the University of Warwick's Undergraduate Research Student Support (URSS) scheme, but please come by during one of my office hours to discuss whether this scheme is right for you. Note that I get no "credit" (i.e. I do it in my spare time) for supervising URSS students, and so I'm only interested in taking on highly motivated students. In principle I'm willing to adapt any of my Master's projects (above) to suit your current year of study (so please look at these in advance of meeting), along with writing appropriate responses to the other sections on the application (most of which are completed by the student). The URSS scheme will be a mini-taster of what pursuing a research degree might entail and (if successful) will look very good on your CV when applying to Ph.D. programmes - as such, these are really best suited to those who are giving serious thought to pursuing a research degree (if you are not, then there are better ways to fill your (and my) Summer).