Data Science


AI and Data Science: University of Hull joins the Turing University Network

The University of Hull has joined the prestigious Turing University Network.

The Alan Turing Institute unites world-class research, to apply it to national and global challenges, build skills for the future, and inform debate. It is named in honour of Alan Turing, whose pioneering work in theoretical and applied mathematics, engineering and computing is considered to have laid the foundations for modern-day data science and Artificial Intelligence. The Institute’s goals are to undertake world-class research in data science and Artificial Intelligence, apply its research to real-world problems, drive economic impact and societal good, lead the training of a new generation of scientists, and shape the public conversation around data and algorithms.

The network launched as a pilot in April with a cohort of 36 university partners. Today it has been announced that a further 29 have joined, taking the total number of universities in the network to 65. This gives a wide scope of opportunities for the University of Hull to forge partnerships and share excellence in the fields of data science and AI. The Turing University Network provides all UK universities with an interest in data science and AI the opportunity to engage and collaborate both with the Institute and its broader networks.

Students using the Computer Science Turing Lab
The University of Hull has joined the prestigious Turing University Network.

Professor Dhaval Thakker, who led the University of Hull’s bid to join The Turing University Network, believes being part of the network will promote digital innovation across the University and the Humber region.

He explained: “Representing the Hull and Humber region, our inclusion in the network can help broaden the reach of the Turing’s activities in the North of England. We believe that our region has more to gain than most from an increase in digital innovation, given the potential for automation and decarbonisation of our manufacturing industries, as well as the real potential for economic growth in a geographic area which does face challenges.

Participating in the Turing Network will provide us with access to a UK-wide community in which to share ideas, foster innovation and drive collective growth.

Professor Dhaval Thakker

Professor Thakker will act as the University of Hull’s Turing Academic Lead.

He added: “This collaboration enables our academics and postgraduate researchers to tap into the opportunities that Turing offers. Being a part of this network also gives us a platform to contribute to the shaping of Turing's research agenda and its dissemination, fostering a unified and impactful AI landscape.”

There is significant synergy between the research focus of the University of Hull and the network. This is evident in shared commitment to Responsible AI, which emphasises creating AI that is equitable, explainable, trustworthy, and safe. The university's dedication to Environment and Sustainability aligns well with Turing's Grand Challenges and Hull's Strategy 2030, which includes aiming working towards being carbon neutral. Moreover, the collaboration offers substantial opportunities to harness AI in addressing Social Justice, building on research insights from Criminology, Health Sciences, and the Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and Emancipation to tackle social inequalities.

Amy Bilton, Head of Business Engagement and Enterprise for the Centre of Excellence for Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Modelling (DAIM), will act as the University of Hull’s Turing liaison. Amy will promote Turing opportunities, programmes, and schemes within the University to maximise our engagement with the Institute.

“Being part of the Turing University Network will enable us to continue the momentum we are building at Hull in data science and AI, through DAIM, our School of Computer Science, and a growing network of colleagues across the University who are using these transformative technologies in their teaching and research. Through our membership, we will join a UK-wide ecosystem that will facilitate new partnerships and opportunities for us to influence the national agenda in data science and AI.”

Data centre
The Turing University Network provides opportunities to engage and collaborate both with the Institute and its broader networks.

Dr Kevin Pimbblet, Director of DAIM at the University, said: “The Centre of Excellence for Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Modelling (DAIM) at the University of Hull is proud to support the successful University bid to join the Turing Network. DAIM was created in August 2022 and serves as a platform both within the University and to external businesses and stake holders to help create new solutions using the wide range of expertise of our staff and students. A recent example of our work using AI is a Liverpool City Council and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport funded project to analyse the impact of the Eurovision Song Contest held in Liverpool in May 2023. Through our membership of the Turing Network, we hope to be able to exchange ideas with partners nationwide and build new collaborations.”

Dr Jean Innes, Chief Executive Officer of The Alan Turing Institute, said: “We’re really pleased to welcome our new members to the network. We hope that they will benefit from being part of our data science and AI group and find opportunities for new, meaningful collaborations across the data science and AI landscape.”

The bid to join the network was a university-wide joint effort by the following colleagues from the University of Hull: Dhaval Thakker (Faculty of Science and Engineering), Kevin Pimbblet(Faculty of Science and Engineering), Amy Bilton (Faculty of Science and Engineering), Robert Dover (Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education), Iain Brennan (Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education), Yiannis Papadopoulos (Faculty of Science and Engineering), Adil Khan (Faculty of Science and Engineering), Nishikant Mishra (Faculty of Business, Law and Politics), Will Jones (Faculty of Science and Engineering), John Turgoose (Faculty of Health Sciences), members of the EEI and Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and emancipation also contributed.

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