Computer Science News

PhD student wins elevator pitch competition

Jonathan Bootle wins the PhD student elevator pitch competition at the annual ACE-CSR conference.

UCL is among thirteen UK universities that have been recognized as Academic Centres of Excellence in cyber security research by GCHQ and EPSRC. At the annual conference for the ACE-CSRs, UCL PhD student Jonathan Bootle presented joint work with Andrea Cerulli, Pyrros Chaidos, Jens Groth and Christophe Petit on space-efficient zero-knowledge proofs, which was published earlier this year at the internationally leading cryptography conference EUROCRYPT 2016.

The main contribution is a protocol that ... [more]

Yvonne Rogers wins Microsoft Outstanding Collaborator Award

Yvonne Rogers, Professor of Interaction Design and Director of UCL Interaction Centre, has been announced as a Microsoft Research Outstanding Collaborator 2016. In its 25th Anniversary Year Microsoft is highlighting 32 great academics worldwide who have collaborated in a variety of ways with researchers in their labs over the years. These contributions have had an outstanding impact on the direction, visibility and value of Microsoft's research and products.

Since its founding in 1991, Microsoft Research has grown to be a worldwide symbol of excellence in computer science. Our over 1,000 sci... [more]

Computer Science Spinout is a winner at UCL Business' Annual Summer Reception

A data science spinout from UCL Computer Science has received the UCLB One-to-Watch award 2016. Co-founded by the Department's Dr Jun Wang, Reader of Information Systems, MediaGamma has built an Audience Decision Engine, where the “Audience” are viewers of online ads.

The Decision Engine uses Machine Learning to provide information to digital ad trading platforms about the expected behaviour of a person potentially about to view that ad. This helps to inform the real-time decision-making process of the bidding algorithm as to whether or not to show a particular ad to a particular person.

The c... [more]

UCL at Microsoft's Research Faculty Summit

Microsoft is hosting its seventeenth annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit in Redmond, Washington. This year the summit focuses on where and how computing can contribute to increasing productivity in professional and personal activities.

Dr Emiliano de Cristofaro, Senior Lecturer at UCL Computer Science and member of UCL's Information Security Research Group, has been invited to deliver a talk How to keep your Genome Secret, with XiaoQian Jiang, University of California-San Diego; and Kim Laine, Microsoft Research.

Over the last 10 years, the cost of sequencing the human genome has come do... [more]

Network Analytics explored in Science

UCL Computer Science's Nataša Pržulj, Professor of Biomedical Data Science, with Research Fellow Noël Malod-Dognin, have had a perspective paper published at Science, 'Network analytics in the age of big data'. See more at
We live in a complex world of inter-connected entities. In all areas of human endeavor, from biology to medicine, economics, and climate science, we are flooded with large-scale data sets. They describe intricate real-world systems from different and complementary viewpoints, with entities being modeled as nodes and their co... [more]

Computer Science staff & students featured in Women in STEM documentary

UCL Engineering academics, researchers and students are featured in the documentary supported by The Manufacturers’ Organisation EEF and led by photographer, Stephanie Smith. “Women in STEM: The New Generation of Engineers” is a project about women in the manufacturing and engineering industries featuring them at different stages of their career, research and studies; as well as their personal pathways into STEM careers. The project looks at photographing women at all stages from apprentices and students right through to line managers and CEOs - to show to girls and young women the diversity o... [more]

Computer Science examines the effect of immigration on wealth inequality

The recent surge in economic inequality, together with current immigration pressures, are among the most distressing social and economic issues of our times.

In a recently published paper 'To what extent does immigration affect inequality?' (Physica A 2016 written by Tomaso Aste, Professor of Complexity Science and Head of UCL's Financial Computing & Analytics Research Group, with Yonatan Berman of Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, the links between these two phenomena are investigated, and highlights that immigration does not have a major impact on ... [more]

Restored artefact joins the UNESCO Register of World Heritage

A project led by researchers at UCL has resulted in an artefact being granted World Heritage Status by UNESCO.

The Great Parchment Book of The Honourable The Irish Society has been likened to the Domesday Book, a great land survey of England from 1086. It will be honoured at UNESCO's UK Memory of the World awards in Cardiff. The event marks heritage collections of 'outstanding significance to the UK'.

Researchers from UCL including Professor Tim Weyrich, member of UCL’s Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group, and Professor Melissa Terras, Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humani... [more]

UCL Engineering's response to the EU Referendum Result

A message from The Provost

The outcome of the referendum is now known. While UCL did not take a formal position during the referendum campaign, I have given my personal view and you will have heard many other voices from the UCL community. The loss of EU membership will have a clear impact on universities such as UCL, particularly around the mobility of students and funding of research.

Today, more than ever, I want to reaffirm that UCL remains a global university through our outlook, people and enduring international partnerships. I also want in particular to address UCL’s staff and students... [more]

Anthony Finkelstein awarded CBE

UCL Computer Science congratulates Anthony Finkelstein, Professor of Software Systems Engineering and member of UCL's Software Systems Engineering Group, on receiving a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, announced on 11 June 2016.

Anthony's award is for services to Computer Science and Engineering; he was head of UCL Computer Science until 2010, before becoming Dean of UCL's Faculty of Engineering. In 2015 he took up a base for his research and scholarly work at The Alan Turing Institute, the UK National Institute for the Data Sciences.

Anthony is also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of... [more]

Data science used to predict crimes in Chicago

Victor Yip, Ilias Antoniou and Vladislav Ligay have built an interactive website to visualise and predict crimes in Chicago using data science. The team, comprised of students working towards an MSc Business Analytics at UCL, has built the prescriptive analytic tool with the aim of assisting the Chicago Police Force in mobilising patrol units.

With data from the Chicago Data Portal and Twitter, they were able to visualise the occurrence of crimes and tweets between 7 April & 12 May 2016.

They have trained a support vector machines model to predict likelihood of crim... [more]

UCL hosts first-ever CS50 Hackathon London

On Friday 27th May more than 120 students gathered at UCL Institute of Education for the first-ever CS50 Hackathon London.

CS50 is Harvard University's introductory course in computer science that's also freely available online via In the last years, the course has gained immense popularity around the world through its offering as a MOOC and is now not only taught at Harvard but also at Yale University. While CS50 has run hackathons at both universities and in other cities in the US, this is the first time they have come across the pond to hold a hackathon.

The latter provided studen... [more]

Computer Science students included in UCLU's StARs Roll of Honour

Two UCL Computer Science Student Academic Representatives (StARs) have been included in UCLU's 2016 Roll Of Honour.

Angelos Pillos, an MSc Financial Systems Engineering student, and Konstantinos Metallinos, a MSc Computational Statistics and Machine Learning student, have been awarded the Advanced Stars Certificate.

The StARs scheme is a partnership between UCL and UCLU.  The StARs scheme helps to ensure that every student at UCL is effectively represented in their department, faculty, the University and UCLU.  Through such effective representation students become partners in their education,... [more]

Computer Science in the media: Steven Murdoch comments on telephone metadata

A new paper out this week looks into exactly what the act of making a phone call can reveal. The study, which was led by Patrick Mutchler and Jonathan Mayer at Stanford University, is the culmination of work that started in 2013 looking into what metadata really can show.

The study involved collecting metadata volunteered by 823 participants, in total, more than 250,000 calls, and 1 million text messages. Steven Murdoch, Principal Research Fellow at UCL's Information Security Research Group, has been featured on the BBC and in The Telegraph, commenting on its legality. "This paper confirms wh... [more]

UCL-CS to host CS50 Hackathon

"A CS50 Hackathon is an epic late-nighter during which students may dive into a problem set or final project alongside classmates and staff (and food and photos and fun)".

"This hackathon will be an epic opportunity for CS50x students, CS50 AP teachers, and UCL students to dive into any problem set or project alongside classmates, some of CS50's staff from Harvard, and UCLU TechSoc's team."

The event is a great opportunity for students to join a one-day educational hackathon to learn more about computer science, work alongside classmates and dive into problem  sets.   

The hackathon will b... [more]

UCL spinout is awarded the Gartner Cool Vendor in Data Science 2016

Satalia, a UCL Computer Science spinout, is now a Gartner Cool Vendor in Data Science. Cool Vendors in Data Science are among emerging machine learning companies that solve targeted industry problems or make the analysis scalable for big data.

Satalia provides a unique algorithmic technology and professional service to solve industries optimisation problems.

The company joins an illustrious list of previous companies who have been awarded Cool Vendor status, including Dropbox, Nest, Evernote, Cloudera, Palantir and Instagram over the last five years.

Dr Daniel Hulme, Satalia Founder and CEO,... [more]

UCL's Angela Sasse featured in Nature

Angela Sasse, Professor of Human-Centred Security and member of UCL's Information Security Research Group, appears in the latest issue of Nature.

In How to hack the hackers: The human side of cybercrime, Angela addresses ransomware - an extortion scheme in which hackers encrypt the data on a user's computer, then demand money for the digital key to unlock them. Victims get detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for the payment process, and how to use the key. If they run into technical difficulties, there are 24/7 call centres.

This gives way to Angela's belief that the attackers are so far a... [more]

Information Security Degree certified as GCHQ Cyber Security standard

UCL Computer Science's Masters Degree Programme in Information Security has been successfully certified to the 'GCHQ Certified Master's degree in General Cyber Security' standard.

An assessment panel convened comprising of experts from the public and private sectors, as well as independent academics, and spent one and a half days assessing the 16 applications and engaging in serious debate before coming to their decisions.

Master’s degree programmes in cyber security can broaden the understanding of security concepts and technologies and provide a bridge between undergraduate education and ca... [more]

Professor Peter O’Hearn is Awarded the 2016 Gödel Prize


Peter O’Hearn, Professor of Computer Science and member of UCL’s Programming Principles, Logic and Verification Research (PPLV) Group, has been awarded the 2016 Gödel Prize. Peter will receive the award jointly with Stephen Brookes, Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, at the 43rd International Colloquium On Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP 2016), 12-15 July 2016, in Rome, Italy.

Peter’s paper Resources, Concurrency and Logical Reasoning introduces and advances the idea of Concurrent Separation Logic (CSL), which has had a far-reaching impact in both theo... [more]