Computer Science News

REF2014: UCL Computer Science ranked first

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) evaluation UCL was ranked in first place for Computer Science, out of 89 Universities assessed, and considerably ahead of other Institutions. 61% of its research submission is rated as world-leading (the highest possible category) and 96% of its research submission is rated as internationally excellent.


UCL researchers in Computer Science and Informatics received a ‘grade point average’ of 3.57 (out of 4) and submitted 75 staff to be assessed in REF2014. UCL Computer Science has made seminal contributions across the full range of its core strengths and associated 11 research groups and 8 centres, including the Centre for Health Informatics & Multiprofessional Education (CHIME), Biomedical Physics & Biochemical Engineering, and the Centre for Medical Image Computing (CMIC).


As a result its research has produced a deep, lasting and sustained impact, particularly in Internet technologies, cyber security, and all sectors of industry such as retail and finance. The reach of UCL’s CS extends to the developing world particularly in healthcare and in extending Internet penetration.


Research impact has been realised at UCL through direct engagement between Computer Science and industry, exemplified by developments in real-time Internet communications which has seen code produced at UCL now found in many mobile devices in use by everyone today.


UCL’s policy of embedding knowledge transfer in Computer Science is illustrated in its human-centred approach to security in government and commercial applications, from which knowledge has flowed into private industry and government agencies with lasting and widespread improvements in online safety and security.


Encouraging and facilitating interdisciplinary work has led to significant developments in medical research. Computer Science plays an increasingly crucial role in the development of new analytical and algorithmic tools for use in medicine as exemplified by improvements in prostate cancer diagnosis.


Computer Science’s successful stimulation of entrepreneurial work and commercialisation of research is witnessed significantly in its 3D Body Surface Scanning for Anthropometrics & Clothing which supported the creation of three successful spinout companies.


Head of UCL Computer Science, Prof John Shawe-Taylor says:

“I am immensely proud and honoured to lead a Computer Science Department that has demonstrated such a breadth of research impact across our society. We have led with many seminal contributions in technology that have changed the world; and the REF2014 evaluation is proof of our position as the leader in Computer Science. We will continue to change lives, and we will harness our research to train the next generation of Computer Scientists.”



Jane Butler, who joined UCL Computer Science after a distinguished career in the Internet industry, and who is now Vice Dean (Enterprise), Faculty of Engineering Sciences says:

“It is not often that one can compare the exceptional performance and impact of a Computer Science department with the Internet revolution that changed all of our lives - and that I was a part of - but it is true, UCL Computer Science is exceptional in every sense. It is changing our lives and it is changing every sector of industry. Whether it be medical devices and new diagnostic techniques or art and fashion or eGovernment services or keeping our children safe online, they and many other areas of our lives are all part of the core work that UCL Computer Science undertakes in research and brings to its teaching. I am honoured to be part of an outstanding team”.


Deputy Head of UCL Computer Science, Prof Yvonne Rogers, comments:

“One of the great strengths of UCL Computer Science is interdisciplinary research, where we explore new ways of combining computer science with other disciplines, for example, 3D imaging and fashion, interaction design and psychology, and cyber security with crime science. My team explore extensively how technology impacts the lives of both the very young and the very old and everyone in between. As digital technologies continue to change our lives in cities, in the home and in our working lives we will continue to perform high impact work that underpins our REF2014 evaluation results”.


For more information about UCL’s REF2014 evaluation please see

Posted 18 Dec 14 10:32
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