The research programmes organised by the School of Informatics encompass a wide range of domains.

Artificial Life

The main aim of the Artificial Life Programme is to promote interaction between researchers in the School of Informatics, and other schools at the University of Edinburgh, who have interests in aspects of artificial life. Researchers from other institutions in the Edinburgh area are also welcome to participate.


Bioinformatics at Edinburgh includes research within Informatics, Biology and Biomedicine. It investigates a wide spectrum of problems at a variety of levels of detail. For example: understanding gene regulation and embryo development; analysing genetic variation; understanding the forces that shape gene and genome evolution; understanding of the development and functioning of specific neural structures.

Computational Thinking

The impact of computers on intellectual life goes beyond email, web surfing and word processing. Computational ideas are beginning to influence research thinking in many branches of both the sciences and the humanities. For instance, researchers are using computational metaphors for enriching theories as diverse as genomics and the mind-body problem. Computing can also enable us to ask questions that could not previously have been contemplated, due to the large amount of data-processing that any investigation would require, for instance the search for the Higgs Boson.

Machine Learning

Machine Learning methods are widely researched and used in many places in the School, e.g. in ANC, IPAB, ICCS and elsewhere. With the co-location of the School in the Forum there is an opportunity to develop the links between these various groups, so as to enhance mutual understanding, and likely lead to new research opportunities.

Processes, Events & Activity

This collaborative research programme is intended to provide an informal platform for Edinburgh researchers to exchange their research work and experiences in plan, process, event and activity representation, modelling, reasoning and experiences of using them in a range of applications.

Security and Privacy

Research on security and privacy in the School of Informatics of the University of Edinburgh spans a range of topics including cryptography, language-based security, security verification, and usability.

We have strong links with outside groups, including the Constructive Security Group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, within the University of Edinburgh Microsoft Research Joint Initiative in Informatics.

Software Engineering

Applies a wide range of methodologies and techniques to software engineering problems: empirical studies; applications of AI techniques, computer science, mathematics, and cognitive science.

System Level Integration

SLI will make possible new forms of system, integrating transduction, computation and communication on a single chip. The design, analysis and correct implementation of SLI devices presents new research challenges, and the programme aims to bring relevant expertise within Informatics to bear on selected problems in the area.

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