Bayes Centre

Strategic Themes

Further information on the Bayes Centre Strategic Themes.

Variety of different sized dots illustration to represent internet of things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices and appliances that are enabled to connect, interact and exchange data with each other through the internet. The concept of the things around us being able to ‘talk’ to one another in this way not only makes our personal lives more convenient but also allows industry to transform the public services we use every day.

The University of Edinburgh is establishing a Research and Innovation Service to support students, researchers and partners working on IoT projects. Through the Data-Driven Innovation initiative, this service will become a regional sensor network, spanning the square 7,700km of the City Region Deal area, delivering rich environmental datasets. It will be supported by a dedicated Data Analytics and Visualisation service which will inform real-time decision making in research.

To support this, the multi-disciplinary community at the Bayes Centre will work to advance many aspects which underpin IoT including security, protocol design, application and service innovation.


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Innovation: The Bayes Centre leads on innovation by enabling private companies, public services, charities and social enterprises to enhance their services and products by embracing data science and Artificial Intelligence (AI). By working together, the Bayes Centre and the organisations it collaborates with can harness the University of Edinburgh’s excellence in research and skills, creating real-world impact on society.

As part of the Data-Driven Innovation initiative, the Bayes Centre is dedicated to advancing four sectors – Digital Technology; Space and Satellites; and, in collaboration with the National Robatarium, Robotics and Autonomous Systems.

Whether supporting business development, entrepreneurs and start-up projects or attracting external investments in data science and AI led projects, the Bayes Centre brings together expertise from industry, academia and professional services in a unique multi-disciplinary environment.


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Data science is the study of the processes, theories, concepts, tools and technologies that enable the extraction and analysis of knowledge from data. Large datasets are now generated by almost every activity in science, society, and the economy - data science translates this into useful information which has the potential to impact our way of life in beneficial ways. The Bayes Centre brings together expertise from all areas of this multi-disciplinary field.

Demand is growing in both the public and private sectors for data science specialists with high-level skills. The Bayes Centre works in partnership with disciplines across the University to deliver data science education and training for people from a wide range of backgrounds.

Data science is also at the heart of innovation and research activity across the Centre with a particular focus on machine learning and statistics, databases and unstructured data, privacy, security and trust.


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Mathematical Science: Fundamental and applied mathematics underpin much of data science and computational statistics. The importance of these foundations is demonstrated at the Bayes Centre by the top floor being dedicated solely to research in the mathematical sciences.

The School of Mathematics has an outstanding reputation for undergraduate, MSc and PhD programmes. Through the International Centre for Mathematical Sciences (ICMS) and the Maxwell Institute, research is undertaken in a variety of areas of the mathematical sciences including pure, applied, statistics, operations research, and mathematical physics.

ICMS is a collaboration between Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Universities and supports research through the development of international workshops and conferences in all areas of mathematics, attracting leading scientists from the UK and overseas. It is also involved in small group research programmes, postgraduate training, journal management and outreach.

The Maxwell Institute Graduate School is a Centre for Doctoral Training and is also run in collaboration between the Universities of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt. Its cross-institution partnership of more than 100 academics provides a unique environment for PhD students in all areas of the mathematical sciences.


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Cyber Security: The only Scottish Cyber Security Research Centre of Excellent recognised by the UK Government is hosted by the University of Edinburgh and involves key researchers at the Bayes Centre.

The UK Government's National Cyber Security Strategy set out action to deter and defend the UK against ever-evolving cyber-threats and to develop a leading cyber security industry. It was announced in this strategy that the Academic Centres of Excellence will specialise in developing the latest cybersecurity techniques and contribute to the UK's increased knowledge and capability in this field. The Edinburgh Centre, along with 13 others across the UK, is now recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) as meeting the rigorous standards required for such Centres, including a critical mass of academic staff engaged in a significant volume of leading-edge, high-impact cyber security research and sustained funding from a variety of sources.


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Robotics: The Bayes Centre is home to national facilities for research into the interactions between robots, environments, people, and autonomous systems. This work develops ways of operating in uncharted places, manipulating objects in complex environments and ways for robots to interact closely with humans.

The Edinburgh Centre for Robotics, a collaboration between the School of Informatics and Heriot-Watt University, uses lab space at the Bayes Centre for a variety of robotic platforms alongside camera equipment and high-speed network communications. This allows robot behaviour to be analysed and developed using a variety of real-time data sources - robotics research with a data-driven focus.

Platforms include Valkyrie, the NASA-built humanoid developed for space missions – one of only three in the world, and Anymal – a quadruped which is specifically designed to operate on difficult terrain which simulates hazardous environments.

The Bayes Centre is also home to the Human-Robot Interaction Lab, researchers and PhD students from the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Centre for Doctoral Training, and the Human Motion Analysis Lab where roboticists, animation experts and cognitive scientists study human motion.


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Supercomputing: EPCC, formerly the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, is an international centre of excellence in high-performance computing which hosts many national supercomputing services for researchers across the UK. Now based at the Bayes Centre, it was established in 1990 and maintains its mission to accelerate the effective exploitation of novel computing throughout industry, academia and commerce.

As part of the Data-Driven Innovation programme, EPCC is developing World-Class Data Infrastructure which will contain a huge “data lake” bringing together data from many different sectors. This will provide a unique resource for academic researchers as well as small and emerging companies that do not have the resources to acquire commercial datasets.

Although around 100 EPCC staff are based at the Bayes Centre, supercomputing and data storage facilities are located in a purpose-built Advanced Computing Facility off-site.

In addition to hosting data, EPCC also delivers expert-led training in high-performance computing for engineers and scientists.


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Design Informatics combines the power of connectivity and information processing with design thinking to develop systems for better interaction between data and humans.  It is enhancing the products and services we use and is transforming the ways we work.

The Centre for Design Informatics is a fusion of art and science – a collaboration between the Edinburgh College of Art and the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Adjoined to the Bayes Centre, the team here explore the design of data flows that are mediated through interactions between humans and computer devices, and explores how these can be turned into new physical and virtual artefacts that create value for people and society.

Work at the Centre involves bringing together technologies from the Internet of Things, blockchain, robotics, speech recognition, data visualisation, interaction design and social computing. The Centre for Design Informatics also provides open teaching space and state-of-the-art design technology.

This interdisciplinary and creative approach to informatics - the study of the structure and behaviour of information systems – provides a unique perspective in understanding and developing the ways in which people, data and systems might interact in the future.


Grey illustration of human head with microchip for brain to represent artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast becoming core to the technology industry. It is a highly technical area of computer science which aims to create intelligent machines by programming human-like traits such as perception, reasoning, problem solving, learning and planning.

Research in the field of AI is rapidly advancing the world we live in and the systems that underpin our society – from healthcare to transportation.

At the turn of the millennium, the University of Edinburgh was home to one of the first AI departments in the world. Today, the Bayes Centre is at the heart of innovation in AI for the University.

As one of the five founding university partners of The Alan Turing Institute - the UK’s national centre for Data Science and AI - the University of Edinburgh leads two national programmes, one in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, and another in Finance and Economics. Much of this work takes place at the Bayes Centre and its key University partner organisations.

The Centre is also home to the first industry-led accelerator programme for start-ups in AI and Blockchain. Supported by Telefónica and Cisco, this partnership between the University of Edinburgh and Wayra UK is designed to help European start-ups grow into world-leading companies.