School of Informatics


All the news from 2022.

Informatics students win bronze again at NWERC

One More Try, a team from the School of Informatics were placed 9th out of 140, winning a bronze medal, at the Northwestern Europe Regional Contest 2022 (NWERC), an official regional contest in the International Collegiate Programming Contest. This is their second bronze medal in this competition.

Quantum lab set to boost discoveries

Edinburgh scientists are set to lead a major new research programme to expand the University’s world-leading expertise in quantum computing.

New funding from Input Output Global will boost cryptography projects run in the School of Informatics

Input Output Global (IOG), the creators of Cardano, the world-leading sustainable blockchain platform are partnering with the School of Informatics on a number of projects. They are funding a new ZK-Lab, supporting the launch of the blockchain industry’s first ‘decentralization index’ and last but not least, investing $4.5M to create a blockchain research hub in Edinburgh

Informatics student wins best paper award for a study on using lessons learnt from steamboat accidents in developing AI governance

Bhargavi Ganesh, an Informatics PhD student, working on a project looking at a Responsibility Framework for Governing Trustworthy Autonomous Systems, won a best paper award at the We Robot 2022 conference. The paper co-authored by Professor Stuart Anderson from the School of Informatics and Professor Shannon Vallor from Edinburgh Futures Institute looks at lessons learned from US government responses to steamboat accidents and how they can be used nowadays in AI governance.

Informatics researcher’s thesis earns an outstanding dissertation prize from TU Dresden

Andres Goens, who is currently a researcher in the Consistency, Availability and Persistency via Synthesis research group within Institute for Computing Systems Architecture has been awarded “Cloud & Heat Dissertationspreis” for outstanding doctoral dissertation work at TU Dresden.

Informatics student named runner-up in the Young Software Engineer of the Year competition

Lilli Freischem, the final year MInf student, was named runner-up in the Young Software Engineer of the Year competition for producing a new software tool that can identify essential genes – ones that are critical to the survival of an organism – in a wide range of life forms.

AI fire helmet could help save lives

Pioneering technology developed by Dr Chris Xiaoxuan Lu from the School of Informatics could help firefighters more quickly map their surroundings, navigate hazardous environments and get people to safety.

Edinburgh students install UK’s first Hyperloop test track

The University of Edinburgh students launched the first Hyperloop test track in the UK at the King’s Buildings campus. The Edinburgh team – HYPED – is the University’s student society dedicated to advancing Hyperloop, and the leading university team working on the technology in the UK. Student from numerous schools, including Informatics, are members of HYPED.

Nadin Kökciyan and collaborator propose personal privacy assistants to help us tackle overwhelming privacy decisions

From websites collecting our personal data in cookies, to IoT devices that collect, store, and process many different types of user data, we make decisions about our privacy every day. And they are important decisions – if we make wrong choices we risk our data being leaked and exploited. In their recent paper, Nadin Kökciyan and Pinar Yolum from the University of Utrecht propose a new way to deal with everyday privacy questions: personal assistants who can help users with configuring their privacy settings.

Contact tracing tool supports supplies during pandemic

Aggelos Kiayias contributed to Roslin Institute-led project with collaborators in Uganda to create a digital, open-source system that targets the haulage sector as a key source of Covid-19 infection spread.

The vHive ecosystem bridges the gap between the serverless cloud industry and academia

Experts at the Institute for Computer Systems Architecture, in the School of Informatics, in collaboration with their colleagues world-wide, have developed vHive, an open ecosystem for benchmarking and experimentation across the next-generation cloud infrastructure. The initiative aims to join the efforts of the broad industrial and academic community (experts and researchers from more than twenty leading universities and five global software and hardware vendors) to enable joint innovation, equip academic and competing industrial researchers with cutting-edge technologies and set a concrete benchmarking standard in the cloud industry.

Kobi Gal elected fellow of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence

Kobi Gal, reader in Artificial Intelligence and Human-Machine Intelligence at the School of Informatics, has been elected a 2022 EurAI Fellow by the European Association for Artificial Intelligence (EurAI) for his contributions promoting AI research in Europe.

Informatics student wins an award for founding global waste reduction startup

Informatics PhD student Jonathan Feldstein, founder of, won the Growth Innovation Award at the Inspire Launch Grow Awards which celebrate the ambition, resilience and accomplishments of the University of Edinburgh entrepreneurs. The Growth Innovation Award aim to recognise organisations with high-growth potential.

Informatics researchers awarded for their seminal work on effect handlers

Gordon Plotkin and Matija Pretnar (a former PhD in the Laboratory for the Foundations of Computer Science at the School of Informatics) were recognised for their ground-breaking 2009 paper Handlers of Algebraic Effects which received the Test of Time Award at the ETAPS conference on 6th April.

Informatics PhD student wins 3rd prize in the Shape the Future of ITS Competition

Bálint Gyevnár, a first-year PhD student in the School of Informatics won the 3rd prize in the 2021 “Shape the Future of ITS” Competition organised by IEEE – ITSS and aimed at young professionals, practitioners, researchers and students. Participants were asked to present their futuristic vision on Intelligent Transportation System (ITS).  

Informatics REF2021 results: global reach, genuine impact

The School of Informatics remains among the top Computer Science and Informatics research institutions in the UK, according to 2021 Research Excellence Framework results. Our research was recognised as world-leading for research impact and environment. Times Higher Education (THE) named us the top Computer Science and Informatics department in terms of quality and breadth of our research, known as research power.

Jane Hillston elected a Fellow of the Royal Society

Professor Jane Hillston, Head of School of Informatics, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. She is one of only five female fellows whose research falls into a broad computer science or computational sciences fields. Jane joins existing fellows from the School of Informatics: Alan Bundy, Peter Buneman, Wenfei Fan and Gordon Plotkin as well as notable past fellows: Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Charles Babbage, Dorothy Hodgkin and Stephen Hawking.

Raul Garcia-Patron Sanchez and colleagues find that quantum advantage is still some way off

Quantum advantage – the moment when quantum computers can solve problems classical computers find impossible – is still some way off, a study by Raul Garcia-Patron Sanchez from the school of Informatics and Daniel Stilck França from the University of Copenhagen suggests.

Data scientists collaborate with artists to explore global climate data

Experts from the School of Informatics have lent their skills to help develop a new interactive climate AI platform in a fascinating project, that’s bringing scientists and artist together to explore global climate data.

Informatics student finalist in Undergraduate of the Year Awards

Second-year BSc Computer Science and Management Science student, Marian Bitsika, is amongst those in the running to become the next Undergraduate of the Year.

John Vines to co-lead new Centre for Investing Innovation

Professor John Vines, Chair of Design Informatics in the School of Informatics, Is set to co-direct the new Centre for Investing Innovation with funding of £7.5 million over five years provided by the global asset manager, abrdn.

Informatics students showcase assistive robotics at SDP Course Trade Fair

3rd year Informatics students have been working all semester on their System Design Projects - and on Friday 8th April, the public were given the chance to see what they have accomplished at the annual showcase held at Appleton Tower.

Quantum Spies at the Edinburgh Science Festival

Informatics researchers are coming back to the Edinburgh Science Festival with an activity for children aged 8-12 at the National Museum of Scotland. Chris Heunen, Nuiok Dicaire and volunteers from Quantum Informatics will be running a week-long drop-in activity called "Quantum Spies" from 9 to 13 April, 10-4.30pm. Participants will explore the mysteries of quantum informatics, discover hidden messages, cover their tracks, and intercept secret communications in order to earn a quantum spy licence.

Elham Kashefi helps to achieve the next milestone for quantum computing

Elham Kashefi, Professor of Quantum Computing at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh and senior science lead on the UK Quantum Computing and Simulation Hub is part of the consortium that aims to build a system capable of controlling hundreds of qubits simultaneously across different types of quantum hardware. The project paves the way for quantum computers to reach their full potential and is expected to transform industries such as materials development, drug discovery, and finance.

Researchers answer a question inspired by a century old problem in quantum mechanics

Chris Heunen and Andre Kornell (Department of Computer Science, Tulane University) made a breakthrough in the foundations of quantum informatics by proposing a solution to a problem open for nearly a century: what is mathematically special about Hilbert spaces and their operators? Their result is remarkable because it characterises an analytic theory in a purely algebraic way, linking two fields that typically resist each other.

Barbara Webb elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Professor Barbara Webb has been appointed a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Celebrating birthdays online may pose a security risk, Informatics researchers discover 

Wishing someone happy birthday online may pose a security risk according to a study by Dilara Keküllüoğlu, Walid Magdy and Kami Vaniea.

Celebrating women in Informatics

Women might still be underrepresented in the Computer Science departments across the country, but the School of Informatics is doing pretty well: we have 26% of female students which is above the national average. Our students also have plenty role models among our academic staff to draw inspiration from. Today we celebrate all of them.

Walid Magdy finds bots on Twitter have less influence than celebrities

A study led by Dr Walid Magdy, a reader in the School of Informatics suggests that social media bots pose less of a threat spreading harmful messages and misinformation than previously thought, research suggests.

Women and girls in Informatics

Historically, a significant gender gap has existed at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world. Even though women have made tremendous progress towards increasing their participation in higher education, they are still under-represented in these fields and face barriers to participate fully.