School of Informatics

Talks by Professor Andrew Blake

Informatics alumnus, Professor Andrew Blake, Director of the Alan Turing Institute, will give two presentations at King’s Buildings, Friday 27 May 2016.

Hosted the School of Mathematics, the talks will be held in Lecture Room A, James Clerk Maxwell Building (JCMB).


  • 3-3.30pm: informal presentation on the XBox 360 Kinect. While working for Microsoft, Professor Blake led the team which designed Kinect, which allows controller-free computer gaming, and many other applications.
  • 3.30-4pm: coffee/tea will be served on the 3rd floor of JCMB.
  • 4-5pm: Whittaker Colloquium. Title: ‘Machines that see – powered by probability.’

Abstract of ‘Machines that see’

The newly established Alan Turing Institute researches data science, at the intersection of mathematics, statistics, computer science, social science and software engineering. One of the core topics at that intersection is probabilistic processing.  For example, machines that see cannot, it turns out, be programmed directly, but must learn from data, and that involves computing with probabilities. Such machines bring benefits to safety, consumer experiences, and healthcare, and their operation is based on mathematical ideas. These ideas fit into a philosophy of vision as inference: exploring hypotheses for the contents of a scene that explain an image as fully as possible. More recently this explanatory approach has partly given way to powerful, direct estimation methods, whose operating parameters are learned from large data sets. Perhaps the most capable vision systems will come ultimately from some kind of fusion of the two approaches.

Useful links

James Clerk Maxwell Building

Alan Turing Institute 

Previous article about Professor Andrew Blake

School of Mathematics