School of Informatics


All the news from 2010 to 2014.

Informatics Success in REF 2014

The School of Informatics has produced more world-leading and internationally excellent research (4* and 3*) than any other university in the UK in the REF 2014 assessment for computer science and informatics.

News agencies have an edge over Twitter

News agencies continue to have an edge over Twitter in being first with the news, academics from the School of Informatics and the University of Glasgow have found.

November 2012 Episode CompuCast

The podcast for Computer Scientists produced by PhD students at the School of Informatics. Episodes feature interviews with eminent figures in the field, a computer science quiz and informatics related news.

PC gags can make us giggle, computer study shows

For many of us computers are a likely source of frustration rather than amusement - but now, experts at the School of Informatics have enabled computers to generate jokes that make people laugh.

Paolo Puggioni in the FameLab Final

Paolo Puggioni, an Informatics PhD student, has made it through to the Scottish Final of the FameLab science communication competition to be held on Saturday 30th November.

Peter Buneman receives OBE

Peter Buneman of the School of Informatics has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list "for services to data systems and computing".

Peter Sandilands Wins Best Paper

Congratulations to PhD student Peter Sandilands who has won the best student paper award at the International Conference on Motion in Games for his paper: "Capturing Close Interactions with Objects Using a Magnetic Motion Capture System and a RGBD Sensor" with Myung Geol Choi and Taku Komura.

Preparation for Robocup

Researchers at the School of Informatics make preparations for the 2011 robot football world cup.

Privacy and Security in the News

David Aspinall, who leads the new Centre for Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh, talks to BBC Radio Scotland about the importance of security online.

Prof Leonid Libkin and Prof Wenfei Fan Named as ACM Fellows

Professors Leonid Libkin and Wenfei Fan have been named as Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellows.

RSE Fellows

Wenfei Fan, Professor of Web Data Management has been elected to the Fellowship of Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

Recent Funding Awards

The School has received funding from Google for a number of awards.

Recent News

BBC Science Editor David Shukman visited the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics at Informatics to explore the science behind the brave new world of Robotics.

Record for Spin Out Companies

The university formed 40 new firms in the 2009-2010 academic year, compared to 26 the previous year, many of which were started at the School of Informatics.

Research Assistant Wins Best Feedback Award from EUSA

Allan Clark, Research Assistant with the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science has won the 'Best Feedback' award from EUSA, as voted by University of Edinburgh students.

Research Films

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RoboCup Team heads to Turkey

Edinferno RoboCup Team, led by Dr Subramanian Ramamoorthy, travel to Turkey to compete in the 2011 robot football world cup.

RoboCup team meet Vince Cable

The EdInferno RoboCup team headed to London last week to attend UKTI TechWorld and look for sponsorship for next season.

Rooke Medal for Prof Chris Bishop

Professor Chris Bishop, a member of the Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation (IANC) at the School of Informatics has been awarded a prestigious Rooke Medal Award by the Royal Academy of Engineering for his "persistent drive" in engaging members of the public in the vital work of engineers and their contribution to society.

Royal Society Study into Digital Participation

Scotland’s most marginalised communities are being denied the opportunities offered by a digital society according to a Royal Society of Edinburgh study into digital participation.


Recognising individuals who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of programming languages. Over the last two years, the SIGPLAN Programming Languages Achievement Award it has gone to Rod Burstall and Gordon Plotkin.

School Promotions

Seven members of staff in the school have recently received promotions:

School of Informatics Moves up the University Rankings

The School of Informatics is now ranked 12th in the world (up from 15th in 2013 and 30 in 2012) for Computer Science & Information Systems.

School of Informatics Secures Funding for Robotics Research

The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with Heriot- Watt University, has just won more than £6 million of UK Government funding to develop a joint robotics research centre in Edinburgh.

School of Informatics Student Wins Yahoo! Faculty Research and Engagement Program Gift

Ioannis Konstas, a PhD Candidate in Informatics has been awarded a prestigious Yahoo! Faculty Research and Engagement Program Gift for his proposed research project entitled ‘Summarising Answers from Multiple Sources for Community Based Question’.

School of Informatics Students Awarded Grant for Development of Digital Technology

Ben Jeffrey and Maria Alecu, both studying for an MInf, will form part of a team from the University of Edinburgh that has been awarded a £5000 grant to develop a team-sourcing technology platform to encourage students with differing skill levels to connect with each other across campus to collaborate on extra-curricular projects.

School of Informatics in the News

The School of Informatics has been featured in a BBC news report on the hi-tech start up scene in Scotland.

Science Festival 2011

Science Festival talks and events at the Forum and Inspace.

Scientists Develop a New Generation of Imaging Tools

A team of astrophysicists, engineers and computer scientists from the School of Informatics, School of Engineering and the EPCC are spearheading research on imaging techniques which will potentially not only unlock secrets from the far reaches of the universe, but also impact modern medicine.

Silicon Valley Visit Informatics

Silicon Valley visited Edinburgh this month to discuss funding growth and scaling fast with the leaders of Scotland’s digital technology sector.

Skyscanner iPhone app

Travel iPhone app by Loc8 Solutions

SpaceBook Project secures funding

The School of Informatics and the School of GeoSciences have successfully secured European funding as part of a consortium to develop location enabled technology that enables navigation and exploration of cities.

Spinout and Start Up Success

The School of Informatics contributes a third of the University of Edinburgh's total spinout and start up companies according to the website ''.

Staff Promotions

The School of Informatics is proud to announce the promotion of 6 members of staff.

Stanford Event Makes the News

The Stanford REE event this month brings positive attention from the press in newspapers such as Scotland on Sunday, the Sunday Herald and the Scottish Business Insider.

Student Wins Google Anita Borg Scholarship

Second year undergraduate student Alexandra Kearney has been awarded an Anita Borg Scholarship.

Student Wins Poster Competion for Jekyll and Hyde Inspired Research

Alexandra Kearney, a first year Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science student, received the ‘People’s Choice’ award, sponsored by Interface3, for best poster as voted for by the attendees.

Student Wins Prize for Butterfly Identification App

Mariyana Koleva, a final year Computer Science student, has won the 1st prize in the University College London Centre for Research on Evolution, Search and Testing (CREST) competition for her projects which identifies Butterflies.

Take Tea with Turing App

'Take Tea With Turing' is an interactive anthology of creative work inspired by the life and legacy of Alan Turing.

Team Edinferno heads to RoboCup 2012 in Mexico City

Subramanian Ramamoorthy will lead Team Edinferno as it heads to RoboCup 2012 in Mexico City. Student participants are Aris Valtazanos, Efstathios Vafeias and Chris Towell. They will be participating in the Standard Platform League, during 17-25 June 2012.

Tegola win NextGen Challenge 2011

Congratulations to all involved in the Tegola project for winning the NextGen Challenge 2011 prize for Rural Leadership and Community Development (in particular Peter Buneman, Mahesh Marina, Giacomo Bernardi and Alex Macmillan).

The Human Brain Project

Academics from the School of Informatics are among those involved in Europe’s largest and most ambitious brain project to date.

The Travelling Treasures Project

Professor Chris Speed, Head of Design at Edinburgh College of Art and Co- Director of Design Informatics, has designed a new App to help guide tourists around the city, using the registration numbers on taxis.

The Valley Girl Show comes to Informatics

The Valley Girl Show is a fun-spirited, web-based talk show starring Jesse Draper, an American actress and entrepreneur. The show concept is an ‘Ellen Degeneres’ of business with a splash of pink. Featuring interviews with some of the top CEOs and entrepreneurs in the world, this season the Valley Girl comes to Scotland and visits two entrepreneurs from the School of Informatics; Tom Griffiths, founder of and Matthew Aylett, founder of CereProc. The Valley Girl also Tim Willis, founder of Flexpansion. Jesse Draper also talks to our Director of Commercialisation Colin Adams.

Think-Tanks Stresses Importance of High Speed Internet

A new report entitled 'Digital Scotland', produced by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) urges Scottish Ministers to improve the country’s internet infrastructure.

Tobias Edler von Koch wins Intel 2013 Doctoral Student Honor Program

The Doctoral Student Honor Programme awards fellowships to exceptional PhD candidates pursuing leading-edge innovation in fields related to Intel’s business and research interests in Europe. The goal of the program is to advance innovation in key areas of technology as well as develop a pipeline of world-class technical talent for Intel’s future workforce and the global knowledge-based economy. This is a prestigious and highly competitive honor with a limited number of fellowships awarded annually. Selected students receiving this award are recognized as being amongst the best in their specific areas of research.

Trading Archives Chart how Britain’s Taste for Tea has Grown

Historians and computer experts have joined forces to shed light on one of the 19th century’s great social transformations … how Britain gave up coffee to become a nation of tea drinkers.

Two ACL Fellows Announced

Bonnie Webber and Mark Steedman from the School of Informatics named as fellows of the Association of Computational Linguistics (ACL).

Two Best Paper Awards for Informatics

Vittorio Ferrari has won the Best Paper Award at the European Conference on Computer Vision, which is one of the top international conferences in this field.

UK’s Second Cyber Research Institute launched

Academics at the School of Informatics are to form part of a new UK 'Cyber Research Institute' which will investigate new ways of automatically analysing computer software to reduce its vulnerability to cyber threats.

University of Edinburgh - Computer Society of India Outreach Program

Overseas Classroom (February 18-22, 2013), Coimbatore, India.

University of Edinburgh Microsoft Research Joint Initiative in Informatics

In 2011 the School of Informatics, in conjunction with Microsoft Research based in Cambridge, launched a joint initiative in Informatics which offered four funded PhD scholarships. Two years on, the initiative is going strong, with all four of the PhD students recently invited to the Microsoft Research PhD Summer School.

Vijay Nagarajan wins Intel 2013 Early Career Faculty Honor Program Award.

This award, which is currently open to select universities in the US, Europe, China and Taiwan, is designed to help Intel connect with the best and brightest early career faculty members at the top universities around the world. Awardees are selected through a competitive and rigorous application process and they receive recognition as well as a cash award to help fund their research and sponsor travel to Intel to collaborate with Intel researchers. Vijay is one among six faculty members from Europe to receive this award this year.

Vittorio Ferrari joins Informatics

This month Vittorio Ferrari joins the Informatics academic staff. Vittorio's current research interests are in computer vision, with focus on learning visual models with minimal human supervision. He is particularly keen on applications in object class detection, image segmentation and human pose estimation. In the past he has worked on several other computer vision problems, including visual attributes, shape matching, contour models, specific object recognition, wide-baseline stereo and tracking in video. Before moving to Edinburgh, Vittorio worked at ETH Zurich, where he was leading the CALVIN research group.

What's on at the Science Festival

Professor Peter Higgs has top billing among University events at this year's Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Xperience Project

Mark Steedman, Professor of Cognitive Science at the School of Informatics, has secured an EC award worth more than £1.6 million for a collaborative robotics project.

Young Academy of Scotland 2011

Dr. Elham Kashefi and Dr Jano van Hemert have been elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh's new Young Academy of Scotland. 68 of the most able and innovative young academics, entrepreneurs and professionals in Scotland were selected from over 300 applicants.

Young Software Engineer of the Year Award

A talented student from the University of Edinburgh has been named Young Software Engineer of the Year by Scotland IS; the trade body for Scotland's ICT industry.

iVenture Tuesdays launched by Tom Farmer

Informatics Ventures launched their latest innovative and exciting series of seminars for entrepreneurs this week, called iVenture Tuesdays.

New Year's Honours 2012

Prof Alan Bundy and visiting Prof Ursula Martin both receive a CBE in the New Year's Honours list for services to computer science. Congratulations!

Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland Visits the School of Informatics

Robots go out on a limb to make Secretary of State welcome.

Microsoft Joint Initiative Announced

Microsoft Research Cambridge and the School of Informatics have cemented their intellectual ties with the creation of four co-funded PhD Scholarships. The scholarships are the latest venture in collaboration which has seen a number of previous scholarships and fellowships and the use of staff’s research in the development of Microsoft products.

More Informatics Research in the News

Researchers at the School of Informatics have received considerable media coverage for their work on speech technology and how it can improve public announcements.

NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship

ICSA PhD student Dominik Grewe has been awarded an NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship. He's one of only 11 students worldwide to have received this, and the only one from a European university.

New European Lab for the Programming and Design of Heterogeneous Many-Core Systems

Euphoria, a new European lab for next-generation, many-core systems has been announced. The lab will bring world-leading researchers and industrial partners together to tackle a number of grand challenges facing the sector over the next 7 to 15 years.

New Head of School

The School would like to congratulate Johanna Moore who has been appointed the new Head of School of Informatics. Johanna takes over from Dave Robertson on 1st August 2014 after a handover period.

New Professors in Informatics

The Central Academic Promotions Committee has approved four Personal Chairs in Informatics.

Guardian League Table Results

The School of Informatics has been ranked number one in the Guardian Newspaper's University League Table 2011 for Computer Sciences and IT with a score of 100.

Influential Technology Investors

The Telegraph, in conjunction with "social capital" company PeerIndex has ranked Informatics Ventures amongst the top 100 most influential technology investors in Europe.

Informatics Features in Promotional Film

The School of Informatics takes a leading role in a new promotional film produced by Edinburgh City Council.

Informatics Innovative Learning Week 18th to 22nd February 2013

Innovative Learning Week (ILW) is a week-long programme of creative and experiential learning events that gives students a chance to develop new skills.

Informatics Professor to give Prestigious Lecture at Hong Kong Science Festival

Professor Sethu Vijayakumar of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics is to deliver the Alan Turing Centenary Lecture as part of the ‘Science Alive’ festival in Hong Kong.

Informatics Spin-Out Company Speech Graphics Behind Kanye West’s Controversial New Video

The innovative new video by rap superstar Kanye West was made using technology created by Informatics spin-out company computer animation company Speech Graphics, it has emerged.

Informatics Student Wins Award

Informatics student Razvan Ranca wins the international winner of the 2013 Undergraduate Awards, an international competition run from Ireland.

Informatics Students win Poster Competition at The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium 2013

Two University of Edinburgh School of Informatics students have won prizes at the 2013 British Computing Society Women Lovelace Colloquium.

Informatics Ventures Scoop Award

Informatics Ventures have received a European Structural Fund 2010 Best Practice Award under the category "Best contribution to a “Smarter” Scotland through the use of European Structural Funds"

Informatics Ventures to lead Biggest Investor Showcase in Scotland

Informatics Ventures will double the size of its annual flagship event, Engage Invest Exploit (EIE) following partnership deals struck with the Edinburgh BioQuarter and the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI).

Informatics at RS Summer Science Exhibition

The School of Informatics is exhibiting work at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in early July. Subramanian Ramamoorthy is leading a team that consists of his PhD students - the Robust Autonomy and Decision Group.

Informatics gains Silver Athena SWAN Award

It was announced today that the School of Informatics has won its first Athena SWAN Silver Award.

Informatics researchers win John Logie Baird Award

The John Logie Baird Innovation Awards celebrate Scotland's newest generation of inventors and innovators. Among the winners this year was Speech Graphics Ltd, a speech technology and computer animation company.

Informatics team up with ARM to create faster computers

A new centre of excellence is to tackle one of the greatest computing challenges of the next decade - creating faster, more efficient software for multi-core devices.

Innovative Science to Help Economic Recovery

An article in the Times newspaper has featured the 'Edinburgh Science Triangle' which includes sectors such as informatics, life sciences and energy, as a key driver to push the economic recovery.

Insect Robotics Research on BBC News

Professor Barbara Webb talks to BBC Science Correspondent Pallab Ghosh about her work in robotics and how researchers can learn from nature.

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March each year.

Internet Access brought to Remote Parts of Scotland

Experts at the School of Informatics and the University of the Highlands and Islands have worked together to develop a high-speed internet network to serve Eigg, Rum, Muck and Canna and other remote areas of Scotland.

Joint Project between Informatics and Electronics receives £1.2m funding from EPSRC

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has announced funding of £1.2m over three and a half years for a new collaboration between researchers in the School of Informatics and the School of Engineering and Electronics at Edinburgh University, led by Prof Nigel Topham.

Jon Oberlander Appointed to Scottish Science Advisory Council

Prof. Jon Oberlander has been appointed as member for the Scottish Science Advisory Council, the independent body that provides advice and recommendations on strategy, policy and priorities to the Scottish Government's Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland.

July Episode CompuCast

The podcast for Computer Scientists produced by PhD students at the School of Informatics. Episodes feature interviews with eminent figures in the field, a computer science quiz and informatics related news.


LAUNCH.ed is a University of Edinburgh service designed to provide free startup advice and business support to students interested in starting a business.

Major grant to reduce energy use and cost in homes

The £2.15M grant project named IDEAL will develop an "Intelligent Domestic Energy Advice Loop" to help dwelling occupants to save energy and money.

Gerhard Wickler - Re-elected to the Board of Directors of ISCRAM

A member of AIAI in the School of Informatics, Gerhard has been a co-organizer of the Intelligent Systems track at ISCRAM since 2007 and was elected to the Board at the 2010 conference in Seattle; shortly thereafter being appointed secretary of the Association, a two year position.

Media Coverage of Robotics Research

News stories about the School of Informatics robotics research in relation to the new Robotarium being established in Edinburgh.

Graduate Wins 2014 ERCIM Cor Baayen Award

School of Informatics graduate wins the 2014 ERCIM Cor Baayen Award.

2011 Kleene Award

Willem Heijltjes was presented with the 2011 Kleene Award for the best student paper at the Logic in Computer Science conference held at the Fields Institute in Toronto, Canada.

AIAI Research Fellow Receives Distinguished Service Award

Gerhard Wickler of the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI), part of CISA at the School of Informatics, has received a Distinguished Service Award.

Academic Achievements

Sethu Vijayakumar has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).

Actual Analytics Awarded Funding for Smart Approaches to Reduce Animal Use in Science

Work to replace and reduce animal use in science and improve animal welfare has today received a £4.8m funding boost with the award of 20 research and technology development grants to universities, specialist institutes and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) including funding to Informatics Spin-out Actual Analytics.

Appathon Winners

Edinburgh Informatics students provided one quarter of the winners in the recent Appathon competition, competing against students from across the UK.

August Episode CompuCast

The podcast for Computer Scientists produced by PhD students at the School of Informatics. Episodes feature interviews with eminent figures in the field, a computer science quiz and informatics related news.

Award Winning School

During March 2010, the School of Informatics was awarded the 2009/10 award for Best Overall Department by the Edinburgh University Students' Association.