Department of Informatics

Research supervisors and example projects

All teaching faculty in Informatics supervise doctoral students. Some of their areas of expertise are listed below, along with potential PhD projects. For advice on supervision in areas not listed below, please contact the Director of Doctoral Studies, Dr Martin White.

Photo of Natalia Beloff

Natalia Beloff

Areas: New models of e-Business and e-Advertisement; e-Business on social networks; business models for small and medium digital enterprises; adver-gaming; advertising on social networks; e-Government and e-Citizenship; education and social networks
Projects: • User-centric virtual environments for e-commerce 
• New advertising models for small businesses on social networks
• Web 2.0 HE: web collaboration for Higher Education institutions

Photo of Luc Berthouze

Luc Berthouze

Areas: Motor development in health and disease, computational neuroscience, dynamical systems, developmental robotics
Projects: • Oscillations and synchrony in the human nervous system: emergence and function
• Self-organized criticality in neural development
• Dynamical systems approach to the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental motor disorders

Photo of Peter Cheng

Peter Cheng

Areas: Cognitive science, representational systems for higher cognition, symbolic cognitive modelling, cognitive processes of writing and drawing
Projects: • Principles of representational system and tool design for complex problem solving and conceptual learning (including information visualization) 
• Nature of the temporal chunk signals (pauses) in writing and drawing and its application to cognitive assessment (e.g., learning, cognitive deficits, user authentication)
• Computational models of higher cognition (e.g., learning with diagrams, writing and drawing, scientific discovery)

Photo of Ron Chrisley

Ron Chrisley

Areas: Philosophy of artificial intelligence and cognitive science, philosophy of computation, non-conceptual content, theoretical issues in animal and infant cognition, embodied cognition, robotic/computational/representational models of visual experience, architecture-based models of emotion, machine consciousness
Projects: • Expectation-based robotic models of visual experience: change blindness, inattentional blindness, troxler fading, etc.
• Interactive empiricism and experimental philosophy: solving the hard problem of consciousness through activity-based conceptual change
• Synthetic phenomenology: non-linguistic approaches to specifying non-conceptual mental content

Photo of Judith Good

Judith Good

Areas: Constructivist and constructionist learning environments, virtual environments and simulations for learning
Projects: • Visual programming languages for game creation environments
• Educational simulations for attitudinal change
• Collaborative, mobile learning of computational concepts

Photo of Phil Husbands

Phil Husbands

Areas: Adaptive/bio/evolutionary/probabilistic robotics, computational neuroscience, evolutionary algorithms and stochastic search, creative systems
Projects: • Multifunctional reconfiguring neural networks for control of multiple locomotion behaviours in walking machines
• Chemical and electrical modulation in spiking neuronal network models
• Stable behaviour from random neural networks


Ian Mackie

Areas: Programming languages, compilers, mathematical logic, quantum computation
Projects: • Optimal compilation of programs
• Visual programming
• Reversible computation

Photo of Paul Newbury

Paul Newbury

Areas: Multimedia systems and virtual prototyping of ubiquitous systems; technology enhanced learning and video techniques for distance learning; applications of gaming environments
Projects: • Developing frameworks for the virtual prototyping of multimedia rich technologies
• Automatic content creation techniques for the production of video and media assets applied to distance learning
• Applications of 3D gaming environments and motion capture data in novel environments

Photo of Thomas Nowonty

Thomas Nowotny

Areas: Computational neuroscience, hybrid systems, machine learning
Projects: • Dynamical observer: New hybrid systems approaches to electrophysiological measurements
• Biomimetic chemical sensing: Recognition and search for odor sources
• Parallel computational neuroscience: Exploiting GPU for computational neuroscience

Photo of Marianna Obrist

Marianna Obrist

Areas: Human-computer interaction, multi-sensory experiences, interaction design, interdisciplinary methods and theories
Projects: • Touch and touchless interaction with technology for creating novel interactive experiences
• Exploration of smell as a interaction modality for different usage contexts (in- and outdoor)
• Characteristics of taste experiences and their use in interaction design
• Cross-modal interaction based on touch, taste, and smell

Photo of George Parisis

George Parisis

Areas: Datacentre networking and storage, information-centric networking, publish/subscribe systems
Projects: • Fast, green datacentre storage 
• Information-centric networking: design and implementation of efficient ICN transport which is cache and mobility-friendly and can scale up to inter-domain communication scenarios 

Photo of Andy Philippides

Andrew Philippides

Areas: Bio-inspired robotics, insect navigation, neural networks, neuromodulation, computational neuroscience, computer vision
Projects: • Insect-inspired strategies for autonomous robotic navigation and control
• Neuromodulation in artificial neural networks
• Tracking algorithms for noisy biological data

Photo of Novi Quadrianto

Novi Quadrianto

Areas: Machine learning, kernel methods, Bayesian methods, computer vision
Projects: • Non-parametric machine learning methods for big data
• A unified semantic attribute representation for images and text data
• Building and analysing disease networks

Photo of Bernhard Reus

Bernhard Reus

Areas: Programming languages, program verification, domain theory, type theory, logic
Projects: • Semantics of SOC (Service-oriented Computing) by stream processing functions
• Types and logics for reflective programming
• Semi-automatic derivation of specifications for stored code

Photo of Anil Seth

Anil Seth

Areas: Consciousness science, cognitive neuroscience, computational neuroscience, functional connectivity
  • Influence of expectations on conscious perception
  • Characterising directed and causal connectivity in neuroimaging data
  • Using virtual reality to understand conscious selfhood
  • For more, see

Photo of Ian Wakeman

Ian Wakeman

Areas: Networks, distributed systems, pervasive computing
Projects: • Pervasive computing systems: how can we develop aggregate services that are both amenable to configuration by users, and are capable of self-organising?
• Can we re-engineer the design of networked servers so as to utilise a generalised reputation framework, so that servers can offer service levels commensurate with the likelihood that the client will behave?
• Online social networks provide strong evidence of the trust relationships between individuals; can we build overlay networks that take advantage of these trust relationships to build distributed systems that facilitate secure services between user?

Photo of David Weir

David Weir

Areas: Natural language processing, distributional semantics and unsupervised acquisition of lexical knowledge, theory of grammatical formalisms and parsing algorithms
Projects: • Compositional semantics with vector space models
• Exploiting distributional methods for sentiment analysis
• Synchronous grammar formalisms as models of aligned corpora

Photo of Sharon Wood

Sharon Wood

Areas: Cognitive modelling, agent-based modelling, visual attention, decision-making, technology-based information presentation design, intelligent systems, healthcare applications
Projects: • Modelling components of and interactions between planned behaviour, activity recognition, real-time decision making and attention
• Modelling health outcomes and designing information presentation to support behaviour change
• Applying fundamental research in cognition and visual attention to system design