The Department of Computing Science has a long-standing reputation in Intelligent Systems. Much of our research looks at the problems of managing knowledge and information in the context of emerging computational infrastructures such as next-generation Web systems and cloud computing, and in the automatic generation of natural language tailored for the reader. A key problem is helping humans make decisions and take actions when faced with a vast amount of available data and information.
The Graduate School offers an induction programme and skills training opportunities for all research students to support their studies and to help with career planning.
Students undertake a research project under the guidance of an academic supervisor and, unlike a postgraduate taught degree by coursework and dissertation, there are no formal lectures or seminars and work is not formally examined until after the final thesis is submitted. The thesis is required to display evidence of originality or present a satisfactory, orderly and critical exposition of existing knowledge within the field concerned.
A PhD is a Doctorate of Philosophy, a prestigious qualification that demonstrates talent, academic excellence and a thirst for knowledge. It usually culminates in a thesis based on research carried out over the course of 3-4 years. The research must “make a distinct contribution to knowledge and afford evidence of originality as shown by the exercise of independent critical powers”. There are no formal lectures or seminars but your work will be periodically qualitatively monitored by the Graduate School.
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College of Physical Sciences
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The Department is involved in several international collaborative projects including the International Technology Alliance in Network & Information Sciences (£2.9M, 2006-2016) with academic and industrial partners in the UK and USA led by IBM.
Members of the Department play leading roles in the £12.4M Rural Digital Economy Research Hub awarded to Aberdeen in 2009.
The Natural Language Generation research group holds a prestigious EPSRC Platform Grant awarded in recognition of their world leading research in this area. Further major interdisciplinary projects include the £1.3M PolicyGrid/PolicyGrid II project and associated eSocial Science research node and the £2.5M CRISP project in Systems Biology.
Our main activities are:
Natural Language Generation
We are interested in both theoretical and practical aspects of information presentation to human users, mainly through the automatic generation of text or speech, but also considering to some extent visual presentation. Example application: using humour (automatic generation of jokes) to help the development of language and communication skills in children (research featured in the BBC Technology News, Daily Mail and Guardian, August 2006).
Group members include: Prof Kees van Deemter, Prof Chris Mellish, Prof Ehud Reiter, Dr Graeme Ritchie and Dr Advaith Siddharthan.
We are examining how to create networks of autonomous software entities that can act on a human's behalf in a complex environment, acquiring information, learning, and interacting with other agents. Example application: building robust, flexible systems to support multiple agencies to organise and coordinate disaster relief efforts.
Group members include: Dr Frank Guerin, Dr Martin Kollingbaum, Prof Judith Masthoff, Prof Tim Norman and Dr Wamberto Vasconcelos.
We are developing processes for acquiring, modelling, using, re-using, and maintaining knowledge. A primary focus of the group is knowledge engineering in the context of the semantic web. We are also involved in developing Ontology management systems & participating in W3C standards activities. Example application: in the aerospace industry, making the accumulated expertise of 100s of engineers available to a designer working on a jet engine, by modelling and re-using meaningful knowledge from a company's intranet.
Group members include: Dr Ernesto Compatangelo, Prof Pete Edwards, Dr Jeff Pan and Prof Derek Sleeman.
Computational Analysis and Modelling
We are researching techniques to analyse, simulate and model time series and spatial data in a range of quantitative, qualitative and linguistic representations, with particular emphasis in the Life and Medical Sciences. Example application: automatic analysis of real-time neonatal ICU data to generate reports on the current health status of premature babies (research featured in the BBC Technology News and Scotsman, February 2006).
Group members include: Prof George Coghill, Prof Jim Hunter, Dr Yaji Sripada.
Further details of research activities are available from the Department's Web Site - here
For a full list of our curent PhD opportunities please click here
A wide variety of career opportunities are available to Computing Scientists. Recent postgraduates from the Department have taken up posts in the telecommunications, biotechnology, computer gaming, and research sectors, both in the UK and internationally.
Most Computing Science postgraduates can expect to find job opportunities in areas directly related to computing. However the knowledge, disciplines and skills acquired whilst studying for a Computing Science postgraduate degree make Aberdeen graduates eminently suitable for a wide range of different careers.
The employment record of our postgraduates is excellent: since 1998, all our postgraduates have found jobs within 3 months of graduation.
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