Senior Lecturer


Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 273067
The University of Aberdeen Room 229, Meston Building
Web Links



  No Vancancies


  • December 2020: Happy to serve as a PC member again this year for IJCAI 2020: https://ijcai20.org/
  • November 2019: We are principally funded by Cancer Research UK (up to £100K) for a new project titled “Haem-AI: Early cancer diagnosis in Haematological Malignancies by AI”. I will be working with pathologists, physicists, and AI researchers from Oxford, Imperial, Warwick, and Swansea to explore the use of AI for early detection of mycosis fungoides and myeloproliferative neoplasms (two types of severe cancers).
  • September 2019: Our paper titled "DeepSwarm: Optimising Convolutional Neural Networks using Swarm Intelligence" has won the best paper award at UKCI 2019 (19th Annual UK Workshop on Computational Intelligence) among all 45 accepted papers. paper, code, preprint
  • May 2019: The CRUK funded joint project with Oxford and Middlesex ( Using AI for Early Detection of Oesophageal Cancer) has started. See the following project information from CRUK Oxford Centre. See the following information from CRUK for two of my funded projects (Project 3 and Project 5).  
  • May 2019: I was invited by UKRI to attend the UKRI AI regional workshop, in which we help to form UKRI's future AI funding strategies by providing our input and opinions on AI.
  • February 2019: I am invited to be a PC member for LOD2019 (The Fifth International Conference on Machine Learning, Optimization, and Data Science). 
  • January 2019: I am happy to serve as a PC member for IJCAI 2019 in Macau, China. 
  • January 2019: I was invited to attend a CRUK/EPSRC/STFC joint workshop on AI for cancer early detection.  I was notionally awarded two projects during the workshop with researchers from Oxford, Middlesex, UCL, National Physics Laboratory, Institute for Cancer Research, Leeds, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. 
  • October 2018: I secured a BBSRC funded eastbio DTP (BB/M010996/1) PhD studentship (~£95.2K) as co-supervisor (50%). This is one of the five eastbio PhD studentships within the theme of AI/ML. Project title: Improving forecasting and management of fish stocks and forest pests using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • August 2018: I am promoted from Associate College membership to Full College membership of EPSRC Peer Review College. 
  • August 2018: I will be one of the technical co-chairs of ICDIS 2019 (The 2nd International Conference on Data Intelligence and Security). 
  • June 2018:  ICCCS 2018 is on CCTV 4 (China Central Television) news, and I am happy to serve as a PC member for this conference since 2016 (I am also  Session Chair and best paper panel member in ICCCS 2016). 
  • June 2018:  A fully funded PhD studentship was awarded by Data Lab (I am the co-supervisor, Lead Supervisor: Dr Yaji Sripada, the other supervisor: Dr Frank Guerin).
  • March 2018:  I am awarded a new EPSRC project Realising Accountable Intelligent Systems (RAInS)  (PI: Prof Pete Edwards, value in total £1.36M) with researchers from Cambridge and Oxford. 
  • February 2018: I will be the co-chair of The 31st International Workshop on Qualitative Reasoning, which will be held at IJCAI-ECAI 2018
  • January 2018: Our ESPRC project "Manufacturing Immortality" featured on BBC Radio 4 morning news (starting from 1:43:56): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09kq1gr
  • July 2017: I am promoted to Senior Lecturer with effect from 1 August 2017. 
  • July 2017: We have been awarded £19.9K from Scottish Funding Council on the community cinema statistics project. Industrial partners include INDY Cinema Group Ltd, Driftwood Cinema Limited, North East Arts Touring, and Open Cinema Foundation. Academic partner: University of Glasgow. £9.95K goes to Aberdeen.
  • July 2017: I obtained First-class Science and Technology Award of Jilin Province, China with my Chinese collaborators (Prof Lan Huang, Prof Yanchun Liang, Prof Yan Wang etc) for our research on Swarm Intelligence Optimisation Algorithms. It has been my great pleasure to work with these preeminent researchers over the last 15 years!
  • May 2017: I was selected to participate in the EPSRC New Industry Systems Sandpit, and we have been notionally awarded by EPSRC a £2.71M project titled "Manufacturing immortality". and I was awarded as Aberdeen's sole investigator ~420K (~£360K from EPSRC). Other project members include Bristol, Manchester, Northumbria, Cranfield, Lancaster, and Sheffield Hallam. Project partners include CENSIS, Data Lab, Dstl, Siemens, AFC Energy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, ITM Power, Zentraxa. 
  • March 2017: I have been funded by Royal Society for an international exchanges scheme from March 2017 to March 2019. 
  •  January 2017:  I was invited by EPSRC to attend the ICT Theme Early Career Workshop. 
  •  December 2016: I won the best paper award in The 12th International Conference on Advanced Data Mining and Applications (ADMA 2016), Gold Coast, Australia. I attended the conference and made the presentation.
  •  November 2016: I became an EPSRC Peer Review Associate College Member.
  • November 2015: Scientists in Westminster reception organised by Royal Society (Photo with Kirsty Blackman MP at the House of Commons). 
  •  October 2015: I was featured on the cover of Royal Society of Edinburgh Newsletter (2015 Autumn Cover Page):  www.royalsoced.org.uk/cms/files/publications/ReSourcE/15Autumn.pdf
  • March 2015:  I was selected in the 2015 Scottish Crucible: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/news/7569/;  http://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/news/7910/ ; http://www.scottishcrucible.org.uk/people/2015-crucibilists.html
  • March 2015: I became one of the first 30 members of READIE (Europe’s Research Alliance for a Digital Economy). 


Work Experience:

2017-present: Senior Lecturer, School of Natural and Computing Sciences, University of Aberdeen

2012-2017: Lecturer, School of Natural and Computing Sciences, University of Aberdeen

2009-2012: Research Fellow, School of Natural and Computing Sciences, University of Aberdeen

2004-2006: Teaching Assistant, College of Computer Science and Technology, Jilin University


2005-2009: Ph.D., Computing Science, University of Aberdeen

2001-2004: M.Sc., Computer Science, Jilin University

1997-2001: B.Sc., Computer Science, Jilin University


Research Interests

Data Mining, Machine Learning. 

Bio-inspired computing, including artificial immune systems and swarm intelligence. 

Qualitative Reasoning, including inferring qualitative models of complex systems. 

Current Research

See funded projects. 


George M. Coghill, Chunguang Zhou, Zhezhou Yu, Zhe Wang, Lan Huang, Jinchao Ji, Yan Wang, Kang-ping Wang.

Research Grants


  • Aberdeen CoI: "Realising Accountable Intelligent Systems (RAInS)", a joint project with Oxford and Cambridge funded by EPSRC ( £1.36M, PI: Prof Pete Edwards, EP/R033846/1-Aberdeen, EP/R033501/1-Cambridge, EP/R03379X/1-Oxford). Aberdeen value: £0.97M, June 2018-June 2021. Project Partners include IBM Research UK, UK Law Commission, and Transport Systems Catapult.  
  • Aberdeen Sole-investigator and CoI, "New Industrial Systems: Manufacturing Immortality", funded by EPSRC (EP/R020957/1, £2.69M), Aberdeen value £423K (£363K from EPSRC), March 2018-March 2021. Project Partners include CENSIS, Data Lab, Dstl, Siemens, AFC Energy, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, ITM Power, and Zentraxa.
  • CoI and PI on a subproject, ESRC Social Media - Developing Understanding, Infrastructure & Engagement (Social Media Enhancement), funded by ESRC (grant Reference ES/M001628/1), £541,922, February 2014- February 2016.Project URL
  • PI, "Immune-inspired Anomaly Detection In Environmental Sensor Data with Natural Language Generation Support", RCUK Digital Economy Hub dot.rural partnership grant, £109,845, September 2014-September 2015, Project URL

    Royal Society/Royal Society of Edinburgh:

  • PI, 'Physarum Intelligence: Understanding and Learning from Competing Slime Mold', funded by Royal Society (Grant Ref IE160806), £12K,  March 2017-March 2019.
  • PI (main contact), 'AIRSYB: An AI-based Self-adaptive Robot Systems Biologist', 2015 Scottish Crucible Award Project, funded by Royal Society of Edinburgh, £8,000 (£5,000 from RSE, £3,000 from Beyond Consulting Ltd), October 2015-April 2017. Project URL


    Two projects are notionally funded by CRUK/ESPRC/STFC involving applying AI for cancer early detection. Collaborators include Oxford, Middlesex, National Physics Laboratory, UCL, Leeds, Institute of Cancer Research, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. 

     More details to come. 

     Externally Funded PhD studentships:

  • CoI (co-supervisor, 25%): Interpretable Machine Learning with Natural Language Generation, EPSRC DTP (EP/N509814/1). 
  • CoI (Co-supervisor, 50%): "Improving forecasting and management of fish stocks and forest pests using artificial intelligence and machine learning", PhD studentship funded by BBSRC eastbio DTP (BB/M010996/1, ~£95.2K). October 2018-September 2022. 
  • CoI (co-supervisor, 33%): "Object Detection and Scene Reconstruction from Underwater Sonar Images", PhD studentship funded by the Data Lab (£23K) and industry (£20K), October 2018-October 2022. 
  • CoI (co-supervisor, 40%): "Knowledge Graph Explanation with Machine Learning Approaches", PhD studentship partially funded by IBM. 

    Scottish Funding Council

  • Aberdeen Investigator, the community cinema statistics project, funded by Scottish Funding Council, with INDY Cinema Group Ltd, Driftwood Cinema Limited, North East Arts Touring, Open Cinema Foundation, and the University of Glasgow. £19.9K, (£9.95K goes to Aberdeen, Grant Ref. 16-IF-3513), September 2017-May 2018.

     Other Funders/Small Grants: 

  • PI, "A semi-quantitative systems biology approaches to modelling stress response pathways of human fungal pathogens", funded by Shaanxi (China) Key Laboratory of Complex System Control and Intelligent Information Processing (Grant No. 2017CP01), RMB 40,000, May 2017-April 2019
  • Co-PI (UK site),‘Modelling of biochemical systems based on dynamic multiscale algorithms estimation and application', funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61602209), RMB 180K, January 2017-December 2019. PI (China site) is Dr Zujian Wu from Jinan University, China.
  • Co-PI, "The study on protein-protein binding site structural alignment methods", funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61202309), RMB 240K, January 2013-December 2015. PI is Dr You Zhou from Jilin University, China.
  • PI, British Council RING grant (Researcher International Networking Grant), £1,500, February 2011-February 2012, with Prof Thibault Lust current at LIP 6 (Computer Science Laboratory of Paris 6, France).   
  •  Co-PI,"A bioinformatics approach to study the interaction of non-coding RNA and proteins", funded by the Sci-tech Department of Jilin Province, China (Grant No. 20090116), RMB 20K. PI: Dr You Zhou from Jilin University, China. January 2010- December 2012.
  • CoI, "The study of bioinformatics algorithms for recognition of small RNA molecules in the genome of agricultural crops", funded by Jilin University through Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China, RMB 50K, PI: Dr You Zhou from Jilin University, China. January 2010-December 2011.
  •  CoI, "An Intelligent Decision-making System for Automotive Sale and Management"  funded by National High-tech R&D Program of China ('863 Program', Grant No. 2007AA04Z114), RMB 700K, PI: Prof Lan Huang from Jilin University, China. October 2007-October 2010. 
  • College of Physical Sciences Research Incentivisation Fund awarded by University of Aberdeen, £2495, October 2016-October 2017. 
  • PECE Bursary awarded by the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA), £2,935, April 2016-May 2016.
  • Awarded Digital Catapult Contributor Membership (April 2015~July 2017), €20,000 (€10,000 pa. by winning a competition through the Polly project)
  • Scottish Crucible, funded by RSE and SFC, 2015, Media Coverage  Media Coverage 2
  • FEBS Youth Travel Fund (YTF), €1000, 2009

Teaching Responsibilities


Currently teaching:

Postgraduate (MSc in AI)

CS5062 Machine Learning (since 2018)

CS551G Data Mining and Visualisation (since 2013)


CS4047  Computational Intelligence (since 2010)

CS1527 Object Oriented Programming (since 2018)

Previously teaching: 


Advanced Web Application Development


Web Application Development


Further Info

External Responsibilities



 IJCAI 2018 workshop: 31st International Workshop on Qualitative Reasoning

 ICDIS 2019 (The 2nd International Conference on Data Intelligence and Security), Technical Co-chair. 

 PC Member:

 GECCO (Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference), 2015, 2016, 2019.

 IJCAI (International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence), 2019

 International Workshop on Qualitative Reasoning (IJCAI workshop), 2016-2018

 ECAL (European Conference on Artificial Life), 2013-2014.

ICARIS (International Conference on Artificial Immune Systems), 2012~2013.

ICCCS: International Conference on Cloud Computing and Security), 2016-2019: PC member, 2016: Session Chair and best paper award panel member.  ICCCS 2018 appeared on CCTV 4 news

FCST (International Conference on Frontier of Computer Science and Technology ), 2010-2012.

UKCI (UK Workshop on Computational Intelligence), 2007-2016 (2007 Session Chair)

ICACI (International Conference on Advanced Computational Intelligence), 2015 and 2017

ICSI32015 (International Congress on Systems Immunology, Immunoinformatics & Immune-computation) 

IEEE DSC 2016 (IEEE International Conference on Data Science in Cyberspace)

Admin Responsibilities

2017-present:       Program Co-ordinator for MSc in Artificial Intelligence

2016-2017:            Departmental Exams Officer

2015-present:         Member of Department Research Committee

2015-present:         Leader of the Systems Modelling theme (one of the three research themes at          

                               Aberdeen Computing Science). 

2015-2016:             Program Coordinator for MSc in Data Analysis, Visualisation and Communication

2014-present:         Deputy Director of Postgraduate Teaching (in the absence of the Director)

2013-2016:             Program Co-ordinator for MSc in Information System and Data Management

Free Software

  • Qualitative, Semi-quantitative, and Qualitative Simulation

           JMorven (maintained by myself, online manual available)

  • Data Mining in Heterogenous Information Networks(Open Source)

           SemiRPClus (maintained by Chen Luo at Rice University)

            Hete-CF (maintained by Chen Luo at Rice University)

  • Essential Protein Ranking (Open Source)

            IEW (maintained by Yuexu Jiang at Missouri)

  • Cancer Biomarker Detection

           Specific Cancer Biomarkers Detection (maintained by Dr. Wei Du at U. of Georgia)

           Supplementary Material for:  Du, W., Cao, Z., Wang, Y., Pang, W., Zhou, F., Tian, Y. & Liang, Y. (2015). 'Specific biomarkers: detection of cancer biomarkers through high-throughput transcriptomics data'.Cognitive Computation

Professional Membership


2015- present: Europe’s Research Alliance for a Digital Economy (redie.eu)

2013-present: The Digital Economy ‘Communities and Culture’ Network+ (CCN+

2013-present: New Economy Models in the Digital Economy (NEMODE)

2010-present: Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET)

2015-present: Scottish Crucible Alumni Network

2015-present: Contributor member of Digital Catapult

Esteem Indicators


Number of peer-reviewed journal papers


Number of citations


Number of peer-reviewed conference papers


Erdös Number 

 at most 4 

  Einstein Number

at most 6