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Warwick to lead new research on cancer image analytics

Professor Nasir Rajpoot from the Computer Science department will lead a new research project funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) on novel image analytics methods for computerised profiling of the tumour microenvironment. The project award in the amount of £604K is administered by the MRC's Methodology Research Programme (MRP) jointly with the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).

Working together with a team of pathologists (Prof David Snead, Prof Ian Cree, and Dr Yee-Wah Tsang) at the local UHCW NHS Trust and the University of Nottingham medical school (Prof Muhammad Ilyas), Prof Rajpoot and a team of researchers from the Warwick Mathematics and Statistics departments (Prof David Epstein and Dr Richard Savage) will develop sophisticated tools for image analytics in order to reveal spatial trends and patterns associated with disease sub-groups (for example, patient groups whose cancer is likely to advance more aggressively) and deploy those tools for clinical validation at the local UHCW NHS trust. The researchers will also collaborate with industrial partners in Intel Health & Life Sciences (HLS) team based in the UK, GE Healthcare Finnamore, and the first-rate Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) at the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in the USA.

Thu 02 February 2017, 13:35 | Tags: Grants

Warwick graduates named most sought after by top employers

Graduation selfie

The University of Warwick has been named the university targeted by the largest number of the UK's top graduate employers, new research for the Graduate Market has found.

The success means Warwick attracted the largest number of those top graduate recruiters for campus fairs, recruitment presentations or other promotions during 2016-2017.

  • Click here to read the full report.

The Graduate Market in 2017 is a study of the latest graduate vacancies and starting salaries at the UK’s one hundred best-known and most successful employers, conducted by High Fliers Research during December 2016.

Commenting on the news Stephen ward, Head of External Relations: Careers and Skills, said:

“Warwick’s position as the most targeted university in The Graduate Market in 2017, is testament to the hard work devoted by our teams to listening to and working with employers. Whilst the report focuses on the Times Top 100 UK organisations, who are a core group for us and of interest to many Warwick students, we in Student Careers & Skills work with almost 3000 organisations on an ongoing basis, from locally based small businesses to international employers, and across sectors as diverse as charities, engineering, education, politics, creative, consultancy, and arts. In every case we apply the same care in supporting them to engage productively with Warwick students across all disciplines.

“It’s also important to recognise that employer engagement happens not just in Student Careers & Skills, but in the Students Union, Warwick’s Conferences team, the Business School, WMG, and other academic departments. Close internal partnerships are a vital part of the picture; each team plays a key role in supporting employers to get the results they need from engaging with the University and its exceptional students.”

The Graduate Market research examines how many graduates the leading employers recruited in 2016 and assesses their latest recruitment targets for 2017.

It also analyses the starting salaries on offer to new graduates, the number of paid work experience places that are available to students & recent graduates, and reviews the promotions being used by employers to publicise their graduate vacancies during the 2016-2017 recruitment season.

Fri 20 January 2017, 15:58

New collaborative project on parity games

A parity game

Dr Marcin Jurdzinski and Dr Ranko Lazic from Warwick's DIMAP inter-disciplinary centre and the Computer Science department, jointly with Dr Sven Schewe, Dr John Fearnley and Dr Dominik Wojtczak from the University of Liverpool, will lead a new research project on solving parity games in theory and practice, to run 2017-2020.

The project will be supported by approx. £750K from the EPSRC across the two sites. The proposal was ranked top at its funding prioritisation panel, and the reviewers said:

This is the strongest and best designed proposal on theoretical computer science I have seen in the last five years.

as well as

The proposal is about fundamental research, but there is a clear path connecting the expected results to concrete industrial needs on program verification and program synthesis.

Professor Artur Czumaj, head of DIMAP and of the Theory and Foundations research division, commented:

This exciting new EPSRC project builds on excellence in theoretical computer science for which Warwick is internationally renowned. It strengthens our collaborative links with Computer Science at Liverpool, who were likewise one of the leading departments for research outputs in the most recent REF.

Tue 17 January 2017, 19:20 | Tags: People Grants Research Faculty of Science

Largest capital donation in Warwick’s history secured for Mathematical Sciences

Mathematical Sciences building

In December 2016 the Wolfson Foundation announced that it would make a grant of £2m to fund a new Mathematical Sciences Building at Warwick - the biggest capital donation to Warwick in our history so far.

Mathematical Sciences covers the three departments of Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics. The new building - which will be adjacent to the Zeeman Building and will begin construction in February 2017 - will support the expansion of all three departments by 40% over the next decade.

There will be dedicated space for research and teaching in Data Science and the new building will house Warwick’s Alan Turing Institute (ATI) staff when they are not at the ATI’s London base. Warwick is a founding member of the ATI - the national institute for data science.

Professor Stephen Jarvis, Head of Computer Science said:

Over the past two years the Departments of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science have been working closely together on the establishment of the Alan Turing Institute in London, the UKs national institute for Data Science. Many of the world’s challenges in healthcare, security, social cohesion, automotive and aerospace, are being solved by blending underpinning mathematical and statistical techniques to advance new computational methods. In many ways this close collaboration at Warwick is unique, and this support from the Wolfson Foundation will allow us to continue to build on this success."

Professor Colin Sparrow, Head of Mathematics, was keen to underline the unique characteristics of the bid:

One of the most exciting aspects of the building will be the Mathematical Sciences Graduate School - we will be bringing together the graduate programmes and Centres for Doctoral Training into one Mathematical Sciences Graduate School which will have more than 300 PhD students.This will be a great opportunity for those students to collaborate and learn from each other- and also just connect with other students during what can sometimes be a rather solitary time in one’s academic career.”

Professor Mark Steel, Head of Statistics said:

I am delighted that the Wolfson Foundation has decided to award its maximum level of support to our new Mathematical Sciences Building, which is an integral part of our vision for the future development of Mathematical Sciences at Warwick. We are very keen to build on our long tradition of world-class research excellence and to continue to strengthen collaborative links within Warwick and with external partners. Our new facilities will be instrumental in this and will significantly add to our capacity for impact-generating activity.”

The successful bid was the result of close collaboration between several teams. Chris Veal, Research Support Officer for Mathematics and Statistics – recently recognised in the Warwick Staff Awards for his contribution – worked across the three academic departments to create the research overview. The Development Office, which manages the relationship with The Wolfson Foundation across the University, worked with Estates, the Executive Office and Wolfson to project manage the bid.

Mary McGrath, Director of Fundraising, commented:

This is a great example of how Warwick has built a relationship with a charitable trust through many interactions. Wolfson supports excellence, so we were confident that the Math Sci bid would appeal to them in the first instance. However, we have also taken the time to build a strong relationship with the Foundation over many years - Stuart Croft in particular has played a key role in our discussions with Wolfson. The success demonstrates the power of a big team effort working collaboratively and with great respect for each other’s opinions. I think the teams have enjoyed working in this way and look forward more collaborations in the future."

The Wolfson Foundation currently funds The Wolfson Scholars in the Faculty of Arts, and has supported a number of capital projects across campus since the University was founded in 1965.

A number of other bids are currently in progress to fund the new Mathematical Sciences Building, which will cost £27m and will be completed in October 2018.

Wed 11 January 2017, 17:20

Computer Science gains two Doctoral Thesis Prizes

Bo Gao, Stephen Jaris, Philip Taylor and Abhir Bhalerao

The Department of Computer Science celebrates two Faculty of Science Doctoral Thesis Prizes this year.

Dr Bo Gao’s research on energy-aware workload offloading for mobile environments investigates power-compute trade-offs for mobile and cloud computing platforms. This work has gained recognition from researchers in India, China, Malaysia, Italy, Australia, Pakistan, Germany, Canada and France, and has been cited by the US Army Research Laboratory.

Dr Philip Taylor’s research, in collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover, investigates data mining of vehicle telemetry data for driver monitoring, which is contributing to Warwick’s work with JLR on delivering safe and efficient autonomous and semi-autonomous cars of the future.

Congratulations to both candidates on their outstanding research.

Mon 15 August 2016, 17:48 | Tags: Research

Can brain scans lead to better AI?

Jianfeng Feng

Pioneering work by Professor Jianfeng Feng, which has recently featured in the national press, uses MRI scans to understand how the brain works and could be used to create better AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems in the future. Professor Jianfeng has discovered that the more variable a brain is, and the more its different parts frequently connect with each other, the higher a person's IQ and creativity are.

Professor Jianfeng Feng, from the Computer Science Department at Warwick, comments that

Human intelligence is a widely and hotly debated topic and only recently have advanced brain imaging techniques, such as those used in our current study, given us the opportunity to gain sufficient insights to resolve this and inform developments in artificial intelligence, as well as help establish the basis for understanding the diagnosis of debilitating human mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression

Full Story:

Mon 15 August 2016, 17:42 | Tags: Research

University contributing to new advances in cancer diagnosis

Dr Nasir Rajpoot

A University of Warwick computer scientist is working with technology that could revolutionise how some cancers are diagnosed.

A high-tech computer system is able to read samples of human tissue and aid pathologists in the identification of minute changes in cells that can indicate cancer is present. More than 10,000 slides were examined in the first phase of the study[1] which shows that pathologists are as good at accurately diagnosing cancer on a computer as they are with a microscope.

Now Professor Nasir Rajpoot is working with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW) to develop the next generation of image analytics to use with this technology.

The ground breaking technology has the power to help pathologists grade some types of tumours, including lung, prostate and bladder tumours with precision. In prostate cancer, for example, this could make the difference between someone being offered surgery rather than drug based treatments.

The computer system known as The Omnyx® Precision Solution™, can help pathologists to see the small differences in cells in the same way that they have currently been using a microscope, allowing them to make sound decisions on many aspects of cancer diagnosis.

UHCW is the first in the UK to introduce this kind of innovation to its routine practice, meaning it is already benefitting patients.

The Omnyx system digitises slides which are traditionally placed on a microscope so that pathologists can look at them on a computer. Once on the computer, the UHCW scientists have written programmes which will separate normal from abnormal samples.

Consultant pathologist David Snead said:

“I am delighted that University Hospital, Coventry has led this ground breaking study. This provides even greater evidence that digital pathology really works, and works well. The introduction of digital pathology has fantastic potential benefits for patients. We can expect to be able to read samples more quickly than before, and the big advantage is that we can use the computer to easily manipulate an image or its data. For some patients, this additional information may change how their disease is managed.”

Mamar Gelaye, CEO of Omnyx noted:

“Dr Snead and his team have made a significant contribution to showing the value of digital pathology for both clinicians and patients. We are only at the beginning of harnessing the benefits of digitising pathology services, and we look forward to working with institutions like University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust to achieve even greater progress in delivering more accurate and efficient cancer diagnoses.”

Dr Rajpoot said:

“This is a very exciting development in the field of digital pathology. What it means is that we can now move forward with the application of digital pathology image analysis algorithms in a clinical setting. For instance, computer algorithms can automate the process of detecting normal samples so that some routine cases will not need to be looked at by a pathologist at all.

“Together with the team at UHCW, we are looking forward to developing technologies for computer-assisted diagnosis and image analytics for discovering biologically meaningful and clinically relevant signatures of cancer.”

Wed 09 December 2015, 17:37 | Tags: People Research

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