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UCL Computer Science

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Research

Our research has a lasting impact on multiple areas of society – it models the world around us and is driven by these key challenges:

These eight societal challenges are key drivers of our technical research:

An internet for one trillion users

The world connected by data streams
The majority of internet users are no longer human – our networks research will underpin internet architecture to support the huge flow of traffic from autonomous devices.
Our privacy researchers devise protocols that make the internet safe in sensitive applications such as finance and health.
Computer programs that always work

Laptop and data programmes
Critical applications in finance, aerospace or medicine must not fail but traditional software development and maintenance can’t avoid bugs.
Our work on verification logics, system design and automatic fault-correction ensures the correct and efficient implementation of evolving software systems.
Individualised healthcare

Medical professional uses VR screen to diagnose.

Personalised medicine identifies risks or interventions based on an individual’s profile.
Our work on medical imaging and data analysis enables the precise matching of patients to treatment, identifying groups for effective drug trials. Digital health research empowers individuals to monitor and maintain well-being.

Beyond human capability

Robot, looking up
With robots and AI outperforming humans in fields from game-playing to manufacturing, our work on autonomous systems develops robots and computationally intelligent algorithms for areas including surgery and agriculture.
Our machine-learning researchers devise algorithms to replicate and surpass human intelligence – their ideas will touch every aspect of the society of the future.
A stable and secure economy

The digital economy has enabled radically new ways to trade but it has also brought risks to market integrity and stability.
Our work on financial computing and analytics enables rapid trading while highlighting risk.
Research on privacy and security means digital trading can be carried out with confidence.
Along with research on data-driven policy-making, these developments support new market models with digital assets and peer-to-peer economy. 

Beyond the real world

Virtual and augmented reality touch almost all areas of human life, supporting social interaction and enhancing individual capability.
Our work in computer graphics, vision, and imaging enables immersive experiences that are as real as the real thing.

In computer interaction, our research ensures both benefit and comfort for the human user.

 

Computing on a shoestring

Computer technology has as much to offer to the developing world as it does to developed countries.
Our work in ubiquitous computing brings reliable communication and sensor networks to impoverished locations.

We bring together multi-disciplinary teams to meet global challenges, tackling inequality and achieving development goals.

 

 

Computing the Universe

Data vortex
Alternative computing platforms could break the limits of calculations possible using traditional silicon computers, conjuring the possibility of simulating the universe or predicting the financial market.
Our work on quantum computing, biological computing and large-scale cluster computing designs algorithms to exploit these future platforms.
researchers-working-in-office

Research groups

Our research groups are strong, broad-based, disciplinary teams associated with laboratories, which frame the focus for strategic development within the department.

students-walking-in-malet-place

Research centres

Research centres are large scale interdisciplinary teams established by UCL or across institutions. These centres support UCL to advance its broad disciplinary strengths.

Research Excellence

The UCL Department of Computer Science is at the global forefront of experimental computer science research, focusing on real-world data and computer and software systems and their use.

  • Our approach emphasises methodological rigour and reproducibility, determining our strategy and underpinning our research education. 
  • The Research Excellence Framework (REF), which assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutes, ranked the department top in its most recent evaluation.
  • The REF ranked 96% of its research as internationally excellent, with 61% found to be world-leading.

 

The Alan Turing Institute

 UCL is a proud partner of the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science, the UK’s national body for data science and artificial intelligence.

Turing’s pioneering work in theoretical and applied mathematics, engineering and computing is considered to have laid the foundations for modern data science and artificial intelligence.
The Institute named in his honour has the goals of world-class research in data science and artificial intelligence.
Its research is applied to real-world problems, driving economic impact and societal good, while it leads the training of a new generation of scientists.