UCL News


New UCL liaison with the Alan Turing Institute

6 November 2016

Professor David Pym (UCL Computer Science) has been appointed UCL's University Liaison Director with the Alan Turing Institute (ATI), succeeding Professor Sofia Olhede (UCL Statistical Science).

Alan Turing Institute

UCL is a founding partner of the ATI, the UK's national data science institute. Its mission is to:

  • undertake data science research at the intersection of computer science, mathematics, statistics and systems engineering
  • provide technically informed advice to policymakers on the wider implications of algorithms
  • enable researchers from industry and academia to work together to undertake research with practical applications
  • act as a magnet for leaders in academia and industry from around the world to engage with the UK in data science and its applications.

Professor Pym said: "The ATI represents not only a major development of the UK's presence in the data sciences, but also a significant opportunity for UCL. I hope that we can encourage engagement with ATI from across the breadth of UCL's activities.

"ATI's scientific mission is inherently highly interdisciplinary: as such, it faces many challenges, including the development of common concepts and languages, the integration of methodologies and cultures, and the identification of shared problems. It also has the opportunity to advance the relationships between the contributing disciplines as it finds solutions to some of the most pressing problems of our times. UCL, with its collaborative spirit and ethos of doing useful research, is ideally placed to be in the forefront of the ATI's development and success."   

Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Dean of UCL Engineering, said, "As David takes on this new position, we extend our grateful thanks to Sofia, the outgoing University Liaison Director, who is stepping down to focus on her European Research Council Fellowship. Over the past year, Sofia has led UCL's engagement with the ATI, overseeing the selection of our Faculty Fellows and the establishment of essential financial and administrative processes.

"In addition, she has served as inaugural Chair of the Institute's Science Committee and its Interim Programme Committee, leading the recruitment of the first cohort of Turing Research Fellows, and facilitating dialogue between the five university partners and the ATI to agree human resources procedures. Prior to this, she oversaw the ATI's early scientific scoping process, which peer-reviewed more than 100 applications, funded over 30 workshops, and produced the ATI Scoping Programme, with a report summarising the data science landscape."


  • Office of the Vice-Provost (Research)



  • The Alan Turing Institute