Aw man its sad when people go!
Maidstone Grammar School 1993-1998, University of Nottingham 1998-2005
A levels in Maths, Physics, Computing. BSc in Artificial Intelligence, PhD in Computer Science
Lecturer in Computer Science and Biosciences
University of Nottingham
I work with computers and cameras to learn stuff about the world around us
We use cameras much like people use their eyes – to see things about us, to measure things, and to work out the shapes of objects.
I work in a field called “image analysis” which just means working out what things in images mean. So for example, the way your digital camera or phone can detect a face and focus on it? That’s image analysis.
I work mainly with other scientists, analysing what’s in their pictures using computer algorithms, and measuring things for them. For example, if biologists want to measure the size of some plants, we can take pictures of them and write software to do these measurements for them automatically. This is important if you have thousands of plants to measure!
To me, getting computers to understand the world using vision is one of the hardest artificial intelligence challenges.
My Typical Day
I don’t have a typical day — but any day can include programming, reading about other peoples work, coming up with ideas for new projects, learning how to use new pieces of kit, giving talks to students and other scientists, and of course working on our current scientific projects (doing experiments!)
I work closely with biologists and mathematicians and engineers, so I’d probably have quite a few chats with those folks throughout the day for various projects. Quite a bit of science these days involves people from lots of backgrounds working together, which is cool.
What I'd do with the prize money
There’s money?? :) I’ve always liked the idea of building a demo image analysis setup using Lego as a way of communicating what I do, so maybe that.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Techie, inquisitive, friendly
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I was always wondering how things worked, and why they worked
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Maybe just a little bit, once in a while?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A musician (a bad one)
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Loads! Last album bought: Deadmau5
What's your favourite food?
Curry! (Really hot!). Or maybe burgers.
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Working with robots is fun
Tell us a joke.
How do you find your lost pet gorilla? Hide in a tree and make a noise like a banana.