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Research articles

Research carried out by the University of Oxford's staff, students and alumni has made an enormous impact on the world over the centuries. You can explore below some of the more recent examples of how our community of computer scientists have contributed to areas such as artificial intelligence, the environment and health.

Inspired Research is the twice-yearly newsletter published by the Department of Computer Science. Click here to download the latest magazine.

Are we safe in self-driving cars?

The safety of self-driving cars relies on the accuracy of the deep neural networks that control them. To verify the performance of these networks, the department is developing model checking techniques, as Professor Marta Kwiatkowska explains.

Defining trust helps robots behave

An important step in making sure that robots act safely and effectively in our society is to be able to formally express what trust is in a human-robot partnership. The University of Oxford is working on how to express the properties of trust, writes researcher Morteza Lahijanian.

Rocky ethical territory to traverse to reach AI code

How people relate to intelligent machines is one of the complicated questions to solve in work to develop ethical codes for Artificial Intelligence (AI) research. Senior Researcher Paula Boddington describes work currently in progress, potential pitfalls and opportunities.

Strava storm: why everyone should check their smart gear security settings before going for a jog

The security and privacy risks associated with wearable gadgets and other Internet of Things devices are highlighted in this article (first published in the Conversation) by Jason RC Nurse, Senior Researcher in the Department of Computer Science.

Mike Wooldridge speaks on AI at The House of Lords

Professor Michael Wooldridge describes his experience giving evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence.

Tackling the blight of fake news

Professor Marina Jirotka and Senior Researcher Helena Webb consider what can be done by government and social media platforms to tackle the problem of fake news.

Badgers bridge territorial borders

A clearer understanding of badgers' territorial habits give vital clues to the likely effectiveness of badger culls. By introducing different technology to collect tracking data, an interdisciplinary team from Oxford and Cambridge has gleaned important new insights into badgers’ potential interactions.

App users need protecting from aggregation of permissions

To help speed up code writing, many app developers use common libraries, but this can result in such libraries getting access to significant privileges on a device. DPhil student Vincent Taylor describes the problem and his research in the area.

Stingray detectors provide little protection

A research team from the University of Oxford and the Technical University of Berlin evaluated the capabilities of five IMSI catcher detector apps for Android devices.

Automated verification and validation

Defence, aerospace and automotive embedded software.
Project: D-RisQ.

Beyond the world wide web

Research at the University of Oxford aimed at enabling computers to understand and respond to complex human requests will underpin the next-generation world wide web ­ and is already in use by GPs.
Project: DBOnto: Bridging Databases and Ontologies.

Chips with confidence

The University and Intel Corporation have developed new methods to check that electronic chips do what they’re meant to do, before they are manufactured.

Climate Prediction

A technology to enable secure volunteer computing in supporting international climate modelling.
Project: BioniC

Computers at the heart of the matter

Computer scientists at the University of Oxford are developing a way to predict which new drugs could cause heart problems.
Project: PreDIC


Changing environmental circumstances and new energy-saving ideas.
Project: HermIT

PRISM: Probably the best device checker in the world

A software tool developed at the University of Oxford is making computer-controlled devices and designs more reliable.
Project: Prism

Robots set new goals

Participating in the 'Robot World Cup' is helping University of Oxford researchers create technology that will fashion our future.
Project: Robot Football

Safety by design

Analytical tools developed at the University of Oxford play vital roles in safety-critical and secure systems.
Project: Verum

Securing data with database firewalls

Protecting databases from internal and external attack.
Project: Secerno


A powerful query language for analysing large data sources.
Project: Semmle

The Origami of Life

DNA origami is a technique that is used to create nanometre–scale shapes by folding strands of DNA.
Project: Microsoft Research studentship & Veriware

Validation of embedded systems

Validation of Embedded Systems with Bit-Accurate Floating Point