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Fellowships abound


Oxford computer scientists have received a lot of recognition for their research over the past few months, receiving EPSRC Fellowships, Royal Society University Research Fellowships, the Birkhoff -von Neumann prize and an Honorary Fellowship by ESCMSE. 

Dr Chris Heunen and Dr Phil Blunsom have been successful in gaining highly sought after five-year EPSRC Fellowships. Chris of the Quantum Group has received funding for his project ‘Combining Viewpoints in Quantum Theory’, which intends to use computer science, physics and mathematics to progress our understanding of and capabilities in quantum computing. These advancements could greatly ease the future development of protocols for quantum hardware. Chris has held a Junior Research Fellowship since joining the Department in 2010.

Chris has also been awarded the 2012 Birkhoff -- von Neumann prize for his research, which includes the analysis of quantum logic from the perspective of categorical logic and the study of how algebraic quantum mechanics can be related to topos theory so as to construct new foundations for quantum logic. The prize is awarded once every two years during the award ceremony held at the bi-annual conference of the International Quantum Structures Association.

Phil was awarded the EPSRC fellowship for his project entitled ‘Bayesian Models of Grammar Induction and Translation’. His research programme aims to develop large scale and language independent algorithms to allow for syntactic analyses of real world language data, without the need for traditional hand annotation. The development of such a model could increase our understanding of how children learn languages and could lead to the development of advanced language technologies for processing online data.

Additionally, prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowships have been awarded to Dr Stefan Kiefer and Dr Stanislav Živný, which will fund their research for the next five years.

Stefan’s project ‘Quantitative Analysis of Infinite-State Systems’ centres on computer-aided formal verification to ensure that dynamic, infinite state systems behave as they are intended. Improved computer-aided verification could, in future, ensure that incidents such as the 2003 power blackout in the Northeast of the United States no longer occur. Stefan joined the Department of Computer Science as a postdoctoral research assistant in November 2009.

Stanislav has returned to take up a post at Oxford this October where he will research his project ‘Optimisation of separable functions’. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science at Oxford in 2009. Since then he has worked for Microsoft Research Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and was most recently at the University of Warwick when he applied for the Fellowship.

Prof. Kevin Burrage has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the European Society of Computational Methods in Sciences, Engineering and Technology ESCMSET), its highest distinction, for his outstanding contribution in the fields of Computational Mathematics and Numerical Analysis.