Ciara Pike-Burke

PhD student

Research Overview

I graduated from the University of Manchester in July 2014 with a BSc in Mathematics with Spanish. During this I took a variety of modules in pure maths, logic and statistics alongside Spanish and Catalan language. I spent my third year abroad, studying maths at the Complutense University in Madrid. Once back in Manchester, I particularly enjoyed doing my final year project on Zipf’s Law, which describes the frequency of words in a language.In summer 2013, I took part in the STOR-i summer internship. Here I completed a project on the structure of the excitability curves of motor neurons. This experience confirmed my interest in research, particularly investigating the applications of statistics to real life situations and inspired me to apply to STOR-i.I completed the MRes at STOR-i in 2015 and have since begun working on my PhD, ‘Statistical Learning for Interactive Education Software’ in collaboration with Sparx. My supervisors are Jonathan Tawn, Steffen Grunewalder and David Leslie at Lancaster University, and Anton Altmann and Mark Dixon at Sparx. My research involves looking into how statistical techniques can be used to improve inference and performance of education software used in schools.


Optimistic planning for the stochastic knapsack problem
Pike-Burke, C., Grunewalder, S. 20/04/2017 In: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics. p. 1114-1122. 9 p.
Conference contribution