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Computing projects named as UK Research Councils' 'big ideas for the future'

Story supplied by LU Press Office

Big Ideas for the Future explores the excellent research taking place in UK higher education and what it will mean for us in 20 years time Big Ideas for the Future explores the excellent research taking place in UK higher education and what it will mean for us in 20 years time

The School of Computing and Communication's groundbreaking work on keeping children safe online and protecting the internet from attack, have been chosen as two of the most important research projects taking place in universities today.

The Big Ideas for the Future report, jointly published by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Universities UK, pulls together the leading research projects currently taking place across UK universities.

Research from all fields, including science, social sciences, engineering, the arts and the humanities, were eligible to be included and Lancaster University's projects were selected for inclusion from hundreds of submissions. The report is narrated and backed by high-profile figures such as Professor Lord Robert Winston, Dr Alice Roberts and Professor Iain Stewart.

The two projects are:

  • Work led by Professor Awais Rashid at Lancaster University to develop new language analysis technologies to identify active paedophiles across online communities. Researchers working on project Isis have been developing a tool which can work out a person's age and gender using language analysis techniques. They hope it will eventually be used to help police and law enforcement agencies spot when an adult in a chartroom is masquerading as a child as part of the victim "grooming" process.
  • Research led by Professor David Hutchison to develop ResiliNets, a new set of algorithms, mechanisms, and protocols that will help the Internet defend itself. It will allow the Internet to detect when defences have been penetrated, correct any faults and continue to deliver services to users, and recover back to normal operation.

Professor Rick Rylance, Chair Elect of RCUK said: "Research has an impact on all our lives. Whether it is a breakthrough in experimental science, or an invention that makes new things possible, or a project that leads us to understand better the strengths and weaknesses of our society, research is the key to the UK's growth, prosperity and wellbeing.

"Big Ideas for the Future showcases just some of the excellent research being carried out in UK universities that achieves these aims. It is vital we continue to support the talented individuals whose work makes a real difference."

The publication of the report forms part of the second annual Universities Week, which takes place from 13-19 June 2011, and aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK's universities.

Thu 16 June 2011

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