We have supported our members in developing data science research, providing financial support to enable collaboration with colleagues in industry and other educational institutions both at home and from overseas.

Workshop on time-series analysis of noisy data

The aim of the workshop was to review recent progress in discerning cyclic processes in noisy backgrounds, focusing especially on the widespread case of oscillations with time-varying frequencies.

This took place on 13th -15th September 2023, was attended by 32 participants and fostered many useful discussions and collaboration.

Topics included

  • Linear, stationary, non-stationary, nonlinear, chaotic, stochastic, autonomous and non-autonomous processes and systems
  • Time series analyses in time and frequency domains: autocorrelation and Fourier transform
  • Time-frequency analyses: wavelet transform
  • Entropy and information

The updated website now includes a gallery.

Physics building
The DSI team stood on the Bonnington Steps

Workshop on Ecological and Environmental Statistics

This workshop brought together researchers interested in environmental and ecological statistical modelling to discuss advances in, and the future of, the two disciplines and to investigate potential synergies

We provided a platform for discussion and collaboration between applied and methodological statisticians, data scientists, scientists and policymakers, across all career stages and regardless of affiliation.

Specific statistical methods used, but are not limited to, spatio-temporal modelling, downscaling, time-series analysis, and hierarchical modelling.

This took place 11th - 13th September 2023 in the Postgraduate Statistics Centre

The organisers were Emma Eastoe and Alex Bush

MobiUK -Fifth UK Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Systems Research Symposium

Mobile, wearable and ubiquitous systems have a pivotal role in today’s society and daily life. Research and innovation in these domains has the potential to unlock important new applications and open the door to a better understanding of their use.

Building on the success of the previous symposiums, the venue this year supports discussion and presentation of research within the UK mobile, wearable and ubiquitous systems community.

PhD students from Cambridge University, University of Edinburgh, St Andrews, University of Glasgow, Kings College London, University of Southampton, Lancaster and Manchester all presented papers at the symposium.

This took place at Lancaster University on 3rd and 4th July.

A laptop with code on the screen
A group researching together on a computer

'Data science for public opinion: applications of data science on opinion studies in social sciences'

This workshop took place on July 4th 2023 at Forrest Hills. It brought together colleagues interested in the applications of data science in public opinion and political communications in cyberspace across the campus, as well as scholars from other institutions. The Society theme at DSI would benefit from the applied side of the data science in social sciences, especially the collective ideas from the perspective of sociology, political science, media and communications, and even industries. The general topic of public opinion in cyberspace involves discussions on agenda setting, political support and voting preferences, polling and forecasting, digital governance, collective identities, platform algorithms, misinformation and disinformation, echo chambers and many others. By gathering brilliant scholars from various social science disciplines, we hope to build the subgroup of practices of data science in addressing the formation, change, and presentation in public opinion in general.

Contact: Yan Wang if you have any questions.

The July 4th workshop was definitely something I'm grateful for during the short time I was in DSI. It helped me connect with people I really like from outside and gather minds that are similar across the campus. We had a really good time discussing the projects we were working on that relate to data science in public opinion studies, and many overlapping interests were further explored. Most of us still maintain connections, and I'm thinking about organizing similar events among us (of course open to others that are interested) to facilitate more substantive collaborations.

Yan Wang

2 Day Research Software Writing Retreat

This workshop took place on 5th & 6th July 2023

Research software is often written as a by-product of research, and not given the emphasis or time it needs to be an impactful output in its own right. Indeed, creating such outputs may be difficult for researchers, many of whom are self-taught programmers and do not have the skills or support needed to create high-quality sustainable research software.

This workshop aimed to solve both of these problems by providing researchers with a distraction-free space with dedicated time to focus on software and programming skills, with an on-hand RSE (Research Software Engineer) to provide support and help throughout the session.

It was run by Robin Long, Chris Jewell and Rebecca Killick

Person sat on a laptop with books on Java and coding next to them
A lightbulb with a plant growing inside of it

Material Passports Data workshop - Orms Architects, London

This workshop took place on 12th July in London

The workshop was run by Ana Rute Costa, Senior Lecturer in Architecture,

How material passport data can accelerate material reuse in construction and enable the measurement of the embodied carbon of materials in a circular economy?

Identify research gaps, research funding opportunities and possible research collaboration projects.

DSI Society - Inequalities 2 day retreat

On the 19th and 20th May 2022, the Society theme had a fantastic two-day retreat on the topic of Inequalities, marking the kick-off of a new strategic focus within the DSI. Academics from across the university came together for a lively interdisciplinary discussion exploring a wide range of inequalities and discovering connections between fields of health, sociology, politics and policy, economics, environment, computing, and design. We look forward to building on these conversations with further opportunities for members to meet up and collaborate in the months to come.

Day 1 of the retreat offered 4 clusters of lightning talks, interspersed with time for food, quality conversations and some relaxation. Talk topics covered were - Local inequalities: understanding and enriching the region, International inequalities: tackling global challenges, Making sense of inequalities: the value of large-scale datasets and Inequalities: the politics of infrastructure and environment

Day 2 provided information on the current funding landscape and the University’s new Secure Data Science Infrastructure.

Presentations were given by the following people:

  • Inequalities research: the funding landscape (Odette Dewhurst, Senior Research Development Manager, RES)
  • NIHR North West Research Support and Development Team, Julie Mugarza and James Connolly
  • Lancaster’s Secure Data Science Infrastructure: Karen Broadhurst & Geraint Harries (ISS)
An old woman in traditional Indian clothes with a small number of coins in her palm
A person writing in a notebook

Early Career Researchers - Grant Writing Workshop

In December 2021 a group of Early Carer Researchers took a two-day workshop at the Low Wood Hotel in the Lake District

With support from the research support office and more experienced academics, we worked on grants that were in progress and provided support and advice on EPSRC applications. Peer review, networking and time to write were important parts of this retreat held to reinvigorate the grant writing process.

UK Underwater 2020 - Data-Driven approaches to communicating flooding

More than 50 citizens, data and environmental scientists, journalists, and educators from Thailand to the United States gathered for UK Underwater 2020, a virtual workshop through the Data Science Institute.

The workshop was related to flooding analysis and reporting when scientists and communicators are challenged to express the science and solutions surrounding increasingly widespread and dangerous flooding in the UK. Keynotes included Dr Juliet Pinto of Penn State, an expert in science communication, David Caswell, the lead of BBC News Labs, which is using AI in reporting flooding.

Other speakers focused on data visualisation, the use of drones to capture flooding damage and risk, and the role of data in creating a collaboration across the UK to tell digital stories about flood risk, inequalities related to flooding, and solutions in infrastructure and social strains of environmental change.

"All topics at the workshop were very relevant for the project I have been leading to increased flood risk awareness," said one participant in a follow-up survey. "This is really exciting."

UK Underwater 2020 was hosted by Dr Robert (Ted) Gutsche, Jr., Senior Lecturer in Critical Digital Media Practice in Lancaster's Department of Sociology with the assistance of DSI coordinator Julia Carradus and Media and Cultural Studies PhD Student Carolina Estrada.

The effort now is to form a collaboration surrounding these issues and the goals below for public-facing efforts across the UK related to communicating data and environmental science, and storytelling about flooding, the causes for environmental change, and possible solutions to reduce risk.

Please reach out with interest to

Flooding in York
A doctor conducting an MRI scan

Machine Learning and Radiography for Head and Neck Cancer

On the 10th March 2020 a group of medical professionals and researchers from across the country met to discuss Radiotherapy and Machine Learning (ML) for Head and Neck (H&N) Cancer. Talks included: “The ongoing dialogue: how to combine data research with clinical practice”, “Manchester Radiotherapy ML Network: thoughts, feedback and potential research areas”, “Life as an NHS Data Scientist” and “Managing academic and medical expectations of data science research – A view from industry”. The workshop aimed to provide clinicians with a broad overview of ML and data science tools that could be applied and to give researchers a better understanding of the clinical perspective. Around 20 participants discussed the pains of obtaining NHS data, attempted to predict the survival rate of H&N patients from open source data and learnt why Northwest Cancer Research were keen to keep funding research in this area.

The workshop was funded by the Quality-Related Strategic Priorities Funding and supported by DSI.

Emma Stubington

Further information about the workshop

Activism, Storytelling and Data Science

In January 2020 40 people including academics, activists, storytellers and data scientists from the UK and internationally came together to explore the relationships between data, story and social change. The Activism by the Numbers retreat was a wonderful opportunity for a diverse group of people to share their research, experience and ideas. Participants explored how to find data to bring about positive change, how to make sense of data and stories relating to activism, as well as considering how to make data easier to access and use, and how people with expertise in data, activism and story can collaborate. The event instantiated a network of people who are now working on new ideas and collaborations for a fascinating range of projects and initiatives.

For more information please visit Remembering Resistance,

A person holding a banner saying
Ocean Waves

Extreme Ocean Waves Workshop

In September 2019, a three-day workshop, led by Professor Phil Jonathan, Chair in Environmental Statistics and Data Science with Jenny Wadsworth, Maths and Stats - took place in the Postgrad Statistics Centre at Lancaster University. The aim of the workshop was to bring together mathematicians, statisticians, oceanographers and ocean engineers studying extreme ocean wave phenomena.

Topics included:

  • experimental studies
  • mathematical and statistical modelling of individual extreme wave events and interactions
  • extreme value analysis of ocean storms in space and time
  • engineering impact of improved characterisation of extreme ocean environments

Further information about the day, including slides and talk abstracts can be on the workshop's extreme ocean wave phenomena website.

Machine Learning and Genomics

In June 2019, a Machine Learning and Genomics workshop took place. Around 60 people came to the 2 day DSI workshop at Forrest Hills. Speakers presented on topics ranging from methods to provide alerts in intensive care through to methods to detect DNA sequencing errors. About 50 people attended – the vast majority from outside Lancaster University with representations from companies including Microsoft and GSK. The second day doubled as a meeting of the North of England Genetic Epidemiology Group (NEGEG).

This event was organised by Dr Frank Dondelinger, Lecturer in Biostatistics - Professor Joanne Knight, Chair in Applied Data Science and Tom Palmer, Lecturer in Statistics

An abstract image of computer networks
A computer next to some printouts of pie charts

Administrative Data Research and the Real World

In June 2019 DSI supported an early career workshop held alongside our Distinguished Speaker event. About 50 people attend a talk on The Value of Administrative Data for the Family Justice System given by Professor Anna Vignoles and Judge Carol Atkinson. Both talks were extremely interesting and provoked a number of questions and conversions about the value of research data and its effects of influencing social policy and decision making. This event was hosted by Professor Karen Broadhurst and Dr Linda Cusworth and was held in the Charles Carter Building at Lancaster University.

Big Data in the Geosciences

In June 2019, a 2-day workshop on the use of big data and data science across geophysical applications from the depths of our oceans to the boundaries of outer space, and everything in between including the atmosphere and cryosphere. Around 50 academics and scientists came to hear talks from a range of speakers including Professor Sandra Chapman, University of Warwick, Dr Ben Booth, UK Met Office and Dr Neil Massey, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. The workshop included interactive working sessions and a poster competition. The event was organised by Dr Adam Sykulski, Paul Young and Dr Amber Leeson.

Snow-covered mountains
A Data Science graph

Data Driven Systems Retreat

In May 2019, the Data Science Institute organised a 2-day workshop at Low Wood, Windermere. Led by Professor Tracy Hall (SCC) along with other Lancaster academics from a range of backgrounds, PhD students, lecturers and senior academics were invited to explore Data Driven Resilient Systems.