Fellowship for Lancaster statistician

21 June 2018 13:13
A picture of Christopher Nemeth
Dr Christopher Nemeth

A Lancaster University statistician has been awarded a prestigious Innovation Fellowship to undertake ground-breaking data science research.

Dr Christopher Nemeth, a lecturer in Statistical Learning, has been awarded the Fellowship by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), to work with three industrial partners on two related projects that will deliver transportation, and cyber security solutions.

The EPSRC-UKRI Industrial Fellowships will support the aims of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which includes positioning the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution.

Dr Nemeth, who is part of Lancaster University’s Data Science Institute and a member of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and whose Fellowship is funded for three years, will work on computational statistics to develop algorithms capable of quickly analysing data autonomously.

The first project, with PROWLER.io, a technology company based in Cambridge, will focus on improving software that can help logistics and ride-hailing companies to more effectively manage their resources. This data analytics project will help inform decisions such as where taxis should be waiting to efficiently anticipate customer demand.

Dr Nemeth will also work with the Heilbronn Institute of Mathematical Research and the Alan Turing Institute on a security project that will develop ways to analyse network data and help detect cyber frauds.

Dr Nemeth said: “From supermarket loyalty cards and social media posts to healthcare records and credit card transactions, a digital footprint exists for every aspect of our lives. The ability of data science to analyse and act upon these complex and varied data sources has the potential to improve and revolutionise our lives in a myriad of ways, for example, through the development of driverless cars and personalised medicine.

“This fellowship provides an exciting opportunity to work closely with industry experts to develop new mathematical techniques for extracting deeper knowledge from data, allowing us to make better decisions under uncertainty.” 

Professor Stephen Decent, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Lancaster University, said: “These are prestigious fellowships and are greatly beneficial to the career development of the holders. This is a wonderful achievement and once again demonstrates the world-leading strength of Statistics at Lancaster.”

A total of £38.8 million has been invested from the government National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to establish 74 Fellowships at 37 universities across the UK. In addition, more than £8.1 million has been leveraged from industry partners, universities and other partners.

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Executive Chair, said: “By providing vital experience of leadership and aiding the development of entrepreneurial and enterprise skills, the EPSRC-UKRI Innovation Fellowships are designed to act as a springboard to success for future leaders in both academia and industry.

“Through this approach we hope to ensure that a variety of industrial sectors will have a supply of skilled researchers who will be equipped with the skills and experience that they need to build on the UK’s existing strengths and translate exciting discoveries and research through to commercial success and long-term benefits for the entire country.”

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