JGI Post Graduate Researchers seed corn funding winners 2020 announced

The winners: Mayra Rivera, Thomas Statham, Xiaoran Liang, Hugo Alcaraz Herrera, Lenka Hasova, Katie Winkle

JGI Seed Corn scheme

The Jean Golding Institute are pleased to announce the Post Graduate Researcher seed corn funding awards. Every year we provide seed corn funding to Post Doctoral Researchers, but this year we are pleased to also be able to provide funding to small-scale projects for Post Graduate Researchers at the University of Bristol, which we hope will help to develop their projects further. Through our seed corn funding scheme we aim to support initiatives to develop interdisciplinary research in data science (including Artificial Intelligence) and data-intensive research. 

The winners

  •  Hugo Alcaraz Herrera 

Hugo is studying for a PhD in Evolutionary Computing and Machine Learning. Hugo’s research fields are Evolutionary Computing (mainly Genetic Algorithms and Genetic Programming) and Machine Learning (supervised learning). He has applied these techniques to solve problems related to logistic processes. Hugo’s project is called ‘Evolutionary Systems for personalised wellbeing recommendations’ – a food and physical activity data-driven user study. 

  •  Mayra Rivera Lopez 

Mayra is a third year postgraduate researcher. Her doctoral research investigates the data driven design and optimization of novel ultra-thin radiation resistant nanocomposite structures for space applications. She has collaborated on publications with members from University of Surrey and ESA. Prior to her PhD she obtained her MEng (Honours) in Aerospace engineering at the University of Bristol. Mayra’s project is called ‘Optimisation of ultra-thin radiation resistant composites structures for space applications’. 

  •  Katie Winkle 

Katie Winkle is studying for a PhD in Robotics and Autonomous Systems. Katie’s project is called ‘Real-time, On-Board Robot Assessment of In-the-Wild Child Social Dynamics for Supporting Education’. The aim of the project is to develop a system that can automatically, in real time, identify the social engagement, and/or social attitudes of children that are interacting with each other in a classroom context based on an audio/video feed.  

  •  Xiaoran Liang 

Xiaoran Liang is undertaking a PhD in Evidence-Based Economics (joint graduate school of Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, FAU Nuremberg, University of Regensburg and KU Eichstätt Ingolstadt). Xiaoran ’s project is ‘Agglomerative Hierarchical Clustering Method for Identifying Valid Instruments and Heterogenous Causal Effects with Applications in Genetic Epidemiology and International Economics’. This project aims to develop a novel data-driven method to select valid instrumental variables for causal analysis with interdisciplinary applications in health and international economics.  

  • Lenka Hasova 

Lenka Hasova is studying for a PhD in Advanced Quantitative Methods. Lenka’s project is ‘Modelling Mobility Trajectories: Exploring Individuals spatial behaviour and assessing the trend of the Bristol population spatial interaction’. This project focuses on analysing individuals movement trails in Bristol, which can be retrieved from the individuals locational traces captured by their mobile devices. By investigating the movement trajectories, each stop and preferred destinations we can better understand individuals spatial preferences and spatial behaviour. This knowledge will be then used in building more comprehensive models of human spatial interaction and its prediction.  

  • Thomas Statham 

Thomas Statham is undertaking a PhD in Advanced Quantitative Methods in the School of Geography. Thomas’s project is ‘Applying deep learning and high resolution satellite imagery to estimate income at the urban neighbourhood level’. This pilot study applies deep learning to produce spatially explicit income distributions for several urban areas in Europe. Training on high resolution satellite imagery and small area income data, this research fills important data gaps for future urban research and policy.  

The projects

Due to the COVID-19 circumstances, unfortunately not all projects are able to start immediately. However, three projects have already started (Katie Winkle, Mayra Rivera and Xiaoran Liang), and we will provide updates on those and the other winners (if those that are delayed can start in the future) on the JGI blog. 

Thanks to all that participated in this call and congratulations to the winners! 

More information

For more information about this and other funding and projects we have supported, take a look at our Projects page on the JGI website and read about different Funding schemes we offer and provide information about.