stephen

Congratulations to Somerville Fellow, Professor Stephen Roberts, who has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).

Professor Roberts, who is also a Professor of Machine Learning in the Department of Engineering Science, Director of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Autonomous, Intelligent Machines and Systems, faculty member of the Oxford-Man Institute, is one of 50 new Fellows elected by the Academy who represent the nation’s best engineering researchers, innovators, entrepeneurs, business and industry leaders.

In an announcement on the RAEng website, Professor Dame Ann Dowling DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The commitment and energy of our Fellows is the lifeblood of our Academy. Our new Fellows join us today as the country’s most innovative and creative minds from both academia and industry. We look forward to working with them, learning from their successes and drawing on their considerable expertise as we continue our work to promote engineering at the heart of society.”

The Fellowship is in recognition of Professor Roberts’ internationally recognised work in developing methods for automated reasoning and decision making in complex engineering problems, especially those in which noise and uncertainty abound. In particular, Professor Roberts has developed a number of novel methods for data analysis, such as Bayesian models for independent component analysis, non-Gaussian multi-variate systems and network decomposition. He has successfully applied them in a wide range of products and problem domains including astronomy; biology; finance; sensor networks; control and system monitoring.

Several of Professor Roberts’ current research projects focus on fusing information from people and machines, especially in the ORCHID project, which has produced the foundational science of ‘Human-Agent Collectives’ and the ‘HumBug’ project, winner of the Google Impact Challenge last year, which looks to revolutionise the mapping of malarial mosquitoes using acoustic sensors.

“Over the coming decades we will work side by side with intelligent machines; they will become even more woven into the fabric of our information platforms and help distill the ever-increasing floods of data into refined knowledge at a human scale,” said Professor Roberts in an interview with the Department of Engineering Science. “The ORCHID project has laid the foundations of how human and machine intelligence can symbiotically work to solve big problems; from aiding understanding of the universe around us to helping make our energy use more efficient. Increasingly such systems are being considered to address the pressing global problems of the coming century.”

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