We're distinctive among other institutions in the sheer broadness of the subject areas we cover; from chip design, to text mining, to machine learning, and human computer interaction.
I have joined The University of Manchester in 2003 because of the way the people in the School of Computer Science are working together. I enjoy the teaching and research collaboration opportunities that the School of Computer Science offers. We're distinctive among other institutions in the sheer broadness of the subject areas we cover; from chip design, to text mining, to machine learning, and human computer interaction.
My research is in logic-based knowledge representation: I design computer languages that are such that domain experts (e.g., molecular biologists or clinicians) can describe their knowledge (e.g., about proteins and how they relate to each other and what their properties are) and a computer can understand and work with this knowledge. These languages are based on logic, and we design algorithms that enable computers to work with the knowledge captured. We also develop tools based on these algorithms to support domain experts in their tasks.
This enables other pieces of software to 'understand' the domain knowledge, and thus supports domain experts in knowledge intensive domains to do their tasks better or more easily. The Web Ontology language OWL has been influenced by this research, and our OWL in Manchester web site has more information.
One enjoyable aspect of my work is its creativity – after all, we design the languages and algorithms we then investigate. And then there is the fact that our research helps to make sense of ever-increasing amounts of data and the possibility that it might even help to cure cancer! Another aspect I enjoy is that it often comes with an element of surprise: during our design, we have to make certain choices - and sometimes the better/faster/correct/... choice is not the one that looked better/faster/correct/... at a first glance; I really like these kind of surprising encounters.
I am also the school's Director of Social Responsibility, a role which I thoroughly enjoy. As a keen hiker, skier, and cyclist, I am enthusiastic about environmental sustainability. And as a woman working in Computer Science, I am extremely pleased to see an increasing number of young women getting interested in this exciting area.