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Data Science Research Group

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Suggested PhD projects

These projects are merely suggestions and illustrate the broad themes of the research group. Potential research students are encouraged and welcome to produce their own suggestions in these research areas or other research areas in the field. All applicants are invited to contact the academic associated with the project when making an application.


Using Soft Nanomembrane Electronics for Home-based Anxiety Monitoring

Contact: Jim Ang

Sensor-enhanced virtual reality systems for mental health care and rehabilitation. New immersive technologies, such as  virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are playing an increasingly important role in the digital health revolution. Significant research has been carried out at University of Kent, in collaboration with medical scientists/practitioners, psychiatrists/psychologists, digital artists and material scientists (for novel sensor design and integration with VR). Such projects include designing VR for dementia care, eating disorder therapy, eye disorder therapy and VR-enabled brain-machine interactions. This PhD research can take on the following directions: (1) Co-design of VR for a specific healthcare domains, involving key stakeholders (e.g. patient representatives, clinicians, etc) to  understand the design and deployment opportunities and challenges in realistic health contexts. (2) Deploy and evaluate VR prototypes to study the impact of the technologies in the target groups. (3) Design and evaluate machine learning algorithms to analyse behavioural and physiological signals for clinical meaningful information, e.g. classification of emotion, detection of eye movement, etc. 

Relevant publications: 

 M Mahmood, S Kwon, H Kim, Y Kim, P Siriaraya, J Choi, B Otkhmezuri, K Kang, KJ Yu, YC Jang, CS Ang, W Yeo (2021) Wireless Soft Scalp Electronics and Virtual Reality System for Motor Imagery‐Based Brain–Machine Interfaces. Advanced Science. 8(19). 

S Mishra, K Yu, Y Kim, Y Lee, M Mahmood, R Herbert, CS Ang, W Yeo, J Intarasirisawat, Y Kown, H Lim (2020). Soft, wireless periocular wearable electronics for real-time detection of eye vergence in a virtual reality toward mobile eye therapies. Science Advances. 6 (11), eaay1729. 

L Tabbaa, CS Ang, V Rose, P Siriaraya, I Stewart, KG Jenkins, M Matsangidou (2019) Bring the Outside In: Providing Accessible Experiences Through VR for People with Dementia in Locked Psychiatric Hospitals, Proceedings of the CHI 2019 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 

M Matsangidou, B Otkhmezuri, CS Ang, M Avraamides, G Riva, A Gaggioli, D Iosif, M Karekla (2020). “Now I can see me” designing a multi-user virtual reality remote psychotherapy for body weight and shape concerns. Human–Computer Interaction. 1-27.

Improving attention with sounds

Contact: Palaniappan Ramaswamy

There is much information on the Internet on how sounds can influence and help with concentration. But not much conclusive information on the effects of such sounds has been found, and there is a possibility that the use of these sounds to manipulate the brain is merely an urban myth. As people find themselves easily distracted, these sounds become a form of alternative treatment for them, and it is thus important to investigate these sounds and to what extent they have the intended effects on concentration. This project will study this aim using EEG.

Stress management

Contact: Palaniappan Ramaswamy

The fundamental aspect of human experience is awareness. Combined with the ability to think, imagine and understand it results into the beautiful cosmic play we experience. However, with it comes along a multitude of problems, often illusory in nature – such as stress, anxiety, anger, negativity, etc. It isn’t hard to guess that in such states our behaviour is significantly altered, usually in harmful ways for both – us and the environment. There are techniques such as meditation, music, humour which can help us come back to our “real” senses and feel happier/peaceful again. So the fundamental enquiry would be about what sort of things do help us achieve a happier state, and moreover what’s their impact on both short term and long term brain functioning. This project will study this aim using EEG.

Machine learning systems to improve medical diagnosis

Contact: Daniel Soria

Research shows that machine learning methods are extremely useful to discover or identify patterns that can help clinicians to tailor treatments. However, the implementation of those data mining procedures may be challenging because of high dimensional data sets, and the choice of proper machine learning methods may be tricky. 

The aim of the research project will be to design and develop new intelligent machine learning systems with high degree of flexibility suitable for disease prediction/diagnosis, that are also easily understandable and explicable to non-experts in the field. Data will be sought from the UK Biobank, to examine whether the selected features are correlated with the occurrence of specific diseases (e.g., breast cancer), whether these relationships persist in the presence of covariates, and the potential role of comorbidities (e.g., obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases) in the assessment of the developed models.

Brain-like Computer 

Contact: Frank Wang

My typical papers: Adaptive Neuromorphic Architecture, Memristor Neural Networks, Real Memristor Found

Deep Learning & AI2.0

Contact: Frank Wang

My Keynote at Cambridge: Brain and Brain-Inspired Artificial Intelligence

Memristor & New Electronics

Contact: Frank Wang

My typical papers: Real Memristor Found, Fractional Memristor, Triangular Table of Circuit Elements