Research Seminar 15/02/16 2pm, in MB1020: Dr Michael Mangan

After Dr Cuayahuitl and Dr Baxter, who gave research presentations recently, we are now happy to announce a research seminar by the third colleague to join the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems soon as a Senior Lecturer.

Dr Michael Mangan

On 15/02/16, at 2pm, in room MB1020 (1st floor, Minerva Building), Dr Michael Mangan, currently still at the University of Edinburgh, will be presenting his exciting research. Everybody is invited to join in.




What can self-driving cars learn from the humble desert ant?  And how are those lessons learned?


Desert ants are amongst the most impressive of the animal navigators: expertly piloting through complex environments despite possessing low-resolution eyes and tiny brains. As such they are an ideal model system for bio-roboticists that seek to understand these amazing animals, as well as those seeking novel solutions for engineering goals such as autonomous navigation.  In this talk I shall firstly introduce the animal of interest (the desert ant) describing their amazing navigational capabilities.  I will then briefly describe some recent examples for which our bio-robotic approach has lead to advances in understanding of the biological system and novel applications in autonomous systems (such as self-driving cars).  I shall close by looking ahead to the research I shall be pursuing after joining the University of Lincoln this spring.


SoCS Research Seminar 12/2/16 2pm MB1020: From Autonomous Robots to Autonomous Cars

Dr Frederic Siepmann

Frederic Siepmann, a development specialist at BMW R&D will present in our School of Computer Science research seminar series on 12/02/16 at 2pm. His talk will take place in seminar room MB1020 (1st floor Minerva Building). Frederic will share his journey from being an academic working on autonomous robots to eventually become a developer in car autonomy and assistance, providing some insights into this career path and the latest development in the field at BMW.

BMW 7er
RoboCup Logo

Title: From Autonomous Robots to Autonomous Cars – How My RoboCup Experience helped me build Software for the new BMW 7 Series



Coming from the research area of autonomous robots and now working in the automotive industry, my talk covers some of the technological challenges as well as software engineering challenges when developing highly complex and software-intensive systems.

I will give you a short overview about lessons learned from the development of autonomous robots and how the iterative development process as e.g. performed during the RoboCup@HOME tournament helped me find my way in the automotive industry.

Also, I will show some of the current technologies in driver assistance, point out similarities and differences and dare to give a short glimpse into the future.

Create a game in 48hrs for Global Game Jam

GGJ Poster


We’re excited to announce we will be hosting a Global Game Jam event at the University of Lincoln THIS WEEKEND 29-31 January.

In the Co-Op Lecture theatre we will hold a massive 48-hour event where game designers of all levels come together and pit their development skills against the world for prizes and of course, fun!

From beginners to experts, we want everyone to join in the fun and you all you need to do is sign up here 

Bring your friends along for this amazing event! 

Find out more about the Global Game Jam here

Save the date: Upcoming must-see seminars


We’ve got some great seminars coming up in the School of Computer Science, so put these dates in your diary and we’ll see you there.

First up next week we have a seminar on ‘Visual mining – interpreting image and video‘ with speaker Professor Stefan Rüger from the Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK.

The seminar will start at 2pm on Tuesday 26th January in MB1013, Minerva Building. No need to book, just come along.

This talk highlights recent important technical advances in automated media understanding, which has a variety of applications ranging from machines emulating the human aesthetic judgment of photographs to typical visual mining tasks such as analysing food images.

Highlighted techniques include near-duplicate detection, multimedia indexing and the role of machine learning. The talk will end by looking into the crystal ball exploring what machines might learn from automatically analysing tens of thousands of hours of TV footage.”

We also have a fascinating seminar on ‘Guaranteed delivery systems for online advertising‘ on Wednesday 3rd February at 3pm till 4pm. Please come to MC0024, we look forward to seeing you there.

“Online advertising has become a significant source of revenue for publishers and search engines. One important business model in online advertising is the so-called non-guaranteed delivery (NGD) system, in which advertisers purchase their targeted advertisement inventories like page views or link clicks on the spot market through an auction mechanism.

Despite the success of the NGD system, it has several limitations including the uncertainty in the buyer’s payment, the volatility in the seller’s revenue, and the weak loyalty between buyer and seller. To alleviate these problems, guaranteed delivery (GD) systems have been recently studied in which advertisers are able to secure their targeted future deliveries through standardised or customised contracts.

In this presentation, we will discuss several GD systems that we have developed. “

We look forward to seeing you there so you can join in the conversation. 

Click here to keep up to date with all our seminars in the School of Computer Science

SoCS Research Seminar 22/1/16: Autonomous Learning for Interactive Agents

Dr. Heriberto Cuayáhuitl
Dr. Heriberto Cuayáhuitl

Dr. Heriberto Cuayáhuitl, who will be joining the Lincoln School of Computer Science soon as a Senior Lecturer in L-CAS, will be presenting in our research seminar series on Fri 22/1/16, at 1pm. His talk titled “Autonomous Learning for Interactive Agents” will be held in room MB1020. This is a great opportunity for staff and students alike, to meet their colleague and lecturer to-be.


Title: Autonomous Learning for Interactive Agents


Robots that interact with humans are still confined to controlled spaces, such as lab environments, where they conduct highly pre-specified tasks in interaction with recruited and cooperative users. Some of the obstacles that restrict real world applicability (amongst others) are their heavy reliance on domain-specific pre-programming and learning tasks that arise from the real world rather than being contrived for the purpose of robot training. In this talk, I will present a research direction on autonomous learning that aims to alleviate the above problems in order to push interactive robots over the edge of wider usability. The core of my research lies in multi-task reinforcement learning that helps agents to understand and optimise their behaviour by interacting with humans and learning from feedback and examples. I will briefly present three applications of this autonomous learning framework: (1) a situated agent that learns to guide people in indoor environments using a divide-and-conquer approach, (2) a conversational robot that learns to play educational games from interacting with children, and (3) a strategic agent that learns trading negotiations using deep reinforcement learning. I will conclude by discussing directions for future research that further increase the level of autonomy of interactive agents for their application in real world scenarios.


Dr Heriberto Cuayáhuitl is a Research Fellow in the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Campus. He received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2009, and has been a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bremen and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). His research interest is in machine learning for interactive systems and robots, and he has published 60 research papers in this area. He is lead organiser of the international workshop series on Machine Learning for Interactive Systems (MLIS), and has been guest editor of the journals ACM Transactions on Interactive Interactive Systems and Elsevier Computer Speech and Language.

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