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Research interests

Stephen Hailes graduated from Cambridge University in a mixture of natural science and computer science and came to work at UCL as a post doc, researching in the area of multimedia systems. In that role, he performed the first demonstration of video conferencing over IP networks in the UK – a precursor of technologies like Skype. Stephen’s research interests then developed in three main directions: trust and security, in which he was one of the founders of the field of computational trust; networking, in which he has contributed to the development of the next generation Internet and to the security of networked industrial control systems; and, latterly, sensor and robotic systems. It is this on which his contribution to this project will primarily draw.

Stephen has built a group, attracted considerable funding (>£10 million to UCL, in projects worth >£50 million), and built a set of interdisciplinary relationships with the aim of improving the nature of the science that can be undertaken in a variety of fields. This includes the monitoring of:

  • people – for reasons of assessing health, wellbeing, and sports performance. For example, our sensors have been used by a UK Olympic team and we have participated in studies on children’s play behaviours; of children with autism spectrum disorders; children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis; the accessibility experiences of wheelchair users; and patients with dementia, specifically post cortical atrophy.
  • animals – for reasons of epidemiology (assessing the likely spread of foot and mouth disease on open hillsides); ecology (e.g. understanding the behaviours of a variety of endangered animals in Botswana); and as part of a medical research project that is quantifying phenotypes and disease progression in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • the environment – both indoors (energy and water use, explosives detection, and the detection of methamphetamine labs) and outdoors (CO distribution in urban canyons, CO­2 production from volcanic sources, SLAM).

A significant proportion of our research involves the development and use of localisation technology, both outdoors and indoors, using the fusion of information from a set of relatively inexpensive sensors. Stephen’s group designs hardware appropriate to particular deployment domains and writes the software for that; we design data collection mechanisms; and we both tune and use existing data analysis techniques and develop new mathematical tools for the analysis of data, enabling us to conduct novel science in collaboration with others. Latterly, he has again been more involved in security (of industrial control systems) and robotics. As a consequence, he publishes in both computer science and more general scientific and engineering venues.

See here for instructions on how to get to UCL and for accomodation in the nearby area

Contact: Stephen Hailes