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Computer Scientist talks biologically-inspired computing at inaugural lecture


A Leeds Beckett University academic, who is an expert in biologically-inspired computing, delivered his inaugural lecture as Professor of Computer Science.

Hissam Tawfik discussed how, in an era of big data and the internet, new opportunities and challenges associated with large and complex data are providing further impetus to the role that biologically-inspired computing can play in analysing big data.

The inaugural lecture, entitled ‘Biologically-inspired computing for big data science’, took place in the James Graham Building at Leeds Beckett’s Headingley Campus.

Professor Tawfik, who teaches in the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering, is also a visiting Professor at the University of Seville in Spain. His research interests and expertise lie in the areas of biologically-inspired computing, intelligent systems, simulation applications and e-health.

“Over the years, scientists and engineers have learned a great deal by studying natural and biological systems and modelling some of nature’s problem-solving strategies to design powerful computing solutions,” said Professor Tawfik.

“This type of computing has proved particularly effective when applied to problems that are difficult to solve using ‘conventional’ computing techniques. For example, biologically-motivated techniques such as evolutionary and neural computing, have demonstrated their capability and robustness in tackling complex real-world problems for which there is little understanding or no well-defined solution.”

The lecture focused on biologically-inspired computing and how it is well-positioned to analyse and discover knowledge from big data. Some of Professor Tawfik’s examples drew on projects that investigate the prediction of financial time series and positioning of unmanned aerial vehicles for disaster recovery applications.

Professor Tawfik holds a PhD in Computer Engineering from The University of Manchester. He has been publishing since 1998 and currently has more than 100 refereed publications in reputable international journals and conferences such as IEEE Transactions on IT in Biomedicine, Advanced Engineering Informatics, Ad Hoc Networks, IET Communications and the proceedings of the IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence.

He is editor of international journals, Future Generation Computer Systems and Neural Computing and Applications, as well as guest editor of Medical Informatics and chair of the international conference series Developments in eSystems Engineering.

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