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Graduate Lecture Series MT19

06 Dec 19

Graduate Lectures are held on Thursdays throughout term time (unless otherwise stated) at 3.30 pm in the small lecture theatre, Department of Statistics.


Week 1 – Thursday 17th October Active and Passive Presentations: how to present your work, and how to get the most out of seminars, lectures and poster sessions. Charlotte Deane and Gesine Reinert, Department of Statistics
Week 2 – Thursday 24th October How to learn human values and solve all ethical problems – adequately  Stuart Armstrong, Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford

Bio: Stuart’s research at the Future of Humanity Institute centers on the safety and possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI), how to define the potential goals of AI and map humanity’s partially defined values into it, and the long term potential for intelligent life across the reachable universe. He has been working with people at FHI and other organizations, such as DeepMind, to formalize AI desiderata in general models so that AI designers can include these safety methods in their designs. His collaboration with DeepMind on “Interruptibility” has been mentioned in over 100 media articles.

Week 3 – Thursday 31st October

(Large Lecture Theatre)

How to have a successful internship during your DPhil Clare West, Susan Leung and Lyuba Bozhilova

Bio: Clare West, Susan Leung, and Lyuba Bozhilova are fourth year SABS CDT students and members of the Oxford Protein Informatics Group, here in the Department of Statistics, who have all had successful internships.

Clare worked for three months in Westminster at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST), see

Susan spent three months working on a Google Summer of Code project with Dr Greg Landrum, lead developer of the widely-used open source cheminformatics toolkit, RDKit; Susan worked on software development in C++, and MolVS, which provides very useful functionality for molecular validation and standardization; see

Lyuba spent two and a half months working for BenevolentAI, a biotech company based in London; see She split her time between data engineering and precision medicine research.

Week 4 – Thursday 7th November

(Large Lecture Theatre, Department of Statistics)

A few examples of how statistics is used when phasing and imputing with sequencing reads in genetics Robbie Davies, Department of Statistics

Bio: Robbie is a new Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics, having started in July 2019. Robbie is a graduate of the GMS program, completing his degree in 2015. His research is in statistical genetics, and often, but not always, related to humans and with a medical focus or purpose.

Week 5 – Thursday 14th November Student Entrepreneurs Cath Spence, Principal Licensing & Ventures Manager – Incubator Lead

Short description:  Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes? If you have the spark?  If you would like to explore what it takes to be an entrepreneur, then this your chance.

Following a hugely successful pilot programme in summer 2019, we are planning StEP ‘Ignite’. It’s a 4 week programme running over the holiday periods, 06-17 January 2020 and 16-27 March 2020.  StEP ‘Ignite’ has been developed by Oxford University Innovation (OUI) and supported by Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), and The Oxford Foundry.

OUI will make University IP available to Oxford University student groups for the purpose of putting together investable business cases. The groups will receive: a stipend (£1,500 for applicants who can commit to the full-time programme), a place to work, mentoring, free access to an intensive training programme and unlimited coffee! At the end all groups will have the chance to pitch for £25,000 and the chance to work with OSI on putting a more substantial first round investment together to start their new spinout.

Week 6 – Thursday 21st November Hidden relatedness, natural selection and disease heritability in the human genome Pier Palamara, Department of Statistics

Bio: Pier is an associate professor at the Department of Statistics in the University of Oxford. He is broadly interested in developing new computational methods to solve problems in population and medical genetics. Before coming to Oxford he spent a few years at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He received my PhD in computer science from Columbia University. His early research and training were in artificial intelligence and cognitive robotics.

Week 7 – Friday 29th November

(Large Lecture Theatre)

Distinguished Speaker Seminar Prof. Tyler Wanderweele, Harvard
Week 8 – Friday 6th December, 2.00 pm

(Large Lecture Theatre)

Third year Talks Short talks from current 3rd year graduate students