Professor David Wolfe Corne
+44 (0)131 451 3410
I develop new ideas for solving difficult problems in optimisation and machine
learning, and try my best to do useful things with those ideas. These days I like to think of myself as a 'Global Goals Engineer', working towards a subset of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals , focussing on energy, water, climate and health.
At Heriot-Watt, I lead the Intelligent Systems Lab, and I am Director of Enterprise, Impact and Innovation for the Dept of Computer Science. In the past, I also co-led the Data Science theme for SICSA
(the pool of all Computer Science Departments at Universities in Scotland).
I work extensively with industry, paricularly Trakm8 Plc and Route Monkey, on a variety of projects centred on logistics optimization, but also machine learning for transport and energy applications. Also, in collaboration with Eddie Owens and his team elsewhere at Heriot-Watt, I work on a wide variety of projects that combine data science and artificial intelligence to the optimization of energy and resource systems. (e.g.
RUGGEDISED, SMILE (with Route Monkey), FreightShare Lab ,
SCORRES , Smart Fintry , ORIGIN ).
Over here you can find some very very out of date CV-style details. Just email me if you want to know more about what I've done, what I'm doing, and what I'm planning to do.For publications, please see my google scholar
citations profile. For undergraduates and MScs, my teaching material is here.
Graduated Research Students
If you were a PhD
student of mine, but are not on this list, please tell me what you are up to
now. If you are on this list, please provide an update!
- Hamouda Chantar completed his PhD with me in 2013, on
feature selection for Arabic document classification.
- I helped supervise Emma
Collingwood's MSc at Edinburgh with Peter Ross, she
then took over my research associateship there at the Deprtment of
Artificial Intelligence, University of
Edinburgh, became Emma
Hart, and is now a Professor at Napier University.
- Manjula Dissanayake completed his PhD (new methods for feature selection) in 2015 while
working with me as a researcher on the ORIGIN project. He is a
co-director of our startup, Auraventi, and a senior
developer at Adobe.
- Phil Dixon did his PhD with me and Martin Oates at Reading, and now works for Raven Research, doing both
hardware and software for embedded equipment control and PC based control
apps, adding to the product range at Raven
- Ibrahim Ali Dongo started his PhD in 2013, and ended up looking at how social media analysis coupled with machine learning could provide signals
useful to business analysts. Life interrupted things for a while, but
he eventually got his PhD in 2021.
- Osama Embarak did his PhD with me from 2007 to 2011,
on a method for personalisation and adaptation of recommendations for
websites, without violating user privacy concerns. Osama is now a Senior
Lecturer in the UAE.
- Hsiao-Lan Fang did his PhD with Peter Ross and me at
Edinburgh, and then went back to Taiwan to work for a large corporation.
- Jonas Gamalielson, was in the Bioinformatics Group at the
of Skövde (along with Zelmina,
see above), and successfully passed his PhD viva here at HW in August 2009
- his PhD invents and tests teh novel notion of
aligning bioinformatic pathways; I had the privelege of being his `official' supervisor, although
Jonas was largely autonomous with day to day support from Bjorn
Olsson, at Skovde. I expect Jonas to shortly
obtain a permanet faculty position in Sweden.
- She Ri Gu Leng finished his PhD with me in 2010/11, on
combinations of learning and evolution for large-scale optimization. He
now works for the Chinese Data Ministry in Beijing.
- Muhannad Hijaze completed his PhD in 2014, in the area
of migration schemes for parallel implementations of evolutionary
- I supervised Mark Jones' MSc thesis in 1998. He has been
working for Tradeweb
based in the City Of London since ~2002; Mark's role is C++
Developer/Manager leading the team responsible for developing and
supporting Tradeweb's dealer trading software
for European and Asian fixed-income markets.
- Sam Khalifa completed his PhD in 2017, with a focus
on multiobjective optimization in topic modelling, among other contributions including novel extenstion to the popular 'LDA' method for learning topic models. He is now a key member of the utterly amazing data science team
at Trakm8 .
- Both Dae Gyu Kim and Luis
Francisco Gonzalez Hernandez moved on from their MScs
supervised by me at Edinburgh to do PhDs at the School of Cognitive and
Computing Sciences , University of Sussex at Brighton. Dae Gyu now works for a
large corporation in Seoul
- Joshua Knowles did his PhD at
Reading with me, and was then a Marie Curie Research Fellow at IRIDIA , then
a David Phillips Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, and is
now a Senior Lecturer at Manchester.
- Dome Lohpetch finished his PhD with me in 2011 on
data mining and optimization in finance - he is now a Lecturer in Bangkok,
starting up a research group in computational intelligence.
- Zelmina Lubovac, now a postdoc in the Bioinformatics
Group at the University
of Skövde, finished here PhD in early 2008 -
I had the privelege of being her `official'
supervisor, although the day to day supervision was done by Bjorn
Olsson, at Skovde, where Zelmina
was based throughout. My job was to advise now and then, mainly in later
- Silang (Robert) Luo successfully passed his PhD viva in
July 2009, with a PhD thesis that sets out an essential but overlooked notion
in feature selection techniques for large datasets. Basically, to choose
the right feature selection method, you should really look at some basic
statistics of the dataset itself first. Robert and I continue to work
together while he seeks a position in the UK.
- Andrew Meade did his PhD with me and with Richard Sibly at Reading; he is now a Research Fellow in Biological
Sciences at Reading.
- Negin Moghim was a SICSA
Scholarship student, and completed her PhD in early 2014, exploiting
advanced ideas in machine learning to find ways to predict epileptic
seizures in advance. She is currently working with me as a research
associate on a project that aims to predict athletes' vulnerability to
injuries, but will soon be looking for interesting work down South.
- Martin Oates was a part-time PhD student with me while working for BT, he has
since taken up the research life full time, or as full time as possible
while you have a barn and other farm buildings to feed and children to
build; he is an autonomous research fellow. working
with me 20% time at the moment. Martin's thesis was the closest I have
ever known to needing no corrections. In the end, he had to change
the title, but nothing else.
- Sunny Orike completed his PhD in late 2014 and is soon to resume his
lectureship at Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria.
Sunny's work advanced the state of the art in solving a range of important
optimization problems in power distribution.
- Sarah Price did her MSc project with some aid from me at Edinburgh, was the `Webspinner' for Fife
College, and worked at the Institue for Computer-Based Learning at Heriot Watt University; she is now in a
management role working for JISC in the area of IT Provision in further
- Carey Pridgeon got his PhD in June 2008; during and
since he does substantial personal research which we are hoping to get
funds for, not least applications of his nmod
system (which started as his u/g project at Reading)
- Graham Rollings did his PhD at the University of Exeter,
starting while I was there, and finishing with me helping remotely; this
was about figuring out the locations of collections of sensors (e.g. they
may be being blown all over the place within a cloud) based on RF signals.
He successfully passed his viva in early 2012.
- Usman Sanusi started his Phd
in 2013, working on a feature-enhancement method for time series machine learning.
A number of very frustrating adventures with the UK Home Office led to severe
interruptions of his work. But eventually he got through his viva successfully in February 2022.
- Mark Sinka did his Phd
with me at Reading, sponsored and part-working for BankSearch,
and now works for Mirago.
- Mark Shackelford did his PhD with me at Reading, and then did a visiting research
fellowship at UWE with Ian Parmee, and is now
CEO of Advanced Computational
Technologies; he also writes and sells Feng Shui
- Kareem Shaker graduated with his PhD at Heriot-Watt (following MSc in Exeter) in
2012, contributing methods for identifying authorship of texts from
computational stylistic attributes. He is now working in software
- Andrew Thompson sailed through his viva in 2014, with a PhD in self-organised
cellular networking (LTE). He is now a research engineer at Amazon .
- Alasdair Turner did his MSc with me at Edinburgh and
then became a Research Fellow at the Department
of Computer Science, UCL.
- Marta Vallejo obtained her doctorate in August 2017, on using EAs for complex sequential planning problems; this followed
her Masters and stints as a researcher on projects with Mic Lones and myself.
She is currently with us at MACS,
employed on a mix of research and teaching contracts.
- Xu Wang has just been awarded his PhD on Artificial Intelligence for
Financial Time Series Prediction, which he started at the University of
Reading in 2002; I had the pleasure of working with him for the first year
of his PhD, but then I left Reading, and Graham Megson
took him through successfully to the end. Xu is now a Senior Officer with
the Bank of China!.