The AISEC team


Ekaterina Komendantskaya

Heriot-Watt University

Ekaterina is a Professor of Computer Science at HWU and her work lies on the intersection of: AI and Machine Learning, Verification, Types and Programming Languages. She has been a PC member of a dozen of conferences on logic, programming languages and AI, and most recently the Chair of PPDP’19 and PADL’20. In 2019 she established the Lab for AI and Verification at HWU.

David Aspinall

University of Edinburgh

David is the Personal Chair in Software Safety and Security and leads the Academic Centre of Excellence at UoE as well as being a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. His focus is on topics in security, verification and programming languages, including work on program logics and analyses for code correctness, controlling resources, concurrency and information. He has worked on statistical and qualitative security of authentication mechanisms, policy languages for mobile device management and user
interfaces for proof assistants

Verena Rieser

Heriot-Watt University

Verena is a Professor of Computer
Science at HWU and leads the Natural Language Processing group, with a focus on intelligent conversational systems, such as chatbots and virtual personal assistants. The group's aim is to establish machine learning techniques to automatically build such systems from data. Over the last 2 years, Rieser’s team was the only UK university to enter the finals of the prestigious Amazon Alexa Challenge, which aims to build open-domain chat-bots.

Robert Atkey

University of Strathclyde

Robert is a Chancellor’s Fellow at UoS. His work includes type system based analyses for: effectful programs, syntax-manipulation, information flow, resource bounded programs, productive streaming programs, and programs with physical symmetries, such as in classical mechanics. He has served on the programme committees of the top programming language theory conferences POPL, ICFP, ESOP, and ECOOP.

Burkhard Schafer

University of Edinburgh

Burkhard is a Professor of Computational
Legal Theory at UoE and is a Director and co-founder of the SCRIPT Centre for IT and IP law, the UK’s oldest interdisciplinary research centre in the intersection between law and technology. He is also Co-Director of the Joseph Bell Centre for Forensic Statistics and Legal Reasoning, which since its inception in 1999 brought together mathematicians, computer scientists and lawyers. He has advised the governments of the UK, Scotland, Germany, the US and EU.

Research Associates

Matthew Daggitt

Heriot-Watt University

Matthew's research interests lie in applying mathematical rigour to various areas of Computer Science. He received his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2019, using algebraic methods to prove strong theoretical guarantees about the worst case behaviour of network routing protocols and other asynchronous iterative algorithms. He also has a strong interest in formal verification and since 2017 has been in charge of the development of the standard library for the Agda proof assistant and programming language.

Luca Arnaboldi

University of Edinburgh

Luca has recently submitted his PhD thesis at Newcastle University. His research focused on improving explainability and adaptability of intrusion detection by using formal models, with specific focus on constrained IoT deployments. His main research interests lie at the intersection of formal verification, security and AI; however, he is always willing to dabble in new areas such as financial machine learning and protocol verification.

Wen Kokke

University of Edinburgh

Wen is a programming languages researcher at the University of Edinburgh, where she works on session types. She is also a researcher at Heriot-Watt University, where she works on lightweight verification for neural networks. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and runs a small art space.

Tanvi Dinkar

Heriot-Watt University

Tanvi is a postdoctoral researcher at HWU, working on safety in conversational AI. She received her PhD in Computer Science at Telecom Paris in 2022. Her research focuses on dialogue and spoken communication, and in particular, the robustness of NLP models to inputs arising from speech.

PhD students

Ronny Bogani

University of Edinburgh

Ronny is dedicated to creating a regulatory and legal framework for the interaction of children and Artificial Intelligence. The primary focus of his work is employing the United Nations Convention for Rights of the Child as a universal common ground and starting point amongst states. Leveraging his nearly two decades of experience as a trial attorney in the United States, he is also involved in setting ethical standards for corporations, institutions and future professionals in the Artificial Intelligence field. He remains licensed to practice law in the United States and holds a Masters of Law from University of Edinburgh, a Juris Doctor from Florida State University and a MRes in Accountable, Responsible & Transparent Artificial Intelligence from the computer science department at University of Bath. 

Marco Casadio

Heriot-Watt University

Marco has recently completed his MSc in AI at Heriot-Watt University. His research interests involve verification and machine learning. More precisely, they involve enforcing logical constraints to neural networks through loss functions. In his PhD Marco will apply this verification method to Natural Language Processing problems. However, he also enjoys working on other machine learning fields such as Computer Vision and Reinforcement Learning.

Daniel Kienitz

Heriot-Watt University

Although not officially funded by the AISEC grant, Daniel brings his expertise in machine learning and computational geometry to the AISEC project.

Natalia Slusarz

Heriot-Watt University

While not officially funded by the AISEC project Natalia's interests led her to work closely with many members of the team and being involved in the development of Vehicle. Her research focuses on the interplay between training and verification of neural networks; specifically on methodology of translating logical constraints into loss functions for training.

Remi Desmartin

Heriot-Watt University

Coming soon.

Aina Centelles

Heriot-Watt University

Aina received her MSc in Computing from Heriot-Watt University in 2022. Her interests lie in the intersection of Mathematics and Computer Science. Although not officially funded by the AISEC grant, in her PhD, she will study Nominal Techniques and their applications to neural network verification, in particular to Vehicle.

Old members

Lu Yu

Heriot-Watt University (was a Research Associate)

Lu received her PhD degree from the Computer Vision Centre, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona in November 2019. Before, she obtained her M.Sc. degree in Northwestern Polytechnic University (NWPU), China in 2015. Her main research interests include deep learning based applications, such as color representation, metric learning, network distillation and lifelong learning. Lu will be working with the Natural Language Processing Lab at HWU. 

Scott McLachlan

University of Edinburgh

Scott recently received his PhD in Computer Science from Queen Mary University of London. Scott has been a postdoc on their PamBayesian project with the Risk and Information Management research group, undertaking research into AI in primarily healthcare settings. In addition, Scott also holds degrees in Law and Business. His research interests sit at the crossroads of AI solution development and their adoption within the health and law domains, with a specific focus on the use of knowledge engineering and expert elicitation methods combined with approaches for information visualisation to develop better resources for use by both AI developers, and professionals and the public.

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