The Turing’s tools, practices and systems (TPS) programme today (29 September 2021) announces a new volunteer leadership team that will develop a five-year strategy for the programme.
In July 2021, the TPS programme launched an open call for volunteers to join the leadership team for 12 months, as the programme iterates on its long-term strategy to support open, ethical and accessible infrastructure for research.
Open research infrastructure is defined by the Digital Public Goods Alliance as “open source software, open data, open AI models, open standards and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable laws and best practices, do no harm, and help attain the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals]”. Currently, many open infrastructure resources are maintained by volunteers and communities alongside paid work, yet are critical to advancing data science and AI research.
The successful applicants bring a wealth of connections and expertise across the open research infrastructure landscape, both at the Turing and elsewhere. They will spend the next 12 months working alongside the Programme Director Dr Kirstie Whitaker to build and develop an ambitious five-year strategy for TPS, building on the success of open projects such as The Turing Way and Raphtory.
The TPS programme strategy will build on the programme’s stated goals of building trustworthy, transparent, explainable and scalable open source infrastructure that is accessible to all, and empowering a global, decentralised network of people who connect data with domain experts.
Leadership team members will be advocates and representatives for the TPS programme, on funding and collaboration proposals and beyond. They will be actively volunteering alongside Whitaker to assist with developing the programme strategy, by identifying and connecting to the areas where investment in open infrastructure can make the largest impact, as well as supporting the internal Turing team tasked with delivering the programme.
Dr Kirstie Whitaker said: “One of our central values within TPS is that decisions are best made by people with diverse expertise and lived experiences. I’m so excited to learn from our new leadership team volunteers and benefit from their guidance in building the TPS programme.”
The new TPS Leadership Team is:
- Evelina Gabasova, The Alan Turing Institute
Evelina is Principal Research Data Scientist at The Alan Turing Institute, focusing on open source activities in the Research Engineering team and the wider Institute. She is passionate about making data science understandable and accessible to everyone. Following her mathematics PhD at the University of Cambridge, she worked in cancer research at the MRC Cancer Unit in Cambridge, where she focused on helping biologists to analyse genomic data. Outside of academia, she is also an avid speaker at developer conferences and she was awarded the Microsoft MVP award for her work in the F# community.
- Ana Basiri, University of Glasgow
Ana is a Professor in Geospatial Data Science and a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow at the University of Glasgow. She works on developing (theoretical and applied) solutions that consider missingness and biases in data as a useful source of data. In the time of big data, gaps in data can indicate the underlying reasons that caused missingness or biases and so help us to understand society better and design more inclusive systems.
- Mishka Nemes, The Alan Turing Institute
Mishka is a life scientist experienced in genetics and neuroscience, and currently works as Skills and Training Manager at The Alan Turing Institute. Through her work, she is interested in developing data science and AI programmes focused on training, community building, open leadership in the skills space, talent exchange, or a combination of these.
- Eirini Malliaraki, Nesta
Eirini is a strategic designer at Nesta’s Centre for Collective Intelligence Design. Previously, she oversaw project development on AI for climate action at The Alan Turing Institute. She is also the founder of an education tech startup Filisia, and has worked as a researcher at the Morphological Computation Lab at Imperial College and Microsoft Research UK. She is an incoming Subak Climate Fellow, researching the open source software ecosystem for climate change mitigation.
- Niall McCarroll, University of Reading
Niall is a software engineer with a background in developing general purpose tools for data analysis and machine learning. He is currently working as a research software engineer on the analysis of earth observation data. His interests include data visualisation, visual programming and open source software.
- Steven Gray, University College London
Steven is a Researcher at the Centre for Spatial Analysis at UCL and has been a spatial software developer for the past five years, making visualising complex datasets on maps easier. With over 10 years of professional software development under his belt, he has built multiple award-winning systems, and his work has been featured in various worldwide media outlets (CNN, BBC, etc). In recent years, he has specialised in building mobile applications (mainly iOS) and systems that open up the world of data visualisation, mining and analysis to the masses.
- Mark Kelson, University of Exeter
Mark is Associate Professor of Statistics for Health in the Mathematics department of the University of Exeter. Mark is interested in using data science for health. He particularly focuses on physical activity and mental health. He finds accelerometry data interesting. In addition, he is interested in clinical trials and how data science can help make them more efficient.
- Hushpreet Dhaliwal, The Alan Turing Institute
Hushpreet is a Partnerships Development Lead at The Alan Turing Institute.
The initial appointments to the TPS Leadership Team will run for 12 months, as the volunteers and the programme reflect on and evaluate the process.