IMI is delighted to welcome Dr Özgür Şimşek, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, and Dr Peter Allen, Reader in Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, who join the Institute as Deputy Directors.

Dr Özgür Şimşek and Dr Peter AllenÖzgür is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, where she works on artificial intelligence and machine learning, with an emphasis on reinforcement learning. She is particularly interested in open-ended learning in complex, dynamic and uncertain environments.

Peter is Reader in Comparative Politics in the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies and Principal Investigator of the ESRC research project ‘Born Politicians’ which examines factors influencing political ambition. His fields of expertise is political representation, with a specific focus on who holds positions of political power, and influence in society.

Forging closer links with humanities, social sciences and industry

Professor Jonathan Dawes, Director of IMI, said “Özgür and Peter have a great understanding of the breadth of Bath’s research activities. Their appointment will help the IMI link humanities and social sciences more closely into our existing work and give us more capacity to engage with new industrial partners.

I’m delighted that they are joining the team and look forward to using their talents to help create new interdisciplinary research projects. Their appointment will particularly help us meet forthcoming challenges in tackling new funding streams from UKRI, where interdisciplinarity is often explicit.

In his role as Deputy Director, Peter will focus on expanding IMI’s cross-campus reach and lead on putting together interdisciplinary teams for research funding calls. Özgür, who joins the IMI just for this academic year, will have a specific focus on developing projects on AI and machine learning with industrial and academic partners.”

Dr Peter Allen commented: “I am excited to be part of IMI and to have the opportunity to contribute to its continued success. One of my key aims is to integrate the excellent quantitative social science research being undertaken in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and the School of Management into the work of the Institute.

Quantitative research in the social sciences can help to illuminate and solve real-world problems in government, society, and industry. To date, IMI has excelled at bringing together non-academic partners and academic research, and this is something I look forward to being a part of.”

Dr Özgür Şimşek said: "The field of artificial intelligence has recently entered a new era, aided by growth in available data and computing power. The successes of machine learning have been particularly notable, transforming many industries, scientific fields, and the very fabric of society. I am delighted to be joining IMI, and I look forward to working closely with colleagues across campus to explore how AI can support impactful work in academia and industry.”

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