– series 8 – Meet The Scientists

Series 8

Ieva Cepaite

Ieva is an Undergraduate studying Computational Physics at the University of Edinburgh, in her 5th and last year of sleepless study-fueled nights. About two or three years ago, she discovered a fascination for the field of Quantum Information, which then sent her on a path of research, awe and total immersion in the idea of Quantum Computers. She has spent the time since working on her degree but also investigating and collaborating with Quantum Technology research in places like Paris and Singapore, working on everything from Quantum Cryptography, to Cold Atoms research and Quantum Machine Learning. Outside of that she loves hill-walking in the Highlands, music, dancing, wine and whisky

Brenda Murage

brenda murage

Brenda is a second year PhD student in the Skehel lab at the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences on George Square where she mainly focuses on how a specific mutation in a membrane protein leads to a rare form of motor neurone disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 8, or ALS8. The disease occurs later in life, and leads to a gradual loss of motor function, and eventually death. Her project aims to characterize a model with this mutation to see how it affects motor ability over time, and if changes occur in the structure and function of systems involved in movement.”

Conor Smith

Conor Smith

Conor’s research involves the factor structure of personality and individual differences in nonhuman primates. He looks at personality traits in great apes, mostly chimpanzees, and how they have developed both statistically and evolutionary. Personality in nonhuman apes differs in many ways from human personality but the same analytic tools are used to derive the structures of both. These shared methods allow us to make comparative assessments of the factor structure and infer when, how, and why these personality traits may have evolved in different species. Specifically, Conor’s work looks at intermediate stages of personality structure and how these and the broader factors vary with age.

Arthur Brazinskas

Arthur Brazinskas

A 1st year informatics (ILCC) Phd student, Arthur is specialising in Bayesian machine learning in the context of natural language processing (NLP). He graduated in artificial intelligence from the university of Amsterdam, and prior to joining the ILCC group worked as a machine learning scientist for a number of companies (Amazon, Zalando, Elsevier). His thesis is about making intelligent and large scale algorithms for text summarisation. Summarisation is a very hard problem because in order to perform well, an algorithm has to overcome a number of challenges associated with human language. For example, it has to ‘understand’ that not all information is equally important and thus needs to be present in a summary, or that some words in different contexts have different meanings (polysemy).

Diana Sa Da Bandeira

Diana Sa Da Bandeira

Our very own Diana is nearly done with her PhD in Regenerative Medicine, where she has been studying the role of the microenvironment in the production of the first blood stem cells during embryonic development. She looks in particular at the importance of the communication between two cell types (pericytes and endothelial cells) through the PDGFRβ signalling pathway. Understanding all the cues required to make blood stem cells during development will lead way to produce them in a dish for clinical use. Other than research, she is interested in science communication, public engagement and education (and some occasional parties)

Nikolay Bogoychev

nikolay bogoychev

A postdoc at University of Edinburgh, Nikolay works on high performance computing and machine translation. He likes languages, logographic writing systems, game theory and GPUs. He (tries to) make things run faster and enjoy (premature) optimisation. In his work Nikolay tries to combine his passion for languages with his optimisation skills, but even if he can’t he still can enjoy both separately, right?