L. A. Dennis: CV

Summary

I'm currently working as a Post-Doctoral Researcher and Knowledge Exchange Support Officer in the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Group and the Verification Group at the University of Liverpool. I have a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and an MSc in Knowledge Based Systems.

My research falls at the intersection of artificial intelligence and computational proof. Most recently it has focused on autonomous systems: their programming and verification. My research has primarily been driven by the parallel development of verification tools and verifiable systems, these include the lambdaClam proof planning system; the PROSPER Toolkit for integrating CAD and CASE tools, theorem proving and model checking; and more recently the Agent Infrastructure Layer for prototyping the semantics of Agent Programming Languages; the javapathfinder-based AJPF model checker for verifying agent programs and the Gwendolen verifiable agent programming language. As part of this research I have worked with industrial partners such as National Nuclear Labs and BAe systems.

I have extensive experience in public engagement and developed Lego Rovers, an activity that presents ideas from artificial intelligence programming and autonomous systems to children in Key Stages 2&3. This activity has been presented at multiple schools in the North West, was featured in a Best Practice video used for training by the STEM Ambassadors scheme, was a challenge problem for the NASA Space Apps hackathon, and has been used at Cheltenham Science Festival and in several events at the World Museum in Liverpool. It is currently funded by an STFC public understanding small award. I've also given interviews to Radio Merseyside's Drive Time, Radio Five Live, Granada Reports and the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.

Qualifications

PGCHE (completed 2005)
Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. University of Nottingham. Group Project: Automated Assessment for Large Groups, Individual Project: Student Attitudes to Plagiarism and Collusion in Computer Science, Teaching Portfolio available online at http://www.csc.liv.ac.uk/~lad/portfolio.
PhD (1994 - 1998)
Department of Artificial Intelligence, Edinburgh University, Proof Planning Coinduction. Supervisors: Prof. Alan Bundy, Dr. Ian Green.
MSc Knowledge Based Systems (1993-1994)
Department of Artificial Intelligence, University of Edinburgh, An Exploration of Semantic Resolution.
BA Hons (2:1) (1989-1992)
Mathematics and Philosophy, Oxford University.

Career

2016-present
Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool.
Knowledge Exchange Support Officer
2014-present
Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool.
Research Associate on Verifiable Autonomy
2012-2014
Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool.
Research Associate on Reconfigurable Autonomy
2009-2012
Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool.
Research Associate on Engineering Autonomous Space Software
2006-2009
Department of Computer Science, University of Liverpool.
Research Associate on Model Checking Agent Programming Languages
2001-2006
School of Computer Science and Information Technology, University of Nottingham.
Lecturer.
2000-2001
Division of Informatics, University of Edinburgh.
Research Fellow on EPSRC grant GR/M45030, The Computational Modelling of Mathematical Reasoning.
1998-1999
Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow.
Research Associate on PROSPER (Proof and Specification assisted Design Environments). ESPRIT Framework IV LTR 26241.
1997-1998
Department of Computer Science, University of Nottingham.
Teaching Assistant.
1993
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg.
6 month Research Assistant/Traineeship in Biocomputing.

Research

Publications

I maintain a separate Publications page.

Grants

STFC Grant - ST/M002225/1
Lego Rovers Evolution
Nottingham New Lecturers' Fund Grant NLF - 3051
Classifying programming Errors and how they cause Correctness Proofs to Fail.
EPSRC Platform Grant Gr/SO1771/01
The Integration and Interaction of Multiple Mathematical Reasoning Processes. This grant is held in Edinburgh with Prof. Alan Bundy as the principal investigator.
EPSRC Grant Gr/M45030
The Computational Modelling of Mathematical Reasoning. This grant was held in Edinburgh with Prof. Alan Bundy as the principal investigator.

Public Understanding Experience

STEM Ambassador, 2010 -- present
Developed Lego Rovers -- a workshop activity for schools, 2013 - present
2012-2013
Taken into 2 schools and shown to approx 50 children.
Adopted as a challenge for the NASA International Space Apps hackathon
Demonstrated at the Victoria\&Albert Museum as part of the "Digital Futures" exhibition.
2013-2014
Taken into 8 schools and shown to over 125 children.
Used as an example of "best practice" in a training video to be used by the STEM Ambassador scheme. The video was released on YouTube in June 2014.
Appeared in an open day at Daresbury Labs and was exhibited at "Saturday Science" at the Museum of Science and Industry on the 15th March.
2014-2015
Taken into 7 schools and demonstrated to over 140 children.
Received development funding in the form of an STFC grant.
Appeared in an open day at Daresbury Labs and was exhibited as part of "We are Aliens" at the World Museum in Liverpool.
Exhibited at Cheltenham Science Festival as part of the STFC marquee. Nearly 14,000 people entered the marquee and over 2,000 were shown the activity.
Media
Drivetime, Radio Merseyside, four appearances 2014-2016.
Today Programme, Radio 4, June 2015.
Radio 5 Live, June 2015.
BBC World Service, June 2015.
Granada Reports, ITN News, February 2016
Saturday Breakfast, Radio Merseyside, March 2016
Tony Snell in the Morning, Radio Merseyside, March 2016

Teaching Experience

Lecturing

2003 - 2006, Mathematics for Computer Science 2
A first year module covering discrete mathematics. The work involved adapting the existing lectures, setting and marking exercises and examinations.
2002 - 2006, Software Methods and Tools
A first year module in UNIX, perl and a tool-based approach to Software Engineering. The work involved adapting the existing lectures, setting and marking practicals and examinations.
2002, Mechanised Reasoning and Theorem Proving
A Short course for the Midland Graduate School in Theoretical Computer Science.
2002, An Introduction to UNIX
A One day course for IT workers from Peurgeot
2002, Developments in Digital Business
A third year module aimed primarily at students on the Digital Business degree course. This module was offered for the first time in 2002 and so I created the module from scratch based on a small syllabus description. Half the module consisted of guest lectures given by people working in Digital Business. The other half consisted of a series of lectures by myself on current topics in Digital Business. I also created and marked the course works and exam.
1999, Advanced Artificial Intelligence.
A third year module. I inherited this course in a form that had not been revised for several years. The work involved substantial revision of the existing material, the addition of new material, setting and marking coursework and the exam and co-ordinating the visit of a guest lecturer from Caen via the ERASMUS scheme.

Supervision

PhD Students

Richard Stocker, Towards the Formal Verification of Human-Agent-Robot Teamwork, 2013
University of Liverpool, third supervisor.
Matthew Walton, Programming Languages for Proof Planning Systems (2005-2006)
University of Nottingham. Supervision handed over when I moved.
Graham Steel, Non-theorem Refutation and Cryptographic Security Protocols (Graduated 2004).
University of Edinburgh, second supervisor.

MSc Students

Ester Jacobs, Agent Programming for Lego Robots, 2013
University of Liverpool, third supervisor.
Fiona McNeill, On the Use of Dependency Tracking in Theorem Proving, 2000.
University of Edinburgh, second supervisor.

Pastoral Care

At Nottingham I was personal tutor for a group of students in each year of study. This involves writing references, advising on module choice and liaising between the department, the disabilities officer and counsellors.

Formal Training

I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE). For this I had to produce a Teaching Portfolio.

Membership of Professional Organisations

  • The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour
  • Association for Automated Reasoning
  • British Logic Colloquium

Administrative Experience

2015
Agent Verification Workshop, Organising Committee
2015, 2016
Organised and managed a stand at Cheltenham Science Festival, which involved developing and producing the stand and supporting material, as well as arranging travel and accommodation for helpers.
2014
Member of the School of Electronics and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science's ATHENA SWAN committee which resulted in the school achieving a Bronze award.
2012
Joint AISB/IACAP World Congress - Alan Turing 2012, Publisher Liaison
2012
Declarative Agent Languages and Technologies 2012, Joint Programme Chair
2011
Programming Multi-Agent Systems 2011, Joint Programme Chair
2006
Automated Reasoning Workshop Organiser
2004 - 2010
Secretary and Webmaster of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour
2006 -
Member of the Automated Reasoning Workshop Organising Committee
2005 - 2006
Course Organiser Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence
2005 - 2006
Course Organiser Computer Science with Formal Methods
2005
University of Nottingham. Committee member on two committees which designed three new degrees to be offered by the School and redesigned the curriculum of the existing single honours Computer Science degree.
2005 - 2006
Head of Marketing Undergraduate Degrees, School of Computer Science and IT, University of Nottingham
2005 - 2006
Admissions Officer, School of Computer Science and IT, University of Nottingham
2005
CIAO Workshop Chair
2004 -
Secretary and Webmaster of the Society for the the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour
2003 -
AISB Quarterly Newsletter, Member of the Editorial Board
2001 -
Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour, Committee Member
2001 - 2006
Nottingham Teaching Committee Member
2001 - 2005
Course Organiser for GN51 Joint Honours Computer Science and Management Studies.
International Conference on Theorem Proving in Higher-Order Logic 2001
Local Arrangements Chair
Banff 2000 Workshop in Honour of Graham Birtwhistle, Ullapool Scotland.
Assisted with planning and organisation.

External Recognition

  • Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College
  • Member of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in the Design of Autonomous Systems sub-committee on Individual/Personal Data Control
  • Member of the Automated Reasoning Workshop Committee
  • Committee member of the AISB.
  • Best paper prize at TACAS 2000.