Outreach & Public Engagement   /   Cohort Activities   /   External Activities


Outreach and Public Engagement

The Power of STEM CDT series – Saving lives with AI

The CDT is involved in developing ‘The Power of STEM’ series of workshops which are part of the academic programme of the Reach for Excellence.  Reach for Excellence is the flagship widening participation scheme at the University of Leeds outreach.  It supports and stretches students with the potential to gain a place at a research intensive university, but who may not have considered it (or who may perceive barriers to entry).  Following the positive feedback from the session in the Summer, a series of sessions are being delivered in November 2021.

Our students – Joe Sims, Lucy Godson, Anna-Grace Linton, Sara Jones, Emma Briggs, Sian Carey, Victoria Moglia, Oli Umney and Aron Syversen – designed and presented online interactive workshops for year 12 students studying at least one STEM subject at A-levels. This was part of a larger inter-CDT outreach initiative.

Pint of Science

Lucy Godson helped co-ordinate and host one of the virtual Pint of Science nights for the University of Leeds (, which was looking at how AI is being implemented in different healthcare settings and again it was really great to interact with an audience outside of the University about the AI research happening in Leeds!

Breaking Boundaries in STEM – AI for a fairer world

For Ada Lovelace Day 2020, we teamed up with Black History Month for an event focused on AI and Fairness.

AI has huge potential to create new and exciting futures, but it could also be a terrible weapon. Will society be fairer or more unfair in the future and how can computer scientists help create a fairer world? 

Our panellists included inspirational role models at different career stages and with different lived experiences. The panel discussed: What we need to do to ensure AI creates a fairer world using a broad range of examples of applications of AI with a focus on Medicine and Health.

Be Curious 2020

Prof. David Hogg, Sam Llanwarne, Jason Keighley, Tom Allcock, and Prof. Vania Dimitrova presented at the University of Leeds Be Curious virtual festival. Be Curious is an interactive activity for the general public, aimed triggering curiosity and inspiring engagement in STEM.

Students’ Blog

Accessed Memory is a student-run blog, aimed at demystifying AI to a wider audience. It is run by one of our CDT students, Joe Sims alongside Sonia Dembowska from the department of Maths, here at the University of Leeds. Joe’s PhD is on developing graph neural networks to identify cell structures that indicate how a patient responds to chemotherapy.  For Sonia’s PhD she is creating methods for representing high dimensional image data taken over time, with a focus on medical application. Together, they explore AI algorithms and apply them to a range of topics in an attempt to learn and teach others.

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Cohort Activities

The CDT organises a series of activities involving our cohort of CDT students.

2022 UKRI AI CDTs in Healthcare Joint Conference

In May 2022 Cohort 1 and 2 attended the Joint CDT Conference. The conference offered an opportunity for our PhD researchers to showcase their research and ideas through oral talks and poster sessions. The conference began with a presentation from guest speaker Maria Liakata, Professor in Natural Language Processing (NLP) followed by a Q&A session. Our students were given the opportunity to network with fellow researchers from University College London, Edinburgh University, and Imperial College London. 

2022 CDT Conference

Our Leeds CDT AI Medical Conference in June 2022 was a great success. We were delighted to have talks delivered by Hamish Fraser (Associate Professor of Medical Science Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice Brown University) on the Evaluation of diagnostic and triage accuracy and usability of a symptom checker in an emergency department: observational study” and by Alison Noble (Technikos Professor of Biomedical Engineering Fellow of St Hilda’s College University of Oxford) on “The Emergence of Sonography Data Science”.  

The students were given the opportunity to showcase their research and ideas through oral talks followed by poster sessions given by Cohort 1 and Cohort 2.  

CDT journal club and seminars

The CDT journal club involves all students who are 6 months past the start of their studies. The students meet weekly, every Wednesday at 3pm, to present and discuss papers related to AI in Medical Diagnosis and Care. Some of the slots include presentations from internal or external speakers. If you wish to join the CDT journal club and seminars, contact Lucy Godson, Anna-Grace Linton or Zoe Hancox.

Online activities and support

CDT-led coffee and chat sessions happen every Friday and provide an opportunity for social interaction and informal catchup. The students maintain regular contact through WhatsApp and Discord. The Discord channel is particularly effective in maintaining day-to-day activities of the CDT. We have two student led discord servers, one for work-related conversations/collaborations and another for socialising. The work-related server is where students keep in contact most days to discuss our work, clarify common queries, give reminders, give announcements, share useful resources, and share any relevant events to their studies. The students have separate channels for modules and were able to utilise this space to support each other and make sure that each student had a colleague to work with during group projects, which helped with group cohesion. The social server is a space for the CDT students and related courses which is mainly used for online social events. Over the summer this server is used to aid in the cohesion of the new cohort before joining in the autumn semester. This provides new students with a local contact with whom they are able to occasionally interact or ask questions.  

 CDT Cohort Walks

As part of the induction for new students, we organise a social walk to allow the students to meet in an informal atmosphere and get to know each other. Cohort 3’s induction included a walk in Ilkley Moors in September 2021.

In the summer 2021, a walk in Ilkley (Leeds) was organised for Cohort 2 students. Due to lockdown, Cohort 2 students had all activities online. The walk provided an opportunity to meet each other face to face, offering a good chance for group bonding and team building.

As part of their induction, Cohort 1 went for a walk in the Yorkshire Dales.


Social Activities

In addition to the walks, we regularly organise social activities to promote group bonding, team building, build a relaxing atmosphere and have fun :). The pictures below show two examples – celebrating the Chinese New Year with Cohort 1 and farewell to  the CDT manager Ellen Goodison.

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External Activities

  • Anna-Grace Linton presented her research at the UK Health Text analytics conference (HealTAC 2021).
  • Three CDT students – Jack Breen, Rachel Harkness and Joe Sims – attended the leading international conference in medical image analysis (MICCAI 2021). Jack Breen presented his research to one of the workshop challenges.  
  • Rachael Harkness presented her research at the International .Medical Informatics Association conference (MedInfo21).
  • Andrew Broad presented his work to the monthly meetings of the National Pathology Imaging Cooperative‘s Digital Research Group at St James’s Hospital.
  • Sara Jones was awarded the Margaret Steel Innovation Award (£1000) from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Leeds.
  • Our students attend various seminars at the University of Leeds, e.g. the Leeds Institute of Data Analytics seminar series, the School of Computing colloquia, the National Pathology Imaging Cooperative seminars, the Computer Vision and AI for Languages special interest groups.

The first cohort of our CDT students met The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Baroness Nicky Morgan who visited the University on Leeds on 24 January 2020, discussing how researchers are being trained to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) in the fight against cancer.

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