Research Supervisor Details

This page provides additional information about our research supervisors. You can either browser supervisors by department or search for them by keyword. Most supervisors also have a personal webpage where you can find out more about them.

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Dr Pamela Abbott
p.y.abbott@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My main research interests are:

  • Global sourcing of IT and IT-enabled services – organization of, models for, issues, conflicts & resolutions

  • Distributed collaborative work, knowledge processes, innovation and organizational learning

  • ICTs and development, globalisation and its effect on societies, organization and work; location of global work

  • Technology diffusion and its influence on organizations, work practices and new contemporary business models

PhD supervision

Some potential topics include:

  • Studies investigating new forms of global sourcing such as impact or rural sourcing from any perspective, e.g. social, economic etc. that generates new information about these new models of doing outsourced IT work.

  • Studies looking at distributed collaborative work such as the type of collaboration that is common in distributed software teams (distributed meaning separated by time, space, culture etc.) and determining how they maintain collaborative work practices and how they learn collectively in order to pursue innovative outcomes.

  • Studies investigating phenomena around ICTs and development, i.e., the contested relationship between the development of ICT initiatives in poor, underdeveloped communities and the resulting influence this may have on development efforts in those environments.
Mr Leo Appleton


Information School
Dr Jo Bates
jo.bates@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research is situated in the field of Critical Data Studies – an interdisciplinary field that uses critical social theory approaches to examine the social drivers, implications and power relations of emergent forms of data, AI and other algorithmic practices.

I work collaboratively with other scholars in the field of Critical Data Studies, as well as computer and information scientists who are engaged in the algorithmic processing of data.

My research has examined:

  • Socio-material dynamics that influence the production and use of data, and that enable and restrict the movement of data between different people and organisations. This work was largely conducted on the AHRC funded project ‘The Secret Life of a Weather Datum’, and includes the development of the ‘Data Journeys’ approach and work on the concept of ‘Data Friction’. 
  • Affective dynamics in cultures of Data Science practice. 
  • Socio-cultural biases and transparency in image search results conducted in collaboration with Prof. Paul Clough and Dr Frank Hopfgartner in the Information Retrieval group and Prof. Jahna Otterbacher at the Open University of Cyprus. 
  • Socio-technical approaches for improving crowdworkers’ labour conditions in ongoing research with Dr Alessandro Checco in the Information Retrieval group.
PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD projects that advance the critical study of emerging data, AI and other algorithmic practices. This includes, but is not limited to, issues around:

  • socio-cultural and/or political economic drivers and implications of emergent practices of data production, processing, distribution and/or use in different contexts of application
  • bias and discrimination in data and algorithmic processing
  • cultures of data science practice
  • data justice and data ethics
  • fairness, accountability and transparency in machine learning
  • pedagogical approaches for teaching Critical Data Studies/FATE to Data Scientists


Professor Peter Bath
p.a.bath@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests are in Health Informatics and include the following areas:

  • The use of e-Health resources by different consumer groups.
  • Health information needs and information behaviours of patients, their families, carers and the general public.
  • Evaluation of information systems within health care organisations.
  • Applications of artificial intelligence and data mining techniques to analysing health information.
  • Analysing health information in relation to the health and well-being of older people.
  • Sharing of information and experiences by patients, carers and the public on social media, blogs and web-based discussion forums

I am particularly interested in how patients, carers and health professionals seek, obtain and share information and advice in relation to their health and well-being through online digital resources. 

 

Dr Briony Birdi
b.birdi@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests and experience are broadly focused in the following areas:

  • Public library services
  • Library services for children and young people
  • Reading research and the promotion of literature and reading.

More specifically, my work relates to the social, political and educational roles of public and youth libraries in society, with a particular focus on diversity, social justice and reading. I am happy to supervise PhD projects related to any of these areas.

Dr David Cameron
d.s.cameron@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Human-Computer Interaction

My research examines users’ experiences in their interaction with technology, particularly in terms of the user and autonomous systems as two agents in collaborative work towards shared goals.

My work has also explored people’s emotional experiences in working with new technology, the reliability and performance of assistive technology in people’s intention to use, and children’s understanding of robots.

PhD supervision

I am particularly interested in hearing from research students focusing on the following areas:

  • Human-robot interaction – particularly in social robotics
  • People’s experiences in human-robot collaborative working
  • User’s trust in automation and robotics


Professor Paul Clough
p.d.clough@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on developing effective retrieval technologies that support users as they seek to fulfil their information needs. Specifically I have carried out research in the areas of:

  • multilingual search
  • retrieval of images
  • geo-spatial search
  • analysis of transaction logs
  • text re-use and plagiarism detection 
  • the evaluation of search systems

My background in natural language processing has allowed me to develop more sophisticated approaches to accessing information. In addition to developing techniques, I have also built up an understanding of the users of information access systems and their information needs, taking a more user-oriented view to my research. I am also interested in the creation of re-usable evaluation resources (corpora and test collections) for the wider research community, such as computational linguistics and information retrieval.

Dr Andrew Cox
a.m.cox@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on a number of areas:

  • Online community and communities of practice
  • Everyday and leisure-related information practices
  • The development of the LIS profession
  • Research data management
Research supervision

Some topics I am particularly interested in supervising PhD work related to those themes:

  • Virtual ethnographies of online communities, particularly those forming around digital photography and from the perspective of their impact on wellbeing

  • The information practices of those pursuing leisure pursuits, eg runners - including activity tracking

  • The study of researchers’ research data management, in the context of their Personal Information Management/ Personal Digital Archiving

  • The changing role of the LIS profession

  • The use of library and informal space in learning

Dr Salihu Dasuki
s.dasuki@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

My principal research interests lies in the social, political and economic implications of information systems use, implementation and development in Africa. I am currently investigating the impact of ICT interventions on human development using Sen’s capability approach within the Nigeria context. My future research plans are to develop models and frameworks in conjunction with government bodies, donor agencies and IS professionals that will act as a guideline for the effective design, implementation and evaluation of ICT4D interventions in Africa. I also have a particular interest in on the use of technologies by individuals affected by war and insurgency.

Dr Jonathan Foster
j.j.foster@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on:

  • the governance of information exchange and use in societal, organisational, and interactive contexts
  • the digital economy
  • institutional and classroom perspectives on the implementation of information and communications technology in educational settings


Professor Val Gillet
v.gillet@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on:

  • the development and application of chemoinformatics techniques that are used primarily in the design of novel bioactive compounds.
  • data mining and machine learning methods including emerging pattern mining, multiobjective evolutionary algorithms and graph theory.

Particular application areas include the identification of structure-activity relationships, toxicity prediction, 3D similarity methods and the de novo design of novel compounds. I also have expertise in developing novel representation methods for chemical structures with recent areas including reduced graphs, wavelet analysis and reaction vectors.

Dr Morgan Harvey
m.harvey@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research Interests

My research focuses on the following main areas:

  • (Interactive) Information Retrieval, particularly mobile IR - how situational context and distractions impact search behaviour/performance and how this can be mitigated
  • Recommender systems and personalisation, particularly to help improve people’s nutritional intake, meal planning and overall health
  • Conversational agents and how these can be used to solve problems in search, recommender systems and health

PhD Supervision

I would welcome proposals related to any of the above topics and have experience working with a wide range of research methods. I am particularly interested in work that seeks to tackle problems with a mixed methods approach and that directly involves target users in research via co-design and user studies.

Dr Frank Hopfgartner
f.hopfgartner@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My main research interests are:

  • Interactive Information Systems such as information retrieval, knowledge sharing, enterprise search, and recommender systems.
  • Experience in user modelling, gamification, personalized search and recommendation, user-centric evaluation, and other challenges that center around satisfying users’ information needs.

Research supervision

Some potential project ideas are: 

Document Analysis: Automatic information extraction, indexing, semantic analysis of text documents, analysis of low-level multimedia features, and the application of deep learning methods to classify multimedia content. Manual methods include work on engaging the crowd for data and document annotation and categorization.

Self-tracking & lifelogging and its potentials for personalization. Interested in the analysis, and visualisation of sensor and lifelogging data. Other challenges pertain processing vast amounts of data and identifying user interests, skills etc. and their usage in real world systems like health or recommendation systems.

Dr Stephen Jackson
stephen.jackson@sheffield.ac.uk

Information School
Ms Andrea Jimenez
a.jimenez@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School
My research revolves around the role of innovation in socioeconomic development. I explore this from two distinct dimensions: the internal processes within organisations, by looking at absorptive capacity, knowledge sharing and collaboration; and the wider geopolitical dimension around innovation discourses embedded in the international development sector.  

Research interests:
  • Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), particularly in relation to projects with strong focus on development beyond economic growth. 
  • Social innovation in the global South, and the implementation of national policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
  • Gender and inclusion in technology workspaces, in particular applying intersectional feminism to reduce the gender gap in technology. 
  • Innovation and sustainability in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 
 
 
PhD supervision
 

I am interested in supervising PhD projects that explores the role of innovation and technology in socioeconomic development. This includes, but is not limited to, issues around:

  • The role of ICTs in development efforts, including either poverty reduction, gender equality or environmental sustainability.
  • Exploring national innovation systems and their challenges in addressing local contexts
  • Adopting a decolonial lens to the role of technology and innovation in development
Dr Kushwanth Koya
k.koya@sheffield.ac.uk

Information School

I am currently working on projects to ascertain the information needs and their classifications, of young informal carers in the UK in collaboration with Strathclyde and Leeds Beckett. Along with colleagues at Northumbria, De Montfort and Suffolk, I’ am investigating the microblogging dynamics of NHS workers during the Covid19 pandemic. I’ am also working with two of my former students, Rob Frear (Chesterfield Royal Hospital) and Salime Mascarenas (Prometheus Group) to ascertain diabetes ketoacidosis readmission risks from hospital records and information needs of stakeholders towards developing trust in machine learning based manufacturing processes in the aerospace industry respectively.

My recent research investigated the interpretation of GDPR principles by various UK Higher Education stakeholders, particularly focussing on the utilisation of student data and in collaboration with Santander Bank on a students’-led project, we investigated the factors responsible for digital banking adoption in young adults in the UK.

My previous research has contributed towards identifying information practices influencing the attainment of UN Sustainable Development Goals and cultural sustainability. I was a named researcher in a JISC funded project which led to the development of a recommendations-based reading list prototype learning and resource management for UK higher education libraries, which further sparked interest to develop a novel ranking method for research datasets, based on quality and popularity.

My research has been published in scholarly outlets i.e., Journal of the Association of Information Science & Technology (JASIST), Journal of Information Science, PlosOne, iConference and the Asia-Pacific Information Technology Conference (ACM organised).

Dr Angela Lin
a.lin@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on:

  • information systems implementation
  •  use of IT in business
  • evaluation of information systems
  • the study of systems in use
  • users acceptance of systems
  • online consumer behaviours
  • information systems and technologies that support e-commerce
  • e-commerce business

Research supervision

I am interested in supervising PhDs in:

  • Management Information systems related projects.
Dr Suvodeep Mazumdar
s.mazumdar@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research explores developing scalable techniques and mechanisms for reducing the barrier for user communities in understanding very large complex multidimensional datasets. I conduct inter-disciplinary research on highly engaging, interactive and visual mechanisms in conjunction with complex querying techniques for seamless navigation, exploration and understanding of complex datasets.

Research supervision

Areas of PhD supervision:

  • Large scale visual analytics of real-time multidimensional heterogeneous datasets

  • Visualisation of large graph-based datasets using Augmented / Mixed / Virtual reality

  • Citizen science and crowdsourcing techniques for complementing traditional sources of data (e.g. mobile, wearable sensing) using multimodal interactions

Dr Pamela McKinney
p.mckinney@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on:

  • Pedagogy for Information Literacy in Higher Education.
  • The relationship between Inquiry-based Learning and Information Literacy, including how learners can be supported in their inquiries through the development of Information Literacy capabilities and how Information Literacy can be taught using Inquiry-based pedagogies
  • Reflective practice for teachers and learners.
  • The development of teaching competencies in librarians.
  • Students working in groups and the tools and technologies groups use to communicate and collaborate.
  • Information Literacy and Information behaviour in everyday life contexts with specific groups, populations or practices.
  • Mobile health and quantified self.

Research supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD research projects in the areas of:

  • Information literacy and Information behaviour in educational or everyday life contexts
  • Technology enhanced learning in Higher Education, and particularly the choices students make about how to use social media and  mobile phones to support their learning
  • Professional development for librarians with regards to teaching
  • Mobile apps to support healthy eating
Dr Susan Oman
s.m.oman@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research Interests 

I research how data and evidence work in practice, looking at particular policy issues, such as well-being, loneliness, inequality and class. My research focuses on the role of knowledge and information in social change and revealing the positive and negative effects of practices assumed benevolent and robust. I am particularly interested in projects which research data, tech, knowledge and policy issues in the creative and cultural industries, Higher Education, local or national governance, as well as social and cultural policy more generally. 

 

Potential Projects

  • How data ‘work’ - in context: everyday data practices in organisations

  • People’s perceptions and experiences of data practices 

  • Media representations of data practices and processes 

  • Issues related to processes of categorisation, i.e. census, demographic data or processes, such as segmentation

  • History and philosophy of social science 

  • Research on, in, or with, the cultural sector - particularly evaluation of projects with a social impact aim

  • Critical inequality research

  • Critical well-being research 

  • Critical policy studies (document analysis, discourse analysis, historical analyses)

  • Cultural and social policy studies

Professor Stephen Pinfield
s.pinfield@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on:

  • Open access
  • Open data
  • Scholarly communication
  • Research publishing
  • Research data management
  • Academic libraries
  • Digital libraries
  • Library strategy and policy
Dr Paul Reilly
p.j.reilly@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research focuses on the study of online political communication, with a focus on four key areas:

  • The use of social media by citizens to create and share acts of sousveillance (inverse surveillance)
  • Social media as a tool for political activism
  • The ways in which social media can be used to crowdsource crisis information
  • The potential use of digital media to reduce sectarian tensions and promote better community relations in divided societies such as Northern Ireland.
Research supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD research projects in the following areas:

  • Crisis communication
  • Digital media and peacebuilding
  • Online research ethics
  • Social media, activism and protest
  • Social media and sousveillance
Dr Sophie Rutter
s.rutter@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Information behaviour and information use

My research focuses on how the environment influences the way people interact with, and use, information. My research so far has been broadly based on school children, information seeking and health communication.  

Research supervision

I am particularly interested in hearing from research students focusing on the following areas:

  • how different user groups (i.e. children, professionals and so on) use information, and the influence of the environment on this 
  • use of search technologies and what success might mean 
  • where a co-production methodology will be used


Dr Laura Sbaffi
Laura.Sbaffi@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on:

  • Trust formation in health online information
  • Information needs of healthcare professionals
  • Online information needs of men and women in different contexts (e.g. e-commerce, health, finance, holidays, etc.)
  • Non-compliancy issues in relation to chronic conditions (e.g. why people tend to not use medications as prescribed)
  • How to understand and meet the needs of dementia patients’ cares
  • How to understand and meet the needs of Alzheimer’s patients’ cares

I would be interested in supervising PhD students in any of the above areas.

Dr Peter Stordy
peter.stordy@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Please note - Peter Stordy is no longer accepting new PhD students


Research interests

My research interest focus on:

  • Internet, digital and information literacies, school and HE pedagogy
  • Appreciative Inquiry (AI)
  • Inquiry-based Learning (IBL)
  • Primary education
  • Learning styles
  • Personal Development Planning (PDP)
Research supervision

I am interested in supervising PhDs in:

  • Literacies
  • Education
  • Web Authoring
Dr Sara Vannini


Information School

Research Interests

My research interests are at the intersection of critical studies of technology and society, social change, and information ethics. I focus on social appropriation and embodied experiences of technologies by different social groups, information privacy in the context of migration, the role of public access to information in mis/disinformation, and participatory and visual methodologies of inquiry.

 

PhD Supervision

  • Issues connected to data justice in the context of underserved, vulnerable, or oppressed populations/social groups. (E.g.: Data or systems biases for BAME and people of colour; practices related to sanctuary - protection for the vulnerable - in the digital space)

  • Issues connected to data privacy and security in the context of underserved, vulnerable, or oppressed populations/social groups. (E.g.: implications of data privacy for refugees, asylum seekers, and unauthorized migrants)

  • Mis/dis-information as connected to information literacy and/or projects or public access to information. (E.g.: role and potential for libraries or telecenters in different contexts to address disinformation in their communities)

  • Social construction of information and communication technologies (how different social groups perceive them), especially in the context of underserved, vulnerable, or oppressed populations/social groups. 

  • Information needs and the role of information and communication technologies in the context of migration.

  • Information behaviours and the role of information and communication technologies in the context of underserved, vulnerable, or oppressed populations/social groups.

Dr Ana Vasconcelos
a.c.vasconcelos@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on the relationship between the management of information and knowledge, systems and innovation practices.

Specific interests are:

  • knowledge sharing
  • knowledge boundaries and boundary spanning activities
  • knowledge absorption, absorptive capacity and innovation
  • information failure and organizational learning
  • online identities, communities of practice and virtual communities
  • information systems adaptation

I bring a perspective to these themes influenced by Arenas/Social Worlds Theory, Practice Theory and approaches such as Discourse Analysis and Grounded Theory.

I am interested in supervising PhDs in the above areas.

 

Ms Sheila Webber
s.webber@Sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My research interests focus on investigating information literacy and information behaviour in context. Contexts include:

  • Virtual contexts e.g. information behaviour in computer gaming; information literacy in virtual worlds
  • Cultural and lifestage contexts, e.g. information behaviour of carers; Media and Information Literacy of older people; information literacy as experienced in different countries; information behaviour in the workplace
  • Educational contexts e.g. information literacy at different stages of education, and in different disciplines; information behaviour in distance learning

I am also interested in research investigating the pedagogy of information literacy.  

I am a qualitative researcher, with particular expertise in phenomenography, autoethnography, action research and case study research.

Research supervision

I am interested in supervising PhDs in all the above areas. Potential research topics include:

  • The information behaviour of MOOC learners (the University of Sheffield is part of the FutureLearn consortium)
  • How retired people experience information literacy
  • A case study investigating whether a specific university is information literate (using Webber & Johnston's indicators of the Information Literate University)



Professor Peter Willett
p.willett@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Peter Willett is not currently taking on new PhD students.

Dr Efpraxia Zamani
e.zamani@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

Research interests

My broad research interests relate to the organizational and social aspects of information systems. I am particularly interested in post-adoption user behaviour, enterprise information systems and ICT4D. For my PhD, I have looked into user sensemaking with portable IT artefacts, such as tablets. More specifically, I have looked into episodes of disillusionment, and how users develop their own accommodating practices for the purposes of appropriating an IT artefact. My research work has been presented in numerous conferences and has been published in journals such as the Journal of Information Technology, Government Information Quarterly and the International Journal of Electronic Commerce.

Research supervision

I am interested in supervising PhD projects that relate to the appropriation of information systems within individual but also enterprise (work-related) contexts. I am also interested in projects that have to do with the more social aspects of technology, such as its use for the purposes of development of countries and regions (ICT4D).

Dr Ziqi Zhang
ziqi.zhang@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

My research interests are in the areas of Semantic Web, Natural Language Processing, Text Mining, Machine Learning and Data Science. Particularly in

- Information Extraction: how to automatically turn unstructured, natural language text into structured representation that could support machine understandability and reasoning.
- Social media analysis: the application and adaptation of Information Extraction methods onto social media text analytics.
- Lexical semantics: how to represent the ‘meaning’ of a word, name, phrase, or sentence; how to measure the relatedness and similarity of these meanings (semantic relatedness and similarity).
- Knowledge graphs: the use of all the above technology in the automatic creation, mapping, and completion of structured ‘databases’ that support machine understandability and reasoning.
- Semantic Web and Linked Data: the use of all the above technology to enable the vision of tomorrow’s Web where machine understandable data are put on the Web, shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries.

Potential topics:
Knowledge graph construction, mapping, and completion: Knowledge graphs such as Wikidata, DBpedia, and the Google Knowledge Graph are becoming the backbone that drives today's search engines. They are also used widely in a large range of applications such as recommendation and reasoning in domains such as tourism, and e-commerce. I am interested in various areas related to computation methods for knowledge graphs. This includes, but is not limited to, automated construction of knowledge graphs using Information Extraction, text mining and Natural Language Processing; the mapping of different knowledge graphs; detection of missing links in large knowledge graphs or generally, knowledge graph completion; and the use of knowledge graphs in downstream applications such as recommendation and visualisation.
Linked data on the Web: the Linked Data practice has been increasingly adopted by a significant number of content creators and is leading to the 'boom' of structured open data on the Web. As an example, the e-commerce domain has seen the embedding of structured data within product webpages, to allow search engines to better discover them, and enable intelligent applications such as product comparison services. I am interested in various areas of research related to linked data. This includes, but is not limited to, the 'cleansing' of heterogeneous linked data; the use of linked data to enable downstream, intelligent applications; and the use of linked data to drive data mining processes such as Information Extraction and Integration.
Social media - combating toxic content using computational methods: social media such as Twitter is increasingly exploited for the propagation of toxic content such as hate speech and extremism and the organisation of related activities. Implementing effective counter measures depends on the real-time understanding of such content, i.e., automated detection of the emergence and spread of the content, and semantic content analysis. I am interested in developing novel data mining and machine learning methods that can support the automatic identification, analysis and tracking of toxic content on social media.
Social media - data mining in the context of health informatics: social media is playing an important role in the generation and sharing of health information, as studies have shown that a substantial and increasing percentage of the population is seeking and following health advice found on SMS. I am interested in developing data mining methods that can automatically retrieve and analyse such information from social media to understand the nature of such information, and their impact on personal health management. For example, what kinds of health related information are shared, and how much are considered useful by information seekers.

Dr Xin Zhao
xin.zhao@sheffield.ac.uk
Personal Webpage

Information School

My main research interests can grouped into three interconnected areas:

  1. Internationalisation of Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities
    For example, the challenges that university and students face in an increasingly internationalised context from a cross-cultural perspective and/or information perspective.
  2. Learning and Teaching pedagogy in HE
    For example, projects examine the effectiveness of learning and teaching approaches for students of diverse backgrounds and learning needs, including face-to-face and Distance Learning modalities.
  3. Technology, Innovation, and Education
    For example, projects looking at the use of EdTech in supporting inclusive education practices.
Dr Mengdie Zhuang
m.zhuang@sheffield.ac.uk>
Personal Webpage

Information School

My research is fundamentally interdisciplinary, and has applications both in academic, public service and in industry. The topics and methods I am interested in include, but are not limited to: Information Retrieval, Human Computer Interaction, Data Visualisation, Urban Analytics, Digital Health, Machine Learning, Spatial Data Science, Representation Learning.

A detailed and updated list can be found here.