mts_sI’m currently a post-doc researcher at the University of Sheffield, in Mauricio A Alvarez Lopez’s lab.

Current projects:

  • We’re developing new tools to allow data to be anonymised, through the framework of differential privacy (see paper in AISTATS on Gaussian Processes and Differential Privacy).
  • Air pollution Kampala – a real time model of the air pollution (PM2.5) across Kampala (see talk and a blog post about my last visit there). We’re hoping to soon run validation experiments and roll out the monitoring to the whole city.
  • I’m currently working on finding bounds on adversarial attacks against GP classifiers.
  • A paused project: Clustering patients in the MND database.
  • Dialysis: Predicting a few days ahead for clinical decision support.
  • Other projects: Bee tracking, integral kernel, etc…

Email me:

Previous work

My first MSc looked at how to infer features of distal synapses using the variance in the flow of current. My second MSc research focused on the network-level modelling of the head direction system and hands-on work with tetrode recordings of place cells in rat, in an attempt to understand if different sources of information are integrated in the dorsal presubiculum. For my PhD I switched to using fMRI in humans, but remained focused on the area of sensory integration in the head-direction and navigation systems. In particular how we integrate visual and auditory self-motion cues.

I spent most of 2014 lecturing at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. There I became involved in the field of Development Informatics, and have several on-going research topics; covering air pollution, nutrition-data, automated microscopy, traffic collision data and malaria distribution prediction. A variety of machine learning methods have been applied (for example Gaussian Process models for the model of malaria distribution). More details about some of these projects can be found at the Artificial Intelligence in the Developing World (AI-DEV) group’s website.

In 2015 we organised the Data @ Sheffield event, as part of the open data science initiative.

As part of an innovate UK collaboration we built the scikic inference tool, which provided both a conversation interface and a backend API for inferring demographic and lifestyle features about individuals. It is hoped it will be a useful tool to demonstrate the power of machine learning. In the future we hope to develop a user-centric data model for the analysis and storage of user data, with the motivation that personalised medicine and associated research requires access to user data.


We hold annual Data Science Africa events in June/July in East Africa, as part of the wider data science Africa network.

Selected Publications
  • Wutte, M. G., Smith, M. T., Flanagin, V. L., & Wolbers, T. (2011). Physiological signal variability in hMT+ reflects performance on a direction discrimination task. Frontiers in psychology, 2.
  • Feldwisch-Drentrup, H., Barrett, A. B., Smith, M. T., & van Rossum, M. C. (2012). Fluctuations in the open time of synaptic channels: An application to noise analysis based on charge. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 210(1), 15-21.
  • Bett, D., Stevenson, C. H., Shires, K. L., Smith, M. T., Martin, S. J., Dudchenko, P. A., & Wood, E. R. (2013). The Postsubiculum and Spatial Learning: The Role of Postsubicular Synaptic Activity and Synaptic Plasticity in Hippocampal Place Cell, Object, and Object-Location Memory. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(16), 6928-6943.