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LIDA Education and Training Committee

LIDA Education and Training Committee

The purpose of the committee is to develop opportunities for pan faculty, multi-disciplinary data science and analytics education and training.

The group meets three times a year prior to the LIDA Education and Training Board and the LIDA Steering Group, held in September, January and May.

Our role

  1. Develop strategic opportunities in student education and training, in data science and analytics, by working with individual faculties and central student support services
  2. Offer guidance and support relating to existing and proposed data science and analytics:
    • modules
    • programmes
    • major/minor amendments
    • training workshops
  3. Look at areas for improvement in relation to the student experience and performance within LIDA’s education and training activities
  4. Develop working groups to provide the expertise and focus to address specific issues relevant to education and training in data science and analytics
  5. Co-opt additional Committee members to help take forward specific short term projects in specific areas, for example fully online education, equality diversity and inclusion.


The Education and Training Committee report to the LIDA Executive through the LIDA Director of Education & Training.

Outputs from the Education and Training Committee will be shared with the Faculty Pro Deans for Student Education at the LIDA Education and Training Board, to enable broader University strategic and financial collaboration

Meet our committee members

Our committee members come from a range of faculties and expertise so we can ensure diversity of thought and experience.

Paul Baxter

LIDA’s Director of Education & Training

My role is to lead on the enhancement and growth of Data Science & AI (DS&AI) education across the University in partnership with our Schools and Faculties.

I am interested in new modes of delivering teaching (such as online learning) and supporting equality, diversity, and inclusion initiatives in DS&AI education.

I am also very keen to help develop the next generation of DS&AI educators and to explore new pedagogical approaches to teaching DS&AI for both online and face-to-face learning

Aulona Ulqinaku

Associate Professor of Marketing and Programme Director for MSc Consumer Analytics and Marketing Strategy in the Marketing Department at Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds.

Aulona’s research interests cover the effect of psychological and financial threats on individuals and their consumption preferences and choices and how marketing activities can help threatened consumers. Aulona did her PhD in Business Administration and Management (major in Marketing and minor in Organization) in Bocconi University in Milan. She also holds a MSc in Marketing Management and a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and Management from Bocconi University.

I hope to contribute to the LIDA E&T Committee by bringing the taste of marketing into the equation, both from a business and from a social psychology point of view. I'm excited to learn every time how marketing fits into the bigger picture that LIDA is.

Dr Sajid Siraj

Associate Professor, Business Analytics & Decision Sciences

Dr Siraj is an active researcher in the field of decision support systems. He has worked as electrical engineer designing microchips and then led various software development projects in the telecom sector. He has published in quality journals and has also developed open-source tools for public good which are in use around the globe.

Dr Siraj is passionate about teaching analytics to those coming from different backgrounds, bringing their own knowledge and experiences, which creates an environment of mutual learning. He wants to improve the explainability and fairness in machine learning algorithms before we use them in practise.

Dr. Wendy Harrison

Lecturer in Biostatistics

I am keen to contribute to strategy and developing opportunities in student education through my interests in data science and interdisciplinary collaborations. I am also passionate about supporting good practice and innovative approaches in learning and teaching.

Dr Mark Iles

Associate Professor

My research interests concern the design and analysis of genetic epidemiological studies. This is reflected in my teaching interests as I am programme lead for the MSc Precision Medicine: Genomic Data Science which aims to train students from the biological sciences and medicine in the analysis of large scale genomic data.

I would like to see more focus on bringing people from disparate and less numerate backgrounds into the fields of data analytics and statistics.

Anna Riach

Lecturer in Biology

I have a background in ecology and zoology but have specialised in teaching statistics to non-specialists. I have a passion for teaching biologists how to effectively analyse big data using data science techniques.

I recognise the potential that lies in giving students the confidence and skills to thrive in the evolving landscape of data-driven biological research. Looking for examples of best teaching practice in other areas of our university and carrying out pedagogical research into statistics anxiety, helps me provide a great educational experience for students.

Prof Dave Westhead

Professor of Bioinformatics

DRW has a long standing interest in research-led teaching in the area of data driven computational biology and bioinformatics. For many years he led the University of Leeds Master of Research in Bioinformatics course, and now takes a role in MSc Precision medicine.

He has acted as external examiner for similar courses at several UK Universities. His interests also include teaching bioinformatics and statistics at undergraduate level and training in quantitative methods for PhD students.

Luisa Cutillo

Lecturer, Department of Statistics, School of Mathematics

I am a lecturer in the School of Mathematics where my main role is Program leader for the MSc in Data Science and Analytics, Statistics and Statistics with applications to finance.

I am interested in biomedical applications of statistics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), in particular in the challenges associated with single cells RNAseq data analysis.

I am both a Turing Fellow and a LITE fellow with a project on data skills literacy for educators financed by LIDA with Professor Paul Baxter as sponsor. We recently started a Local Interest Group for DS&AI Educators that meets quarterly.

Dr Owen Johnson

Senior Fellow, School of Computing

Owen Johnson is a Senior Fellow working in digital health and AI in the School of Computing. He is one of the co-directors of the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in AI in Medicine and is the programme leader for the MRes in Data Science and Analytics for Health for NHS England.

He has a commercial background in software development and IT leadership and has taught software engineering to computer scientists for more than 20 years. He has published more than 90 peer reviewed papers and is internationally recognised for his work on process mining of care pathways.

Roger Beecham

Associate Professor of Visual Data Science

Roger is Associate Professor of Visual Data Science in School of Geography. His research proposes, tests and applies visual methods that help analysts to understand and communicate complex (spatial) processes under uncertainty. A current focus is around the how visualization can support understanding of statistical issues.

Roger’s research and teaching closely overlap and the interdisciplinary nature of the LIDA E&T Committee provides an excellent opportunity for exchange -- sharing learning, resources and experiences between academics working across disciplines with different methodological traditions.

Dr Vikki Houlden

Lecturer in Urban Data Science

I am the Programme Lead for the MSc Urban Data Science and Analytics in the School of Geography. I approach urban challenges, such as accessibility, health, and social peripheralisation, through geospatial methods and theory, which draw on my interdisciplinary background in urban science, data analytics, engineering, and geography.

I’m excited to be involved in the Education and Training Committee, as I really enjoy working with a new generation of up-and-coming data scientists, to combine the theory and application of data science techniques, and develop creative, collaborative solutions to a range of real-world urban challenges.

Dom Frankis

Director of Operations, LIDA

I have always worked at the intersection of business management and specialist knowledge in the health, education or higher education sectors.

I am fascinated about how expert knowledge can be used to deliver value, particularly within the public sphere, so am excited about supporting the Education and Training Committee to identify and implement learning opportunities for data science and AI.

Get in touch

If you would like to know more about what the LIDA Education and Training Committee do, feel free to get in touch with any of our members.