School of Computing

Our research areas

Research in computer science draws on ideas from science, mathematics and engineering, through psychology, business management and social science, to applications in many different fields. Any single department will concentrate on a few areas, so that it can research each in depth, and stay at the forefront of knowledge.

At Kent we specialise in five areas:

  • At the heart of any computer system is a program, and Kent is a world-leading centre for research in the theory, analysis and implementation of programming languages used to these systems.
  • Based in the School, but drawing on research from across the University, is the centre for research in cyber security
  • Pushing forward the fundamentals of machine learning and cognitive science is the computational intelligence group
  • We also have recognised research strengths in computing education
  • Data Science is an interdisciplinary field that utilises computing technology to derive obvious and non-obvious relationships in data

For more information about our research in general, as well as our research groups see our research pages.

Research collaboration in practice

Staff in the school collaborate with many organisations. These collaborations have started through finding a topic of common interest, perhaps by meeting an academic at a conference, perhaps through using one of our open source tools. You might have heard about our research in the press, on television or on social media. It might also be through colleagues, and particularly through our extensive placements programme for our students.

Collaboration can take many forms: you may want to directly fund researchers, postdocs, or PhD students to work in areas of common interest. It might be that you would like to offer a secondment to our staff to work with you, or vice versa. It might be that you have data that we could help to analyse, or that you would like feedback on "blue sky" ideas or prototypes. You may wish to work with us on a wider collaboration, as funded by the UK Research Councils or the European Commission.

Among our successful collaborations are projects with:

  • Erlang Solutions (collaborative research projects and KTPs)
  • GCHQ (PhD students, equipment, prototyping)
  • Google (speech technology)
  • Jane Street Capital (supporting a secondment to their software team)
  • NVIDIA (access to commercial designs, and research collaboration on weak memory models)
  • Oracle (software development of BlueJ and Greenfoot)
  • Portcullis (Royal Society Industrial Fellowship)
  • The Swiss Army (support for software development)
  • Wingspan productions (research consultant).

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, or KTPs, are a government funded scheme that typically pay 50% of the costs of employing a recent graduate in a company for two years, in a role that transfers expertise from the university to the company.

As well as being able to point to what the university offers, the company needs to set out how the transfer of this knowledge will affect the company's business plan.

The School has experience of running KTPs in software engineering, e-learning and embedded systems, and can help you to decide whether a KTP is the best way to support a particular collaboration, as well as taking the application through from inception to completion.

The University has a dedicated team that support KTP applications.