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The School of Informatics is an academic unit of the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, responsible for research, teaching, outreach and commercialisation in Informatics.

It was created in 1998 from the former Department of Artificial Intelligence, the Centre for Cognitive Science and the Department of Computer Science, along with the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute and the Human Communication Research Centre. Research in the School of Informatics draws on these component disciplines and much of it is interdisciplinary in nature. The school is especially well known for research in the areas of artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, systems biology and theoretical computer science; but also contributes to many other areas of informatics. The school has a research staff of over 130 individuals, and an academic staff of 75. Current enrollment includes around 250 research students, and 475 taught masters and undergraduate students. The school was ranked 1st in the UK according to the Guardian University Tables 2008[1], as well as being ranked 1st in the 2008 RAE rankings[2].



The School of Informatics was awarded a 5*A[3] in the UK government's HEFCE, the only computer science department in the country to achieve this highest possible rating[3]. The School is generally considered world-leading, standing with the foremost U.S. institutes.

The School has seven research Institutes:

Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation (IANC)
Theoretical and empirical study of brain processes and artificial learning systems, drawing on neuroscience, cognitive science, computer science, computational science, mathematics and statistics.
Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications
Basic and applied research and development in knowledge representation and reasoning.
Through its Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (AIAI) it works with others to deploy the technologies associated with this research.
Institute for Communicating and Collaborative Systems (ICCS)
Research on all aspects of natural language processing, drawing on machine learning, statistical modeling, and computational, psychological, and linguistic theories of communication among humans and between humans and machines using text, speech and other modalities.
Institute for Computing Systems Architecture (ICSA)
Architecture and engineering of future computing systems: performance and scalability; innovative algorithms, architectures, compilers, languages and protocols.
Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour (IPAB)
Linking computational action, perception, representation, transformation and generation processes to real or virtual worlds: statistical machine learning, computer vision, mobile and humanoid robotics, motor control, graphics and visualization.
Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science (LFCS)
Developing and applying foundational understanding of computation and communication: formal models, mathematical theories, and software tools.
Informatics Life Sciences Institute (ILSI)
Work at the informatics/life sciences interface and will draw together and build on existing work including well-established activities in neuroinformatics, modelling,sensori-motor control and bio-mimetic robotics, together with computational systems biology, synthetic biology and bio-informatics.




Established and personal Chairs[4]

Notable alumni

Previous staff and students, including alumni of the departmental forebears of the school:


The Edinburgh Cowgate fire of December 2002 destroyed a number of buildings, including 80 South Bridge, which housed around one third of the school and its renowned AI library. Space was quickly made available in the University's Appleton Tower as a replacement.

Until June 2008, the School was dispersed over five sites: three in the George Square Campus: Appleton Tower, Buccleuch Place, Forrest Hill; and two at King's Buildings: James Clerk Maxwell Building, and the Darwin Building.

In June and July 2008, the School's research moved into its new home, The Informatics Forum. This building for interaction designed by Bennetts Associates, Reaich and Hall and Buro Happold, now houses some 500 researchers, including staff and graduate students. Construction began in October 2005, and the Forum's completion in July 2008 finally brings the School's researchers together, under one roof, some ten years after its inception.


External links

Coordinates: 55°56′40″N 3°11′14″W / 55.94444°N 3.18722°W / 55.94444; -3.18722

{{DEFAULTSORT:Edinburgh Informatics, University of


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