Artificial Models of Natural Intelligence

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Undergraduate (and Masters) Research Opportunities (UROPs)

You don't have to wait until you do your final-year project to get involved in research!  Doing UROP work won't give you any extra credit towards your degree, so don't think of doing research as an alternative to studying or doing coursework.  However, it can be more interesting than watching TV.  You may also wind up with publications, your name on the web or in open-source code, or at the very least a nice letter of reference for a future employer.

Feel free to contact any member of staff about whether you can do research with them.  Currently, all the opportunities on this page are with Dr. Bryson, so schedule an appointment to see her if you want to join in.

The projects below are just suggestions.  If you have another idea, feel free to propose it. 

Dissertation Projects Unfortunately, Dr. Bryson isn't able to supervise MSc or undergraduate projects directly now since she's not presently resident in Bath, but her PhD students sometimes co-supervise MSc projects.

Engineering Projects:  Small

  • Making newer, better Unreal Tournament characters, or  It's probably easiest to start out understanding our existing UT characters, then improving them, but you can also start from scratch if you like.  Note that we are interested both in better characters and in bug reports or improvements on our development methodology, BOD.
  • Replicate a model of monkey social behaviour, DomWorld in one of our tools, BOD/NetLogo
  • Improving the Sheep-Dog demo, which is supposed to help new AI programmers learn how to use BOD in an agent-based modelling environment. The most recent version isn't on that page, it's on BOD/NetLogo.
  • Documentation -- code is no use without it!
    • The original author of pyPOSH (Andy Kwong) didn't copy any of the comments from the lisp version into his python version, but rather only documented things that differed from the lisp.  If someone who knows both languages would like to fix this, I'd be eternally grateful. Or at least the comment with your name on crediting you with the comments would be eternally in the code.  In fact, if you only know one of those languages and want to learn the other, this might be a nice way to do it.
    • Always looking for help on the web pages and manuals.

Engineering Projects

  • Extending ABODE and / or linking it to various computer games or robots.
  • Making great humanoid characters for computer games, or programming robots to do useful things.
  • Build a better UI for EE-FAS or one of our other more recent emotions systems. Probably you should look at publications on artificial intelligence emotions
See also the BOD Developers' page.

Science Projects

  • Work with Holly Wilson on building artificial life models of the impact of intelligence (including artificial intelligence) on life and human society.
  • Extend some research on how much of human semantics can be acquired statistically from just reading lots of text.  This has important implications for understanding the evolution and individual development of human culture & intelligence.  The code is currently in R.
  • Extend some research on the extent to which human intelligence can include behaviour copied from other humans without understanding.  This is currently in MASON (but not BOD/MASON, so you need to use Java).
See also my research or publications pages for more ideas, or tell me if you have a science project you want to work on yourself.

UROP Hall of Fame

These people are working or have worked on research projects while they were undergraduates.  A few of them have gotten paid or some travel money --- it depends what funding we have.  This list doesn't include final-year project students.
  • Alexander J. Hilton - did the AmonI web page template.
  • Avri Bilovich - worked on testing & analyzing the Evolution of Communication model. He now has a PhD and is doing research at UCL.
  • Steve Gray - wrote the first version of ABODE under contract. He's self employed as a programmer now.
  • James Nugent - worked on ABODE, then went to work for Apple.
  • Jakub Gemrot (from Charles University, Prague) - worked on ABODE & pyPOSH, and his own POSH/UT tool, Pogamut.  He's now a professor.
  • Maria Shugrina (from Boston University) - worked on empathic painting with Dr. Collomosse. She went to work for Google, and now she's doing a PhD in machine learning at Toronto.
  • Francis Binns and Andrew Mansfield - worked on BOD / UT; are now successful professional programmers.