PiWORKS seminar - Prof. Mihaela van der Schaar (University of Cambridge)

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The Piscopia Initiative is hosting a monthly seminar series featuring women and non-binary researchers in mathematics and its applications.

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Our PiWORKS speaker for January is Professor Mihaela van der Schaar, who is Professor of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Medicine at the University of Cambridge, a Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute, and a Chancellor’s Professor at UCLA.

Title: Machine learning in healthcare: from interpretability to a new human-machine partnership


The transformative potential of machine learning could revolutionise areas such as healthcare. However, this opportunity comes with its own unique challenges. Prominent among these is the challenge of interpretability: taking the workings of complex “black box” machine learning models and making them readily understandable to a multitude of users.

The value of interpretability as a broad concept is clear. Yet there is no single “type” of interpretability, since there are many potential ways to extract and present information from the output of a model, and many types of information to choose to extract.

This high-level talk proposes a unique and coherent framework for categorizing and developing interpretable machine learning models based on the needs of their users. We will demonstrate this framework using a range of examples from our lab’s extensive research into interpretability, and our ongoing interdisciplinary discussions with members of the clinical and other non-ML communities.

We will also touch on some very exciting possibilities to apply interpretability and machine learning in order to understand and empower how humans make decisions.

This talk has been created for a broad audience, including those with little or no prior understanding of machine learning.

Sign up now to receive the Zoom details! The target audience for the talks are 3rd/4th year undergraduate and MSc students, but PhD students or academic staff are very welcome to attend.

The aim of our monthly PiWORKS (Piscopia Initiative – Women and Other Researchers Keynote Series) seminar is threefold; we want to

1. Showcase the work of women and non-binary mathematics researchers.

2. Provide a taste of different areas of mathematics research to undergraduate and MSc students.

3. Build an UK-wide community of women and non-binary researchers and mathematics students.

The Piscopia Initiative ( is a student-led outreach scheme that aims to encourage women and non-binary students to pursue a PhD. Join our mailing list to stay updated on all our events:

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Organizer of PiWORKS seminar - Prof. Mihaela van der Schaar (University of Cambridge)

The Piscopia Initiative is an outreach scheme to encourage women and non-binary participation in postgraduate research programmes in the mathematical sciences. Through awareness schemes, information events and application support and mentoring, we aim to empower capable women and non-binary people in the early stages of their mathematical careers to believe in academia as a viable option and bring their aspirations to fruition. For more information see or find us on twitter @_Piscopia

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