Professor Fionn Murtagh

Position: Prof. of Data Science and Statistics

College: College of Engineering and Technology

Department: Computing and Mathematics

Subject area: Computing

Research Centre: Distributed and Intelligent Systems Centre for Research and Technology Transfer

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Prof. of Data Science and Statistics

Big Data Lab, Department of Computing and Mathematics

Outstanding Contributions to Astrostatistics Award. Medal awarded May 2016 by 2016 IAA Awards, International Astrostatistics Association, with commendation:

For his long time contributions to astroinformatics and related areas in the computational sciences; advancing scientific knowledge in classification theory and image analysis; for his contributions to the success of the Hubble Space Telescope; for his role on the organizing committee of the IAU Commission B3 on Astroinformatics & Astrostatistics; and for his long time efforts in dealing with the statistical analysis of "Big Data".

Teaching responsibilities

Statistics 2

Advanced Analytics

Professional interests

Current Editorships 

Editor-in-Chief, The Computer Journal (Oxford University Press and British Computer Society), 2000–2008, and from 2012.

Editor, Section C, Computational Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics.

Editor of Book Series “Computer Science and Data Analysis”, CRC Press/Chapman & Hall (Taylor & Francis), from 2002. 

Member, Editorial Board, PeerJ Computer Science (associated with PLoS), from 2015.

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Language & Psychoanalysis (online, open access), from 2014.

Member of Editorial Board, p-Adic Numbers, Ultrametric Analysis and Applications (Russian Academy of Sciences and Springer), from 2009.

Member of Editorial Board, Progress in Artificial Intelligence (Springer), from 201l.

Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Imaging (MDPI, from 2015). 

Member of Editorial Board, International Journal of Software and Informatics (Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences), from 2008.

Member of Editorial Board, Neurocomputing (Elsevier), from 1992.

Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Classification (Springer-Verlag), from 1984.

Research interests

  • Data Science, Data Analytics, Big Data
  • Digital Content Analytics.
  • Computational Science, including innovative models and paradigms from digital humanities and quantitative social sciences.
  • High Performance Search and Discovery, linear and constant computational time algorithms.
  • Massive data sets in very high dimensional spaces.
  • Geometry and topology of information and data.
  • Narrativization.
  • Multivariate Data Analysis Software.
  • Multiscale Morphological Modelling, Compressive Sampling.

Membership of professional bodies

  • FBCS, CITP - Fellow, British Computer Society, Chartered Information Technology Professional
  • SF HEA - Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • FRSS, Fellow, Royal Statistical Society 
  • FIMA, Fellow, Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications
  • Member, EuADS, European Association of Data Science
  • Member, International Statistical Institute
  • Member, Gesellschaft für Informatik
  • Member, London Mathematical Society
  • Secretary, former President, British Classification Society
  • Former President, member of Board, Classification Society (formerly Classification Society of North America)
  • Member of Council, International Federation of Classification Societies, IFCS
  • Member, Council, International Association for Statistical Computing, IASC
  • Chair 2013-2015 of the Committee on CS-DM&KD, Computational Statistics and Data Mining for Knowledge Discovery, IASC
  • MRIA - Member, Royal Irish Academy
  • Member, Academia Europaea, Informatics Section
  • Fellow, International Association for Pattern Recognition, IAPR
  • Member, ACM
  • Senior Member (SM), IEEE
  • Member, Engineers Ireland
  • Member, UK Computing Research Council, UKCRC (Member Nominations Committee, former Member, Executive)
  • Member, Gesellschaft für Klassifikation
  • Chair of the Board, Council for Frontiers of Knowledge (CFK), Makerere University, Uganda
  • Member, EPSRC College
  • Member of Panel of Advisers, Commonwealth Scholarships Commission of the United Kingdom
  • FRSA - Fellow, Royal Society of Arts


  • HDR (Habilitation à diriger des recherches), "Méthodes de reconnaissance des formes en astronomie" - "Pattern Recognition Methods in Astronomy", Université de Strasbourg.
  • PhD – Doctorat de 3ème cycle (Mathematical Statistics), "Classification et discrimination sous contrainte de contiguïté continue" - "Classification and discrimination subject to a continuous contiguity constraint", Université P&M Curie, Paris 6, in collaboration with BRGM, Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, Orléans.
  • MSc (Computer Science – Information Retrieval), Trinity College Dublin.
  • BA (Mathematics), BAI (Engineering Science), Trinity College Dublin.

Recent publications

2016 Publications

F. Murtagh, discussion contribution in: C. Varin, M. Cattelan, D. Firth, "Statistical Modelling of Citation Exchange between Statistics Journals", Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A, 179 (1), 1-63, 2016.

F. Murtagh, discussion contribution in: N. Keiding and T.A. Louis, "Perils and Potentials of Self-Selected Entry to Epidemiological Studies and Surveys", Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A, 179, (2), 319-376, 2016.

F. Murtagh, M. Pianosi, R. Bull, "Semantic Mapping of Discourse and Activity, Using Habermas's Theory of Communicative Action to Analyze Process", Quality and Quantity50(4), 1675-1694, 2016.

F. Murtagh and M.J. Kurtz, "The Classification Society's Bibliography over four decades: History and content analysis", Journal of Classification, 33 (1), 6-29, 2016, 33 (1), 6-29, 2016.


2015 Publications

 (One below with a 2014 publication date.)

In Journals:

F. Murtagh, "Pattern recognition of subconscious underpinnings of cognition using ultrametric topological mapping of thinking and memory", International Journal of Cognitive Informatics and Natural Intelligence (IJCINI), 8(4), 2014. (Guest editor of Special Issue on Computational Psychoanalysis.) 

F. Murtagh, A. Ganz, "Pattern Recognition in Narrative: Tracking Emotional Expression in Context", Journal of Data Mining and Digital Humanitiesvol. 2015 May 26, 2015.

Y. Wang (U. Calgary), E.T. Rolls (U. Warwick), N. Howard (MIT), V. Raskin (Purdue U.), W. Kinsner (U. Manitoba and TRLabs), F. Murtagh, V.C. Bhavsar (U. New Brunswick), S. Patel (London South Bank U.), D. Patel (London South Bank U.) and D.F. Shell (U. Nebraska-Lincoln), "Cognitive informatics: from information revolution to intelligence revolution", Intl. Jnl. of Software Science and Computation Intelligence, IJSSCI, 7(2), 52-71, 2015.


Chapters in Books:

J.-L. Starck, F. Murtagh, M. Bertero, Starlet Transform in Astronomical Data Processing, in O. Scherzer, Ed., Handbook of Mathematical Methods in Imaging, 2nd edition, Springer, pp. 2053-2098, 2015. 


In Conference Proceedings:

F. Murtagh and M. Farid, "The structure of argument: Semantic mapping of US Supreme Court cases", A. Gammerman, V. Vovk and H. Papadopoulos, Eds, Statistical Learning and Data Sciences, Springer Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI) Volume 9047, 397-405, 2015.

F. Murtagh and P. Contreras, "Random projection towards the Baire metric for high dimensional clustering", A. Gammerman, V. Vovk and H. Papadopoulos, Eds, Statistical Learning and Data Sciences, Springer Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI) Volume 9047, 424-431, 2015.

F. Murtagh and P. Contreras, "Linear storage and potentially constant time hierarchical clustering using the Baire metric and random spanning paths", Proc. ECDA 2014, European Conference on Data Analysis, Springer, 2015, in press.



C. Hennig, M. Meila, F. Murtagh and R. Rocci, Eds., Handbook of Cluster Analysis, Chapman and Hall/CRC Press, 2015.

J.-L. Starck, F. Murtagh and J. Fadili, Sparse Image and Signal Processing: Wavelets, Curvelets, Morphological Diversity, Cambridge University Press, 2010. Accompanying site, for software, images. 2nd edition: Sparse Image and Signal Processing: Wavelets and Related Geometric Multiscale Analysis, forthcoming, 2015.

Recent conferences

Member of Programme Committees, 2017, Invited Speaker


Member of Programme Committees, 2016, Invited Speaker

  • 10th IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing (ICSC 2016), February 3-5, 2016, Laguna Hills, CA, USA.
  • WorldCist'16 - 4th World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies, 22-24 March 2016, Recife, PE, Brazil, Member Program Committee.
  • COPA 2016, The 5th Symposium on Conformal Predictino and Applications, 20-22 April 2016, CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain, Member Program Committee.
  • ADA8, Astronomical Data Analysis, 2016 Summer School, 22-24 May 2016, Chania, Greece. Member, Scientific Organizing Committee.
  • Symmetry, Proportion and Seriality: The Semantics of Mirroring and Repetition in Science and the Arts, Academia Europaea Conference, 26-28 May 2016, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies, Freiburg, Germany. Plenary keynote address.
  • 24th WSCG International Conference on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision 2016, 30 May - 3 June 2016, Plzen, Czech Republic. Member, International Programme Committee.
  • 8th KES International Conference on Intelligent Decision Technologies (IDT-16), 15-17 June 2016, Hotel Botanico & Oriental Spa Gardens, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Member, International Programme Committee.
  • ITISE 2016, International Work-Conference on Time Series Analysis, 27-29 June 2016, Granada, Spain. Member of Program Committee.
  • Academia Europaea Annual Conference, 27-29 June 2016, Cardiff, Wales.  Invited presentation, Informatics Session.  
  • 2016 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN 2016), July 25-29, 2016, Vancouver, Canada, Reviewer, Member Programme Committee
  • FiCloud 2016, The IEEE 4th International Conference on Future Internet of Things and Cloud, 22-24 August 2016, Vienna, Austria. Member, Program Committee.  Track: Data and Knowledge Management.
  • IMVIP 2016, Irish Machine Vision and Image Processing Conference, 25-26 August 2016, National University of Ireland, Galway. Member, Programme Committee.
  • CLEF 2016, Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum, 5-8 September 2016, Evora, Portugal. Member, Programme Committee.
  • 3rd International Conference on Big Data Analysis and Data Mining, 26-27 September, London, UK. Keynote speaker
  • Astroinformatics, IAU Symposiu 325 on Astroinformatics, 20-24 October 2016, Sorrento, Italy. Member, Scientific Organizing Committee.
  • 23rd ICPR 2016, International Conference on Pattern Recognition, 4-8 December 2016. Cancun, Mexico. Member, Technical Committee, Track 2: Computer Vision and Robot Vision.
  • Workshop, Data Mining in Human Activity Analysis (DMHAA), at IEEE ICDM2016, IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, 12 December 2016, Barcelona, Spain.
  • IEEE 15th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications ICMLA 2016, 18-20 December 2016, Los Angeles, California, USA. Member, Program Committee.


Member of Programme Committees, 2015, Invited Speaker 

  • WorldCIST 2015 - The 3rd World Conference on Information Systems and Technologies, 1-3 April 2015, Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal. Member of Programme Committee.
  • SLDS, Symposium on Statistical Learning and Data Science, 20-22 April 2015, Royal Holloway, University of London. Programme Committee Co-Chair. Organiser, session on Geometric Data Analysis. 
  • IFCS 2015, International Federation of Classification Societies Biennial Conference, 6-8 July 2015, Bologna.  Short course presented on "The New Science of Big Data Analytics, Based on the Geometry and the Topology of Complex Systems"
  • WSCG 2015, 23rd International Conference in Central Europe on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision 2014, 8-12 June 2015, Plzen, Czech Republic. Member, International Program Committee.
  • KES-IDT-15, 7th International KES Conference on Intelligent Decision Technologies, 17-19 June 2015, Sorrento, Italy. Member of International Programme Committee.
  • ITISE 2015, 2nd Work-Conference on Time Series, 1-3 July 2014, Granada, Spain.
  • IJCNN 2015, International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, 12-17 July 2015, Killarney, Ireland. Member, International Program Committee.
  • ISI2015, 60th World Statistics Congress, Organiser, Special Topic Paper Session (STS) on The New Data Science: Statistical Analysis of Massive, High Dimensional Systems, 26-31 July 2015, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Statistical Computing for Data Science (Joint Meeting of IASC-ABE Satellite Conference for the 60th ISI WSC 2015 / IASC Satellite Conference 2015), 2-5 August 2015, Atlântico Búzios Convention and Resort, Búzios, RJ, Brazil. Member, Scientific Programme Committee.
  • IMVIP 2015, Irish Machine Vision and Image Processing Conference, Trinity College Dublin, 26-28 August 2015.  Member of Program Committee.
  • IEEE ECBS-EERC 2015, 4th IEEE Eastern European Regional Conference on the Engineering of Computer Based Systems, 29-30 August 2015, Brno, Czech Republic. Member of Programme Committee.
  • ECDA, European Conference on Data Analysis, 2-4 September 2015, University of Essex.  Member of Programme Committee. 
  • p-Adics2015, International Conference on p-Adic Mathematical Physics and Its Applications, 7-12 September 2015, Belgrade, Serbia. Member Programme Committee, invited speaker.
  • CARME 2015, Correspondence Analysis and Related Methods, 20-23 September 2015, Naples, Italy.  Invited speaker.
  • Astroinformatics 2015, 5-9 October 2015, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Member Scientific Organizing Committee.
  • CLA 2015, 12th International Conference on Concept Lattices and their Applications, 13-16 October 2015, Clermont-Ferrand, France. Invited Speaker.
  • International Conference on Automation, Cognitive Science, Optics, Micro Electro-Mechanical System, and Information Technology (ICACOMIT 2015), 28-30 October 2015, Bandung, Indonesia.
  • 14th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (IEEE ICMLA'15), 9-11 December 2015, Miami, FL, USA. Member Program Committee.

Additional interests and activities

Research funding from: Framework Programmes, EPSRC,  BBSRC, STFC (ex-PPARC), KTPs, COST, ESF, companies. 

Experience in industry


  • Due diligence provided for first round Venture Capital funding for a company in financial engineering, modelling and prediction.   Funding awarded and company was very successful.  

Health & Medicine:

  • Consultancy provided for a new pregnancy testing kit that was very successfully brought to market. 

Open Source Software:

  • Contribution made to a major open source software environment in data analytics.  Software provided to major corporates, including a major US airline.


  • Mangement of development of a, now, widely used graphical software tool.


  • Covering the fields of image and signal processing, and data mining and data analysis, 22 United States Patents citing my work are known to me.   

Image and Signal Processing in Science, Medicine, Agriculture, Forensics:

  • Company established with sales worldwide. 

With industry partners, I had half a dozen European projects, and some KTPs.   

International experience

I have worked in many countries including Italy (nuclear reactor safety), France (various), Germany (space science), US (software), Ireland (various).

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