Interdisciplinary blog

Computationally Intensive Imaging

Multidisciplinary Research Week 2013- Success

May 7, 2013
by Alison Simmance

The University of Southampton sprang to life during the 17-22nd March when over 1050 attendees joined us for the 3rd annual Multidisciplinary Research Week.

This year’s week long celebration was built on the best cross-disciplinary science and arts from the University of Southampton’s staff and students with a packed programme of talks, hands-on science demonstrations, exhibitions, debates and a film screening. We were also joined by key external speakers who brought insights into policy applications and cutting edge research in relation to our University Strategic Research Groups.

See the full programme here.  The energy and intellectual alchemy of the week certainly inspired ‘ideas worth spreading’ and far exceeded our expectations. Thank you to all our speakers, demonstrators, supporters, volunteers, digital champions, sponsors and attendees for enabling this annual cross-disciplinary event at the University of Southampton to be a huge success.

The week in numbers– see the statistics from MDR Week 2013 below or in the MDRWeek 2013 Final Statistics Flyer.

Blog posts about all our events at #MDRWeek will be coming shortly! Watch this site for news.

Did you miss MDR week 2013?

See all our multimedia outputs online now!





Did you miss TEDxSouthamptonUniversity 2013?


  • 23 events (incl. 2 exhibitions and 1 interactive art session) from 17-22nd March 2013.
  • 1057 actual attendees (approx. 10% external).
  • First TEDx at the University of Southampton- tickets sold out; new website; IBM sponsorship; 15 speakers; >1000 hits so far on YouTube.
  • Prof Mohan Munasinghe– Vice Chair of IPPC/Nobel Prize Winner 2007 (BBC Radio Solent Broadcast & future collaborations).
  • First formal celebration of the World Water Day 2013 (150 attendees).
  • >70 people attended the ‘Litmus Project: Science & Poetry Exhibition’.
  • >120 people attended ‘Question Time: The Brain & Society’, (incl. 40 6th Formers)
  • 15 people created an eco-friendly bag from 60th Anniversary campaign banner material at ‘Be a Green Shopper’.
  • Collaborations: UoS Science & Engineering Festival, WSA, WUN, IBM, Google, Marwell Wildlife, three 6th Form Colleges.

First year that social media was used!


MDR Week 2014- Your Views

We are now already planning next year’s research week and welcome any suggestions for a possible theme on this. If you have an interesting cross-disciplinary project/initiative or idea and/or wish  to get involved in other ways then please contact us:


Full details available at:


Share your experience with us on Twitter #MDRWeek @Multisoton


MDR Week: Blog no 7- Insights into ‘Imaging technologies for analysing ancient documentary artefacts’

March 14, 2013
by Graeme Earl

Join Dr Graeme Earl for the seminar: New horizons in imaging on Tuesday 21st March to hear how extraordinary advances in Imaging lies at the heart of our current research activity. An insight into this exciting and multidisciplinary research field can be found below.

Insights into ‘Imaging technologies for analysing ancient documentary artefacts’


I spend a lot of time looking at and making, hopefully, pretty pictures. Archaeology has a firm grounding in the visual – we categorise archaeological materials on the basis of colour, we interpret human interactions with space on the basis of patterns of light and shade, and we also simplify complex analytical data by using data visualisation. That’s not to say that archaeology isn’t a multisensory discipline – again my own interests extend to simulation of acoustic properties of spaces and of touch or haptics – but visual interactions and representations are all pervasive. My colleague Stephanie Moser emphasised this at her inaugural, and in a recent blog post on the beauty of ancient objects she discusses the relationship between expressing layers of meaning and appreciation of the visual and other qualities of artefacts.

In my own work on archaeological imaging I have concentrated on the capture of object detail and the creation of virtual, or mixed virtual and real, spaces within which to critique those objects. The passage of time and the archaeological process both generate a ‘patina’ on the material record we study. So, in creating imaging datasets like the Roman coin hoard to be discussed in my talk we must be aware of the impact of technology on the interpretations that can result. So for example in the talk I will describe some of our many collaborations with the μ-VIS multidisciplinary, multiscale, microtomographic volume imaging centre, and also talk about other imaging approaches to cultural heritage material, including ancient document artefacts. I will also share some thoughts on the possibilities of computer simulation to augment and share these data in visually engaging ways.

Multidisciplinary collaborations are at the heart of all of my research and teaching and so I am particularly pleased that I can participate in Multidisciplinary Research Week and make some new contacts. The Computationally Intensive Imaging USRG has already stimulated some new archaeological work.

 You can read some other blog posts by me here:




For the latest news and events about the Multidisciplinary Research Week 2013, visit our Multidisciplinary Research website:

or follow us on Twitter @MultiSoton #MDRWeek

MDR Week: Blog no 4- New Horizons in Imaging

March 13, 2013
by Ian Sinclair

Join Professor Ian Sinclair for the seminar: ‘New Horizons in Imaging’ on Tuesday 19th March to hear how extraordinary advances in imaging lies at the heart of our current research activity. An insight into this exciting and multidisciplinary research field can be found below.


New Horizons in Imaging

By Professor Ian Sinclair



Our perspectives on the universe, to the structure of a molecule, are all brought graphically home by images.  The power of imaging lies in the development of new instrumentation and critical computational approaches.  Combined, we’ve seen new horizons, borrowed approaches from multiple disciplines, and opened up fresh fields for study.  In imaging, Southampton excels, but in novel and unique ways.  New Horizons in Imaging Science will demonstrate some of the exciting and different approaches to imaging being developed, and used for diverse purposes, within the Southampton community.

It’s become clear that many critical questions in contemporary science and engineering require a broader perspective than traditional disciplines can muster.  This may be a reflection of changes in fidelity of understanding, the emergence of new tools for manipulation of the world around us, the vastly increased availability of data, or simply a greater appreciation of the interconnected nature of the natural and manmade systems that we exist within.

Events such as the Multidisciplinary Research Week at the University of Southampton are a vital component in creating the links between research communities.




For the latest news and events about the Multidisciplinary Research Week 2013, visit our Multidisciplinary Research website:

or follow us on Twitter @MultiSoton #MDRWeek