Professor Mick Grierson – one of the most influential figures in the world of creative computing – has been announced as Research Leader at UAL’s Creative Computing Institute.

Professor Grierson joins UAL with a well-established reputation for exploring and uncovering new approaches to the creation of sounds, images, video and interactions through signal processing, machine learning and information retrieval techniques.

Professor Grierson’s research has already been widely used by tech start-ups, artists and world-leading companies including the BBC, Channel 4, rock band Sigur Ros, visual artist Christian Marclay and Turner-Prize winner Martin Creed.  Mick, who has spent his career creating new mediums and materials to help bring people’s computational artwork to life, is also Principal Investigator on the £1 million Artificial Intelligence project MIMIC (Musically Intelligent Machines Interacting Creatively) supported by Google’s Project Magenta.

Simon Ofield-Kerr, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), UAL said:

Mick has an incredible enthusiasm for creative computing and extensive experience in the field. He will expand our vision and be an inspiring figure at the heart of UAL’s new Institute.”

Professor Grierson said

“Art and computing are increasingly intertwined and the opportunities for teaching, research and knowledge creation are vast. It is the perfect time to join the new Institute and I’m looking forward to helping attract the best talent to drive the Institute forward.”

The new Creative Computing Institute offers courses, research opportunities and a public platform exploring computer science and creative practice. The Institute is a key part of the university’s academic strategy and responds to UAL’s view of computational practices as being a key pillar of creative agency in the 21st century.

The Institute will deliver a range of research activity across three key areas:

  • Creativity, Machine Learning and AI. This platform explores how a foundational technology of the 21st century can be used in creative ways and examines how people will act with such technologies in deploying their personal and collective creativity.
  • Human Computer Interaction. This platform explores how we behave with emerging technologies and what they will mean for products, services and culture.
  • Platforms, Big Data and Digital Citizenship. This platform explores how the huge amount of data aggregated to the key platforms of our time can be understood, explored and contribute to a public discourse of a globalised and networked society.

The UAL Creative Computing Institute is led by Ben Stopher. It will offer BSc, MSc and MRes in Creative Computing as well as summer short courses. There will also be a cross-UAL Creative Computing Diploma open to UAL second-year students, which can be taken as an additional year of study within UAL. In addition to this, there will be a public programme, including 3 annual CCI fellowships and online short courses with the Institute of Coding.

UAL is a partner in the Institute of Coding. The Institute of Coding was announced by the Prime Minister in January this year to give the UK an edge in the global digital economy.

Bio: Professor Mick Grierson