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Data Science and AI for the Creative Industries with Dr Louis McCallum

Close-up of smiling young man with light brown hair and a white top with a record cabinet in the background
Close-up of smiling young man with light brown hair and a white top with a record cabinet in the background
Dr Louis McCallum
Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
15 February 2021

UAL is excited to introduce Dr Louis McCallum, Course Leader of the MSc Data Science and AI for the Creative Industries at UAL Creative Computing Institute (CCI).

Formerly an Associate Lecturer and Postdoctoral researcher at Goldsmiths, Dr McCallum is an experienced software developer, researcher, artist and musician who has exhibited music and robotics projects worldwide. He holds a PhD, Media & Arts Technology from Queen Mary, University of London and a BSc Music Informatics, University of Sussex. Since 2019 he has been teaching Undergraduate and Masters courses in machine learning for creative practice. He has worked commercially in music technology and in app software development and his Postdoc studies examined interfaces incorporating gesture recognition, and AI for music creation.

With the widespread commercial use of data science for analysis and insight, MSc Data Science and AI for the Creative Industries is a conversion course for arts and humanities graduates to extend into an applied STEM discipline within their subject areas. Focused on critical thinking and concern for the ethics of data collection and models, Dr McCallum’s approach cares for how data can be used for good and in interesting ways. He is interested in making data science accessible to a wide range of people, and proud that the unique offering has attracted the type of diverse cohort not normally seen on STEM or Computer Science post graduate courses.

We started as the first MSc Data Science and AI for the Creative Industries intake last year and we’re a really diverse and close-knit community. My students bring all the benefit of their subject knowledge and with their arts and humanities background, they naturally take a more critical approach. After this they will be ready to drive forward how data is used in their domains including fine art, art history, design, film, fashion, sound, architecture and the social sciences

— Dr Louis McCallum, Course Leader, MSc Data Science and AI for the Creative Industries

An introduction to the Institute and the MSc Data Science and AI for the Creative Industries.

Ben Stopher, Dean of UAL Creative Computing Institute:

Louis brings his expertise of functional AI and data science in a distinctive creative application context, to give his students a rich and rewarding curriculum in this fast-growing area of the creative economy. I have been particularly impressed at how students looking to transition into these areas from other subjects have thrived due to the accessibility of Louis's teaching. It’s also fantastic to see Louis join our research team after his important contribution to the underlying technology of several CCI research projects including the MIMIC platform.

Designed in collaboration with the creative industries, the course teaches practical maths, statistics, data science and programming skills and training and functional approaches to AI in different settings - with industry input with real-world examples from data science journalism, the Open Data Institute and beyond. As well as developing the MSc course syllabus, Dr McCallum helped to co-write the current CCI and Institute of Coding FutureLearn short course Apply Creative Machine Learning. He also leads research-based students on the CCIs MRes Creative Computing.

His recent research and projects include MIMIC - a web platform for the artistic exploration of musical machine learning and machine listening and Young Paint / Actress (Ninja Tune) AI Performance Software for Transmediale, Berlin, 2019. Mortimer, the robotic drummer he developed during his PhD, has appeared on the BBC’s Christmas Lectures and on Channel Five’s The Gadget Show.

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