Prof Hywel Williams

Associate Professor in Data Science


Telephone: 01392 723777

Extension: (Streatham) 3777

Hywel received his PhD in Complex Systems from University of Leeds in 2006. Since then he has worked in the departments of Environmental Science and Computer Science at University of East Anglia, before moving to University of Exeter in 2011 to work first in Biosciences (2011-2017) and then Computer Science. In 2019 he was promoted to Associate Professor in Data Science. Hywel is affiliated to the Institute for Data Science & Artificial Intelligence and the Global Systems Institute at Exeter. He is a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute.

Hywel's research career has applied complex systems thinking and computational methods to problems in artificial intelligence, Earth system science, evolutionary ecology and social sciences. This interdisciplinary mix is unified by a methodological focus on simulation, network analysis and machine learning.

Current research interests focus primarily on the analysis of complex data from the Web and social media, with a particular emphasis on environmental issues. This work includes network analysis and text mining to understand online political and environmental debates, modelling/predicting collective attention in social media, understanding social biases in online news consumption, and using Web data to track natural hazards.

Hywel leads the SEDA lab , an active research group of postdoctoral fellows and PhD students, with diverse interests in environmental data analysis and computational social science. He is Deputy Director of the UKRI CDT in Environmental Intelligence. He is also Programme Lead for MSc Data Science and teaches courses in data science and social network analysis. His research is/has been funded by EPSRC, ESRC, NERC, HEFCE, Leverhulme Trust and several commercial sponsors.