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Aviva-Cambridge partnership - new PhD students for 2020/21 academic year

As the Aviva-Cambridge partnership moves into its second academic year, we are very excited to welcome 3 hugely talented PhD students funded by Aviva. Their work is very wide ranging, as are their backgrounds.


Edward Kosasih

Edward Kosasih

Supervisor: Dr. Alexandra Brintrup, Institute for Manufacturing

Edward completed his MPhil with Dr. Brintrup last year and continues his research on reinforcement learning and network science for supply chain analytics. The targeted use of data science to analyse the risk of supply chain disruption will have a significant impact on Aviva’s business interruption insurance for its corporate customers.

Edward is President of CU Technology and Enterprise Club and was the joint winner (with Stephen Mak) of the CU Data Science Society-Aviva hackathon in March 2020.  He previously worked as a data scientist at Keysight/Agilent Technologies and obtained his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the National University of Singapore.



Jessica McMaster

Jessica McMaster

Supervisor: Prof. Jon Simons, Department of Psychology

Jess obtained a first class BSc degree in Psychology at the University of Lincoln and a distinction in her MSc on Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of York. She joined Dr. Paul Bays’ lab at Cambridge as a Research Assistant in 2019 to conduct experiments in visual perception and memory. She is now beginning her PhD with Prof. Jon Simons, investigating the factors underlying resilience to age-related cognitive decline.

There is an increasing body of evidence which suggests that lifestyle and certain activities in middle age can significantly affect our mental agility in later life. Jess’ work will help quantify the effect of these compensatory factors and the mechanisms underlying them. She is particularly excited to work with Aviva on applying this work to their own health and lifestyle support programmes.



Jonathan Crabbe

Jonathan Crabbe

Supervisor: Prof. Mihaela van der Schaar, Department of Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics

Jonathan academic passions range from black boxes to black holes. He joins Prof. Mihaela van der Schaar’s lab following an MASt degree in theoretical physics and applied mathematics at Cambridge, which he passed with distinction, receiving the Wolfson College Jennings Prize. Before this, he received an M.Sc. from the Department of Physics at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris.

Jonathan’s work focuses on the development of explainable artificial intelligence, which he believes to be one of the biggest challenges in machine learning. Jonathan describes explainability as “crucial in numerous domains of application, such as healthcare, where life-changing decisions might be taken based on machine learning models.”  The ultimate aim of his research over the coming years is to supplement the predictions made by models with informative and actionable explanations.

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