James R. Ashford – Curriculum Vitae
James is a driven individual who is prepared to go to great lengths to complete the task to the highest possible standard as well as having a positive attitude. One of James’ great strengths includes the ability to communicate effectively with others in a professional and orderly manner. Additionally, he possesses a confident, bold personality who is able to present himself well, clearly and coherently. To summaries his interests, a few personal passions of his include: data analysis, visualisation, politics, machine learning, computing, problem-solving, outdoor adventures, cycling to list just a few.
- CSCW 2021
Cardiff University: (2021 - current)
- Research performed under OSCAR (Open Source Analytics, Communications Research) and DAIS-ITA (International Technology Alliance in Distributed Analytics and Information Sciences)
PhD. Computer Science: (2018 – current)
- Thesis: Understanding Collective Intelligence through Network Motifs
- DAIS-ITA funded scholarship
- Independent research performed under the supervision of Professor Roger Whitaker with the Crime and Security Research Institute – Cardiff University.
University of Bristol
Postgraduate Certificate in Engineering: 2017 – 2018
- Completed a series of modules in the field of Data Science including Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Applied Data Science, Mathematical Uncertainty Modelling, Logic Programming, Cloud Computing, Bioinformatics, Statistics, Economics and Research Skills.
BSc. Computer Science (First Class Honours): 2014 – 2017
- Thesis: Data Visualisation and Sentiment Analysis of Political Data
Lab Demonstrator / Group Tutor 2018 – 2021
- Cardiff University, Part-time
Lab Demonstrator / Teaching Assistant 2018
- University of Bristol, Part-time
- COMS21202: Symbols, Patterns and Signals
- EMAT10006: Further Programming – C
Awards and Achievements
- 2021: Student-led Achievement - Example Paper - Understanding the Signature of Controversial Wikipedia Articles through Motifs in Editor Revision Networks
- 2021: Staff Vote for Best Presentation (3rd Year, PhD) – School of Computer Science, Cardiff University
- 2019: Student Vote for Best Presentation (1st Year, PhD) – School of Computer Science, Cardiff University
- 2017: Best Academic Poster – School of Computer Science, Bangor University
- 2014: Student of the Year: Technology (Runner Up)
- Database Management Systems: MySQL and MongoDB
- Programming: Python, Java, C, C++, MATLAB, Bash
- System Administration: Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Manjaro, Docker
- Research Skills and Management: Medley, Zotero, OneNote
- Typesetting and Design: LaTeX and Markdown
- Work with complex mathematic notation
- Solve mathematical problems
- Eager for challenge
- Time organised
- Deadline led
- Ability to effectively lead group work
- Public speaker
- Logical thinker
- Agile leader
- Full UK Driving Licence
- Disclosure and Barring Service Certificate
To summarise, James academic research interests include the following:
- Data Visualisation
- Network Science
- Disinformation and Fake News
- Social Networks
- Wikipedia and Crowdsourcing
- Algorithm Design
- Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
- Web Technologies
DAIS-ITA (Cardiff University)
As a PhD student working with the DAIS-ITA program, James’ has been apart of a collaborative research environment working with teams from IBM Research and UK / US universities.
- Disinformation on Reddit: A network science-based study, understand how online trolls leave traces online through posting campaigns and user-to-user interactions.
- Controversy on Wikipedia: A novel approach for understanding what editing patterns contribute towards controversy emerging within the revision structure of an article.
- Role of Negative Ties in Social Networks: A study performed with Penn State University to understand the structures of postive and negative ties in online and offiline social networks.
More of James’ work can be found on the DAIS-ITA Science Library.
University of Bristol
Prior to starting the PhD, James was involved in numerous research projects as part of his studies at the University of Bristol.
- Political party prediction on Twitter: A statistical pipeline composed of multiple features designed to predict the political party preference of a Twitter user according to a pre-trained model. The software makes use of a combination of Natural Langauge Processing and network science.
- Feature Selection on Medical Records: Statistical analysis of medical-based data to understand the suitability of a feature column for classification. This project involved common data analytical tasks including data cleaning, feature selection, parameter tuning prior to training and testing an SVM classifier using a linear kernel.
In his own time, James enjoys spending time outdoors going mountain climbing, cycling, swimming and hiking with friends. Away from outdoor leisure activities, James invests some of his own time in personal programming projects and mini-startup ideas as well as reading and acquiring new skills.
James ofter volunteers his services Christian events where he has worked and cooperated with large teams of people ranging from all of ages and nationalities. In previous work, James has helped to serve his local church by helping with kids work as well as performing casual administrative work.
James has demonstrated leadership skills through university societies such as the Christian Union where he held the position of International Evangelism Coordinator – a role which requires time management, immense preparation, communication with university staff and international students, rota planning and task designation
“beyond university level”
James is perhaps best known for his ability to effectively communicate and demonstrate new ideas and solutions through public speaking with staff describing his abilities as “beyond university level”. This took place during a presentation to demonstrate a hypothetical entrepreneurial product pitch of a chemistry-based learning game as part of his undergraduate studies at Bangor University. This was presented in front of three local business owners within the technology industry.
- Davies, C, et al. “Multi-scale user migration on Reddit.” Workshop on Cyber Social Threats at the 15th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM 2021)
- Ashford, James, et al. “Assessing temporal and spatial features in detecting disruptive users on Reddit.” 2020 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation
- Lee, Eunjin, et al. “An Exploratory Analysis of Suspicious Reddit User Accounts based on Sentiment and Interactions.“
- Ashford, James, et al. “Understanding the Signature of Controversial Wikipedia Articles through Motifs in Editor Revision Networks.” Companion Proceedings of The 2019 World Wide Web Conference. ACM, 2019.