Alex Poulovassilis

Alexandra Poulovassilis

Professor of Computer Science, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, U.K.

Director of the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab
Formerly Co-Director of the London Knowledge Lab

Deputy Dean (Research Enhancement) in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics
Member of the department's Athena SWAN committee

Principal Investigator on the LIBE project - developing personalised tools to support inquiry-based learning. Co-Investigator on the Mapping Museums and Weaving Communities of Practice projects - developing techniques for semantic integration, querying and visualisation of rich data sets in the humanities. Internal Project Board Member of the TRIGGER project - investigating gender equality in research careers. Member of Birkbeck's Centre for Innovation Management Research and Centre for Cognition, Computation and Modelling.

Co-founder of ComputingWomen@BBK

Research | Talks | Students | Publications | Teaching | Community | Bio |

Research interests

Functional Approach to Data Management, Springer 2004 Web Dynamics, Springer 2004 Reasoning in Event-Based Distributed Systems New digital technologies and applications are giving rise to increasing volumes and varieties of data: in distributed heterogeneous databases, on the web, in mobile and pervasive computing environments. Users may find it difficult to find the right data for their purposes, to combine data from different sources, and to extract value from their data. My research interests are in data integration, querying, analysis, visualisation and personalisation. I work in interdisciplinary collaborative projects with domain experts from education, the arts, and the sciences. The goal of such research is to effectively support learning communities in capturing, organising, discovering and sharing knowledge. My current research is in:

I have co-edited books on: Web Dynamics (Springer, 2004); The Functional Approach to Data Management (Springer, 2004); Reasoning in Event-Based Distributed Systems (Springer, 2011); New Perspectives in Gender, Science & Innovation (Edward Elgar, 2019 forthcoming).

Some recent Research Presentations

Research students and Research staff

Vacancies: Please contact me if you would like to collaborate on any of the above or related areas. There are frequently funding opportunities for PhD students, postdocs and visiting researchers.


See BIROn and the DBLP Bibliography Server; also my web pages on supporting learning and knowledge communities, data models and languages, data integration.


Advances in Data Management: Spring term 2019

Other Professional Activities

General Chair of the 31st British International Conference on Databases - BICOD 2017
Programme Committees 2018: CIKM, IDA, ITS, CSEDU, ICLS, AIED, DaWaK
2019: ICDE, ITS, DaWaK, iLRN
Pro-Vice-Master for Research and International Students, Birkbeck, Oct 2002-Sept 2003
Founding Head of the College Research School, Birkbeck, Oct 2003-Feb 2005
Head of School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck, August 2003-Sept 2006
Head of Dept. of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck, August 2009-Jan 2010
Co-Director of the London Knowledge Lab, Oct 2003-Feb 2016
Assistant Dean for Research, School of Business, Economics and Informatics (BEI), Birkbeck, Oct 2009-June 2015
Deputy Dean (Research Enhancement), School of BEI, Birkbeck, July 2015-
Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College
Member of ESRC/EPSRC Technology Enhanced Learning II Commissioning Panel 2007/8
Member of the RAE 2008 Computer Science and Informatics sub-panel
Member of the REF 2014 Computer Science and Informatics sub-panel
Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering

Brief Biography

After a BA in Maths at Cambridge and working at IBM Greece in the early to mid 1980s, I returned to the UK to do an MSc and a PhD in Computer Science at Birbeck. My PhD and postdoctoral research was in data models and languages for graph-structured data. I held a SERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at University College London during 1989-91 and then joined King's College London. After eight years there as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer, I returned to Birkbeck in 1999, with the award of a Readership under Birkbeck's 175th Anniversary Chairs & Readers scheme, and became a full Professor in 2001. During 2003-2016 I was Co-Director of the London Knowledge Lab, a multi-disciplinary research institution aiming to explore the ways in which digital technologies and new media are shaping the future of knowledge and learning.