Alexandra Poulovassilis

Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and College Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London.

New digital technologies and applications are giving rise to increasing volumes and varieties of data: in heterogeneous data stores, on the web, in mobile and pervasive computing environments. Users need to find the right data for their purposes, combine data from different sources, and extract value from their data. My research interests are in data integration, querying, analysis, visualisation and personalisation. Much of my work is in interdisciplinary collaborative projects with domain experts from the arts, life sciences and social sciences, most recently in the Mapping Museums series of projects. My research focusses on:

This research has been pursued through over 20 externally awarded research grants, including funding for fundamental research in data management from EPSRC, and for interdisciplinary research with educationalists (ESRC, EU, JISC), life scientists (BBSRC), and humanities scholars (AHRC). Ongoing projects are Efficient Search over Personal Repositories and Museum closure in the UK. I have co-edited four books: 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, 2020).

Selected research presentations


See the DBLP Bibliography Server and Google Scholar.

Professional activities

Pro-Vice-Master for Research and International Students, Birkbeck, 2002-03
Founding Head of the Graduate Research School, Birkbeck, 2003-05
Head of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck, 2003-06, 2009-10
Co-Director, London Knowledge Lab, 2003-2015
Founding Director, Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, 2016-21
Assistant Dean for Research, School of Business, Economics and Informatics, 2009-15
Deputy Dean (Research Enhancement), School of BEI, 2015-21
Member of Birkbeck's Athena SWAN Committee, 2011-17
Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College
Member of the RAE 2008 and REF 2014 Computer Science and Informatics sub-panel
Fellow, British Computer Society
Fellow of Birkbeck, University of London

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 PhD in Computer Science at Birbeck funded by a studentship from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY). 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. I became a full Professor in 2001, and Professor Emerita and Fellow of the College in 2021.