Kate Devlin

Senior Lecturer, Senior Tutor
Goldsmiths, University of London

Dr Kate Devlin

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London. I am also the departmental Senior Tutor.

My research focuses on how we can apply knowledge of visual perception and cognition to areas such as Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artifical Intelligence (AI) to assess how people interact with, and react to, technology. I have a background in both archaeology and computer science and am passionate about combining these with applied perception, focusing on digital cultural heritage.

I am an active campaigner for mental health awareness and also for raising the profile of women in computing.

Following my undergraduate degree in Archaeology from Queen's University, Belfast, I spent a couple of years working in a wide range of muddy trenches on rescue excavations in Ireland. Back to Queen's to undertake an MSc in Computer Science and Applications. A bit more digging, a short time as a programmer, a PhD in the Computer Science department at the University of Bristol, a post-doc in the Arch and Anth department, then a move to Goldsmiths.

My research is interdisciplinary, under the Goldsmiths' umbrella of Cognition, Computation and Culture, and I have published in all three of these areas. I apply knowledge of perception and the human visual system to assess how people perceive the world around them. This has led to projects in areas such as sensorimotor theory, colour and light perception, interaction design and accessibility. My current research is focused on cognition, sex, gender and sexuality and how these might be incorporated into cognitive systems.

Colourful Past book cover

I also focus on digital cultural heritage, especially representations of past environments. My work has involved travelling internationally to carry out data capture, such as laser scanning of archaeological sites and artefacts - usually those under threat of destruction. In 2014 I signed with Bloomsbury Publishing's Sigma label. My popular science book, The Colourful Past: An Adventure in Light and Time is due out in 2016. This book explains why the way in which we understand archaeological sites and objects is often interestingly inaccurate. It examines our perception of past environments and explores the often surprising difficulties when it comes to deciding how the past might have looked.

I am currently supervising Karsten Seipp's PhD in interaction design on mobile devices, Tolga Arslan's PhD on colour and cognition, and Zahra Mohammadi Hoseinieh's PhD on narrative and technological interpretations of archaeological, architectural spaces. I also supervised Monica Moreno's MSc on Artificial Sexuality.

As a feminist, I strive towards highlighting the role of women in computer science and addressing sexism and the gender imbalance in the computing industry.

In 2013 I was one of 60 experts selected out of over 2000 applicants for training as an expert contributor and presenter at the BBC. I have taken part in BBC television and radio training at the BBC Academy and am part of the BBC's Expert Women database.


I am the department's Senior Tutor, managing the pastoral welfare of all undergraduates and taught postgraduates in the department.

Feedback and consultation hours: Book a slot at https://katedevlin.youcanbook.me/

In academic year 2014-2015 I am teaching the following:
IS53032A ADVANCED GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION (joint with Marco Gillies)

2007/08 CELT Fellowship: Teaching Web 2.0 by doing Web 2.0

I am also a strong advocate for the legitimate use of biscuits as a teaching aid.

  • Treasurer of The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB), the largest Artificial Intelligence Society in the United Kingdom.
  • Member of the steering committee for the newly-founded European Society for Cognitive Systems (arising from EUCog: European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems, Interaction and Robotics)
  • Member of the Scholarship Committee for the British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG)
  • Member of the advisory board of the London Charter
  • Reviewer for: EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, CHI, Journal of Archaeological Science, IEEE Transactions on Image Processing, Digital Humanities (2009-present), Eurographics, Computers & Graphics, SIGGRAPH, IEEE Computer Graphics and Application, Electronic Visualisation & the Arts (EVA).

My recent articles on Women in Computing

My recent articles on mental health