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Dr Nicolas Gold
EFB 3.01
Computer Science Department
University College London, Gower St
Dr Nicolas Gold profile picture
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Dept of Computer Science
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Nicolas Gold is Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University College London. He is a member of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, and CREST, the Centre for Research in Evolution Search and Testing.  His research spans program slicing and dependence analysis, computer music (including applications in healthcare, and music computing approaches to software engineering education), and ethics.  He currently serves on the department's ethics committee (and occasionally represents the department on the main UCL REC), previously held the role of departmental careers tutor and is one of two personal tutors in the department who work with students in the department who are aged under 18.  He also served on the UCL REF Open-Access Academic Advisory Panel.

Prior to UCL, he was a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer at King’s College London and before that at UMIST/University of Manchester, following the award of his PhD at Durham University in 2000.  He is a former deputy-director of the CREST centre (involved in its founding) and led the EPSRC Service-Oriented Software Research Network.  At King's he served in various roles including Departmental Systems Committee Chair, Teaching Committee Chair (also representing the department on the School teaching committee), Director of Undergraduate Studies, TQEF Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator for the School of Physical Sciences and Engineering (also representing the school on the College Teaching Committee), and leading the department's activities in credit-framework transition and strategic programme review.  He also served as Interim Head of the Software Engineering Research Group in 2010.  He was an Associate of the AHRC Research Centre for Musical Performance as Creative Practice. 

He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society.

Gold has served as external examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes at several universities and has undertaken other quality assurance activities for various institutions.

Research Summary

Gold’s research activity began in software engineering and software maintenance, in particular, program comprehension for concept assignment in source code.  He developed this work in two EPSRC-funded projects and in addition, worked on service-oriented software architectures as part of the Pennine Group of researchers.  He initiated the Pennine Research Forum series that developed into the much larger EPSRC Service-Oriented Software Research Network that he directed for three years.

He continues to work on source code analysis (currently focusing on language-independent program slicing and dependence analysis).  He has also addressed problems of analysing music and art programming languages.

From 2005, he began to explore a long-standing interest in computer music (Gold is an experienced musician), building collaborations with several musicologists (and colleagues working in other areas of digital humanities).  Much of this activity was conducted under the auspices of another EPSRC project (PERSONAL-TOUCH), and in collaboration with the AHRC Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music.

He has researched live human-computer music performance systems for ensemble performance of “popular” music, and also computational musicology.   Performance contexts/genres of particular interest are those where the music is largely sectionally-structured, improvised, and rearranged on the fly (e.g. contemporary church bands and jazz ensembles).  This work on performance and musicology was pursued in the AHRC-funded CHIPS, Digital Music Lab, and ASyMMuS projects.  He has also worked on musical instrument museum interpretation using digital technologies, producing an app for visitor guidance in collaboration with the Royal College of Music (funded by Arts Council England through Share Academy).

He also works in the area of music computing applied to healthcare and this is being taken forward in the EU-funded EnTimeMENT project (with colleagues at UCLIC and elsewhere) from January 2019.  His research interests also include ways to use music, computing, and making for teaching software engineering concepts, undertaken with colleagues in the UCL Institute of Education.

He has undertaken public engagement work, establishing a laptop orchestra through the UCL DigiFest 2014.  He gave a public lecture at the UCL Festival of the Arts 2015 in which he and the laptop orchestra performed original works.  He has also worked with London theatre company PennyDreadful Productions on their show How to be Immortal, producing an accompanying web 'installation'.  This collaboration continued through the company's kind support of a PhD student project in automated soundtrack development for live performance situations.  As described above, Gold has also worked with the Royal College of Music on digital museum interpretation resulting in an app used by visitors.  He also participated in UCL's recent "Ask an Expert" initiative.

Gold is heavily involved in the ethics review function of the university and has contributed to international standards and codes of practice for conference and peer review activity, as well as publishing with colleagues on ethics in open source software and (forthcoming) in music technology.

Gold regularly acts as a reviewer for various funding bodies, conferences, and journals, and is the lead ethics officer for the NIME conference series. He is an experienced PhD examiner and supervisor.

Teaching Summary

Gold has a record of quality and innovation in teaching, having taught a wide range of subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level.  He has introduced robotics as a motivational tool in two departments in which he has worked, in both cases securing investment to support the initiatives.  At King’s College London, he led the Computer Science Department’s use of video teaching, automated exam marking, introduced and supported the Moodle VLE, and was heavily involved in the strategic development of the department and school’s programmes in his roles as School Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator, Departmental Teaching Committee Chair, and Departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies.  

The quality of his teaching was recognised in the form of the King’s College London School of Physical Sciences and Engineering Teaching Award in 2007/8.  His overall contribution to teaching was recognised by his selection as one of three institutional nominees to the Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship Scheme in 2008/9.  He was listed on the UCL Students' Union Roll of Honour 2021 for Inspiring Teaching Delivery.

Gold’s record of innovation continues at UCL where he developed and taught a module in Computer Music for several years.

01-SEP-2007 – 31-JUL-2010 Senior Lecturer Computer Science King's College London, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2005 – 30-JUN-2007 Learning and Teaching Co-ordinator School of Physical Sciences and Engineering King's College London, United Kingdom
01-JAN-2005 – 31-AUG-2007 Lecturer Computer Science King's College London, United Kingdom
01-MAY-2001 – 31-DEC-2004 Lecturer School of Informatics (formerly Department of Computation) University of Manchester (formerly UMIST), United Kingdom
01-OCT-2000 – 30-APR-2001 Senior Research Associate Computer Science University of Durham, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2003   Postgraduate Certificate University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
2000   Doctor of Philosophy University of Durham
1997   Bachelor of Science University of Durham
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