Hassan Ugail

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Professor Hassan Ugail is a mathematician and a computer scientist. He is currently working as a Professor of Visual Computing at the School of Engineering and Informatics; the University of Bradford. Professor Ugail is the first Maldivian to obtain a PhD in Mathematics. He is also the first and to date the only Maldivian to receive a professorship in the field of Science. Prof. Ugail's principal research interests are in the area of Visual Computing particularly in the area of 3D geometric design, 3D imaging and computer based simulations. Prof. Ugail is a leader in the field of Visual Computing and has greatly contributed to the development of the field by successfully delivering a number of high-profile research and innovation projects, publications and international lectures. He is a member of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) peer review college and also a peer reviewer for several related journals and conferences in his field of research.

Early life[edit]

Hassan Ugail was born in Hithadhoo, Maldives. He completed his primary education at Nooranee School in Hithadhoo. In 1987, he moved to Malé to continue his education at the English Preparatory And Secondary School and at the Centre for Higher Secondary Education. Ugail was a top student and considered to be bright.[citation needed] In 1992, he received the opportunity to continue his studies in the UK as a result of a British Council scholarship.[citation needed]

Academic life[edit]

Ugail received a B.Sc. degree with First Class Honours in Mathematics in 1995 and a PGCE in 1996 both from King's College London. He was awarded his PhD by the Department of Applied Mathematics at University of Leeds in the year 2000 for his research in geometric design. He then worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Applied Mathematics at University of Leeds until September 2002. Prof. Ugail joined the School of Informatics, University of Bradford, as a Lecturer in September 2002. He was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in April 2005. Ugail became a professor in 2009 at the age of 38 and is among the youngest professors at the University of Bradford. He currently serves as the director of the Centre for Visual Computing at University of Bradford.

His research[edit]

Professor Ugail's principal research interests are in the areas of geometric design, computer-based physical analysis, and design optimisation that all fall into a broad area of research known as Simulation-Based Design. The focus of his research has been particularly upon a novel method for geometric design known as the PDE (partial differential equation) method developed at the University of Leeds. The PDE method is based on a suitably chosen PDE that enables to model complex shapes in an easy and predictable fashion. Prof. Ugail also developed the method of biharmonic Bézier surface for boundary based smooth surface design with Professor Monterde from University of Valencia, Spain.

This research has many practical applications, which include building new application environments for complex interactive computer-aided design and computer animation, design analysis and optimisation for engineering and bio-medical applications such as accurate computer modelling of shapes of biological membranes, human heart and artificial limbs.

Some of his achievements[edit]

His methods for the representation of a three-dimensional object; for the storage and transmission of data representing a three-dimensional object; and his method for the time-dependent animation of a three-dimensional object are all protected under British and US patent laws.

His research in Visual Computing techniques has led to the establishment of a University spin-out company Tangentix Ltd looking at defining and manipulating complex digital data applied to develop computer games. Tangentix has recently launched GameSessions which will enable users to try or buy PC games online with ease.

In September 2011, Prof Ugail unveiled a new lie detector system that uses two cameras and a computer to try to observe slight changes in facial expressions and facial temperature profile. This new system he developed is a complete step change from the traditional polygraph lie detector, which requires the subject to be wired up to a range of physiological sensors. Prof Ugail's system is purely non-invasive and can be used in a covert situation, where the person being monitored potentially knows nothing about it.

In 2010 Professor Ugail won the most prestigious award from University of Bradford, the 'Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award

In 2011 Professor Ugail received the Maldives National Award for Innovation. He is the first and the only Maldivian to have received this award to date.

Prof. Ugail's research work is funded by a variety of sources. For example, his current research grant portfolio from EPSRC can be found here [1]. His research finding has been widely published in related international journals and conference proceedings. A list of selected references for his work can be found here [2].

In late 2005, the political Maldivian webzine proposed a so-called "Dream Team" to constituent a future government that would bring forth "democracy and prosperity" in the Maldives, that is currently under political turmoil. Despite Prof. Ugail's training as a mathematician, the compiler of this list placed the him as Ambassador to the UK.

Aside from his academic work as a university professor, Professor Ugail continues to inspire people especially Maldivians in the field of science by giving motivational talks, running local television programmes on science and delivering science related information in enthusiastic and engaging ways. For example, he runs a science column, called Professor Ugail's Column in local Maldivian language in Haveeru - the most prominent and widely distributed newspaper in the Maldives.

Further reading[edit]