Edwin R Hancock

Edwin R Hancock, D.Sc., FREng, FIEEE


Former affiliations

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Machine learning for machine vision
Complex network evolution and analysis
Similarity based pattern recognition
Topics in 3D and 2D shape analysis

Personal profile

Research interests

Edwin R. Hancock (FREng)  holds a BSc degree in physics (1977), a PhD degree in high-energy physics (1981) and a D.Sc. degree (2008) from the University of Durham, and a doctorate Honoris Causa from the University of Alicante in 2015. From 1981-1991 he worked as a researcher in the fields of high-energy nuclear physics and pattern recognition at the Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory (now the Central Research Laboratory of the Research Councils). During this period,  he worked on high energy physics experiments at the Stanford Linear Accelarator Center (SLAC) providing the first measurements of charmed particle lifetimes. He also held adjunct teaching posts at the University of Surrey and the Open University. In 1991, he moved to the University of York as a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, where he has held a chair in Computer Vision since 1998. He lead a group of some 25 faculty, research staff, and PhD students working in the areas of computer vision and pattern recognition. His main research interests are in the use of optimization and probabilistic methods for high and intermediate level vision. He is also interested in the methodology of structural and statistical and pattern recognition. He is currently working on graph matching, shape-from-X, image databases, and statistical learning theory. His work has found applications in areas such as radar terrain analysis, seismic section analysis, remote sensing, and medical imaging. He has published more than 200 journal papers and 650 refereed conference publications. He was awarded the Pattern Recognition Society medal in 1991 and an outstanding paper award in 1997 by the journal Pattern Recognition. He has also received best paper prizes at CAIP 2001, ACCV 2002, ICPR 2006,  BMVC 2007 and ICIAP in 2009 and 2015. In 2009 he was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. In 1998, he became a fellow of the International Association for Pattern Recognition. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and the British Computer Society. In 2016 he became a fellow of the IEEE and was named  Distinguished Fellow by the British Machine Vision Association. He was elected a Fellow of Royal Academy of Engineering in 2021. In 2018 he received the Pierre Devijver Award from the IAPR. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Pattern Recognition, and was founding Editor-in-Chief of IET Computer Vision from 2006 until 2012.  He has also been a member of the editorial boards of the journals IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Pattern Recognition, Computer Vision and Image Understanding, Image and Vision Computing, and the International Journal of Complex Networks. He has been Conference Chair for BMVC in 1994 and  Programme Chair in 2016, Track Chair for ICPR in  2004 and 2016 and Area Chair at ECCV 2006 and CVPR in  2008 and 2014, and in 1997 established the EMMCVPR workshop series. He was  a Governing Board Member of the IAPR from 2006 to 2016, and was Second Vice President of the Association (2016-2018). He is an IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor 2021-2023.


Full CV; Short CV; Publications from DBLP, Google Scholar; Researcher ID; Orcid PhD Genealogy.


Present/Recent Activities:


Emeritus Professor University of York (2018-), Adjunct Professor Beihang University (2018-), Distinguished Chair Professor Xiamen University (2021-).

Principal Investigator - Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Big Data and Brain Computing (2018-2020).

Editor-in-Chief Pattern Recognition (2016-)

Associate Editor Journal of Complex Networks.

Guest Editor: IEEE TNNLS (2016), Pattern Recognition Letters (2019), IJCV (2018).

Track Chair ICPR 2016, Co-Chair BMVC 2016, Honorary Chair S+SSPR 2018 and 2020.

Keynote speaker at ACPR 2017 Nanjing,  ICPRAM 2018, Funchal, ICPRAI 2018 Montreal, IEEE BigMM 2018 Xi'An.

Member Royal Society International Exchanges Panel and Royal Society Appointments Panel Aiii (URF's).

REF 2021 Panelist  (assessment phase) Subpanel 11 Computer Science and Informatics.

Chair Computer Science  and Mathematics Evaluation Commission, Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts (2016 and 2021).

IEEE Computer Society Distinguished  Visitor (2021-2023)

Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (2021-)

Examples of recent talks:

From  Videolectures.

From the Isaac Newton Institute in 2008.

From the Isaac Newton Institute in 2015.

My installation as Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Alicante.


Employment History

Rutherford Appleton-Laboratory (1981-1991) Research in high energy physics and pattern recognition

Open University (1992-1991) - Course tutor in Physics

University of Surrey (1989-1991) - visiting lecturer

University of York (1991-2018)

Research interests

General areas: computer vision, statistical and structural pattern recognition, machine learning and complex networks.

Specific topics:

3D shape recovery from 2D images

Physics of light reflectance from surfaces with complex structure and shape

Pattern analysis with non-Euclidean and non-numeric data, including structures (graphs, trees and strings), fields of vectors and tensors, and similarity data.

Complex networks, including analysis of directional graphs, evolving networks and analysis of network function.

External positions

Shanghai Science and Technology Commission Visiting Overseas Fellow

1 Sept 202221 Dec 2023

Distinguished Chair Professor, Xiamen University

1 Aug 2021 → …

Adjunct Professor, Beihang University

1 Sept 2016 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or