Using advanced PolyChord data science to get a clear picture of coastal erosion


PolyStar Ltd. is a new company with exclusive global rights to use PolyChord technology for the analysis and prediction of coastal erosion. PolyChord’s unique ability to collect more information from lower-resolution data, through Bayesian science, and analyse massive data sets will be applied to cheaply available InSAR data. Machine learning will then be applied to create time-series compilations to monitor coastal erosion, as well as create predictive models which will be used to target future problem areas with cost-saving, pre-emptive measures. PolyChord Ltd. was formed in 2017 as a spin-out from Cambridge University to commercialise the unique, cutting-edge analytical data tool developed by two cosmology professors (Professor Mike Hobson & Professor Anthony Lasenby) . PolyChord originally analysed data collected by the Planck satellite, spanning 10 billion years from the Big Bang to the present day. Now, we are looking to apply it to similar large, complex, and high-dimensional data problems and different sectors.

About Us

PolyChord is the central data force behind PolyStar’s unique approach to coastal erosion. The team behind PolyChord is:

Chief Executive Officer: Mike Handley

Marketing and Advertising consultant with 30 years of experience working on branded goods and services. Mike started his career as a Creative Group Head working in TV, radio, outdoor and print with Geers Gross. Mike also has experience in designing and manufacturing high-quality products in the UK, manufacturing in China, and retailing through John Lewis and Mothercare. Mike has successfully run The Handley Partnership for the last 20 years. He brings commercial expertise to the PolyChord company and acts as the principal point of contact for all client-focused business.

Chief Technology Officer: Dr. Will Handley

Theoretical Cosmologist, studies the very earliest moments of the universe, and has recently completed his PhD under his supervisors Anthony Lasenby and Mike Hobson. Dr. Handley’s main interest is in examining the effect that high energy physics has on the universe a split second after the Big Bang. Recently, his work has focussed on developing novel Bayesian algorithms for high-dimensional parameter estimation and model comparison using nested sampling. Dr. Handley is a member of the Planck Core HFI team 2.

Chief Science Officer: Prof. Mike Hobson

Director of Studies, Physics Prof. Hobson is Cambridge University Professor in Astrophysics and Cosmology. Prof. Hobson is a researcher in the Cavendish Laboratory, and both Director of Studies in Natural Sciences and a member of the Admissions Committee at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. His research interests include cosmology, in particular, primordial fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background, and star-formation. He is an experienced teacher of university physics and mathematics.

Academic Advisor: Prof. Anthony Lasenby

Cambridge Professor of Astrophysics and Cosmology Fellow of Queens’ College. Prof. Lasenby’s areas of interest include Anisotropy of the microwave background, cosmology, the Galactic Centre, telescope surface profile measurement, phase reconstruction problems, atmospheric spectral line broadening. Geometric algebras, the application of Clifford Algebras in physics.


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