Simon Harper

Professor of Computer Science

University of Manchester (Computer Science)


My work is centred on understanding, predicting and influencing a user’s behaviour in the real-world and through interfaces and information, while taking into account cognitive, behavioural, perceptual and technological factors. My contributions lie in the development of adaptive user models of extreme users and/or extreme environments. Current work involves longitudinally sensing Parkinson’s Disease progression in the wild collaborating with Docobo (SME); and, on the Sentient Tracking Of Parkinson’s project (funded by the Academy of Finland ICT 2023 programme) Along with the University of Oulu Medical Faculty (Dr. Jani Katisko), Carnegie Mellon University (Prof. Anind Dey, Julian Ramos), and the University of Oulu (Prof. Denzil Ferreira). I am also working on coversational interfaces for people with mental health conditions (funded by the EPSRC). In addition, I am a named investigator on the EPSRC - NIHR HTC Partnership Award: Partnership with the MindTech HTC; and I currently lead the NeuroD Network via an EPSRC Connect Health Grant.


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Information Retrieval


  • PhD in Computer Science, 2001

    University of Manchester

Recent Posts

10 Pointers for Distributed Participation

There is no replacement for face to face contact to understand people and the field, and it is that important that it trumps all the good points. Even, Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic with a 100% 1200 people workforce working as a distributed entity, expects his teams to meet face-to-face for a total of 4 weeks a year. And acknowledges in a 100% distributed world in-person meetings are even more important.

I Love Facebook

I challenge you to remove the Facebook App for a month just to see how you feel about losing Facebook or social media from your mobile. You will notice that your head is out of your mobile device more often, that you are more engaged with the people around you, and your environment in general, and that you are more likely to be able to have interesting thoughts and ideas while sitting - supposedly bored - in a coffee shop.

Why I Support the UCU Strike

I don’t want to strike! It hurts my students, it hurts the University I love, and it hurts me financially; but sometimes we are left with no choice.

Shell GO+, Offsetting and Sequestration

It’s better not to use the carbon. But, if you are going to use the carbon then it’s better to use as little as possible; and, offset what you do use. What Shell GO+ is giving us is thinking room and acting room, because sequestration gives us time to make changes.

Funded PhD Available In: Accurate Prediction of Glucose Absorption from Food

You will investigate how we might understand the importance of ingredients; portion size, weight, and composition; carbohydrate estimation and approximation; and absorption.


Distributed Everything

Never Let a Crisis go to Waste!

The Friday Night Experiments

Experimental science that doesn’t necessarily linked to my day job.

Type 1 Diabetes

Help people with Type 1 Diabetes better manage their condition. Better management reduces clinical risks.

The Bedtime Projects

The bedtime projects are those thoughts and ideas that come to us before our brain switches off for sleep.