Dr. Martin D. Sykora's Personal Page

Research Interests | Publications | Funding | Media | Consulting | Teaching | Awards | Contact

About Me

Currently I am working as a Senior Lecturer (equivalent to Associate Professor) in Information Management at the Centre for Information Management (CIM), formerly the Information Science department at the University of Loughborough, School of Business and Economics. My current research interests are in the area of social-media / big-data analytics, communication studies, public health, advanced sentiment analysis, natural language processing, semantic web, information management and information retrieval. I have just over 40 peer-reviewed publications across this area of research, and have successfully secured over £350,000 (£650,000 with the O3C mini-CDT award as Co-I) in research funding from various funding bodies, including EU Horizon 2020, SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada), Metropolitan Police (Mayor's Office, London), EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), and DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Lab; the executive agency of Ministry of Defence for the UK). I regularly review for a number of international journals and conferences. Before my Lectureship I worked on a ~£2 million EPSRC funded project - AI2M, where I was researching semantic web and intelligent AI based reasoning techniques for the manufacturing industry. Just before this I worked on the highly successful EPSRC and DSTL funded project called EMOTIVE (Extracting the Meaning of Terse Information in a Geo-Visualisation of Emotion), which is concerned with monitoring and automatically analysing sparse text, predominantly from social media sources, such as Twitter or Facebook, using some techniques from text-mining and ontologies from KM work. This work is currently being commercialised - see here. Before this position I held a brief but very interesting research associate position at Leicester University's Computer Science department, where I worked on a web-based online collaborative system - All-in-One. This project was mostly concerned with employing techniques which facilitate web based collaboration in solving large-scale social problems. I also held a research post in the Computer Science department at Loughborough University where I was looking at the field of sports informatics and investigating various areas of computer science, such as data mining, AI, robotics, image analysis, exertion interfaces, virtual reality, systems / algorithms design and social media applications for uses within sports sciences. This was a joined project with Sports Technology Institute (STI) and the School of Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS). A Wiki associated with this project is still available at I finished my PhD in computer science (May 2012) at the Research School of Informatics, at Loughborough University. My PhD research was concerned with analysis of web 2.0 systems. Among my other research interests are also time-series prediction, and I have spent a considerable amount of time on interesting problems in the Financial Markets domain with several published papers at peer reviewed conferences, including a best IEEE PhD student conference paper award at SOFA 2009.
As a PhD student I also led tutorials and acted as a lecturer for the Computer Science Department at Loughborough University, teaching Data Mining (a final year undergraduate class of around 30 students) and lecturing Fundamentals in Programming (an undergraduate double-module class of over 120 students) and Web based JavaScript programming (an MSc class of around 20 students).


Conference Papers

  • 2019

    Fadda M., Mardesic I., Sykora M., Elayan S., Puhan M., Albanese E. and Gruebner O., 2019. Ethical and legal issues involved in conducting studies on mental health using social media data - Examples from the M-HEALTH project, LESSON 2019 Conference on Legal Ethical factorS crowdSourced geOgraphic iNformation, Zurich, Switzerland


    Mardesic I., Sykora M. , Lowe S., Elayan S., Albanese E., Puhan M. and Gruebner O., 2019. Identifying activity spaces from geo-referenced Twitter data: Superstorm Sandy, mobility patterns, and emotions in New York City, ECTQG 2019 - 21st European Colloquium on Theoretical and Quantitative Geography, Mondorf-Les-Bains, Luxembourg


    Shankardass K., Ta M., Robertson C., Feick R., Gruebner O., Elayan S., Sykora M., Shaughnessy K. and Phillips S., 2019. Stresscapes, over space and time: exploring the potential for dynamic neighbourhood resilience planning, ECTQG 2019 - 21st European Colloquium on Theoretical and Quantitative Geography, Mondorf-Les-Bains, Luxembourg


    Stepanek L., Elayan S. and Sykora M., 2019. Dynamic Knowledge Sharing within Functional Uses of Substances, Products and Practices, ECKM 20th European Conference on Knowledge Management, Lisbon, Portugal


    Coates B., Sykora M. and Jackson T. W., 2019. Browsing to Breathe: Social Media for Stress Reduction, HICCS 52nd Hawaii International Conference on Computer Systems, Hawaii, USA

  • 2018

    Elayan S., Sykora M. and Jackson T. W., 2018. "His Tweets Speak for Themselves": An Analysis of Donald Trump's Twitter Behaviour, The Fourth Reuters Institute International Journal of Press/Politics conference, Oxford, UK


    Talebpour M., Sykora M. and Jackson T. W., 2018. Ontology Selection for Reuse: Will It Ever Get Easier?, 10th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development - KEOD 2018, Seville, Spain


    Chen X., Sykora M., Elayan S. and Jackson T. W., 2018. What about Mood Swings? Identifying Depression on Twitter with Temporal Measures of Emotions, WWW 2018 Conference - The Sixth International Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Social Media (SocialNLP 2018), Lyon, France


    Skarysz A., Salman D., Alkhalifah Y., Hu Y., Sykora M., Thomas P. C. L. and Soltoggio A., 2018. Convolutional Neural Networks for Automated Targeted Analysis of Raw Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry Data, International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


    Chen X., Sykora M., Jackson T. W., Elayan S. and Fehmidah M., 2018. Tweeting Your Mental Health: Exploration of Different Classifiers and Features with Emotional Signals in Identifying Mental Health Conditions, HICCS Hawaii International Conference on Computer Systems, Hawaii, USA

  • 2017

    Robertson C., Feick R., Sykora M., Shankardass K. and Shaughnessy K., 2017. Personal Activity Centres and Geosocial Data Analysis: Combining Big Data with Small Data, Springer Lecture Notes on Geoinformation and Cartography - AGILE 2017 Proceedings, Wageningen, Netherlands


    Talebpour M., Sykora M. and Jackson T. W., 2017. The Role of Community and Social Metrics in Ontology Evaluation: An Interview Study of Ontology Reuse, 9th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development - KEOD 2017, Funchal, Portugal


    Hills S. A., Jackson T. W. and Sykora M., 2017. Persuasion and the Microblog - A Model of Persuasive Communications in Terse Text, European Conference on Social Media - ECSM 2017, Vilnius, Lithuania

  • 2016

    Gruebner O., Sykora M., Lowe S., Shankardass K., Trinquart L., Jackson T., Subramanian S. V. and Galea S., 2016. Spatial Temporal Surveillance of Post Disaster Mental Health, 13th International Conference on Urban Health, San Francisco, USA


    Qaiser F., Ahmed K., Sykora M. and Choudhary A., 2016. Decision Support Systems for Sustainable Logistics: A Review and Bibliometric Analysis, International Conference on Decision Support System Technology - ICDSST 2016, Plymouth, UK

  • 2015

    Sykora M., Robertson C., Shankardass K., Feick R., Shaughnessy K., Coates B., Haydn L. and Jackson T. W., 2015. Stresscapes: Validating Linkages between Place and Stress Expression on Social Media, ICML 2015 - 2nd International Workshop on Mining Urban Data, Lille, France


    Sykora M., Jackson T. W., Lunen A. v., Elayan S. and O'Brien A., 2015. The Role of Visualisations in Social Media Monitoring Systems, European Conference on Social Media - ECSM 2015, Porto, Portugal


    Hills S., Jackson T. W. and Sykora M., 2015. Open-Source Intelligence Monitoring for the Detection of Domestic Terrorist Activity: Exploring Inexplicit Linguistic Cues to Threat and Persuasion for Natural Language Processing, European Conference on Social Media - ECSM 2015, Porto, Portugal


    Coates B., Sykora M. and Jackson T. W., 2015. An Investigation of Cyberchondria in 'The Age of Risk', Software Quality Management Conference - BSC SQM 2015, Loughborough, United Kingdom


    Mousavi S. H., Jackson T. W., Sykora M., Roelleke T. and Azzam H., 2015. Investigating a Semantic Retrieval Approach for Question Answering, Software Quality Management Conference - BSC SQM 2015, Loughborough, United Kingdom


    Sykora M., Jackson T. W. and Elayan S., 2015. Using Social Media to Analyse the Scottish Referendum Journey, Software Quality Management Conference - BSC SQM 2015, Loughborough, United Kingdom

  • 2014

    Sykora M., Chung P. W. H., Folland J. P., Halkon B. J. and Edirisinghe E., 2014. Advances in Sports Informatics Research, 21st International Conference on Neural Information Processing - INNS-CIIS, 2014, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei


    Sykora M., Jackson T. W., O'Brien A., Elayan S. and Lunen A. v., 2014. Twitter based Analysis of Public, Fine-Grained Emotional Reactions to Significant Events, European Conference on Social Media - ECSM 2014, Brighton, United Kingdom


    Osborne M., Moran S., McCreadie R., Lunen A., Sykora M., Cano E., Ireson N., Macdonald C., Ounis I., He Y., Jackson T., Ciravegna F., O'Brien A., 2014. Real-Time Detection, Tracking, and Monitoring of Automatically Discovered Events in Social Media, The 52nd annual meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) 2014, Baltimore, USA

  • 2013

    Sykora M., Jackson T. W., O'Brien A. and Elayan S., 2013. National Security and Social Media Monitoring: A Presentation of the EMOTIVE and Related Systems, IEEE European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conference 2013, Uppsala, Sweden


    Sykora M., Jackson T. W., O'Brien A. and Elayan S., 2013. EMOTIVE Ontology: Extracting Fine-Grained Emotions from Terse, Informal Messages, IADIS International Conference on Intelligent Systems and Agents 2013, Prague, Czech Republic


    Hinde C., Cross D. and Sykora M., 2013. Predicting Fluctuations in Foreign Exchange Rates, Proceedings of the 13th Annual Workshop on Computational Intelligence (UKCI), 2013, Guildford, United Kingdom

  • 2009

    Sykora M. and Panek M., 2009. Media Sharing Websites and the US Financial Market, Proceedings of the IADIS Internet/WWW 2009 Conference, Rome, Italy


    Sykora M, 2009. Power of Web 2.0 Mass Collaboration in Computational Intelligence and its' uses, an example from Finance, Proceedings of the 9th Annual Workshop on Computational Intelligence (UKCI), 2009, Nottingham, United Kingdom


    Sykora M. and Panek M., 2009. Financial News Content Publishing on, Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Conference on Soft Computing and Applications, 2009, Szeged/Arad, Hunary/Romania


    Sykora M., Wang X., 2009. Archer R., Parish D., Bez H. E., Case Based Reasoning Approach for Transaction Outcomes Prediction on Currency Markets, Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Conference on Soft Computing and Applications, 2009, Szeged/Arad, Hunary/Romania

  • 2007

    Sykora M., Sing S., 2007. Developing Trading Strategies based on Risk-analysis of Stocks, Progress in Pattern Recognition, 2007, Southampton, United Kingdom

Journal Papers

  • 2018

    Gruebner O., Lowe S., Sykora M., Shankardass K., Subramanian S. V. and Galea S., 2018. Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Negative Emotions in New York City After a Natural Disaster as Seen in Social Media, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN: 1660-4601, Vol. 15, No. 10, p. 2275, DOI:10.3390/ijerph15102275


    Shankardass K., Robertson C., Shaughnessy K., Sykora M. and Feick R., 2018. A Unified Ecological Framework for Studying Effects of Digital Places on Well-being, Social Science & Medicine, ISSN: 0277-9536, In Press / Available Online, DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.09.022


    Shaughnessy K., Robertson C., Sykora M., Shankardass K. and Feick R., 2018. Using Geo-located Social Media for Ecological Momentary Assessments of Emotion: Innovative Opportunities in Psychology Science and Practice, APA Canadian Psychology, ISSN: 0708-5591, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 47-53, DOI:10.1037/cap0000099

  • 2017

    Gruebner O., Sykora M., Lowe S. R., Shankardass K., Galea S. and Subramanian S. V., 2017. Big Data Opportunities for Social Behavioral and Mental Health Research. Social Science & Medicine, ISSN: 0277-9536, Vol. 189, No. 9, pp. 167-169, DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.07.018


    Gruebner O., Lowe S. R., Sykora M., Shankardass K., Subramanian S. V. and Galea S., 2017. A Novel Surveillance Approach for Disaster Mental Health. PLoS ONE, ISSN: 1932-6203, Vol. 12, No. 7, e0181233, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0181233


    Gerrard D., Sykora M., Jackson T. W., 2017. Social Media Analytics in Museums: Extracting Expressions of Inspiration, Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, ISSN: 0260-4779, Vol. 32, No. 3, DOI: 10.1080/09647775.2017.1302815


    Qaiser F. H., Ahmed K., Sykora M., Choudhary A. and Simpson M., 2017. Decision Support Systems for Sustainable Logistics: A Review and Bibliometric Analysis, Industrial Management and Data Systems, ISSN: 0263-5577, forthcoming


    Sykora M., 2017. Web 1.0 to Web 2.0: An Observational Study and Empirical Evidence for the Historical R(Evolution) of the Social Web, International Journal of Web Engineering and Technology, ISSN: 1476-1289, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 70-94, DOI:10.1504/IJWET.2017.084024

  • 2016

    Gruebner O., Sykora M., Lowe S., Shankardass K., Trinquart L., Jackson T., Subramanian S. V. and Galea S., 2016. Mental Health Surveillance after the Terrorist Attacks in Paris, The Lancet, ISSN: 0140-6736, Vol. 387, No. 10034, pp. 2195-2196, DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30602-X


    Sykora M., 2016. Engineering Social Media Driven Intelligent Systems through Crowdsourcing: Insights from a Financial News Summarisation System, Journal of Systems and Information Technology, ISSN: 1328-7265, Vol. 18, No. 3, DOI:10.1108/JSIT-03-2016-0019

  • 2013

    Sykora M., Jackson T. W., O'Brien A. and Elayan S., 2013. Emotive Ontology: Extracting Fine-Grained Emotions from Terse, Informal Messages, International Journal on Computer Science and Information Systems, ISSN: 1646-3692, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 106-118

  • 2011

    Sykora M., 2011. Web 2.0: Common uses and potential applications, Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, ISSN: 1833-1882, Vol. 5, No. 10, 2011

PhD Thesis

  • Sykora M., 2012. A Treatise on Web 2.0 with a Case Study from the Financial Markets, PhD Thesis, Loughborough University, United Kingdom


  • September 2018. Published Parliamentary evidence, submitted to the UK Science and Technology Parliamentary committee, entitled "Impact of social media and screen-use on young people's health". The focus of which was on social media memes that normalise negative health messages online, among teenagers. This received some media attention, e.g., CNN, The Telegraph, Fox News, RT, NewsWeek, The Hill, News Centre Maine: a Video Report.

Invited Seminars

  • 2017

    Sykora M., 2017. Monitoring Social Media for Emotions, Events, Inspiration and Mental Health, Invited Seminar by Operations Management and Information Systems Division (Business School), Nottingham University, United Kingdom

  • 2015

    Sykora M., 2015. Measuring Expression of Emotions and Acute Stress over Social Media, EPSRC Eating Disorders, Social Media and Digital Technology Workshop, The Think Tank at University of Lincoln (organised by 1in4Network), United Kingdom

    Sykora M., 2015. Stresscapes: Twitter as a Social Sensor for Smart Places, ESRC Seminar Series: Smart Places, Business School, University of East Anglia (UEA), United Kingdom

  • 2014

    Sykora M., 2014. Analysing Location, Impact, Engagement and Emotions within Social Media Streams, Interdisciplinary Workshop on Geospatial Computing, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

  • 2013

    Sykora M., 2013. Twitter based Fine-grained Emotions Extraction and Related Challenges, IfM, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

    Sykora M., 2013. EMOTIVE: Extraction of Fine-grained Emotions from Social Media, Culture and Media Analysis Research Group (CaMARG), Social Sciences Department, Loughborough University, United Kingdom

Examinations and Peer Review

UKRI FLF Peer Reviewer - August 2018 I've been appointed to the UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships (UKRI FLF) programme Peer Review College

Regular Peer Reviewer for a number of Journals - e.g., PlosOne, Semantic Web Journal, Information Technology and People, Social Science and Medicine...

PhD External Examiner - April 2014 (University of Hull, topic: Sentiment Analysis of User Generated Social Media Content)

PhD Internal Examiner - November 2015 (Loughborough University, topic: Knowledge Technologies and Knowledge Sharing)

BSc. and MSc. level marking - i.e. Responsible Examiner


PG (MSc.)
2016 - 2017
Business Technologies and Platforms
Software architectures (3-tier design, design patterns...), system and network design (server-client architectures, cloud computing, data management - SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), big data platforms and tools, legal and regulatory obligations
UG 2nd Year (BSc.)
2014 - 2017
Business Information Management
Data management, databases (design, ERP, implementation, evaluation), intro to analytics, ethical and legal issues and big data
UG 1st Year (BSc.)
Information Architecture
Data / information / knowledge models, semantic web, W3C standards, taxonomies and basic ontology design (RDF/RDFs/OWL)
UG 1st Year (BSc.) and PG (MSc.)
Programming for the WWW
Introduction to programming using JavaScript. Design of rich client-side apps using HTML & CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, AJAX and basic server-side programming (i.e. PHP).
UG 3rd Year (BSc.)
Data Mining
Introductory statistics and Machine Learning (ML), linear regression, classification (kNN, NN, decission trees, SVMs), clustering (k-means, cobweb, EM), feature reduction / preprocessing, intro to ML software tools and librarties. The course material is still available here and was also adopted and now used at Uppsala University (Finland) on their ML module.

Previous Work

I also worked in industry for a year as a software engineer, programming for the web, handheld devices and various infrared sensors. After finishing my BSc studies, I was awarded a scholarship to carry out PhD research. During my PhD I have done some limited consulting work on data-mining for local companies, and for over a year I also worked as a systems IT support engineer for the IT services at Loughborough University. More recently I also worked for four months at using SSIS/ORACLE/SQL-Server, Sharepoint, VBA/C# to develop two business intelligence solutions.


My Blog -
My current blog. Please feel free to pop by!

Gorila -
My favourite multimedia online store, stocks a lot of the Czechoslovak movie and music classics.

Stackoverflow -
Must be the best online comp science coding community out there!

Stats.stackexchange -
Similar to the site above, just focused on pure stastics.

Google Scholar

Research Interests

Social Media
Sentiment Analysis
Analytics & Big Data
Natural Language Processing
Machine Learning
Semantic Modelling
Some Research Interest
Primary Research Area

Funding / Grants

Co-Investigator (in value of £300,000; 2018-2021) on a LU Adventure Research Programme funded Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT); Online Civic Culture CDT, looking at the role of social media in reshaping the civic cultures of democracies.

Co-Investigator (in value of CAN$25,000; 2018-2020) on an international bid to St Michael's Hospital Foundation's Angels Den Innovation Competition, Tornto (Canada); looking at harnessing social media and community knowledge for dynamic neighbourhood resiliency in the city of Toronto.

Principal-Investigator, Loughborough Uni. (in the value of €173,125, overall project value €4,977,000; 2017-2020) on an international bid to EU Horizon 2020 (16 partners from Italy, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands), NESTORE, on the use of technologies in maintaining functional health in aging.

Co-Investigator (in value of £44,334; 2016-2017) on a Metropolitan police service funded project; project title "Digital 101: Crime Reporting and Social Media"

Principal-Investigator (in value of £26,312; 2016-2017) on an EPSRC / LU funded project; project title "Surviving and Thriving in a Digital Age: Mental Health Signals on Social Media and Email"

Principal-Investigator (in the value of £20,904; 2016) on an MOD DHCSTC / DSTL funded project; CESA

Principal-Investigator, Loughborough Uni. (in the value of £110,408; 2014-2018) on an international bid to SSHRC (Canada), STRESSCAPES, on use of Social-media streams and smart cities.

Co-Investigator (in the value of £241,834; 2013-2014) on REDITES, an EPSRC and DSTL project looking at Social-media / Twitter event detection, tracking and semantic enrichment.

Media / Press

Our EMOTIVE research has received media attention, in National and International media - The Guardian, BBC News, The Independent, Voice of America, Daily Mail, The Drum, Bild, ...

Recently our smartphone app for tracking the UK General Election of 2015 on Twitter (Votebee) has received some attention in the press - Loughborough Echo, Wiener Zeitung and also our analysis of the US Presidential Election 2016 - Huffington Post, The Register,


I offer consulting services via EMOTIVE.SYSTEMS on Social Media Sentiment Analysis, Twitter Analytics and Social Media Research in general.


School's Achievement Award - Awarded in recognition of exceptional all-round contribution, SBE, Loughborough University, 5th May 2017.

Early Career Researcher of the Year - Awarded the Dean's Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, SBE, Loughborough University, 23rd February 2017.

Outstanding Paper - Awarded outstanding IADIS paper award at the MCCSIS 2013 (International Conference on Intelligent Systems and Agents) Conference in Prague, for my work on EMOTIVE.

Best Student Paper - Awarded best IEEE student paper at the SOFA 2009 (Soft Computing and Applications) Conference in Szeged/Arad, for my work on youtube mining.

University Court - Nominated and selected for presenting my research to the prestigious annual Graduate School at the University Court for year of 2009.

Best Research Poster - Best Poster in three Departments, won first place out of 30 participants from over 3 information engineering departments at Loughborough University.

Best SU Event - Received a prize from Loughborough Students Union (LSU) at the annual awards ceremonies in recognition for organising the highly successful and popular funk / soul music night (Harschool). I used to be an avid breakdancer (1998-2005), and I was involved in founding the Loughborough University Breakdance club, with which we performed at various venues and participated at competitions.



Non-Academic Interests

Extreme Sports