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Alasdair Allan

  • Senior Research Fellow
  • University of Exeter
  • 79PublicationsNumber of items in Alasdair's My Publications folder on Mendeley.
  • 20Followers

Research interests

PerlAJAXJavascriptHTMLXMLSensorsUbiquitous ComputingEmbedded DevicesDistributed ComputingData MiningAgent Architecturese-ScienceAstronomical ComputingStatisticsData AnalysisData ReductionTelescopesAstronomyAstrophysics


I'm a senior research fellow in Astronomy at the University of Exeter. As part of my work I have built a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes that, acting autonomously, can reactively schedule observations of time-critical events and carry out complex long term monitoring of variable objects. Notable successes include contributing to the detection of the most distant object yet discovered, a gamma-ray burster at a redshift of 8.2. Recently I have become interested in possibilities suggested by the next generation of mobile devices, and for the large scale distributed sensor networks that might result, for citizen science. I wrote a book on how to program the iPhone for O'Reilly, and am currently writing another discussing location enabled sensors and Augmented Reality. I do work on haptic feedback for augmented and virtual reality as part of the Biophysics group at the University of Exeter, and am a member of the organising committee for the dotAstronomy series of conferences. I also run a small technology consulting company writing bespoke software, building open hardware and providing training.

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Recent publications

  • Augmented Reality in iOS: Building Apps with Sensors and Computer Vision

    • Allan A
  • iOS Sensor Apps with Arduino: Wiring the iPhone and iPad into the Internet of Things

    • Allan A

Professional experience

Senior Research Fellow

University of Exeter

February 2007 - Present


Babilim Light Industries

January 2005 - Present

Associate Lecturer

Open University

February 2005 - September 2008(4 years)

e-Science Researcher

Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh

February 2006 - January 2007(a year)

Senior Programmer

University of Exeter

April 2003 - January 2006(3 years)

Astronomy Programmer

University of Exeter

January 2001 - March 2003(2 years)

Applications Programmer

Keele University

December 1999 - January 2001(a year)



Keele University

October 1995 - December 1999(4 years)


University of St. Andrews

October 1991 - July 1995(4 years)