Prof. David Skillicorn His photo

I work in the
School of Computing
Queen's University
Kingston. Ontario

I am also an Adjunct Professor in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department of the Royal Military College.

Our motto: "Finding the traces of bad people and bad things in large datasets"
Adversarial knowledge discovery applied to terrorism, cybersecurity, crime, fraud, and a growing list of other areas,
focusing on linguistic and relational data (text and graphs).

My blog on adversarial knowledge discovery.

RIP Ralph Stanton, 1923-2010, my Ph.D. supervisor, details here.

What I'm working on.

Some deep thoughts.

"Next year the number of [US] federally mandated categories of illness and injury for which hospitals may claim reimbursement will rise from 18,000 to 140,000. There are nine codes relating to injuries caused by parrots, and three relating to burns from flaming water-skis" Economist, Feb 18th 2012.

We haven't the money, so we've got to think -- Ernest Rutherford.

Latent structure is master of visible structure -- Heraclitus c500 B.C, evidently the father of data mining.

The Feynman Problem Solving Algorithm: 1) Write down the problem. 2) Think very hard. 3) Write down the solution.
(In my experience, in North America Step 2 tends to be skipped. In Australia, curiously, it's often Step 3.)


My recent book, Understanding High-Dimensional Spaces has been published by Springer.
(Print, Online)

I was awarded the 2009 IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society and IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society Technical Committee on Homeland Security Technical Achievement Award for outstanding and sustained technical contributions to the field of Intelligence and Security Informatics.

My recent book: Knowledge Discovery for Counterterrorism and Law Enforcement is available from Taylor and Francis and Amazon


My research is focused on adversarial knowledge discovery, building inductive models from data in settings where the interests of modellers and those being modelled are not aligned. This includes counterterrorism, law enforcement,and fraud; but also increasingly areas such as customer relationship modelling. I work with some TLAs and even some FLAs.


Online publications:

Research Activities

I am on the Steering Committee of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics, 2007-- .

I am on the Steering Committee of the SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, 2007-- .

I am on the Program Committees of all of the usual data mining conferences and workshops, and also those related to security informatics.

I am an Associate Editor or on the Editorial Board of IEEE Intelligent Systems, Computational Intelligence, Journal of Universal Computer Science, Computational and Mathematical Organizational Theory, Springer Security Informatics, and Statistical Analysis and Data Mining.

Graduate Supervision

I supervise theses in topics in adversarial knowledge discovery, focusing on textual data and graph/relational data. I work with colleagues in Politics (radicalization, borders, political speech), Business (financial fraud), and Psychology (deception) so there are possibilities in interdisciplinary research in these directions as well.

My funding levels do not allow me to supervise international students unless they have funding from their own countries; this applies to summer students, graduate students, and postdocs.

My current graduate students:

Some of my recent graduate students:

Research Resources

Mind mapping, a nice way to organise material when you don't already know how it fits together. It's useful for preparing drafts of theses and papers.

Talking about your research.

Teaching and Learning

In the 2014-2015 academic year I am teaching:

I also supervise students in CISC499 -- topics for 2014-2015 are here.

Here is some material on effective learning:

I am interested in hypermedia-based education.

Other Things

My Academic Genealogy

Here are some of the interesting pathways via doctoral supervisors (there's more than one because some people had two supervisors; for example, Brauer was supervised by both Schur and Schmidt, and Dirichlet was supervised jointly by Poisson and Fourier, who were both students of Lagrange):

Skillicorn - Stanton - Brauer - Schur - Frobenius - Weierstrass - Guderman - Gauss

Skillicorn - Stanton - Brauer - Schmidt - Hilbert - Lindemann - Klein - Lipschitz - Dirichlet - Poisson/Fourier - Lagrange - Euler - Bernoulli

Up to School of Computing

Up to Queen's University

David Skillicorn
School of Computing
Queen's University
Kingston Ontario
Canada K7L 3N6
Time zone: GMT -5
Phone: +1 613 533 6065
Fax: +1 613 533 6513
skill cs queensu ca (you know the punctuation)