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Research Profile

Dr Matthew Williams 

Dr Matthew Williams
Position:Senior Lecturer
School:Social Sciences

Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 74853
Fax:+44 (0)29 208 74175
contact info:

Address:2.28 Glamorgan Building

Research Interests

  • Cybercrime / eCrime
  • Human / Social Factors in Cybersecurity
  • Big Data / Data Science / Social Media
  • Digital Social Research
  • Sexuality, Policing, Law and Criminal Justice
  • Homophobic Hate Crime Victimisation

I am a founding member of the Collaborative Online Social Media ObServatory (COSMOS) (circa £1M funding including grants from ESRC and JISC), and am currently involved in 13 ongoing research projects including as Principal Investigator: 'Social Media and Prediction: Crime Sensing, Data Integration and Statistical Modeling' (ESRC/NCRM); ‘Digital Social Research Tools, Tension Indicators and Safer Communities: A demonstration of COSMOS’ (ESRC/DSR); The ‘All Wales Hate Crime Project’ (Big Lottery Fund, UK); the 'e-Crime Reduction Partnership Mapping Study' (Nominet Trust); as co-investigator: 'Understanding the Role of Social Media in the Aftermath of Youth Suicides' (Department of Health); 'Hate Speech and Social Media: Understanding Users, Networks and Information Flows' (ESRC/Google); 'Identifying and Modeling Victim, Business, Regulatory and Malware Behaviours in a Changing Cyberthreat Landscape' (EPSRC); ‘Supporting Empirical Social Science Research with a Virtual Research Environment’ (JISC);  ‘Requirements Analysis for Social Media Analysis Research Tools’ (ESRC); 'Perpetrators of Hate Crime' (Welsh Government); 'Detecting Tension and Cohesion in Local Communities using Social Media' (EADS UK/Welsh Government), 'High Performance Computing, Scalability and Big 'Social' Data (High Performance Computing Wales/Fujitsu); and 'Anomaly Detection in Big 'Social' Data' (ESRC/Wales DTC). I was also co-investigator on the ESRC projects ‘Ethnography for the Digital Age’ and ‘Methods and Issues in Qualitative Online Data Sharing and Archiving’.  

Interdisciplinarity is a key feature of my research and I have worked with members of staff in the schools of Computer Science, Psychology, Law, Business, Mathematics and Dentistry. I have been successful in gaining grants from the ESRC, EPSRC, AHRC, JISC, Big Lottery Fund, Welsh Government, Nominet Trust, Stonewall Cymru, TUC Wales, Safer Wales, Department of Health, High Performance Computing Wales/Fujitsu and EADS UK.  My research income to date is in excess of £3M.   

I have published in the areas of Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Digital Social Research Methodology and Sexuality and Criminal Justice and have presented at over 50 national and international conferences. I am co-editor (with Malcolm Williams, William Housley and Adam Edwards) of the special issue of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology entitled Computational Social Science: Research Strategies, Design and Methods (2013), of the special issue (with David Wall) of Policing and Society entitled: Policing Cybercrime: Networked and Social Media Technologies and the Challenges for Policing, and the forthcoming book Digital Society: Theory, Method and Data (with Adam Edwards, William Housley and Peter Burnap) that will be published by Sage in 2015.  My book, Virtually Criminal published by Routledge was short listed for the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Memorial Book Prize in 2007. 

I am a member of HM Government UK Cybercrime Reduction Partnership, an academic reviewer on HM Government Office for Science Foresight project ‘Future of Identity’, an academic advisor to the ACPO/College of Policing project ‘National Assessment on threats and opportunities posed by the use of Global Digital Communication Technologies’, and was academic advisor to the DTI foresight programme and the eCrime Wales Project.  I was recently appointed to serve as a member of the ESRC's Peer Review College

Social Media

Personal Twitter: MattLWilliams
COSMOS Twitter: cosmos_Project
Cybersecurity Twitter: CardiffSecurity

Video: Wales: Standing Together Against Hate Crime - Project Research