Hi. My name is Martin Zaltz Austwick. I’m an academic, musician, podcaster and occasional visual artist.

I make music as Martin Austwick, Dr Martin Austwick, The Magnificent Severn and The Sound of the Ladies.  I’m also a podcaster – I’m one third of Answer Me This!, one of the UK’s most successful independent podcasts, which won a Sony Silver in 2010 and a Sony Gold in 2011. I also co-created Song by Song, Brain Train, and Global Lab, and created The Sound of the Ladies podcast. I’ve written music for the aforementioned shows, as well as for The Allusionist, The Beef and Dairy Network, the Glamour UK podcast, Why are Computers, and Sound Women. I’ve played music live at some of these events, and spoken at Boring Conference, Geek Showoff, SciBar, Pint of Science, and a bunch of other places.

I tweet @martinaustwick.

In my academic life, I am a Senior Lecturer at CASA, the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the Bartlett in University College London (UCL). My research has covered digital humanities, cycling, freight transport, the sharing economy, REF Impact, and communities of practice – I’ve been able to work in such diverse areas because of my brilliant collaborators. I teach data visualisation and am Course Director on our Spatial Data Science and Visualisation masters programmes. I’m active in public engagement, and am regularly to be found giving public talks, chairing Cafe Scientifique events, or running podcasts aimed at sharing ideas from science and academia.

My academic twitter is @sociablephysics.




I write songs and sing them on recordings and in public (if only there were a hypenate for that!). You can find it all here: http://www.thesoundoftheladies.com/

I sometimes make videos of my music, like this one for “10,000 Letters of Love”:

(This took ages, you can find more about it, and more videos on my blog). This is the  album it was taken from, 2012’s The City of Gold and Lead:

In 2014, I released this album of songs written for live gigs over the preceding couple of years:



I have been involved with about a billion podcasts.

The most well-known is comedy podcast Answer me This!:

Just so you know, it has rude words and racy content. We’ve been running since 2007 and have won two Sony awards and has tens of thousands of regular listeners, making us one of the most successful independent podcasts in the UK.

Song by Song podcast discusses every Tom Waits song in chronological order:

In 2007 I started The Sound of The Ladies podcast, where I record and release a song every month. Obviously I wrote the theme tune for this.

Around the same time I had a spell engineering the Bright Club Podcast with Steve Cross, and wrote the theme song for it. Bright Club Podcast span out from the Bright Club live events, and featured a comedian asking academics about their areas of expertise.

In 2011, I started Global Lab with Steven Gray. I wrote the theme tune too. Global Lab is themed around the work that CASA is interested in – global complexity, technology in the urban realm, cities, and people. The format is currently based on interviews with academics and experts in the field, but it’s an interesting testbed for new ideas and collaborations.

In summer 2012, I started Brain Train with Alice Bell. I wrote the theme tune. Brain Train was inspired by Bright Club and Chain Reaction, but precipitated by a twitter conversation. In it, an expert asks someone something they’ve always wanted to know about a subject well outside their comfort zone. Next episode, the expert becomes the novice and finds out all about something they know nothing about.

I’ve created music for the aforementioned shows, as well as for The Allusionist, The Beef and Dairy Network, Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown, the Glamour UK podcast, Why are Computers, and Sound Women, and had tiny cameos on Jordan, Jesse Go! and Mortified.


I’m a Senior Lecturer in Spatial Data Science and Visualisation in the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at UCL. Here are some useful links for finding out more:

Here I am in 2015 talking about data visualisation (with thanks to Kevin Biderman, full details in the vimeo page):

and here I am talking about cities and data for a UCL lunch hour lecture in December 2012:

Here is a talk I did on eggs at the Boring Conference in May 2014. I’m not an egg physicist, I just like egg cookery:

Prior to working in this field, I have been a medical laser physicist and worked in the field of Quantum Computing. I think interdisciplinary work is inevitable whenever we start to to think about interesting problems that we might want to work on:

(that’s me at TEDx LSE in March 2013).

If you’d like to hear about some of my medical physics work, here’s a brief summary:

Nowadays, I work on data visualisation, and have done work on bike share schemes, especially the one in London. Here is a visualisation of several months of data, mapped onto one day:

Here’s another showing the GPS track and photos from a walk Steph Hugel and I did in May 2012, based partly on the narrative of Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s From Hell:



This is embarassing. But if you want a bio for an event I’m speaking at, singing at, dancing at or otherwise frequenting, there’s some useful text here, and some lovely photos below:

<100 words (academic):

Martin Zaltz Austwick is a Senior Lecturer in Spatial Data Science and Visualisation at the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at UCL. His research interests include visualisation and analysis of cycling systems, freight transportation, sharing economies, communities of practice, and pedestrian behaviour; and Digital Humanities, including corpus text analysis and collaborative mapping. He has an active interest in public engagement through public talks, workshops, datavis, audio, blogging, and community engagement, and won the 2015 UCL Public Engagement Award for Institutional Leadership.

<100 words (public events):

Martin Zaltz Austwick is a Senior Lecturer in data visualization and programming at the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at UCL, with an interest in cities and networks, having previously studied Quantum Physics and worked as a Medical Laser Physicist. Public engagement is central to his work through data and model visualisation, blogging, podcasting, public talks, video, music and a dedication to supporting and training others. In his spare time he is a musician, urban rambler and award-winning podcaster.

You can find his blog at sociablephysics.com, or follow him on twitter @sociablephysics.

From the CASA website:


Dr Martin Zaltz Austwick is a Senior Lecturer and Course Director of the Spatial Data Science and Visualisation Masters degree. He holds an undergraduate Physics degree and a PhD in nanotechnology and quantum computing, and worked as a clinical medical physics researcher from 2006-2010, a varied career which has led to his interest in the adaptation of ideas from the physical sciences to social sciences. Dr Zaltz Austwick has a strong commitment to public engagement, through visualization, podcasting, blogging, public talks and workshops and social media, and has shared in Radio Academy Gold and Silver Awards. In 2016 he was the winner of the UCL Public Engagement Award for Institutional Leadership, and shared in the 2015 UCL award for Public Event at the UCL Communication and Culture Awards.

Research Summary

Martin Zaltz Austwick works on visualisation and analysis of human data, frequently with a strong spatial component.

Visualising Spatial and Social Systems

His visualisation frequently utilises Processing to create animated visualisations of spatial movement (for example, Bike Share Schemes in a number of cities, GPS tracks drawn from pedestrian movement in London, and shipping movements around the globe). Since 2016, he has been Co-Investigator on the EPSRC FTC2050 project, analysing and visualising freight delivery in central London.

Digital Humanities and Text Analysis

In his role as Associate Director at the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, Dr Zaltz Austwick works on visualising and analysing spatial data drawn from history, the arts, and other branches of the humanities. He is currently Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded Survey of London: Whitechapel grant, a project embedding Architectural History in an interactive web map, allowing users to learn about the area and contribute their own stories and accounts.

In 2016, he co-published a corpus text analysis of the REF2014 Impact Case Studies to understand classes of Impact in UK Research, and contributed to a project analysing a large British Library text corpus to find historical trends in the description of trades, disease, and geography.

Teaching Summary

Dr Martin Zaltz Austwick is a Senior Lecturer and Course Director of the Spatial Data Science and Visualisation Masters degree. He currently leads Masters-level modules in Programming for Architecture and Design and co-leads a module in Digital Visualisation, and an undergraduate BASc module in Data Science. He has delivered lectures on Data Visualisation for the Faculty of Engineering and the SEAHA Doctoral Training cohort, and lectures on podcasting for the MAPS faculty.

Martin has delivered external training on Data Visualisation, Podcasting and Mapping for ARUP, the UK Home Office, The British Library and HEFCW, and spoken at the Boring Conference, TEDx LSE, Bright Club, Science Showoff, Pint of Science, SciBar and DorkBot, as well as academic conferences.