Seminar: The technology driving the evolution of internet advertising, targeted advertising or intrusive surveillance?

Event details

  • When: 27th February 2017 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: CS Colloquia Series
  • Format: Seminar

“The technology driving the evolution of internet advertising, targeted advertising or intrusive surveillance?”

 Tim Palmer, Senior Partner, Digiterre (


Announcement of the 33rd British Colloquium for Theoretical Computer Science

The 33rd BCTCS will be hosted by the School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews, from the 26th to the 28th of April 2017. The purpose of BCTCS is to provide a forum in which researchers in theoretical computer science can meet, present research findings, and discuss developments in the field. It also aims to provide an environment in which PhD students can gain experience in presenting their work, and benefit from contact with established researchers.

The scope of the colloquium includes all aspects of theoretical computer science, including algorithms, complexity, cryptography, formal methods, game theory, machine learning, languages, logics and quantum computation. Both computer scientists and mathematicians are welcome to attend, as are participants from outside of the UK.

This year the colloquium will feature the following invited speakers

LMS Keynote Lecture in Discrete Mathematics

Professor László Babai, University of Chicago

Confirmed Speakers
Perdita Stevens, University of Edinburgh
Conor McBride, University of Strathclyde
Felix Fischer, University of Glasgow
Edwin Brady, University of St Andrews
Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh, Queen Mary University of London

Registration is *now open*, and you can find more information at

PhD students are especially encouraged to offer a talk.

As an additional event, there will be a Scottish Combinatorics Meeting at the School of Mathematics in St Andrews on the 24th and 25th of April. If you would like to take part in the meeting, please contact the organisers directly.

The organisers hope to welcome you to St Andrews in April.

Type-Driven Development of Communicating Systems using Idris

Event details

  • When: 23rd February 2017 13:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.03/1.04
  • Format: Colloquium, Seminar, Talk

Speaker: Jan de Muijnck-Hughes


Communicating protocols are a cornerstone of modern system design.
However, there is a disconnect between the different tooling used to design, implement and reason about these protocols and their implementations.
Session Types are a typing discipline that help resolve this difference by allowing protocol specifications to be used during type-checking to ensure that implementations adhere to a given specification.

Idris is a general purpose programming language that supports full-dependent types, providing programmers with the ability to reason more precisely about programs.
This talk introduces =Sessions=, our implementation of Session Types in Idris, and demonstrates =Sessions= ability to design and realise several common protocols.

=Sessions= improves upon existing Session Type implementations by introducing value dependencies between messages and fine-grained channel management during protocol design and implementation.
We also use Idris’ support for EDSL construction to allow for protocols to be designed and reasoned about in the same language as their implementation.
Thereby allowing for an intrinsic bond to be introduced between a protocol’s implementation and specification, and also with its verification.

Using =Sessions=, we can reduce the existing disconnect between the tooling used for protocol design, implementation, and verification.




EPSRC Grant Success: A Constraint Modelling Pipeline

Congratulations to colleagues Professor Ian Miguel, Dr Chris Jefferson, Dr Tom Kelsey, Professor Ian Gent and Dr Peter Nightingale, who have secured an impressive EPSRC grant A constraint Modelling Pipeline, with NHS and SME project partners. The three and a half year grant, officially announced yesterday, aims to advance the state of the art in solving complex combinatorial search problems ubiquitous in many settings, such as planning, scheduling or design. Specifically, the aim is to produce a powerful, general automated modelling and solving system unique in targeting a range of powerful solving formalisms from a single abstract problem specification. The research will impact across the public and private sectors, and academia.
Read more about the grant application through EPSRC reference:EP/P015638/1

Graduation November 2016

Congratulations to the Masters Class of 2016, and PhD students Dr Vinodh Sampath and Dr Oche Ejembi, who graduated last month. Each year, students are invited to a reception in Computer Science to celebrate their achievement and reflect on their time in the School, with staff and guests.

Our graduates have moved on to a wide variety of interesting and challenging employment and further study opportunities, and we wish them all well with their future careers.




Alexander Konovalov: Certified Software and Data Carpentry Instructor

Congratulations to Alexander Konovalov who has just completed the instructor training course and subsequent assignments and is now certified to teach Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry workshops.

Software Carpentry is a volunteer organisation whose goal is to make scientists more productive, and their work more reliable, by teaching them basic computing skills. Its sibling organisation is DataCarpentry, which focuses on data analysis skills rather than programming skills. Their volunteer instructors run hundreds of events for thousands of scientists. Alexander has been teaching at several workshops, and is very enthusiastic about organising more!


CodeFirst:Girls Final presentations Fall 2016

Congratulations to our St Andrews Computer Science Code First Girls, for completing the Fall 2016 course, and staging their final projects. Students are pictured presenting some of their diverse and ambitious projects to staff, CFG tutors and fellow students. Presentations were followed by some home baking.

Judges awarded overall winner to Marya Simeonova and Chirsty McFadyen for Student Association’s Environment Subcommittee. Runners-up were Hannah Done, Anna Guckian and Eilidh Robb for GradTrip and Alix Réveilhac, Bridget Holmes and Sherry Zhang for The Grind.

Well done to all. Read more about CFG in our previous post Computer Science supports CodeFirst:Girls


Children in Need 2016

Well done to Sophie and Caitlyn, who raised £215 pounds for Children In Need today. They are pictured setting up shop and selling their delicious homemade cakes and biscuits. Thanks to staff and students for helping them raise a fabulous total. Options included Pretzels, Rainbow Cupcakes (lactose free), Oreo Cupcakes, Brownies (gluten free), Chocolate cake (vegan) and Gingerbread Pudsey Bears.


Review their previous 2012, 2013 and 2015 cakes and fundraising through our past blog posts. A great effort all round, we look forward to seeing you again next year.

Arkwright Awards for budding young engineers

On Friday 11 November 2016, Professor Saleem Bhatti was the principal guest of the Arkwright Scholarship Trust, as principal speaker and presenter at Arkwright’s award ceremony at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The Arkwright Trust is a well-established, independent UK-wide charity which identifies and nurtures high-potential A-level and Scottish Advanced Higher students who have a desire to be future leaders in engineering disciplines, including computing, software, communications and product design. This year, the award ceremony was sponsored by GCHQ, with the theme of “Cyber Security and Communications”.

Edinburgh . Arkwright Scholarships Awards. Copyright © 2016 Andrew Wiard,,

Edinburgh . Arkwright Scholarships Awards.
Copyright © 2016 Andrew Wiard,,

Edinburgh . Arkwright Scholarships Awards. Copyright © 2016 Andrew Wiard,,

Edinburgh . Arkwright Scholarships Awards.
Copyright © 2016 Andrew Wiard,,

Images used with permission from the Arkwright Scholarship Trust

Distinguished Lecture Series 2016: Prof. Julie McCann

Earlier this month Professor Julie McCann from Imperial College London, delivered the next set of distinguished lectures for 2016, in Lower and Upper College Hall. The three topical, well attended and interesting lectures centred around Distributed Systems and Sensing and discussed how sensor networks are being used today, how other sciences will impact the research area, how such systems are programmed and finished by introducing ongoing challenges in terms of scalability, resilience and security.

Professor McCann is pictured below at various stages of the distinguished lecture series, and with Director of Research, Professor Simon Dobson and Dean of Science, Professor Alan Dearle.



Videos from the DLS can be accessed on Vimeo –
Lecture 1:
Lecture 2:
Lecture 3:

Images courtesy of Saleem Bhatti