Success in the Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme in Research and Leadership

Congratulations to Patrick Schrempf and Billy Brown who have been successful in their applications for a Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship in Research and Leadership for 2017. You can read further details about Billy and Patrick below.

Billy Brown:

I’m a fourth year Computer Science student from Belgium with too much interest for the subject. I play and referee korfball for the university, and I am fascinated by Old English and Norse history and mythology. I plan on using the Laidlaw Internship programme to get into the field of Computer Science research.

Project summary:

The Essence Domain Inference project aims to improve automated decision making by optimising the understanding of the statements used to define a problem specification. As part of the compilation of the high level Essence specification language, this project would tighten the domains to which a specified problem applies, with a domain inference algorithm.

The work is very much in the context of the recently-announced EPSRC grant working on automated constraint modelling in an attempt to advance the state of the art in solving complex combinatorial search problems. The modelling pipeline is akin to a compiler in that we refine a specification in the Essence language Billy mentions down to a number of powerful solving formalisms. The work Billy plan is to improve the refinement process and therefore the performance of the solvers, leading to higher quality solutions more quickly.

Patrick Schrempf:
I am currently a third year Computer Science student from Vienna. After enjoying doing research with the St Andrews Computer Human Interaction (SACHI) group last year, I am looking forward to the Laidlaw Internship Programme. Apart from research and studying, I enjoy training and competing with the Triathlon Club and the Pool Society.

 

Project summary:

This project will explore Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) which aims to create artificial intelligence and machine learning models that are combined with effective explanations. Currently most models of artificial intelligence are very intricate and complex, on the contrary using XAI models will enable their users to build a better understanding of the AI components and the system as a whole.

This project builds on Patrick’s work in RadarCat which employed machine learning techniques for material and object classification which enables new forms of everyday proximate interaction with digital devices. RadarCat (Radar Categorization for Input & Interaction) was published at ACM UIST 2016 in Tokyo, Japan, Yeo, H.-S., Flamich, G., Schrempf, P., Harris-Birtill, D., and Quigley, A. (2016) RadarCat: Radar Categorization for Input & Interaction. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology New York, NY, USA: ACM UIST ’16.

Computer Science Student Reps 2016

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We are delighted to congratulate the student representatives for 2016/7, elected by their peers. Reps play a very important part in the life of the school by providing a healthy communication channel between staff and the students they represent, and also by chairing and running the Staff-Student Consultative Committee, amongst many other roles.

The reps are shown outside the Jack Cole Building in November 2016, and are (from left to right)

  • Juris Bogusevs (1st year)
  • Seamus Bonner (1st year, library)
  • Keno Schwalb (3rd year, careers)
  • Christa-Awa Kollen (welfare)
  • Vika Anisimova (4th year)
  • Anastasiia Izmailova (2nd year, social)
  • Masha Nedjalkova (masters, careers, minutes)
  • Fearn Bishop (postgraduate research)
  • Robin Nabel (school president)

Many thanks to the reps for arranging this photo (taken by Alex Bain who can be seen in the reflection), which should help staff and students put faces to the names.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered to be a student rep.

 

 

Computer Science: June Graduation Reception 2016

Congratulations to our Senior Honours Class of 2016, and our PhD students Dr Jan de Muijnck-Hughes, Dr Christopher Davies, Dr Jakub Dostal, Dr Marc Werfs, Dr Ditchaphong Phoomikiattisak, Dr Bruce Simpson and Dr Ward Jaradat who graduated yesterday. Students were invited to a reception in the school to celebrate their achievement with staff, friends and family.

Saad Attieh, one of our talented SH students was awarded this year’s Principal’s Medal, which recognises exceptional endeavour and achievement during a student’s time at St Andrews. Read more about the medal and his journey in the University News.

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

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Watch some video, win a Netflix or Amazon voucher

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Tell us what you think of our videos and you could win a £20 Netflix or Amazon voucher!

You will be asked to watch and assess the video quality of four 1-minute online video clips, as well as complete a short questionnaire related to your regular video usage and your energy-saving awareness and preferences. Your participation should take around 20 to 30 minutes.

Optionally, you will be entered into a prize draw for a £20 Netflix or Amazon voucher.

You must be 18 years or over.

Please contact Oche Ejembi <ooe@st-andrews.ac.uk>

UTREC approval code: CS12016

Contact Details

Researcher: Oche Ejembi
email: ooe@st-andrews.ac.uk

Supervisor: Prof. Saleem Bhatti
email: saleem@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

Distinguished Lecture Series: Reminder of next event – ‘CS for All’ by President Maria Klawe

Event details

  • When: 31st March 2016 09:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Byre Theatre
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series
  • Format: Distinguished lecture

Reminder that President Maria Klawe will be speaking at our Distinguished Lecture Series on March 31st 2016 in St Andrews.KlaweMaria

During this event Maria  will discuss the challenges in CS for all, including CS education in K-12, computing for all in undergraduate education, and CS research aimed at people with accessibility challenges and creating educational and research opportunities around the applications of computational technologies in almost every discipline and economic sector.

Programme of events:

  • 09:00 – 09:30
    • Introduction: By Professor Aaron Quigley
  • 09:30 – 10:30
    • Lecture 1: Computing for all in K-12 education
  • 10:30 – 11:00
    • Coffee Break: Refreshments served in foyer
  • 11:00 – 12:00
    • Lecture 2: Computing for all in undergraduate education
  • 12:00 – 14:00
    • Lunch Break: Free time
  • 14:00 – 15:00
    • Lecture 3: Computing for all in research
  • 15:00 – 15:30
    • Q & A: Open forum in the auditorium
  • 15:30 – 16:00
    • Informal time with Speaker: In the foyer

Laidlaw Undergraduate Internships

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme in Research and Leadership 2016

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme in Research and Leadership is an exciting opportunity which aims to equip students with the skills and values to become leaders in their chosen occupations beyond University.

Students will design, pursue and report on a research question with an academic in their School during the summer vacation in 2016. In addition, they will complete two bespoke Leadership training weekends facilitated by CAPOD.

The summer project should last between 8-10 weeks for which interns will paid a weekly stipend of £400. All elements of the programme are compulsory including the Leadership weekends.

This award is open to matriculated undergraduate students in their penultimate year of study.

Please see the Laidlaw webpage for more information. http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/involve/laidlaw/

Closing Date 30th November 2015

Distinguished Lecture: ‘Scalability and Fault-tolerance, are they the same?’ by Joe Armstrong

Event details

  • When: 16th November 2015 09:15 - 15:30
  • Where: Byre Theatre
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series
  • Format: Distinguished lecture

The first of this academic year’s distinguished lectures will be given by Professor Joe Armstrong, co-inventor of Erlang, on Monday 16th November 2015 at The Byre Theatre.Joe Armstrong

Abstract:

To build a scalable system the important thing is to make small isolated independent units. To scale up we just add more units. To build a fault-tolerant system the important thing to do is make small isolated independent units…. Does that sound familiar? Haven’t I seen that somewhere before? Oh yes, in the first paragraph! So maybe scalability and fault tolerance are really different names for the same thing.

This property of systems, namely that fault-tolerant systems were also scalable, was noticed years ago, notably in the design of the Tandem computer system. The Tandem was design for fault tolerance but rapidly became a leading supplier of scalable computer platforms. Thus it was with Erlang.

Erlang followed  a lot of the Tandem design, it was built for fault-tolerance but some of the most successful applications  (such as WhatsApp) use it for its scalability.

In this lecture I’ll talk about the intimate relationship between scalability and fault-tolerance and why they are architecturally the same thing.

I’ll talk about the design of Erlang and why scalable systems have to be built on non-shared memory abstractions.

Bio:

Joe Armstrong has been programming since 1967. He invented the programming language Erlang. He has worked as a programmer, founded a few successful companies and written a few books. He has a PHD in Computer Science from KTH. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Lockheed Martin Award

Congratulations to our recent graduate Sam Elliott, who has won the Lockheed Martin Award SIS-0518for  Best Engineered Project at the Young Software Engineer awards.

The Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards are given for the best undergraduate software projects drawn from across all students studying computer science and software engineering in Scotland.

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Sam’s project, “A Concurrency System for Idris and Erlang”, takes an important step towards addressing the problem of writing large scale software, coordinated across several concurrently running machines, possibly distributed throughout the world. Writing such software is notoriously difficult because not only  do programmers need to think about the progress of a an individual task, they also need to think about how data is communicated between each task.

 

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The project combines Idris, a new programming language developed at the University of St Andrews, with Erlang, a programming language specifically designed for building robust distributed systems, and contributes a new system for running concurrent programs, with guaranteed behaviour, in a robust, industrial strength concurrent environment.

 

A highly commended project

Congratulations to our recent graduate Aleksejs Sazonovs, who’s won a Highly Commended place at this year’s Undergraduate Awards.

The Undergraduate Awards are an international and cross-disciplinary prize that aims to recognise highly creative individuals at undergraduate level. Typically this is demonstrated through excellent project work, and Aleks’ project on “A metapopulation model for predicting the success of genetic control measures for malaria” was ranked in the top 10% of submissions in the computer science category.

Aleks’ project used techniques from network science to explore what happens when mosquitoes modified to be unable to carry the malaria parasite are introduced into a wild population. Experiments like these are an essential precursor to any actual field trials. Together with supervisors from the School of Computer Science (Prof Simon Dobson) and School of Biology (Prof Oscar Gaggiotti), Aleks simulated malarial outbreaks involving different mosquito populations. He used a real geography for his experiments, taking the road network of Sierra Leone from the Open Street Map project and using this to build models of human and mosquito distributions and movement. “It’s been exciting to combine real network data with large-scale simulations,” said Prof Dobson. “It also opens-up several ideas for how to make models like this easier to build and interact with, so they could be used by experimental scientists directly and not just by computer scientists.”

The commendation comes with an invitation to all the highly commended individuals to the awards dinner in Dublin later this month, where the overall winners of the different categories will be announced.