David Harris-Birtill: Converge Challenge Winner 2016

Congratulations to Dr David Harris-Birtill, who was announced the winner of the Converge Challenge KickStart award at a ceremony in Edinburgh yesterday. The converge challenge competition rewards an early-stage idea or a new product. David won a cash injection prize of £3,000 to kick-start Beyond Medics – Automated Remote Pulse Oximetry, a camera based system that remotely measures patients’ vital signs.

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Lost in Translation: Academia to Industry

The School of Computer Science welcomed back three alumni to give keynote talks at our lost in translation event earlier this week. The well-attended and informative event organised by Professor Aaron Quigley, afforded current PhD students and early researchers in computer science an exclusive opportunity to hear from previous students about their transition from academia to industry.

Talks chaired by Dr Ognjen Arandelovic, highlighted the challenges and opportunities faced during their PhD journey but without doubt strengthened the concept of transferable skills provided by postgraduate study and research activities. Presentations incorporated research skills, internships, analytical ability, teamwork, the value of teaching and tutoring responsibilities, designing the CS merchandise, communication skills, the flexibility of research areas and the importance of social activities.

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Breakout sessions permitted small group discussions with each of our alumni, where they conveyed different experiences of research activities in the school, and their on-going experience of working within industry and within a recent start up. We are extremely proud of our alumni and thank them for their continued contribution to scheduled events, and for being fantastic ambassadors for Computer Science at St Andrews. You can read Neil’s “moving from academia to industry” blog post for his personal journey and reflection.

Alumni Keynote Speakers:
James Smith, Google, London.
Angus Macdonald, Aetherworks, New York.
Neil Moore, Adobe, Edinburgh.

Invited Guest:
Polly Purvis, CEO of ScotlandIS.

The event was funded by SICSA, The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance.

Official Opening: Interaction Lab

Dean of Science, Professor Al Dearle officially opened the new Interaction Lab earlier today. The lab is situated within the John Honey building within the School of Computer Science and houses the research talents of both SACHI and Open Virtual Worlds.

The Dean of Science, Professor Aaron Quigley Chair of HCI, current staff and students, alumni and Emeritus Professor, Ron Morrison were photographed enjoying the opening celebrations.

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PhD Viva Success: Ward Jaradat

Congratulations to Dr Ward Jaradat, who successfully defended his PhD thesis last week. He was supervised by Dr Adam Barker. Prof. Omer Rana from Cardiff University and Dr Stuart Purdie acted as External and Internal Examiner respectively.

Funded PhD Research Studentships: Closing Date 15th December

A reminder that the closing date for applications is near. The School has funding for students to undertake PhD research in any of the general research areas in the school.

Are you a highly motivated student with an interest in these exciting research areas. A list of specific potential projects may help you decide. The studentships cover the cost of fees and an annual tax-free maintenance stipend. Exceptionally well-qualified students may be awarded an enhanced stipend.

For further information on how to apply, see our postgraduate web pages . We will make decisions on studentship allocation by February 27th 2015. Informal enquiries can be directed to pg-admin-cs@st-andrews.ac.uk or to potential supervisors.

Ae Fond Farewell: Per Ola Kristensson

As we start a new semester, we take time to reflect on those moving on to new ventures and wish colleague and friend, Per Ola Kristensson every success in his new post in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

During his time in the School he had many successes and viewed St Andrews as an “incredibly stimulating and vivid research environment.”

Describing the School and SACHI as “friendly and supportive” he underlined the school’s commitment to ensuring teaching and research is of “the highest calibre.”

Describing the students he worked with as “fantastic” and a pleasure to supervise, he explained that some of their dissertations had lead to scientific publications.

His final reflection:

Looking back, these years I have spent in St Andrews have helped me develop as a researcher and a teacher and I will remember my years here fondly.

We wish him continued success and look forward to seeing him in the very near future. You can read more about his research on the SACHI blog.

Summer School on Experimental Methodology in Computational Science Research

Event details

  • When: 4th August 2014 09:00 - 8th August 2014 17:00
  • Format: Summer School

The purpose of this summer school is to bring together interested computer scientists and other researchers who work in the broadly-defined area of “computational science”, and to explore the state-of-the-art in methods and tools for enabling reproducible and “recomputable” research. Reproducibility is crucial to the scientific process; without it researchers cannot build on findings, or even verify these findings. The development and emergence of new tools, hardware and processing platforms means that reproducibility should be easier than ever before. But to do so, we also need to effect “a culture change that will integrate computational reproducibility into the research process”.

The school will be hands on, comprising lectures, tutorials and practical sessions in topics including statistical methods, using cloud computing services for conducting and sharing reproducible experiments, methods for publishing code and data, legal issues surrounding the publication and sharing of code and data, and generally the design of experiments with replication in mind. Speakers include academics from mathematics, computer science and law schools, and other researchers and industrial speakers from Figshare, Microsoft Azure, the Software Sustainability Institute and more. Practicals will include the replication of existing experiments and a “hackathon” to improve tools for replication. The aim of the school will be to create a report that will be published in arXiv by the end of the week, and in a suitable journal later on.

For more information and to register please visit our web site at http://blogs.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/emcsr2014/.

Dr. Per Ola Kristensson awarded RSE/Makdougall Brisbane Medal

In recognition of academic excellence for his outstanding research work and entrepreneurialism Dr. Per Ola Kristensson is amongst the most outstanding academic talent documented by The Royal Society in their Royal Prizewinners list for 2014, announced today. The Prize was founded in 1855 by Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, for particular distinction in the promotion of scientific research.

In 2013 Per Ola Kristensson was named as one of the people most likely to change the world by the prestigious MIT Technology Review’s list of Innovators under 35. Described as visionary he appears at number 11 in IMPACT 100.

IMPACT 100 PANEL VIEW:

People like Per Ola Kristensson are the shapers of the future where social interaction and new technology are concerned.

His research interconnects human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence and machine learning allowing intelligent interactive systems to be developed, that enable people to be more creative, expressive and satisfied in their daily lives. Dr. Kristensson also works in the areas of multi-display systems, eye-tracking systems, and crowdsourcing and human computation.

He is a Lecturer in the School of Computer Science, a member of the SACHI research group and is also a Member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland.

Professor Aaron Quigley, Chair of HCI in the School of Computer Science responded:

We are all delighted at the rightful recognition of Per Ola and his world-leading achievements. Last year he was the only UK member of the TR35, the most prestigious annual list published by MIT Technology Review. And now the Royal Society of Edinburgh has recognised his research. Per Ola is an excellent colleague who brings real enthusiasm, insight and dedication to whatever he does. Be it supervising an honours student, teaching, leadership in SICSA or working with industry. His work in intelligent interactive systems is laying the ground work for how the world will interact with computation in the future.

2013 in Computer Science: A Year in Pictures

A Christmas Hog Roast in Computer Science

A Christmas Hog Roast in Computer Science



School merchandise increases in popularity

School merchandise increases in popularity



Good summer weather pays dividends in the School Garden

Good summer weather pays dividends in the School Garden



A round up of research activities, including some of the the SATCHI team testing out visibility, affordance and feedback for steering mechanisms in Dundee :)

A round up of research activities, including some of the SACHI group testing out visibility, affordance and feedback for steering mechanisms in Dundee 🙂



An opportunity to celebrate with our students at Graduation

An opportunity to celebrate with our students at Graduation



Posters, prizes and competitions through out the year

Posters, prizes and competitions throughout the year



Catching up with recent graduates, established alumni and great ambassadors for the School

Catching up with recent graduates, established alumni and great ambassadors for the School