Why Homotopy type Theory (HoTT) matters – Professor Thorsten Altenkirch

Event details

  • When: 25th May 2018 11:00 - 12:30
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:
Dependent types are a wonderful way to construct correct functional programming and specify interfaces as Edwin has shown in his nice book on type driven development using a welsh dragon. But shall we go further in the esoteric world of homotopy type theory? I will try to motivate this and I am looking forward to some discussions with people who have a more pragmatic attitude to dependent types.

SACHI Seminar: Alessio Malizia – User Experience: a step towards Natural User Interfaces.

Event details

  • When: 7th June 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title: User Experience: a step towards Natural User Interfaces.

Abstract: The road to natural interfaces is still long and we are now witnessing an artificial naturality. These interfaces are natural, in the sense they employ hand gestures, but they are also artificial, because the system designer imposes the set of gestures. In this lecture we will explore together the benefits and issues of Natural User Interfaces.

Speaker biography: Alessio Malizia is a Professor of UX Design at the University of Hertfordshire and a distinguished speaker of the ACM (the international Association for Computer Machinery); he lives in London but is a “global soul” and has been living in Italy, Spain and US. He is the son of a blacksmith, but thereafter all pretensions of manual skills end. Prof. Malizia began his career as a bearded computer scientist at Sapienza – University of Rome and then, after an industrial experience in IBM and Silicon Graphics, moved on with a career in research. He was visiting researcher at the Xerox PARC where he was appreciated for his skills in neural networks (Multilayer Perceptrons) and as peanut butter and chocolate biscuits eater. He worked as Senior Lecturer at Brunel University London and as Associate Professor (and Spanish tapas aficionado) at the University Carlos III of Madrid. Prof Malizia’s research and teaching interests focus on Human-Centred Systems.

He is interested in the design of Ubiquitous Interactive Systems with a special focus on the End-User Development community. He is particularly interested in systems where the physical and digital become seamlessly intertwined producing a new hybrid landscape and the study of problems arising from designing such complex hybrid environments involving collaboration of various disciplines and stakeholders. In his role at the School of Creative Arts at University of Hertfordshire, he is keen to develop novel approaches and attract funding for improving methods to design almost invisible interfaces embedded in a physical environment naturally exploited by users’ innate interaction modalities.

War Stories: Building new tech products in an uncertain world

Event details

  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Steven Drost (CodeBase Chief Strategy Officer) and Jamie Coleman (CodeBase CoFounder and Chair) will talk about the topics that are rarely discussed in an academic environment around startups, product management, jobs to be done and disruption. Discussing aspects of UX, HCI, AI and systems development this is the stuff that they wish every computer scientist and startup founder knew before trying to create an innovative new business.

What is CodeBase?

CodeBase is the UK’s largest startup incubator, home to around 100 technology companies in Edinburgh and Stirling. It brings together ambitious entrepreneurs, world-class technological talent and top investors, in a creative, collaborative environment designed for the new digital economy. We host a vibrant, open community of experts in a diverse range of fields, with hands-on mentorship, networking and world-class business support. http://www.thisiscodebase.com

Jamie and Steven are quite inspiring speakers and if you are looking for project partners, collaborators or just to learn how to develop your ideas commercially, this could be a good talk for you.

 

SRG Seminar: “Application of Bayesian Nonparametric in household human activity recognition” by Lei Fang

Event details

  • When: 12th April 2018 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract

In this talk, I will talk about the possibility of using Bayesian nonparametric clustering, or Dirichlet Process Mixture model to solve human activity recognition problem. In particular, I will discuss how the technique can be useful when the activity labels are not annotated and/or the activity evolves over the time. This initial study is built on an existing work on using directional statistical models (von Mises-Fisher) distribution, called Hierarchical Mixture of Conditional Independent von Mises Fisher distribution (HMCIvMFs), for unknown events detection and learning. Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling based learning algorithm will be presented together with some initial experiment results.

SRG Seminar: “Introduction to Apache Mesos and the DataCenter Operating System” by Matt Jarvis

Event details

  • When: 24th April 2018 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Seminar
Abstract
Data processing paradigms are undergoing a paradigm shift as we move more and more towards real time processing. Emerging software models such as the SMACK stack are at the forefront of this change, focused on a pipeline processing model, but are also introducing new levels of operational complexity in running multiple complex distributed systems such as Spark, Kafka and Cassandra. In this talk, I’ll introduce both Apache Mesos and DC/OS as a solution to this growing problem, and describe the benefits are of running these new kinds of systems for emerging cloud native workloads.
 
Bio
Matt Jarvis is Senior Director of Community and Evangelism at Mesosphere, engaging with the communities around DC/OS and Mesos. Matt has spent more than 15 years building products and services around open source software, on everything from embedded devices to large scale distributed systems. Most recently he has been focused on the open cloud infrastructure space, and in emerging patterns for cloud native applications. 

Diderot: A Parallel Domain-Specific Language for Image Analysis and Visualization – John Reppy

Event details

  • When: 2nd April 2018 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Format: Seminar

Diderot: A Parallel Domain-Specific Language for Image Analysis and Visualization

Abstract:
The analysis of structure in three-dimensional images is increasingly valuable for biomedical research and computational science. At the same time, the computational burden of processing images is increasing as devices produce images of higher resolution (e.g., typical CT scans have gone from 128^3 to roughly 512^3 resolutions). With the latest scanning technologies, it is also more common for the the values measured at each sample to be multi-dimensional rather than a single scalar, which further complicates implementing mathematically correct methods.

Diderot is a domain-specific language (DSL) for programming advanced 3D image visualization and analysis algorithms. These algorithms, such as volume rendering, fiber tractography, and particle systems, are naturally defined as computations over continuous tensor fields that are reconstructed from the discrete image data. Diderot combines a high-level mathematical programming notation based on tensor calculus with an abstract bulk-synchronous parallelism model. Diderot is designed to both enable rapid prototyping of new image analysis algorithms and high performance on a range of parallel platforms.

In this talk, I will give an overview of the design of Diderot and examples of its use. I will then describe aspects of its implementation with a focus on how we translate the notation of tensor calculus to efficient code. I will also briefly discuss the automated techniques we use to validate the correctness of the compilation process.

Diderot is joint work with Gordon Kindlmann, Charisee Chiw, Lamont Samuels, and Nick Seltzer.

Bio:
John Reppy is a Professor of Computer Science and a Senior Fellow of the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1992 and spent the first eleven years of his career at Bell Labs in Murray Hill NJ. He has been exploring issues in language design and implementation since the late 1980’s, with a focus on higher-order, typed, functional languages. His work includes the invention of Concurrent ML and work on combining object-oriented and functional language features. His current research is on high-level languages for parallel programming, including the Diderot, Manticore, and Nessie projects.

SRG Seminar: “On Engineering Unikernels” by Ward Jaradat

Event details

  • When: 15th March 2018 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Seminar

We have explored data coordination techniques that permit distributed systems to be constructed by interconnecting services. In such systems the network latency is often a problem. For example, large data volumes might have to be transmitted across the network if computation cannot be co-located close to data sources. One solution to this problem is the ability to deploy services in appropriate geographical locations and compose them together to create distributed ecosystems. Hence we seek to be able to deploy such services rapidly and dynamically enact and orchestrate them. However, this goal is hindered by the size of the deployments. Currently, virtual machine appliances that host such services on top of monolithic kernels are very large, thus are potentially slow to deploy as they may need to be transmitted across a network.

Our principles led us to take the route of re-engineering the standard software stack to create self-contained applications that are less-bloated and consequently much smaller based on Unikernels. Unikernels are compact library operating systems that enable a single application to be statically linked against a simple kernel that manages the underlying resources presented by a hypervisor. In this talk I will present Stardust – a specialised Unikernel that aims to support the deployment of application services based on the Java programming language.

SACHI Seminar: Matjaž Kljun – Large scale studies of habit changing interface design

Event details

  • When: 12th April 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Format: Seminar

SACHI Seminar – Large scale studies of habit changing interface design

Speaker: Matjaž Kljun

Abstract:

Various technologies can be used in persuading people to change their habits, behaviours or attitudes. Such technologies are defined as persuasive and they are used in a variety of fields such as marketing, public health and education.

We are daily exposed to persuasion through different visualizations and triggers on all our devices. For example, a social networking application tries to persuade us in opening the app with a push notification and once the app is opened other hooks are placed so we spend more time in it. However, such applications are usually installed by us and we are inclined in using them. But could we persuade highly busy professionals in completing a training course or just about everybody to read terms of service? We will discuss these issues through large-scale studies that have been in done in the wild.

Speaker biography:  Matjaž Kljun is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies at University of Primorska and is co-directing the HICUP lab (Humans Interacting with Computers at University of Primorska) and a research associate at the Faculty of Information studies, Slovenia. He received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from Lancaster University, UK. His research interests span across various fields related to Human-Computer Interaction, Personal Information Management and the use of technologies in teaching and learning.

SACHI Seminar: Klen Čopič Pucihar – The Missing Interface: Micro Gestures on Objects for Augmented Reality Interaction

Event details

  • When: 12th April 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Format: Seminar

SACHI Seminar – The Missing Interface: Micro Gestures on Objects for Augmented Reality Interaction

Speaker: Klen Čopič Pucihar

Abstract:

Augmented reality technology can introduce digital elements to arbitrary objects. However, these objects were never designed to incorporate the digital component, hence do not provide the necessary interface. To overcome this limitation, AR Interaction systems add sensors to objects, use additional handheld hardware or perform hand and body tracking. These methods are not optimal for direct interaction with physical objects  because they:

  • require modification of existing objects,
  • require the the user to hold the controller in their hand,
  • are based on synthesis of captured RGB or RGB-D data streams imposing the following limitations: (i) gestures need to be performed within the view of the camera; (ii) the gestures include reasonable large hand or finger movements (e.g. pinching the fingers, blooming gesture of opening the palm; (iii) the hand performing gesture is not occluded (e.g. cannot detect gestures if performed whilst grasping an object).

In this talk Klen will look at alternative methods which try to overcome such limitations and make inconspicuous, precise and flexible object oriented interaction possible for both augmented and mediated reality applications.

Speaker Biography

Klen Čopič Pucihar is assistant professor at the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies at University of Primorska. Klen’s research vision is to look for new ways in which one could augmented, modify and mediate rich sources of visual, auditory and tactile stimuli that fabricate our everyday life experiences. The goal is to augment human abilities with new ways of using computational resources. This is important because the interface presents itself as the bottleneck between us humans and the benefit ever increasing computational resources could have on our everyday life. This makes the interfaces the core challenge for the future and the essence of Klen’s research which is currently mainly concentrated on augmented reality, mobile computing and human-computer interaction focusing on different perceptual issues that arise whilst interacting with various computer systems which lead to innovative user interface designs. Klen’s work was published as high ranked scientific publications and won him best poster award at ISMAR 2014.

Marwan Fayed (St Andrews): Quality of Experience Fairness for Adaptive Video Streams in the Network (School Seminar)

Event details

  • When: 17th April 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

“Why is my kid getting HD on their phone, while I’m stuck with SD on my 50″ TV?” This type of complaint is among the most common directed to streaming services such as Netflix and BBC. Recent studies observe that adaptive video streams, when competing behind a bottleneck link, generate flows that lead to instability, under-utilization, and unfairness. Additional measurements suggest there may also be a negative impact on users’ perceived quality of experience as a consequence. The intuitive response may be, and has been, that application-generated issues should be resolved by the application. In this presentation I shall demonstrate that fairness, by any definition, can only be solved in the network. Moreover, that in an increasingly HTTP-S world, some form of client interaction is required. In support, a new network-layer ‘QoE-fairness’ metric will be be introduced that reflects user experience. Experiments using our open-source implementation in the home environment reinforce the network-layer as the right place to attack the general problem.

Refs-

[1] http://dl.ifip.org/db/conf/networking/networking2015/1570066341.pdf
[2] https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2940144

Speaker Bio:
Marwan Fayed joined the University of St Andrews in 2018. He received his MA from Boston University and his PhD from the University of Ottawa, in 2003 and 2009 respectively, and in between worked at Microsoft as a member of the Core Reliability Group. In 2009 he joined the University of Stirling, UK as Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) Lecturer, alongside an appointment to ‘Theme Leader’ for networking research in Scotland, 2014-2016. His current research interests lie in wireless algorithms, as well as general network, transport, and measurement in next generation edge networks. He is a co-founder of HUBS C.i.C., an ISP focussed on rural communities, recipient of an IEEE best paper award, and a Senior Member of both the IEEE and ACM.