School Seminar: Jason Alexander (Lancaster University) – What would you do if you could touch your data?

Event details

  • When: 29th November 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title:  What would you do if you could touch your data?

Abstract: Data Physicalizations are physical artefacts whose geometry or material properties encode data. They bring digital datasets previously locked behind 2D computer screens out into the physical world, enabling exploration, manipulation, and understanding using our rich tactile senses. My work explores the design and construction of dynamic data physicalizations, where users can interact with physical datasets that dynamically update. I will describe our data physicalization vision and show our progress on designing, building, and evaluating physicalizations and discuss the many exciting challenges faced by this emerging field.

Speaker biography:  Jason is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University. He has a BSc(Hons) and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and was previously a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Bristol. His research is broadly in Human-Computer Interaction, with a particular interest in developing novel interactive systems to bridge the physical-digital divide. His recent work focuses on the development of shape-changing interfaces—surfaces that can dynamically change their geometry based on digital content—and their application to data physicalization. He also has interests in digital fabrication and novel haptic interaction techniques.

SRG Seminar: “Large-Scale Hierarchical k-means for Heterogeneous Many-Core Supercomputers” by Teng Yu

Event details

  • When: 1st November 2018 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Seminar, Talk
We present a novel design and implementation of k-means clustering algorithm targeting supercomputers with heterogeneous many-core processors. This work introduces a multi-level parallel partition approach that not only partitions by dataflow and centroid, but also by dimension. Our multi-level ($nkd$) approach unlocks the potential of the hierarchical parallelism in the SW26010 heterogeneous many-core processor and the system architecture of the supercomputer.
Our design is able to process large-scale clustering problems with up to 196,608 dimensions and over 160,000 targeting centroids, while maintaining high performance and high scalability, significantly improving the capability of k-means over previous approaches. The evaluation shows our implementation achieves performance of less than 18 seconds per iteration for a large-scale clustering case with 196,608 data dimensions and 2,000 centroids by applying 4,096 nodes (1,064,496 cores) in parallel, making k-means a more feasible solution for complex scenarios.
This work is to be presented in the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (SC18).

SRG Seminar: “Using Metric Space Indexing for Complete and Efficient Record Linkage” by Özgür Akgün

Event details

  • When: 18th October 2018 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Seminar
Abstract
Record linkage is the process of identifying records that refer to the same real-world entities, in situations where entity identifiers are unavailable. Records are linked on the basis of similarity between common attributes, with every pair being classified as a link or non-link depending on their degree of similarity. Record linkage is usually performed in a three-step process: first groups of similar candidate records are identified using indexing, pairs within the same group are then compared in more detail, and finally classified. Even state-of-the-art indexing techniques, such as Locality Sensitive Hashing, have potential drawbacks. They may fail to group together some true matching records with high similarity. Conversely, they may group records with low similarity, leading to high computational overhead. We propose using metric space indexing to perform complete record linkage, which results in a parameter-free record linkage process combining indexing, comparison and classification into a single step delivering complete and efficient record linkage. Our experimental evaluation on real-world datasets from several domains shows that linkage using metric space indexing can yield better quality than current indexing techniques, with similar execution cost, without the need for domain knowledge or trial and error to configure the process.

SRG Seminar: “Efficient Cross-architecture Hardware Virtualisation” by Tom Spink

Event details

  • When: 11th October 2018 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: Systems Seminars Series
  • Format: Seminar, Talk

Virtualisation is a powerful tool used for the isolation, partitioning, and sharing of physical computing resources. Employed heavily in data centres, becoming increasingly popular in industrial settings, and used by home-users for running alternative operating systems, hardware virtualisation has seen a lot of attention from hardware and software developers over the last ten?fifteen years.

From the hardware side, this takes the form of so-called hardware assisted virtualisation, and appears in technologies such as Intel-VT, AMD-V and ARM Virtualization Extensions. However, most forms of hardware virtualisation are typically same-architecture virtualisation, where virtual versions of the host physical machine are created, providing very fast isolated instances of the physical machine, in which entire operating systems can be booted. But, there is a distinct lack of hardware support for cross-architecture virtualisation, where the guest machine architecture is different to the host.

I will talk about my research in this area, and describe the cross-architecture virtualisation hypervisor Captive that can boot unmodified guest operating systems, compiled for one architecture in the virtual machine of another.

I will talk about the challenges of full system simulation (such as memory, instruction, and device emulation), our approaches to this, and how we can efficiently map guest behaviour to host behaviour.

Finally, I will discuss our plans for open-sourcing the hypervisor, the work we are currently doing and what future work we have planned.

DHSI Seminar – Wednesday 17th October

Event details

  • When: 17th October 2018 12:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Gateway Bldg
  • Format: Seminar

Digital Health Science Interschool Seminar Series
Opportunity for collaboration and networking

The next seminar in the DHSI series will be held in Seminar room 6, Gateway building, North Haugh on Wednesday 17th October at 12.00pm

The lead contact in Computer Science is Dr Tom Kelsey.

The core values of the seminar series is to allow a learning environment that cross cuts traditional academic “silo” thinking. Therefore this seminar series will focus on maximising the critical mass present in the participating seven schools who are currently contributing in the science of digital health.

In order to allow innovative thinking and collaborative practice the themes of every seminar will focus on one chronic and relapsing health related condition and/or a technological theme with all schools. Contributors to these seminars are encouraged to present any aspect of digital science. This year we also have NHS Fife participating into this.

See DHSI Flyer below for more information on themes and further seminar dates.


School Seminar – Professor Anirudha Joshi: The story of Swarachakra – Cracking the puzzle of text input in Indian languages

Event details

  • When: 29th October 2018 15:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title: The story of Swarachakra – Cracking the puzzle of text input in Indian languages

Abstract: There was a time when text input in Indian languages was called a ‘puzzle’. People found it so difficult that became a barrier that prevented them from using most other technology products, from doing common tasks such as searching the web or saving a contact. As a result, Indians typed very little in their own languages. The Roman script (in which we write English) is an Alphabet. In contrast, a large majority of Indian scripts are Abugidas – a different type of scripts. In our lab, we were convinced that we need different solutions – what works for Alphabets may not work for Abugidas. Over the years we explored several designs. Our early solutions were for desktop computers. Later we developed concepts for the feature phones. We tried several creative ideas and made prototypes. We got interesting results in the lab. We published papers and case studies. But beyond that, we could not reach out and make a difference to the end-users. Then smartphones arrived, and quickly became popular. It became relatively easier to develop and deploy keyboards. Again, we tried several ideas. One solution stood out in comparison with others. We called it “Swarachakra”. Today, Swarachakra is available for 12 Indian languages and has been downloaded by about 4 million users. What was the problem, and how was it solved? And what challenges remain? Come to the talk to find out.

Speaker biography: Anirudha Joshi is professor in the interaction design stream in the IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay, India, though currently he is on a sabbatical, visiting universities in the UK. His specialises in design of interactive products for emergent users in developing economies. He has worked in diverse domains including healthcare, literacy, Indian language text input, banking, education, industrial equipment, and FMCG packaging. Anirudha also works in the area of integrating HCI activities with software engineering processes. He has developed process models, tools, and metrics to help HCI practitioners deliver a better user experience. Anirudha is active with HCI communities in India and outside. He has chaired in various roles in several conferences including India HCI, INTERACT and CHI. Since 2007, he represents India on IFIP TC13. He is the founding director of HCI Professionals Association of India since 2013. Since 2015 he is the Liaison for India for the ACM SIGCHI Asian Development Committee. Since 2016, he has been the VP Finance of the ACM SIGCHI Executive Committee. Anirudha has diverse backgrounds. He is a BTech (1989) in Electrical Engineering, an MDes (1992), in Visual Communication Design, and a PhD (2011) in Computer Science and Engineering, all from IIT Bombay.

Pascal Bruegger: Resident Monitoring System

Event details

  • When: 23rd October 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

The situation in hospitals, nursing homes and homes for patients suffering from mental illnesses is increasingly challenging. The medical staff and special educators are often responsible for a large (and growing) number of residents, for which there is only a very limited time for one-to-one care. The risk of not being able to respond promptly to problems increases with the number of residents per medical staff. Moreover, elderly people find challenging giving and up independence when moving into a nursing home. Overnight, they find themselves in a place where care activities are structured, and at fixed times, with little freedom. However, many of these people either need regular medical care or are unable to live independently. The risk of injuries, falls, loss of consciousness or simply not being able to manage their health (e.g. take medication) leads to the decision to place the person in a socio-medical environment.

To be able to monitor residents in a nonintrusive manner would provide a certain degree of independence, safety and well-being for the residents and also relieve some of the pressure on nurses and educators. The ideal monitoring system should in fact be an ecosystem that includes sensors that can localise and detect resident’s activities and collect physiological data, a way of sending regular updates about the situation of the residents they take care of medical staff and a central monitoring system for both residents and medical staff and a logic to decide the most appropriate available person to intervene in case of problems with a resident. We propose an exploration of solutions that blend new technologies with a respect for human relationships in the context of a nursing home. This is to be achieved through an intelligent environment that monitors a resident’s general well-being unobstrusively, meaning both the physiological state, the activity and the location of the person.

Speaker Bio:

Pascal Bruegger is a Professor in Computer Science at the School of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg – University of Applied Sciences, Western Switzerland since 2013. He is responsible of the mobile technologies and applications curriculum in his department. His PhD subject was the creation of a holistic framework to design and implement ubiquitous computing systems supporting user activity and situation. With the widespread availability of smartphones, tablets and smartwatches, his research interest is oriented toward smart environments integrating mobile technologies. His goal is to gather different user data through mobile sensors in order to propose context base systems helping users carrying out their daily activities. For two years, Pascal, with his background in biology, has focused his research in physiological data and activities. Experienced in humanitarian ICT, Pascal has work many years for the International Committee of the Red Cross and has made several long-term missions across Africa and Asia. He managed large scale IT infrastructures and organised training seminars for specialists in humanitarian ICT. He is also ICT specialist in the Swiss rescue team.

School Seminar – Professor Patrick Olivier – Digital Civics: Infrastructuring Participatory Citizenship

Event details

  • When: 18th October 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title:  Digital Civics: Infrastructuring Participatory Citizenship

Abstract:  Firstly, this is not technical talk, its a talk about a research initiative in “Digital Civics” that Open Lab is undertaking primarily with partners in the North East of England, but also nationally and internationally. Digital Civics proposes the use of digital technologies in the provision of relational models of public services, that is, models that take as a starting point the potential of digital technologies to support citizen-focused sharing of knowledge, experience and resources. By framing government as more than simply the provider of uniform and mechanistic services, digital civics aims to leverage technology to foster environments in which local agents (e.g. charities, local businesses, citizens) are able to solve problems together. Digital Civics research is inherently cross-disciplinary, action-oriented and place-based, and this requires us (as academic researchers) to configure ourselves differently to the communities with whom we conduct our research. In this talk I will be describing examples of our digital civics research, from applications in community engagement and education to public health and social justice, as well as the trajectory and pragmatics of the overall endeavour.

Speaker biography:  Patrick Olivier is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computing, Newcastle University, UK. He founded and leads Open Lab, Newcastle University’s centre for cross-disciplinary research in digital technologies. His research interests span interaction design, social computing and ubiquitous computing, particularly in public service and civic application contexts (education, public health and social justice). He is director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics (55 cross-disciplinary PhD students) and the EPSRC Digital Economy Research Centre (a multidisciplinary five-year project involving 25 postdocs).

Google scholar:

https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=CUu9heMAAAAJ

ORCID:

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2841-7580

Open Lab:

https://openlab.ncl.ac.uk/

Digital Civics:

https://digitalcivics.io/

Alexander Konovalov (St Andrews): How to teach basic research computing skills? (School Seminar)

Event details

  • When: 4th December 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

The Carpentries (https://carpentries.org/) is a global community of
volunteers which teach foundational coding and data science skills to researchers
worldwide through Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry
workshops. Being involved in the Carpentries since 2015, I organised and taught
at several workshops, developed new lessons, and trained new Carpentry instructors.
In my talk I will discuss the Carpentries pedagogical approach, and also consider
its applicability to teaching Computer Science students.