An Academic’s Observations from a Sabbatical at Google

Professor Adam Barker is featured in this month’s Communications of the ACM Magazine (CACM) discussing his recent Visiting Faculty appointment at Google. The Viewpoints article summarises his experiences working in software engineering on the Borgmaster team, and some of the core lessons which can be brought back to academia.

Borg is Google’s cluster management framework, which runs hundreds of thousands of jobs, across a number of clusters each with up to tens of thousands of machines.

National University of Singapore

Professor Aaron Quigley has been appointed a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Smart Systems Institute in the National University of Singapore. As part of his next sabbatical Aaron will spend 6 months in the Creating Unique Technology for Everyone (CUTE) centre in Singapore [Video]. He will be collaborating with researchers there on next generation interfaces, discreet computing and new forms of interaction. The research and lessons learnt will help advance the field of HCI and will be incorporated in future teaching and research here in St Andrews.

Science and Innovation mission to Japan

Sue Kinoshita, Minister Counsellor economic affairs and Professor Quigley

This week Professor Quigley joined a mission to Japan with other academics from the University of Oxford, Edinburgh, UCL and Manchester. The week long event was organised by the UK’s Science and Innovation team in Japan, part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Over five days the delegation visited and presented at seven companies along with three seminars and workshops. Across nine presentations Professor Quigley presented to hundreds of people and introduced some of the Human Computer Interaction research in SACHI, along with research from the AI research group. This mission has the goal to strengthen research collaboration and innovation partnership between the UK and Japan.

During his talks, Aaron provided examples from our engineering doctorate program, our MSc program, work on research interns, PhD students and academics from across Computer Science.

 

Sethu Vijayakumar, Edinburgh University, Sue Kinoshita, Minister Counsellor economic affairs, Professor Aaron Quigley, Seiichi Asano, Senior science Officer and Joesph Robertson, Science & Innovation Officer.

Griff Jones, First Secretary, science innovation & global challenges, Sethu Vijayakumar, Edinburgh University, Sue Kinoshita, Minister Counsellor economic affairs, Professor Aaron Quigley, Seiichi Asano, Senior science Officer and Joesph Robertson, Science & Innovation Officer.

Global Human Computer Interaction at World Usability Day Estonia

Professor Quigley will be a distinguished speaker at the World Usability Day in Tallinn, Estonia this November as part of the ACM DSP. Aaron was appointed to the Distinguished Speaker Program (DSP) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) earlier this year. The DSP brings together international thought leaders from academia, industry, and government.

In Estonia, Aaron will present a talk on Global Human Computer Interaction. This is the study of HCI when considering global challenges, languages, concerns, cultures and different economic drivers. This talk explores new technologies and the next generation of interfaces beyond the desktop, in a global context. The World Usability Day was founded by the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) and the theme for 2018 is “Design for Good or Evil”. It brings together UX professionals and the topics range from usability to user experience, and innovative technologies to studies in human computer interaction.

The next big thing or the next big gimmick?

Dr Tom Kelsey will be holding a panel discussion at Computing’s first ever Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Live conference on Monday 19th November in London. Through a variety of expert key-notes, end-user case studies, and panel discussions the conference will highlight key developments within AI.

Tom’s panel discussion: The next big thing or the next big gimmick?
Read more about the conference and programme of events at
http://events.computing.co.uk/computingai/programme

MSc Poster Demo Session 2018

After a year of hard work, and an intensive summer project, our MSc students submitted their final dissertation and presented their project posters and artefacts.

Last month’s busy poster demonstration session pictured below, provided a great opportunity for students to meet with second markers, reflect upon their MSc experience and appreciate the diverse projects completed by their peers.


We wish them all, every success with future plans, and look forward to seeing them again at December Graduation.

Images courtesy of Lisa Dow and Xu Zhu

Alumni visit School of Computer Science

A group of alumni who studied in the school over 20 years ago (graduating classes of 1994, 1995 and 1996) organised an informal reunion last month. During their stay in town they organised a visit to the school, where they sampled the school coffee, acquired a coveted CS mug and reminisced around the photo boards. The group were given an overview of the present day Computer Science at St Andrews and proceeded on a tour of the department with current Head of School, Simon Dobson, Professor Emeritus, Ron Morrison and Dave Munro.

Dr Roy Dyckhoff

Our friend and colleague Roy Dyckhoff died in hospital last month. He had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, which was being managed through blood transfusions. His death was however sudden and unexpected.

Roy was educated at Winchester College, before studying at King’s College, Cambridge. He undertook postgraduate study at New College, Oxford. He was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Pure Mathematics in St Andrews in 1975, moving to Computer Science in 1981.

Roy worked in logic and proof theory, having begun his career as a topologist and category theorist (for which one of his thesis advisors was Dana Scott). Much of his work concerned various aspects of intuitionistic logic, but he also contributed to work in programming languages, type theory, natural language processing, and model checking. He was also instrumental in changing the peal of the bells in St Salvator’s chapel, the college church of the University, which he frequently rang at graduations and other events, including the celebration of the 550th anniversary of the consecration of the chapel.

He had retired from St Andrews but retained an honorary position with us, and was a frequent visitor and seminar-goer until very recently. We’ll remember him as someone who was always ready to dive into deep mathematical or philosophical discussions, as well as being someone who could explain the essence of advanced mathematical concepts even to those with a lot less mathematical sophistication than he himself possessed. His engagement with the School and the wider academic community in Scotland and worldwide should have gone on for much longer than it did, and we’ll miss the conversations and interactions that we’ll no longer have with him.

Roy’s funeral will be held on Thursday 6 September at Kirkcaldy Crematorium at 11.45am, and plans are being developed for a Service of Thanksgiving at St Salvator’s Chapel later this year. There’s a card in the front office ready for his funeral later this week.

For those who’d like to mark his passing in some way, the family have suggested giving blood as a suitable marker. Alternatively, they are collecting for the Scottish Mountain Bothies Association, which was a charity he supported for many years.

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/roydyckhoff

DHSI Seminar Series

Event details

  • When: 17th August 2018 12:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Physics Bldg
  • Format: Seminar

The school of Physics & Astronomy (Room 222) are hosting our next Digital Health Seminar

12.00pm – Lunch
12.20pm – Isla Rose & Mary Barnard Ultraviolet Radiation, DNA damage, and sunscreen
12.50pm – Lewis McMillan Monte Carlo radiation transfer model of laser tissue ablation
1.20pm –   Nicole Schanche Planet candidate detection and ranking using MachineLearning
1.50pm –   General discussions

All welcome!

DHSI Flyer – Physics & Astronomy 17.8

Graduation Reception June 2018

Congratulations to our Senior Honours Class of 2018, MSci Honours students and our PhD students Dr Adam Barwell, Dr Martin McCaffery, Dr Gonzalo Mendez and Dr Long Thai, who graduated last month. Students were invited to a reception in the School prior to the ceremony, to celebrate their achievement with staff, friends and family.

Our graduates will 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.