PhD viva success: Michael Pitcher

Congratulations to Michael Pitcher, who successfully defended his thesis today. He is pictured with Dr Ruth Bowness, Internal examiner Prof Tom Kelsey, external examiner Professor Marc Lipman from University College London and Supervisor Prof Simon Dobson. Michael’s thesis was co-supervised by Prof Stephen Gillespie from the School of Medicine.

Computer donation to United Kingdom Jarra Association (UKJA)

The School received the following letter of appreciation from UKJA for a recent donation of computers and IT equipment.

Dear Sir,
I am writing on behalf of The United Kingdom Jarra Association (UKJA) to thank the prestigious School of Computer Science of The University of St Andrews for their recent donation of Computers to our Association. We hereby thank Dr Stuart Nacroos, the entire Systems team and Sheriffo Ceesay (a native of Jarra and current Computer Science PhD Student at your reputable institution) for facilitating this donation. The team also devoted their time to assist in moving the items securely for collection last Saturday – we are very grateful.

The UKJA was formed by Gambians resident in the UK in August 2015 and attained full charitable status in May 2017 with number 1173058. Our aim is to support development initiatives of Jarra in rural Gambia – Jarra comprises Jarra West, Jarra Central and Jarra East where we hail from. We aim to do this through the promotion of education, health and Poverty alleviation.

In the area of education, our focus is on STEM related subjects. ​The association believes that every child deserves a better learning environment to assist them reach their maximum potential and fulfil their dreams irrespective of their background. The association, cognisant of the above challenges conceived the “Educate Jarra” programme. At the core of this intervention is Science, Technology, English and Mathematics with physics, Chemistry, Biology.

Two years ago, the charity, in partnership with Islamic Cooperation for Development (ICO) based in Jeddah Saudi Arabia established our first Science and Computer Laboratory in Soma also in Jarra. In 2019, we expanded our intervention to Bureng where the construction of a new science and computer laboratory is now complete. The donated equipment will directly be used to equip Bureng.

Your intervention arrived at a time when we are vigorously raising the required funds to furnish the facility. Use the link below for further information about our ongoing fundraising: https://www.gofundme.com/f/better-educational-facilities-for-kids-in-jarra?utm_source= whatsApp&utm_medium=chat&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet​. We will also donate some of the computers to the region’s Senior Secondary School and other secondary schools that have access to electricity. We acknowledge the importance of computers and technology in the modern world and our goal is to nurture and prepare the younger generation to be challengers of the future by producing Scientists, Doctors and engineers through the education programme.

In the area of health, the UKJA currently supports the Soma Referral Hospital’s maternity unit. In partnership with FAR – an oil company working in The Gambia – in 2018 we embarked on a project to improve conditions of service at the maternity unit of the hospital. Through this we have been able to expand capacity of the labour ward and provided equipment including those for the operating theatre. Some of the computers received will be donated to this hospital as a step to digitalise the hospital and help improve patient management system. The importance of electronic health information system in the era of technology cannot be overemphasised. Record keeping in The Gambia has always been approached in the traditional. These computers will change that trend in Soma.

With this brief, you will be convinced that your donation will be put to good through the UKJA. Therefore, as a charitable institution, we are always looking for possible collaboration in the aforementioned areas with the aim to help improve our communities. We look forward to continuously working with your reputable institution in the best interest of our community.

Please be assured of our highest consideration.

Sulayman A. Bah
Secretary General

United Kingdom Jarra Association (UKJA) is a registered Charity in England and Wales. Registered number 1173058

December Graduation Reception: Tuesday 3rd December

The School of Computer Science will host a graduation reception on Tuesday 3rd December in the Jack Cole building, between 12.00 and 14.00. Graduating students and their guests are invited to the School to celebrate with a glass of bubbly and a cream cake. Computer Science degrees will be conferred in a morning ceremony in the Younger Hall. Family and friends who can’t make it on the day can watch a live broadcast of graduation. Graduation receptions have been held in the school from 2010.

Donald Robertson awarded Brendan Murphy Prize at MSN/Cosener’s 2019!

Each year in July, the (broadly-defined) computer networking community converges at Cosener’s House for the MSN workshop. The workshop is an informal gathering where attendees – students in particular – are encouraged to present on-going work and/or crazy ideas. From among the  presentations, the Brendan Murphy Award is given to the best student presentation, generally for work that has yet to be scrutinized or peer-reviewed.

Congratulations to Donald Robertson who, this year, has brought that honour to St Andrews as co-recipient of the award (alongside Naomi Arnold from QMUL).

http://coseners.net/history/brendan-murphy-prize/

(In the interest of transparency, Marwan Fayed was on the judging panel but recused himself during discussion of Donald’s presentation.)

The Melville Trust for the Care and Cure of Cancer PhD award

The Melville Trust for the Care and Cure of Cancer have funded a PGR Studentship relative to the project entitled ‘Detecting high-risk smokers in Primary Care Electronic Health Records: An automatic classification, data extraction and predictive modelling approach’.

The supervisors are Prof. Frank Sullivan of the School of Medicine and Prof. Tom Kelsey of the School of Computer Science, with work commencing in September 2019. The award is for £83,875.

St Andrews Bioinformatics Workshop 10/06/19

Event details

  • When: 10th June 2019 14:00 - 17:00
  • Format: Lecture, Talk, Workshop

Next Monday is the annual St Andrews Bioinformatics workshop in Seminar Room 1, School of Medicine. Some of the presentations are very relevant to Computer Science, and all should be interesting. More information below:

Agenda:

14:00  – 14:15: Valeria MontanoThe PreNeolithic evolutionary history of human genetic resistance to Plasmodium falciparum

14:15 – 14:30: Chloe Hequet: Estimation of Polygenic Risk with Machine Learning

14:30 – 14:45: Roopam Gupta: Label-free optical hemogram of granulocytes enhanced by artificial neural networks

15:00 – 15:15: Damilola Oresegun: Nanopore: Research; then, now and the future

15:15 – 15:30: Xiao Zhang: Functional and population genomics of extremely rapid evolution in Hawaiian crickets

15:30 – 16:00: Networking with refreshments

16:00 – 17:00: Chris Ponting: The power of One: Single variants, single factors, single cells

You can register your interest in attending here.