Back to normal

The School will be fully open as normal from around 0800 tomorrow, Thursday 14 February.  We’re running on generator power as a result of the weekend’s fire in Chemistry, but this will be sufficient to run all our lights, alarms, systems, and other equipment. There may need to be some restrictions in 24-hour lab access, but we’re hopeful that this won’t be necessary.

Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding, as well as to all the staff in the School and the wider University who’ve both minimised the disruption and got us back into operation so quickly.

 

Prof Simon Dobson
Head of School for Computer Science

Reduced service because of fire

As you may be aware, there was a fire over the weekend in the School of Chemistry. While this has not led to any physical damage in Computer Science, it has meant we’ve lost all power and access to our main Jack Cole building.

The School is still open and functioning as normally as possible. Classes are being relocated to other rooms in the University whenever possible. However, staff have no access to their offices (or phones), and we will be cancelling all non-essential meetings or events.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience. We expect to be back running again as normal by the end of the week. I’m happy to (try to) answer any questions you may have.

 

Prof Simon Dobson
Head of School for Computer Science

 

Paul-Olivier Dehaye: From Cambridge Analytica to the future of online services: a personal journey (School Seminar)

Event details

  • When: 19th March 2019 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

2018 was a crazy year for privacy. The General Data Protection Regulation came into force in May, and new revelations on the personal data ecosystem were making headlines on a weekly basis. I will give the behind the scenes for a lot of these events, question why they didn’t happen earlier, and offer some thoughts on the necessary future of online services. This will include a brief discussion of topics such as semantic alignment, interpretable machine learning, or new privacy-preserving data processing techniques.

Speaker Bio:

Paul-Olivier Dehaye is a mathematician by training. Affiliated to the University of Zurich as a SNSF Assistant Professor until 2016, his career then took a turn towards data protection activism and social entrepreneurship. He was the researcher on several news articles who have reached millions of readers (including many with Carole Cadwalladr), and testified in front of the UK and EU Parliaments on multiple occasions. He is on the board of MyData Global, has founded the NGO PersonalData.IO, and the project MyData Geneva.

Dr Juan Ye: Lifelong Learning in Human Activity Recognition

Dr Juan Ye will be running an online event for IEEE SMC (Systems, Man and Cybernetics Society) on Lifelong Learning. The technical seminar, designed to focus on future research trends in human activity recognition, will take place on Friday 1st February from 2.00pm – 3.00pm.


Seminar Details: Human activity recognition systems will be increasingly deployed in real-world environments and for longer periods of time. This significantly challenges current approaches to human activity recognition, which have to account for changes in activity routines, evolution of situations, and of sensing technologies. Driven by these challenges, this webinar will argue the need to move beyond learning to lifelong machine learning – with the ability to incrementally and continuously adapt to changes in the environment being learned. We will introduce a conceptual framework for lifelong machine learning to structure various relevant proposals in the area, and identify some key research challenges that remain.

Read more about the event and joining instructions through IEEE online.

Lauren Roberts & Peter Michalák (Newcastle): Automating the Placement of Time Series Models for IoT Healthcare Applications (School Seminar)

Event details

  • When: 26th February 2019 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

There has been a dramatic growth in the number and range of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors that generate healthcare data. These sensors stream high-dimensional time series data that must be analysed in order to provide the insights into medical conditions that can improve patient healthcare. This raises both statistical and computational challenges, including where to deploy the streaming data analytics, given that a typical healthcare IoT system will combine a highly diverse set of components with very varied computational characteristics, e.g. sensors, mobile phones and clouds. Different partitionings of the analytics across these components can dramatically affect key factors such as the battery life of the sensors, and the overall performance. In this work we describe a method for automatically partitioning stream processing across a set of components in order to optimise for a range of factors including sensor battery life and communications bandwidth. We illustrate this using our implementation of a statistical model predicting the glucose levels of type II diabetes patients in order to reduce the risk of hyperglycaemia.

Speaker Bios:

Lauren and Peter are final year PhD students at the CDT in Cloud Computing for Big Data at Newcastle University. Peter has a background in Computer Engineering from University of Žilina, Slovakia and a double-degree in Computer Software Engineering from JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland. His research interests are within distributed event processing, edge computing and Internet of Things with a special focus on energy and bandwidth constrains. Lauren has an MMath degree from Newcastle University and her research interests lie in statistical modelling of time series data.

Quintin Cutts (Glasgow): Re-imagining software engineering education through the apprenticeship lens (School Seminar)

Event details

  • When: 19th February 2019 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Abstract:

Apprenticeship degrees have sprung up so fast that there has been little time for us all to reflect on how this apparently new form of education, to universities at least, could significantly affect our educational offerings. The University of Glasgow has been undertaking some preparatory work for Skills Development Scotland prior to running its apprenticeship degree in software engineering, and this has afforded us some time to see what others nationally and internationally have been doing, and to consider relevant aspects of the literature, as well as consult with industry. One view that we are developing of these degrees is as a true evolution of typical, largely campus-based, software engineering degrees, towards a full-blown professional degree such as in medicine, where university and hospitals are in real partnership over the training of doctors. In this talk, I will outline our thinking and raise a number of issues for discussion. In suggesting a closer relationship with industry in a talk in St Andrews, I do not of course miss the irony that industry accreditation was never (I believe) something that St Andrews was particularly bothered about – thinking that my BSc (Hons) 1988 is not accredited!

***CANCELLED Lewis McMillan (St Andrews): Parallel Computer Simulations of Light-Tissue Interactions for Applications in Medicine, Cosmetics Industry and Biophotonics Research (School Seminar)***CANCELLED

Event details

  • When: 12th February 2019 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

UPDATE: This seminar has been CANCELLED.

Abstract:

Tissue ablation is a widely used treatment in both the cosmetic and medical sectors, for treating various diseases or to improve cosmetic outlooks. We present our tissue ablation model which can predict the depth of ablation, and the surrounding thermal damage caused by the laser during ablation.

“Non-diffracting” beams have a multitude of uses in physics, from optical manipulation to improved microscopy light sources. For the first time we show that these beams can be modelled using Monte Carlo radiation transport method. Allowing better insight into how these beams propagate in a turbid medium.

Both of these projects use the Monte Carlo radiation transport method (MCRT) to simulate light transport. The MCRT method is a powerful numerical method that can solve light transport though heavily scattering and absorbing mediums, such as biological tissues. The method is extremely flexible and can model arbitrary geometries and light sources. MCRT can also model the various micro-physics of the simulated medium, such as polarisation, fluorescence, and Raman scattering. This talk will give an overview of our group’s work, with particular focus on simulating tissue ablation, and modelling “non-diffracting” beams.

Speaker Bio:

Lewis McMillan is a final year physics PhD student at St Andrews University. His research interests are in using Monte Carlo radiation transport method for various applications within medicine and biophotonics.

Ian Gent (St Andrews): The Winnability of Klondike and Many Other Single-Player Card Games (School Seminar)

Event details

  • When: 5th February 2019 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

This is joint work with Charlie Blake.

Abstract:

The most famous single-player card game is ‘Klondike’, but our ignorance of its winnability percentage has been called “one of the embarrassments of applied mathematics”. Klondike is just one of many single-player card games, generically called ‘solitaire’ or ‘patience’ games, for which players have long wanted to know how likely a particular game is to be winnable for a random deal. A number of different games have been studied empirically in the academic literature and by non-academic enthusiasts.

Here we show that a single general purpose Artificial Intelligence program, called “Solvitaire”, can be used to determine the winnability percentage of approximately 30 different single-player card games with a 95% confidence interval of ± 0.1% or better. For example, we report the winnability of Klondike to within 0.10% (in the ‘thoughtful’ variant where the player knows the location of all cards). This is a 30-fold reduction in confidence interval, and almost all our results are either entirely new or represent significant improvements on previous knowledge.

Speaker Bio:

Ian Gent is professor of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews. His mother taught him to play patience and herself showed endless patience when he “helped” her by taking complete control of the game. A program to play a patience game was one of the programs he wrote on his 1982 Sinclair Spectrum now on the wall outside his office.