Watch some video, win a Netflix or Amazon voucher

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Tell us what you think of our videos and you could win a £20 Netflix or Amazon voucher!

You will be asked to watch and assess the video quality of four 1-minute online video clips, as well as complete a short questionnaire related to your regular video usage and your energy-saving awareness and preferences. Your participation should take around 20 to 30 minutes.

Optionally, you will be entered into a prize draw for a £20 Netflix or Amazon voucher.

You must be 18 years or over.

Please contact Oche Ejembi <ooe@st-andrews.ac.uk>

UTREC approval code: CS12016

Contact Details

Researcher: Oche Ejembi
email: ooe@st-andrews.ac.uk

Supervisor: Prof. Saleem Bhatti
email: saleem@st-andrews.ac.uk

 

Distinguished Lecture Series: Reminder of next event – ‘CS for All’ by President Maria Klawe

Event details

  • When: 31st March 2016 09:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Byre Theatre
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series
  • Format: Distinguished lecture

Reminder that President Maria Klawe will be speaking at our Distinguished Lecture Series on March 31st 2016 in St Andrews.KlaweMaria

During this event Maria  will discuss the challenges in CS for all, including CS education in K-12, computing for all in undergraduate education, and CS research aimed at people with accessibility challenges and creating educational and research opportunities around the applications of computational technologies in almost every discipline and economic sector.

Programme of events:

  • 09:00 – 09:30
    • Introduction: By Professor Aaron Quigley
  • 09:30 – 10:30
    • Lecture 1: Computing for all in K-12 education
  • 10:30 – 11:00
    • Coffee Break: Refreshments served in foyer
  • 11:00 – 12:00
    • Lecture 2: Computing for all in undergraduate education
  • 12:00 – 14:00
    • Lunch Break: Free time
  • 14:00 – 15:00
    • Lecture 3: Computing for all in research
  • 15:00 – 15:30
    • Q & A: Open forum in the auditorium
  • 15:30 – 16:00
    • Informal time with Speaker: In the foyer

Laidlaw Undergraduate Internships

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme in Research and Leadership 2016

The Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme in Research and Leadership is an exciting opportunity which aims to equip students with the skills and values to become leaders in their chosen occupations beyond University.

Students will design, pursue and report on a research question with an academic in their School during the summer vacation in 2016. In addition, they will complete two bespoke Leadership training weekends facilitated by CAPOD.

The summer project should last between 8-10 weeks for which interns will paid a weekly stipend of £400. All elements of the programme are compulsory including the Leadership weekends.

This award is open to matriculated undergraduate students in their penultimate year of study.

Please see the Laidlaw webpage for more information. http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/involve/laidlaw/

Closing Date 30th November 2015

Distinguished Lecture: ‘Scalability and Fault-tolerance, are they the same?’ by Joe Armstrong

Event details

  • When: 16th November 2015 09:15 - 15:30
  • Where: Byre Theatre
  • Series: Distinguished Lectures Series
  • Format: Distinguished lecture

The first of this academic year’s distinguished lectures will be given by Professor Joe Armstrong, co-inventor of Erlang, on Monday 16th November 2015 at The Byre Theatre.Joe Armstrong

Abstract:

To build a scalable system the important thing is to make small isolated independent units. To scale up we just add more units. To build a fault-tolerant system the important thing to do is make small isolated independent units…. Does that sound familiar? Haven’t I seen that somewhere before? Oh yes, in the first paragraph! So maybe scalability and fault tolerance are really different names for the same thing.

This property of systems, namely that fault-tolerant systems were also scalable, was noticed years ago, notably in the design of the Tandem computer system. The Tandem was design for fault tolerance but rapidly became a leading supplier of scalable computer platforms. Thus it was with Erlang.

Erlang followed  a lot of the Tandem design, it was built for fault-tolerance but some of the most successful applications  (such as WhatsApp) use it for its scalability.

In this lecture I’ll talk about the intimate relationship between scalability and fault-tolerance and why they are architecturally the same thing.

I’ll talk about the design of Erlang and why scalable systems have to be built on non-shared memory abstractions.

Bio:

Joe Armstrong has been programming since 1967. He invented the programming language Erlang. He has worked as a programmer, founded a few successful companies and written a few books. He has a PHD in Computer Science from KTH. He is currently Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Lockheed Martin Award

Congratulations to our recent graduate Sam Elliott, who has won the Lockheed Martin Award SIS-0518for  Best Engineered Project at the Young Software Engineer awards.

The Young Software Engineer of the Year Awards are given for the best undergraduate software projects drawn from across all students studying computer science and software engineering in Scotland.

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Sam’s project, “A Concurrency System for Idris and Erlang”, takes an important step towards addressing the problem of writing large scale software, coordinated across several concurrently running machines, possibly distributed throughout the world. Writing such software is notoriously difficult because not only  do programmers need to think about the progress of a an individual task, they also need to think about how data is communicated between each task.

 

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The project combines Idris, a new programming language developed at the University of St Andrews, with Erlang, a programming language specifically designed for building robust distributed systems, and contributes a new system for running concurrent programs, with guaranteed behaviour, in a robust, industrial strength concurrent environment.

 

A highly commended project

Congratulations to our recent graduate Aleksejs Sazonovs, who’s won a Highly Commended place at this year’s Undergraduate Awards.

The Undergraduate Awards are an international and cross-disciplinary prize that aims to recognise highly creative individuals at undergraduate level. Typically this is demonstrated through excellent project work, and Aleks’ project on “A metapopulation model for predicting the success of genetic control measures for malaria” was ranked in the top 10% of submissions in the computer science category.

Aleks’ project used techniques from network science to explore what happens when mosquitoes modified to be unable to carry the malaria parasite are introduced into a wild population. Experiments like these are an essential precursor to any actual field trials. Together with supervisors from the School of Computer Science (Prof Simon Dobson) and School of Biology (Prof Oscar Gaggiotti), Aleks simulated malarial outbreaks involving different mosquito populations. He used a real geography for his experiments, taking the road network of Sierra Leone from the Open Street Map project and using this to build models of human and mosquito distributions and movement. “It’s been exciting to combine real network data with large-scale simulations,” said Prof Dobson. “It also opens-up several ideas for how to make models like this easier to build and interact with, so they could be used by experimental scientists directly and not just by computer scientists.”

The commendation comes with an invitation to all the highly commended individuals to the awards dinner in Dublin later this month, where the overall winners of the different categories will be announced.

Staff and Students with Dr Vint Cerf

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Dr Vint Cerf with staff and new CS PhD graduates

On July 24th, Dr Vinton Cerf was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, by the University of St Andrews. Dr. Vint Cerf, a founding father of the Internet, graduated alongside our new PhD and Honours graduates. In his Laureation address, Professor Saleem Bhatti highlighted to the audience that, “The internet is mankind’s largest and most complex creation. It spans national boundaries and puts global communication at the fingertips of the world’s citizens. It is, in today’s world, difficult to imagine life without the information and many services that are available to us all through the internet. However, it is an invention of our time.”

This graduation ceremony was a memorable day for both staff and students and presented each person the opportunity to reflect on their own research experiences here in the University of St Andrews. Reflecting on our “Internet @ 100symposium earlier in the week, Professor Bhatti concluded by noting that, “Easy and accessible internet communication is also seen as an empowering service for the citizens of the world“.

We wish all of our new graduates, all the best for the future.

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Dr Vint Cerf with staff and new CS PhD and Honours graduates

April in Computer Science: Poster Presentations and World Domination

The Senior Honours students presented their posters and final year software artifacts to staff and students last week. The best poster accolade and associated amazon voucher was presented to Callum Hyland for his poster – Android: Smoking Cessation, behavioural pattern prediction through spatial and temporal modelling. We wish them well with exam revision and look forward to seeing them at June graduation.

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The Junior Honours students finalised their team projects last Friday and competed for world domination. This year the project involved implementing a multi-player peer-to-peer world domination game, with AI. We await news of which team dominated the CS world for a time on Friday.

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Images courtesy of Lisa Dow and Simone Conte

School Seminars: Building the News Search Engine – Bloomberg

Event details

  • When: 3rd March 2015 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33
  • Series: CS Colloquia Series, School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar, Talk
Building the news search engine, by Ramkumar Aiyengar, Bloomberg
Abstract:
This talk provides an insight into the challenges involved in providing near real-time news search to Bloomberg customers. Our News team is in the process of migrating to using Solr/Lucene as its search and alerting backend. This talk starts with a picture of what’s involved in building such a backend, then delves into what makes up a search engine, and then discusses the challenges of scaling up for low-latency and high-load.
Bio:
Ramkumar leads the News Search backend team at the Bloomberg R&D office in London. He joined Bloomberg from his university in India and has been with the News R&D team for 7 years now. For the last couple of years, his team has focussed on rewriting almost the entire search/alert backend, used by almost every Bloomberg user to get near-real time access to news with sub-second latencies. A geek at heart, he considers himself a Linux evangelist, an open source enthusiast, and one of those weird creatures who believes that Emacs is an operating system and had once got his music player and playlists to be controlled through a library written in Lisp.