Summer School on Experimental Methodology in Computational Science Research

The purpose of this summer school is to bring together interested computer scientists and other researchers who work in the broadly-defined area of “computational science”, and to explore the state-of-the-art in methods and tools for enabling reproducible and “recomputable” research. Reproducibility is crucial to the scientific process; without it researchers cannot build on findings, or even verify these findings. The development and emergence of new tools, hardware and processing platforms means that reproducibility should be easier than ever before. But to do so, we also need to effect “a culture change that will integrate computational reproducibility into the research process”.

The school will be hands on, comprising lectures, tutorials and practical sessions in topics including statistical methods, using cloud computing services for conducting and sharing reproducible experiments, methods for publishing code and data, legal issues surrounding the publication and sharing of code and data, and generally the design of experiments with replication in mind. Speakers include academics from mathematics, computer science and law schools, and other researchers and industrial speakers from Figshare, Microsoft Azure, the Software Sustainability Institute and more. Practicals will include the replication of existing experiments and a “hackathon” to improve tools for replication. The aim of the school will be to create a report that will be published in arXiv by the end of the week, and in a suitable journal later on.

For more information and to register please visit our web site at

Event details

  • When: 4th August 2014 09:00 - 8th August 2014 17:00
  • Format: Summer School

Dr. Per Ola Kristensson awarded RSE/Makdougall Brisbane Medal

In recognition of academic excellence for his outstanding research work and entrepreneurialism Dr. Per Ola Kristensson is amongst the most outstanding academic talent documented by The Royal Society in their Royal Prizewinners list for 2014, announced today. The Prize was founded in 1855 by Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, for particular distinction in the promotion of scientific research.

In 2013 Per Ola Kristensson was named as one of the people most likely to change the world by the prestigious MIT Technology Review’s list of Innovators under 35. Described as visionary he appears at number 11 in IMPACT 100.


People like Per Ola Kristensson are the shapers of the future where social interaction and new technology are concerned.

His research interconnects human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence and machine learning allowing intelligent interactive systems to be developed, that enable people to be more creative, expressive and satisfied in their daily lives. Dr. Kristensson also works in the areas of multi-display systems, eye-tracking systems, and crowdsourcing and human computation.

He is a Lecturer in the School of Computer Science, a member of the SACHI research group and is also a Member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland.

Professor Aaron Quigley, Chair of HCI in the School of Computer Science responded:

We are all delighted at the rightful recognition of Per Ola and his world-leading achievements. Last year he was the only UK member of the TR35, the most prestigious annual list published by MIT Technology Review. And now the Royal Society of Edinburgh has recognised his research. Per Ola is an excellent colleague who brings real enthusiasm, insight and dedication to whatever he does. Be it supervising an honours student, teaching, leadership in SICSA or working with industry. His work in intelligent interactive systems is laying the ground work for how the world will interact with computation in the future.

2013 in Computer Science: A Year in Pictures

A Christmas Hog Roast in Computer Science

A Christmas Hog Roast in Computer Science

School merchandise increases in popularity

School merchandise increases in popularity

Good summer weather pays dividends in the School Garden

Good summer weather pays dividends in the School Garden

A round up of research activities, including some of the the SATCHI team testing out visibility, affordance and feedback for steering mechanisms in Dundee :)

A round up of research activities, including some of the SACHI group testing out visibility, affordance and feedback for steering mechanisms in Dundee 🙂

An opportunity to celebrate with our students at Graduation

An opportunity to celebrate with our students at Graduation

Posters, prizes and competitions through out the year

Posters, prizes and competitions throughout the year

Catching up with recent graduates, established alumni and great ambassadors for the School

Catching up with recent graduates, established alumni and great ambassadors for the School

Systems Seminar: Coupled Adaptive Complex Network, by Saray Shai, University of St Andrews


This talk presents the introduction and our early investigation on coupled adaptive complex networks. Generally an adaptive network is the network whose topology adapts and evolves with the dynamics of the network. At present, adaptive networks are ubiquitous across many disciplines, including technical distribution networks such as road networks and the internet; natural and biological networks; and social science networks. These networks are often interact with or depend upon other networks, resulting in coupled adaptive networks.

In this talk, we present our recent study of susceptible-infected-susceptible (SIS) epidemic dynamics on coupled adaptive networks, where susceptible nodes are able to avoid contact with infection by rewiring their intra-network connections. However, infected nodes can pass the disease through inter-network connections, which do not change with time: the dependencies between the coupled networks remain constant.

An analytical formalism is developed and validated using extensive numerical simulation. The experiment results show that the stability is increased with the increase in the number of inter-network links, in the sense that the range of parameters over which both endemic and healthy states coexist (both solution branches are stable) becomes smaller. Also we find a new stable solution branch that does not appear in the case of single adaptive network but only in the case of weakly coupled networks, in which the disease is endemic in one network but neither becomes endemic nor dies out in the other. Instead, it persists only at the nodes that are coupled to nodes in the other network through inter-network links.

Event details

  • When: 29th January 2013 13:00 - 14:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Format: Seminar

SICSA DEMOfest 2012

The Scottish Informatics & Computer Science Alliance in association with ScotlandIS hosted their 5th annual DEMOfest, a technology showcase of Scottish Universities Informatics and Computer Science on the 6th November.

The school had three posters at the DEMOfest. Derek and Gordon were promoting their work on the SFC funded Horizon Project “Services to the Cloud”, Masih’s poster was “On The Propagation of Network State Knowledge In Structured Peer-to-Peer Networks”, which forms part of his PhD, and Chris was talking about the work he’s been doing with Alex Voss on “Analysing Social Media”.

In addition, for the first time, workshops were included as part of the DemoFest. Gordon organised the first of these on the topic of Cloud Computing. The lunchtime workshop was aimed at software developers who are considering moving their product to the cloud, and comprised three invited speakers and an open panel Q&A/discussion session.
It was attended by 37 people from industry and academia, and is the first in a series of dissemination workshops being organised as part of the Services to the Cloud project.

Virtual Worlds Research: NuiLib & Armadilo

Exciting update on two pieces of software from the Open Virtual Worlds research group.

The first is NuiLib
(available at, a utility library for facilitating
development with NUI (Natural User Input) devices (such as the Microsoft

It puts an abstraction layer over the top of the NUI device to
hide the gory details of the original API and allows the developer to
focus on what they are trying to use the device for. It aims to ease
cross platform support, support for different devices, development and
experimentation with new NUI input parsing algorithms, integration of
new algirithms and code clarity.

The second is Armadillo.

This is a Virtual World client modified to support Kinect input. Users
can perform gestures to move their avatar through the world without having to interact with the computer itself. Helpful in museum or school installation

A video of Armadillo in action is available on the Open Virtual Worlds’ facebook timeline.
Kinect integration in Armadillo was achieved solely using NuiLib.

NuiLib has been featured on Microsoft’s Channel9 Coding for Fun blog
and by the DevelopKinect

Talks are underway to include Armadillo in an
educational pilot program across 38 schools in Ireland and as part of a
Virtual World performance art project.

Both projects were developed by John McCaffery. You can find him in Room 0.09 (Jack Cole Building).

If you are starting on a Kinect project and want
to look at NuiLib or would like to superman your way through the Open
Virtual Worlds group’s reconstruction
of St Andrews Cathedral
send him an email or pop in for a chat.

Virtual Worlds at Sensation

Weekend at Sensation

It’s been a busy weekend for the virtual worlds group. The reconstructed St Andrews Cathedral and other ongoing projects, were on display at Sensation in Dundee as part of the “Create and Inspire” initiative.

Friday involved organised school visits and Saturday and Sunday proved busy with members of the public entering the reconstruction to speak to Robert the Bruce and take a guided tour.

The visitors book recorded some great comments, extracts from this will be posted shortly, on the Virtual Worlds Blog.