Gala Malbasic: Young Software Engineer of the Year 2017

Congratulations to Gala Malbasic who won Young Software Engineer of the Year 2017. The awards organised by ScotlandIS were presented at the ScotSoft Awards Dinner yesterday evening. The Young Software Engineer of the Year awards are awarded to the best undergraduate software projects from students studying computer science and software engineering in Scotland.

Gala’s project, Leap Up: The Keyboard Renaissance, set out to to make keyboard interaction faster and less complicated and involved creating a hardware prototype, using software to ensure optimal sensor performance and implemented a large gesture set for use within the system prototype. The final year project was supervised by Professor Aaron Quigley.

Judged against the level of innovation planning & organisation, technical difficulty, commercial and/or social relevance, quality of engineering quality of presentation and level of knowledge & previous research, Judges considered Gala’s project to be exceptional.

As overall winner, Gala received a cheque for £2500 from Sopra Steria, and a trophy from ScotlandIS.

Watch Gala describing her project on YouTube.

Read more about the awards at FutureScot: Women sweep the board at Scottish software engineering awards

Photos courtesy of Aaron Quigley.

Gala Malbasic: Finalist in Scottish Software Engineer of the Year

Congratulations to St Andrews student Gala Malbasic, who has been selected as one of the finalists in the Young Software Engineer of the Year Award 2017.

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

Gala graduated in Computer Science from St Andrews earlier this year, her Major Software Project – Leap Up: The New Keyboard Renaissance, incorporated novel uses of the Leap Motion sensor and was supervised by Professor Aaron Quigley.

Previous finalists and prize winners have included,
Simone Ivan Conte, Sam Elliott,Thomas Grimes, Alistair Scott, Craig Paul, Angus MacDonald, Ben Catherall and Graeme Bell. The number of finalists is further testament to the quality of talented students graduating from the School of Computer Science at St Andrews.

The winners of this year’s award will be announced on 5th October 2017!

Lost in Translation: Academia to Industry

The School of Computer Science welcomed back three alumni to give keynote talks at our lost in translation event earlier this week. The well-attended and informative event organised by Professor Aaron Quigley, afforded current PhD students and early researchers in computer science an exclusive opportunity to hear from previous students about their transition from academia to industry.

Talks chaired by Dr Ognjen Arandelovic, highlighted the challenges and opportunities faced during their PhD journey but without doubt strengthened the concept of transferable skills provided by postgraduate study and research activities. Presentations incorporated research skills, internships, analytical ability, teamwork, the value of teaching and tutoring responsibilities, designing the CS merchandise, communication skills, the flexibility of research areas and the importance of social activities.

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Breakout sessions permitted small group discussions with each of our alumni, where they conveyed different experiences of research activities in the school, and their on-going experience of working within industry and within a recent start up. We are extremely proud of our alumni and thank them for their continued contribution to scheduled events, and for being fantastic ambassadors for Computer Science at St Andrews. You can read Neil’s “moving from academia to industry” blog post for his personal journey and reflection.

Alumni Keynote Speakers:
James Smith, Google, London.
Angus Macdonald, Aetherworks, New York.
Neil Moore, Adobe, Edinburgh.

Invited Guest:
Polly Purvis, CEO of ScotlandIS.

The event was funded by SICSA, The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance.

Simone Conte: Lockheed Martin Software Engineer of 2014

Yesterday evening, in front of a crowd of about 750 people (as part of ScotSoft, the largest yearly Software and IT meeting in Scotland), one of our School graduates received the Lockheed Martin Software Engineering Award, for an outstanding project demonstrating excellent software engineering skills.

Simone Conte receiving award from Scotland IS chair of the Board - Robert Campbell

Simone Conte receiving award from Scotland IS chair of the Board – Robert Campbell

Simone was awarded this prestigious award for his Senior Honours project, which involved the design, construction and implementation of a haptic device for people with visual disabilities. The project was chosen among the final undergraduate projects of all Scottish Computer Science departments, and has been awarded for the last 25 years by Scotland IS. The selection panel includes senior software engineers and CEOs of top companies in Scotland and beyond, including Amazon, SmarterGrid, Microsoft, RBS, Chevron, Scottish Life, Skyscanner and, of course, Lockheed Martin.

An early version of the HaptiQ

An early version of the HaptiQ

The prize consists of a trophy and a check. Other awardees from the night include Blair Archibald from the University of Glasgow, Andrews White from Strathclyde and Heather Ellis from Dundee.