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.


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.

Services to the Cloud

On June 27th Gordon Baxter and Derek Wang gave a presentation about their work on the SFC funded project “Creating High Value Cloud Services” at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s Business Growth Club.

Gordon talked about the lessons that have been learned so far from working closely with several Scottish SMEs who are adopting the cloud. Derek then gave a short demonstration of the web-based toolkit he has developed to analyse the potential costs and revenues associated with delivering a product or service through the cloud.

Find out more about the project on Services to the Cloud and The Cloudscape blog

CANCELLED Unikernels: Functional Library Operating Systems for the Cloud by Anil Madhavapeddy, University of Cambridge

Event details

  • When: 19th February 2013 14:30 - 15:30
  • Format: Seminar

(followed by tea/coffee and then informal gatherings at local venues)


Public compute clouds provide a flexible platform to host applications
as a set of appliances, e.g., web servers or databases. Each appliance
usually contains an OS kernel and userspace processes, within which
applications access resources via APIs such as POSIX.  The flexible
architecture of the cloud comes at a cost: the addition of another
layer in the already complex software stack. This reduces performance and
increases the size of the trusted computing base. Continue reading

Forthcoming talk by SICSA Distinguished Visitor

Event details

  • When: 7th September 2012 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar, Talk

Room 1.33a at 2:00 pm on Friday 7th September 2012

  • Introduction to Grammatical Formalisms for Natural Language Parsing
  • Giorgio Satta, Department of Information Engineering, University of Padua, Italy

In the field of natural language parsing, the syntax of natural languages is

modeled by means of formal grammars and automata. Sometimes these formalisms

are borrowed from the field of formal language theory and are adapted to the
task at hand, as in the case of context-free grammars and their lexicalized
versions, where each individual rule is specialized for one or more lexical
items. Sometimes these formalisms are newly developed, as in the case of
dependency grammars and tree adjoining grammars. In this talk, I will
briefly overview several of these models, discussing their mathematical
properties and their use in parsing of natural language.