Old French Bible Project

A project funded by the Undergraduate Research Assistant Scheme has successfully completed the first stage of interdisciplinary work, between the Institute of Mediaeval Studies and the School of Computer Science.  The long-term aim is to digitise and analyse early French bibles.

In this pilot project, undergraduate student Gregor Haywood, under the supervision of Prof. Clive Sneddon and Dr. Mark-Jan Nederhof, explored the feasibility of large-scale OCR technology for early printed text.  Scans from a French bible from 1543 were provided by the Special Collections of the University Library.  Much of the project consisted of iterations of automatic transcription, manual correction, retraining, and evaluation of accuracy.  In addition, problems were investigated that specifically arise from taking OCR technology designed for modern printed documents and applying it on early documents. Such problems include non-standard character sets, non-standard page layout, faded or smudged ink, and torn pages.

Despite of these problems, it was demonstrated that error rates below 3% are achievable, which paves the way for a continuation of these efforts.

Local Hack Day for STACS

Congratulation to our STACS community, on running another successful hack day earlier this month in conjunction with Major League Hackers The event hosted in the School looked like great fun and provides a great learning, building and socialising opportunity. Night bus tracker, CS story!, Crash alert, Game of phones, Notilife, Sports report and Bubble tree are just some of the resulting applications.

The students captured some great photos and a short video stream on their twitter account. The takeaway message appears to be that “hacking is a serious business”, but also great fun when it involves STACS. We look forward to hearing about the next event.

Images courtesy of Viktoriya Anisimova and STACS.

Computer Science supports UKIEPC 2015

The School hosted a local programming contest in conjunction with UKIEPC on Saturday. Students and staff are pictured tackling problem sets throughout the day. Results and contest standings can be viewed on the UKIEPC Scoreboard. Aetherstore who sponsored the 2014 event, once again offered their backing, we thank them for their continued support.




Images courtesy of Graham Kirby.

Computer Science 2015: Orientation and Welcome

After a busy week of induction and module talks, staff and students are pictured during orientation and welcome receptions. Undergraduate students were invited to a gaming session followed by pizza. It’s always rewarding to see so many students and staff welcoming our new 1st year students. Thanks to School president, Maria Kustikova for overseeing events.

Undergraduate gaming and pizza during orientation

Undergraduate gaming and pizza during orientation

Welcome receptions last Wednesday and Thursday evening for our MSc and Honours students, also proved popular and highlight the outstanding student community within the School.

MSc reception September 2015

MSc reception September 2015

Honours welcome reception 2015

Honours welcome reception 2015

Computer Science Interns Accelerate Impact

Congratulations to Computer Science Interns Gergely Flamich, Jack Cargill, Iveta Dulova, Tatiana Tay and Finlay Marno for designing a prize winning poster, and providing an excellent demonstration session at the recent EPSRC Impact Showcase held in the School of Medicine.

From left: Gergely, Jack, Iveta and Tatiana complete with winning poster.

From left: Gergely, Jack, Iveta and Tatiana complete with winning poster.


The research presented, focuses on biomedical data science by identifying, integrating and simulating data from both previous studies and current collaborations.

The EPSRC awarded Impact acceleration award (IAA) funding to The University of St Andrews to promote a step change in the delivery of knowledge exchange. There were more than 30 projects funded by the EPSRC. The recent showcase offered an opportunity for university staff and students to find out more about the projects via posters, exhibits and demonstrations.

“Love Learning” Video Competition Winner

Congratulations to James Montgomery, the overall video winner in “Love Learning” an annual competition run by UCAS and The Times.

James viewed the contest as an opportunity to express the passion that he has developed for computing during his first year of study in the School of Computer Science. We congratulated him earlier this week, and asked him to comment on the motivation and inspiration behind the video.

I was particularly inspired by lectures on abstraction levels, and discovering that sliced onion lends itself so well to animation was a deciding factor in choosing my subject matter. I’m delighted to have received the overall prize, and hope my video will encourage more people to consider pursuing computer science at university.

UCAS love learning seeks to inspire the next generation of students to study a related subject at university and encourages students to bottle their enthusiasm and distil it into a winning formula.

Very, well done to James. You can view his winning video along with other entries on the competition results website.

St Andrews Programming Competition 2014


The St Andrews Programming Competition 2014 is a friendly programming contest organised by the School of Computer Science for students belonging to all levels, coming from any background with any amount of programming experience. Team up with up to 3 members per team, compete for 3 hours by solving a set of programming problems using your favourite programming language and win £200 worth of prizes.

Generally, programming competitions are aimed at the best programmers, this is a first-of-its-kind competition where students from all levels with any amount of programming experience stand a chance to win a prize. Another unique aspect of this competition is that it has also open to members of staff from the School of Computer Science, making this a fun experience and a bonding opportunity for staff and students.

Students can use this opportunity gain valuable exposure to solving quick algorithmic programming questions – of the style that may come up in job interviews, where candidates are required to solve problems on the fly while being observed. Such interview practices are common among many companies nowadays including Google.

For more details and registration visit: http://goo.gl/I78Hyf
Facebook: www.facebook.com/stapc14
Twitter: @stapc14

If you have any questions, please email Shyam on smr20@st-andrews.ac.uk

The event, prizes and refreshments will be sponsored by AetherStore.

AetherStore_square color logo jpg

Event details

  • When: 7th April 2014 14:00 - 17:00
  • Where: Cole 0.35 - Subhons Lab

Computer Science Orientation Week 2013

After a welcome talk by Head of School Steve Linton, orientation 2013 is underway in the School. Monday and Tuesday offered various overviews, module talks and academic briefings. Anyone who missed these events will find related material on the School Homepage.

School President James Anderson represented the School at Academic Fayre. Student activity was observed in the honours lab and that’s before the official start of semester. We are particularly pleased to welcome the first intake of Gateway students.


A Gaming afternoon for first year students proved popular on Wednesday with Halo, Fifa and Lego Star Wars in operation. An undergraduate pizza fest followed later in the afternoon with an excellent turn out demonstrating the friendly supportive nature of our returning cohort. It’s great to see them back for another year of hard work.



The student experience is paramount here in the school, so we take this opportunity to thank our recent graduates for the NSS 2013 results, where they rated individual subjects for student satisfaction. St Andrews was number one in the UK for Computer Science. We aim to keep it that way.

Orientation Week BBQ

It was great to see so many undergraduate computer science students at the Orientation Barbecue yesterday. New and returning students had the opportunity to discuss the merits of studying computer science, eat burgers and consume the traditional Irn Bru in a friendly setting.

The Gaming/Programming Competition winners also received their prize in the form of Amazon vouchers. Congratulations to Maclej, Simon and Daniel.