My last blog post was about a few CS-Women socials we’d held in Minecraft. These were pretty good fun, and after 3 events organised by the women students we decided to go large and organise one for the wider student body. Our first was held just before xmas: we had 8 teams of 3-4 + a team of 5 organisers; around 30 people in total. We held the second last night with 6 teams of 3-4 and 3 organisers. The general idea is inspired by the TV Show Taskmaster: set the players (in teams) a series of silly challenges, which they have to complete inRead More →

The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium was supposed to be in Stirling this year. As ever, we’d put a lot into it (visits, campus tours, looking around poster spaces and theatres, booking rooms, choosing lunches, block booking hotels, etc. etc.) but as the event grew nearer and the pandemic grew stronger we had to decide: cancel, or move online. Which is how we found ourselves organising the first virtual BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium with just 4 weeks’ notice. This was a big job and pulling it together took a lot of people. There are a few blog posts out there which deal with the conference as a wholeRead More →

At my work we use the VLE BlackBoard for supporting our teaching. Some of the things it does are pretty good, but hidden away: this blog is about one of those dusty BlackBoard corners. In the first year module I’m teaching on there are a lot of students and so managing practical sessions and sign-off became a bit of a worry for me. How can we ensure that all of the students have done the work, without having to mark the work, and without giving all the students the same assessment questions? (If we have the same questions for all students, the answers will percolateRead More →

The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium is a one-day conference for women undergrad and masters students in computing. The centrepiece of the day is a poster contest, and to enter the contest all students need do is write a short abstract (250 words). I started this conference, back in 2008, and run it every year in different universities around the UK. Last year we had just over 150 attendees, and this year we’re hoping to beat that. SO in March this year we’ll be at Sheffield Hallam Uni, with support from the University of Sheffield, and we’ve got a great speaker lineup coming together – I’ll probablyRead More →

For the last few months, my writing here has been slow, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. Actually, I’ve had articles published on a couple of other blogs, which probably have a slightly higher readership than this one… On computer weekly The BCSWomen Lovelace is a conference I set up and have been running for 7 years. This coming event has a super lineup, so I have done a post introducing our awesome speakers at the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium And a general overview of the colloquium which describes the background, and also why it is great. Still spaces (Reading Uni, April 16th, signRead More →

Last week we went out data collecting with my PhD student Max. Max is working on an airborne robot which can be used in navigation – floating above (say) a robot boat, and giving a top down view of surrounds. Out at Clarach bay, it was a bit misty. The plan was that I would play the role of the robot boat, whilst sat in the Aberystwyth University Robotics Group Kayak (yes it does exist) paddling back and forth. We’d then test the ability of the vision system to detect targets on the boat, and the control systems to do stuff with the motors. UnloadedRead More →

I’ve just left the 2nd International Workshop on Image Analysis methods for the plant sciences – it’s a fun little workshop which has been held in Nottingham for the last two years; I’m on the committee, and it’s quite specialised but also quite busy. The idea behind the workshop is to bring together people who work on image processing and machine vision, within the domain of plant science and plant imaging. There are quite a lot of us – normally tucked away in biology departments, or in computer science with lots of biology friends (like me). The range of talks was good, covering imaging inRead More →

We’ve had bees for about two years, and this week, we got our first honey. Roger decided which frames were full enough to bother extracting from, and we kept these inside and out of the way of the hives (the bees don’t like you stealing their honey). We borrowed a centrifuge for extracting the honey from the Aberystwyth Beekeepers Association and then it was a case of cleaning up the utility room, washing some jars, and getting on with it. The advice was that honey would go everywhere, but we didn’t have that much honey and it wasn’t really that messy in the end. TheRead More →

I’ve got two short reports to write for the exam boards, and then my teaching’s over for the summer. It’s been great fun, and I’ve learned a lot. But I’m ready to get on with some more research now. So here’s a pic of the books ready to back on the shelves – agents, semantic web, HTML5, JavaScript, Expression Blend… they’re going on the back burner for the summer whilst I finish off a couple of journal papers and a grant application or two.