On July 7th Aberystwyth University hosted the first summer conference for Women in Tech Cymru, a new group which looks to support and network women working in tech in Wales. We were lucky to get the Vice Chancellor of Aberystwyth University to come down and open the event and welcome everyone to the uni, and then we had a keynote from Phillipa Davies. I’m afraid I can’t say much about the keynote as I was out on the registration desk for that slot though. The event was an “Unconference“, which means that largely speaking the attendees made up the conference on the fly by pitchingRead More →

Last week I went to an EU project meeting in Perugia, with Wayne from Aberystwyth Computer Science, and Tomi & Tegid from Ysgol Bro Hyddgen. Here’s Tomi about to leave Wales (Tomi drove to the airport, making the travel for the four of us actually fairly cheap, given cheap flights Bristol to Pisa then a lengthy but fun train journey across Italy). The aim of the project is to develop fun, playful coding activities for use in schools. We’re building a platform (playfulcoding.eu) where we’ll share activities written at all the sites, aimed at schoolteachers and people doing outreach in schools. This meeting centered aroundRead More →

For International Women’s Day, the Athena Swan team at Aberystwyth put on a series of events over the course of the preceding week. I was off to London for a conference so helped organise an event on the Monday before jetsetting off to The Smoke (if you can call travelling via Arriva Trains Wales “jetsetting”). Thanks to all the speakers, to my co-organiser Carina Fearnley (who did most of the hard organisational work) and to Computer Science in Aberystwyth for sponsoring the evening (paying for amplification and tech setup). We had about 70 people there, I think, and there were a few more watching onRead More →

We went for a walk on the prom this morning, to assess the damage. Timing our walk to just miss high tide, things were still fairly hairy. Here’s a short (4 minutes) video I’ve cut together from clips on the way.

Yesterday was 5/12/13 – numbers which make up a Pythagorean triple – the sides of a right-angled triangle. A guy called Marco Matosic spotted this quirk of the date system and decided to put on an event at the Ceredigion museum, involving various people from around aber. During the day about 150 pupils from local schools came through to stroll around the exhibits and learn a bit about Pythagoras. I was there helping to run the computer installation, with Anne Marggraf-Turley from Coleg Ceredigion and Amanda Clare from aber uni (like me). Amanda and I setting up before the day began Our activity was basedRead More →

A couple of weeks ago I went to the second Machynlleth Raspberry Jam, and ended up being interviewed for Science Cafe on BBC Radio Wales. You can listen again at that link (for a bit). The program also includes my friend Tom Crick from Cardiff Met, who visited the raspberry pi factory; the bit with the Machynlleth Raspberry Jam is towards the end about 21:30 so you can skip to that bit if you want to. The Raspberry Jam was great fun, one of the highlights for me was winning an auction of a raspberry pi case, handmade by Robert (one of the Machynlleth RaspberryRead More →

On Monday we had the BCS Mid Wales AGM (fastest AGM in the west – all business dealt with well within the allotted 25 minutes), followed by an Alan Turing Centenary event. This year 2012 marks 100 years since Alan Turing’s birth, and all around the country there are events highlighting his life and work, indeed you can find a very long list on http://turingcentenary.eu/. So in BCS Mid Wales we decided to put on an evening of short (10 minute) and accessible talks on his work. Then we discovered that a friend had written a play about Turing, which is on at the ArtsRead More →

Last Wednesday BCS Mid Wales held our first “Show and Tell” event. This was the brainchild of Jonathan Roscoe and the basic idea was that people got an opportunity to show off and talk about their half-baked nerdy ideas and projects. These included a robotic glockenspiel… And an arduino driven robot tank… (this is Jonathan the organiser, BTW:) And a talk about the resurrection of the WWLUG (West Wales Linux User Group) complete with obligatory picture of you-know-who… About 60 people turned up, I think, which is really not bad going for west Wales. And the projects were all interesting – ranging from lots ofRead More →

Our solar panels were fitted at the end of the summer, and commissioned on August 30th, so we’ve had them for about four months now. We’re lucky – we got in when FIT payments were guaranteed at around 40p/KWH – so we’re expecting our 4KW system to pay for itself, when subsidies are taken into account, in about 9 years. So sometime in early 2021, if all goes according to plan, we’ll be raking in free electricity and free money (in the form of FIT payments), which is nice. What’s interesting to me is the way my behaviour’s changed. I’ve always been a bit ofRead More →

Finally got round to seeing a male voice choir last night. They weren’t exactly local, though. And they were a bit more energetic than the traditional Welsh version. In the Aberyswyth Arts Centre, the Great Hall is where they put the big acts. It’s got four sections which can be curtained off, and you can tell how popular an act is by how many of the curtains are open. I think this was the first time I’d seen all of the curtains open, and we were right up at the back on the left hand wing. We had a great view of the stage though,Read More →