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 →

This is a quick writeup of some work in progress that might never actually progress any further… so I thought I’d put it out here just in case it’s interesting to anyone. If you think of colour as computer people do, you probably think of it as red, green and blue values. In digital images, colours go from 0 to 255 in the red, green and blue channels, with 0,0,0 being black, and 255,255,255 being white. 255,0,0 is bright red. 255,255,0 is yellow. And so on. We can think of colour this way making up the colour cube: here’s a video I have put togetherRead 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 →

On Friday, we had a BCS Mid Wales show and tell. These are informal evening events where people who have cool projects come along and talk about them, and the BCS pays for free beer and pizza. They’re good fun, we’ve had about 5 of them now, and it doesn’t seem like we’re running out of projects. Indeed there are loads of cool things going on in and around Aberystwyth involving technology, coding, robots, and other stuff. The format of the evening is a set of short (5 minute) talks, then a break for pizza and walking around to look at stuff, then another setRead More →

In the last four weeks I’ve been to Gregynog Hall 3 times. Luckily for me it’s a beautiful place – a stately home in the middle of Powys, with superb gardens, and really nice cake. The first visit was with our first year students, who we take there every year for a team building weekend. The second visit was with our second year students who’re going out on industrial year. And the final visit was Monday and Tuesday of this week for a staff awayday. Here’s a picture of dawn mist over the fields in the grounds: I think it’s great that we take theRead More →

This summer, Amanda Clare and I won a small grant for teaching development. The idea was to use the stuff I teach (HTML5, JavaScript) to help students learn the stuff Amanda teaches (Mathematical concepts for computer scientists). We won just under £2k from the Aberystwyth University Learning and Teaching Enhancement fund, and we spent most of it on employing Mike Sheldon, a recent Aberystywth PhD graduate. I can thoroughly recommend working with Mike – he’s not only a good coder but he’s really quick at understanding problems, and imaginative at coming up with solutions. If we manage to get funding to extend the site, I’dRead More →

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging, where people write posts about women scientists who’ve inspired them. This is my fifth ALD post and it marks a departure in theme for me: all of my previous posts have been about computer scientists, and about people I’ve met. To start with I blogged about Sue Black, then Julie Greensmith, then Sarah Winmill, and last year ACS ladies, Aber Comp Sci’s group for women students. This year I’ve chosen to blog about a botanist who I’ve never met. (Indeed, I haven’t even read any of her original papers…). But I think that she’s a goodRead 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 made a first – somewhat crap – attempt at doing kite photography from the raspberry Pi today The basic setup involved a pi, a pi camera board, and one of those mobile phone charging things. The pi contained a script, which waits 2 minutes, then takes a photo every couple of seconds, set to begin when the pi boots up. All encased in the clear plastic box that some nectarines came in, padded out by some left over insulating foam from a lamiate floor. Not very hi tec or over engineered… The camera fits nicely inside, poking out of the hole. We first attachedRead More →