Computer Science News Archive

Bug-finding MaJiCKe finds a home at Facebook

The UCL Computer Science team behind spinout software testing technology MaJiCKe are moving on to work with Facebook in London. The technology uses the academic field of Search Based Software Engineering to remove ‘much of the drudgery’ of testing software, while still finding bugs.

The company’s three co-founders Prof Mark Harman (Scientific Advisor), Dr Yue Jia (CEO), and Ke Mao (CTO) are members of UCL Computer Science's Centre for Research on Evolution, Search and Testing (CREST) and are currently partly funded by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Prof Harman co... [more]

UCL students learn state-of-the-art AI in DeepMind partnership

DeepMind is known internationally as a leader in an area of computer science called machine learning.  Now senior DeepMind staff are joining forces with UCL’s Department of Computer Science to share their knowledge by delivering a state-of-the-art Master’s level training module called Advanced Topics in Machine Learning.

This new module will provide a key component of UCL’s Machine Learning Master’s programmes and will cover some of the most sophisticated topics in artificial intelligence.  The first of these lectures will take place in January 2017.

The course focuses on deep learning and rei... [more]

UCL Media Futures Group discovers Star Wars bots on Twitter

A team from the UCL Media Furures Group, led by Shi Zhou has discovered a Twitter botnet – which they think could comprise more than 350,000 accounts – that has tweeted thousands of random quotations from Star Wars novels. Shi Zhou and his research student Juan Echeverria Guzman accidentally stumbled upon the botnet after taking a random sample of 1 per cent of Twitter users. When plotted on a map, a strange pattern appeared. More than 3000 of them were within two oddly uniform rectangles: one roughly covering Europe and North Africa and one over North America.

The researchers used these 3000... [more]

UCLIC featured in IET Partners Magazine

UCL's Interaction Centre (UCLIC) is featured in the IET's latest Partner Magazine.

Digital Coding: the next big thing beyond coding looks at the new approach to learning, which brings together disparate aspects of computer science, cognition, design and everyday life to provoke curiosity, deep learning and creativity.

It was developed by an interdisciplinary team from UCL Computer Science at UCLIC, led by Prof Yvonne Rogers together with Dr Nic Marquardt, Dr Venus Shum, Dr Rose Johnson and Susan Lechelt (pictured). The team has produced ed an extensive, tangible computing toolkit called Mag... [more]

UCLU TechSoc hosts Porticode

On the 10–11th December, UCLU Tech Soc held its very own Hackathon called Porticode. The workshops and beginner focus meant that UCL welcomed 65% first-time hacker! A total of 120 attendees, 5 winners, 24 hours?—?the hacks that were produced were incredible.

Emily Mears, Tech Soc Vice President, has blogged about Porticode – see below:

"It’s 5am on Sunday morning in the South Cloisters, and I’ve just finished my first can of Monster. In front of me 20 or so students sit at tables, their faces lit by the screens in front of them, with discarded wrappers and water bottles acting as the only proo... [more]

Machine learning to help with searches for concealed weapons

A sample of shipping containers passing through the Port of Rotterdam is X-rayed. The resulting images are inspected by humans who search for anything suspicious - weapons for example. However, the process is time-consuming, so only a small fraction can be sampled.

The Computational Security Science (COMPASS) group at University College London (UCL), led by Lewis Griffin, may soon speed up the process by employing artificial intelligence. Dr Griffin is being sponsored by Rapiscan, who make the X-ray machines, to create software that uses machine-learning techniques to scan the x-ray images. T... [more]

UCL ranked 1st from London universities in NWERC

This year UCL has prepared and sent 3 teams to the NWERC (Northwestern Europe Regional Contest) part of ACM programming competition which was held in Bath on 20th November 2016.

During the contest, the teams consisting of three students had 11 algorithmic problems to solve. They must submit solutions as programs in C, C++, Java or Python (although it is not guaranteed every problem is solvable in Python). Programs are then run on test data. If a program fails to give a correct answer, the team is notified and can submit another program.

The winner is the team which correctly solves most proble... [more]

UCL receives Google grant towards automated fact-checking

Google has given €150,000 to three UK organisations, including UCL, who are working on fact-checking projects to help journalists and the public avoid falling for fake stories and bogus claims.

The funding announcement comes amid heated debate about the role of companies such as Facebook and Google in spreading fake stories that some claim influenced the results of the US election. The money is part of a €24m (£20.5m) round of funding from Google’s digital news initiative, which backs innovative projects in news across Europe.

€50,000 is being given to a project called Factmata, developed at U... [more]

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