Computer Science News

Computer Science students included in UCLU's StARs Roll of Honour

Two UCL Computer Science Student Academic Representatives (StARs) have been included in UCLU's 2016 Roll Of Honour.

Angelos Pillos, an MSc Financial Systems Engineering student, and Konstantinos Metallinos, a MSc Computational Statistics and Machine Learning student, have been awarded the Advanced Stars Certificate.

The StARs scheme is a partnership between UCL and UCLU.  The StARs scheme helps to ensure that every student at UCL is effectively represented in their department, faculty, the University and UCLU.  Through such effective representation students become partners in their education,... [more]

Computer Science in the media: Steven Murdoch comments on telephone metadata

A new paper out this week looks into exactly what the act of making a phone call can reveal. The study, which was led by Patrick Mutchler and Jonathan Mayer at Stanford University, is the culmination of work that started in 2013 looking into what metadata really can show.

The study involved collecting metadata volunteered by 823 participants, in total, more than 250,000 calls, and 1 million text messages. Steven Murdoch, Principal Research Fellow at UCL's Information Security Research Group, has been featured on the BBC and in The Telegraph, commenting on its legality. "This paper confirms wh... [more]

UCL-CS to host CS50 Hackathon

"A CS50 Hackathon is an epic late-nighter during which students may dive into a problem set or final project alongside classmates and staff (and food and photos and fun)".

"This hackathon will be an epic opportunity for CS50x students, CS50 AP teachers, and UCL students to dive into any problem set or project alongside classmates, some of CS50's staff from Harvard, and UCLU TechSoc's team."

The event is a great opportunity for students to join a one-day educational hackathon to learn more about computer science, work alongside classmates and dive into problem  sets.   

The hackathon will b... [more]

UCL spinout is awarded the Gartner Cool Vendor in Data Science 2016

Satalia, a UCL Computer Science spinout, is now a Gartner Cool Vendor in Data Science. Cool Vendors in Data Science are among emerging machine learning companies that solve targeted industry problems or make the analysis scalable for big data.

Satalia provides a unique algorithmic technology and professional service to solve industries optimisation problems.

The company joins an illustrious list of previous companies who have been awarded Cool Vendor status, including Dropbox, Nest, Evernote, Cloudera, Palantir and Instagram over the last five years.

Dr Daniel Hulme, Satalia Founder and CEO,... [more]

UCL's Angela Sasse featured in Nature

Angela Sasse, Professor of Human-Centred Security and member of UCL's Information Security Research Group, appears in the latest issue of Nature.

In How to hack the hackers: The human side of cybercrime, Angela addresses ransomware - an extortion scheme in which hackers encrypt the data on a user's computer, then demand money for the digital key to unlock them. Victims get detailed, easy-to-follow instructions for the payment process, and how to use the key. If they run into technical difficulties, there are 24/7 call centres.

This gives way to Angela's belief that the attackers are so far a... [more]

Information Security Degree certified as GCHQ Cyber Security standard

UCL Computer Science's Masters Degree Programme in Information Security has been successfully certified to the 'GCHQ Certified Master's degree in General Cyber Security' standard.

An assessment panel convened comprising of experts from the public and private sectors, as well as independent academics, and spent one and a half days assessing the 16 applications and engaging in serious debate before coming to their decisions.

Master’s degree programmes in cyber security can broaden the understanding of security concepts and technologies and provide a bridge between undergraduate education and ca... [more]

Professor Peter O’Hearn is Awarded the 2016 Gödel Prize

 

Peter O’Hearn, Professor of Computer Science and member of UCL’s Programming Principles, Logic and Verification Research (PPLV) Group, has been awarded the 2016 Gödel Prize. Peter will receive the award jointly with Stephen Brookes, Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, at the 43rd International Colloquium On Automata, Languages and Programming (ICALP 2016), 12-15 July 2016, in Rome, Italy.

Peter’s paper Resources, Concurrency and Logical Reasoning introduces and advances the idea of Concurrent Separation Logic (CSL), which has had a far-reaching impact in both theo... [more]

Dr Venus Shum featured in Royal Academy of Engineering teaching resource

Dr Venus Shum, Senior Research Associate at UCL Computer Science, and member of UCL's world leading Human-Computer Interaction Centre (UCLIC) is featured in maths learning resources for teachers in secondary schools that have been developed by UCL’s London Knowledge Lab, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Cornerstone Maths.

The new mathematics learning resource based on the Linear Function module of the Cornerstone Maths software, features profiles of real life app and game developers in order to highlight the links between maths and real-world coding and how coders, app developers and game ... [more]

Athena SWAN Silver Award for UCL Computer Science

UCL Computer Science has been awarded an Athena SWAN Silver Award. This builds on our earlier success in obtaining a bronze award in 2012. We are one of only three Computer Science Departments in the UK to have achieved a Silver Award – none have as yet been awarded Gold.

The Silver Award recognises that we have gone beyond simply identifying problem areas in relation to gender inequality, but that we have been successful in implementing strategies that address these issues; and furthermore have been able to measure our progress towards our goals.

The Athena SWAN Charter was established in 200... [more]

Public events announced for first ever UK Robotics Week: 25 June - 1 July 2016

UK robotics innovation is taking centre stage this summer, with the announcement of a nationwide programme of exciting events for the first ever UK Robotics Week (25 June – 1 July 2016). Events for people of all ages are being held up and down the country, spanning public lectures, open labs, schools and academic competitions, hackathons, tech weekends for children, and cutting-edge robotics showcases.

TheEPSRC UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network (UK-RAS Network) was established in March 2015 with the mission to provide academic leadership in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS), expan... [more]

Anthony Steed wins 2016 VGTC Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award

The  2016  Virtual  Reality  Technical  Achievement  Award  has been awarded to  Anthony  Steed, Head of the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group at UCL Computer Science, in  recognition  of  developments  that  have  significantly advanced research, engineering and applications of virtual reality systems.

The IEEE VGTC Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award was established in 2005. It is given every year to recognize an individual for a seminal technical achievement in virtual and augmented reality, and VGTC members nominate individuals for the Virtual Reality Technical Achi... [more]

UCL partnership to explore the future of 'Connected' Healthcare

Nuffield Health has announced a partnership with UCL Faculty of Engineering to study and strongly evidence the social and economic benefits of connected healthcare – a process that brings together inputs, delivery, diagnostics, treatment, care, rehabilitation and health promotion.

Alan Payne, Chief Digital and Information Officer commented: “Nuffield Health is a unique organisation that brings health and wellbeing together through our network of hospitals and fitness & wellbeing centres. We see connected healthcare as a natural foundation for the future of how we deliver health services throu... [more]

UCL sheds light on phishing scam

Dr Steven Murdoch, Principal Research Fellow at UCL Computer Science, has responded on the BBC to a new type of phishing email that includes the recipient's home address has been received by thousands of people.

Members of the BBC Radio 4's You and Yours team were among those who received the scam emails, claiming they owed hundreds of pounds to UK firms. The firms involved have been inundated with phone calls from worried members of the public.

You and Yours reporter Shari Vahl was one of the first on the team to receive an email.

"The email has good spelling and grammar and my exact home ad... [more]

Saving Bletchley Park: out on 17 March

Saving Bletchley Park, by Sue Black, Honorary Senior Research Associate at UCL Computer Science, is released tomorrow (17 March 2016). See http://www.amazon.co.uk/Saving-Bletchley-Park-socialmedia-codebreakers/dp/1908717920.

Imagine a Britain where the most important sites of historical significance are replaced with housing estates and supermarkets. Imagine a Britain without Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing and a team of code-breakers changed the course of World War II and where thousands of women inspired future generations with their work in the fields of computing and technology. 

Now im... [more]

UCL join forces with the English National Opera and Holition

UCL Computer Science third year student Delia Gander's dissertation project is investigating how state of the art face-tracking technology combined with a novel user experience can benefit make-up artists, costume designers, performers and young audiences to the ENO. Together with Ana Moutinho, lead UX Designer, Professor Yvonne Rogers, Director of UCLIC, and Natasha Freedman, Head of Baylis, ENO, Delia has been helping to create a virtual make up app to explore how people can engage and interact with new technology in order to ’step into character’. The MagicFace app, that was developed, app... [more]

Computer Science students run first ever inspiration event for children

On Saturday 12th March, more than 40 children aged 10-18 from outer city schools gathered at UCL Engineering for HackStart, a day of tech demos, talks and workshops organised and run solely by first year Computer Science students and members of UCLU TechSoc.

Over 20 first year CS students conducted self-designed workshops and demos hoping to inspire attendees to take up STEM or Computer Science at the University level.  The topics included game development, cryptography with Python and Virtual Reality with the Oculus. Some made use of their high quality Coding Curriculum projects such as the J... [more]

Bank of England & UCL working on bitcoin alternative RSCoin

The Bank of England has partnered with UCL Computer Science to create the centrally controlled digital currency RSCoin, as reports in iT news today.

The UCL researchers involved in the project, Dr Sarah Meiklejohn and Dr George Danezis, published a paper last year at the request of the Bank of England in which they presented a framework on how a central bank can maintain monetary policy over the RSCoin without sacrificing transparency. SiliconAngle explained RSCoin would use the blockchain just like bitcoin, but that the Bank of England would hold an encryption key “that could be used to contr... [more]

Staff & students star in UCL’s International Women’s Day

The exhibition ‘Women at UCL: Presence and Absence’ was created as part of UCL's International Women's Day events to celebrate and recognise women at UCL who inspire those they work with. There was a fantastic response to the call for nominations, with over 200 submissions, which shows the real impact UCL women have on their colleagues.

The exhibition profiled women from across the UCL community. A call went out asking staff and students to nominate a woman at UCL who had influenced them – either by inspiring or encouraging, or helping them to think differently about their work or study. A pa... [more]

Classical physics in a spin

Simple “spin models” used to explain magnetism can precisely reproduce any possible phenomenon in classical, non-quantum physics, according to scientists at UCL and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ).

This is the first time such simple ‘universal models’ have been found to exist.

The study, published this week Science, builds on pioneering work from the ‘80s which is at the interface between theoretical computer science and physics. Extremely simple computers are universal: they can in principle compute anything that can be computed. These new results show that something analog... [more]

UCL research student strikes silver for engineering display in Parliament

Thomas Rogers, a PhD student at UCL, took the silver certificate at a competition in the House of Commons yesterday (7 March), for his engineering research on cargo inspection, which earned him a £2,000 prize.

Thomas presented a poster about his research into automating and streamlining cargo inspection to MPs, Peers and a panel of expert judges, as part of the annual SET for Britain competition. His work was judged against 59 other shortlisted engineering researchers’ work.

Thomas said: