Computer Science News

Dr Steve Hailes receives Engineering Engagement Outstanding Contribution Award

Photo of Dr Steve Hailes

Dr Steve Hailes (Department of Computer Science) has received the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Provost's Engineering Engagement Awards ceremony

Steve Hailes commented: "this is actually a result of teamwork. The department (and faculty) set out to be more proactive in engaging with the school community, and many people have bought into that and have put a lot of hard work into making it a success. There have been too many to name individually, but they range from those in my research group to the department's professional services staff, teaching staff and students. Most import... [more]

Dr Sarah Meiklejohn honoured by UC San Diego

Photo of Dr Sarah Meiklejohn

Dr Sarah Meiklejohn, a lecturer in the department and member of the Information Security group, has been honoured by the University of California San Diego. In recognition of the outstanding PhD dissertation she completed there in 2014, she has been awarded the 2015 Chancellor's Dissertation Medal.

Her dissertation, "Flexible Models for Secure Systems", proposes methods to track real-world cyber criminals. Professor Mihir Bellare, who recommended Meiklejohn for the honour, said that the results of her thesis "have shaped government policy". He added "the thesis introduces an innovative new ex... [more]

Chirp is 1st UCL company to run a crowdfunding campaign

UCL spinout Chirp, today announces a major platform upgrade and the launch of a crowdfunding campaign on CrowdCube.

Devices ‘sing’ data to each other via a tiny audio clip called a chirp. This unique, data-over-sound technology was originally conceived in the Department of Computer Science at UCL.

By removing the need for typing addresses, entering passwords or pairing devices, Chirp makes sharing data incredibly easy. Pictures, videos and text can be chirped from anything that generates sound - including radios, TVs, mobile devices and toys.

Chirp?s crowdfunding campaign, the first for a UCL... [more]

Mediagamma secures seed funding for automated digital ad futures & options exchange

MediaGamma, the first automatic futures and options exchange for digital advertising, today announced the closing of their seed round. The company which is spun out of the Department of Computer Science at UCL and is supported by UCL Business PLC (UCLB), is focused on bringing new trading methodologies and products to the programmatic digital advertising sector— a global marketplace that will reach approximately US $53 billion by 20181.

Much like modern financial markets, the MediaGamma exchange offers the ability for buyers and sellers to agree on a price and volume for future real-time media... [more]

Gordana Novakovic to speak at Lumen Prize Digital Art Seminar

Gordana Novakovic - the Artist in Residence in the Computer Science Department - has been invited to speak about the Tesla Art|Science Interest Group and her other work at the annual Lumen Prize Digital Art Seminar on May 14th.

Lumen is an international competition and exhibition of digital art.

Prof Niloy J. Mitra announced Winner of BCS Roger Needham Award 2015, sponsored by Microsoft Research Cambridge

Professor Niloy J. Mitra has been awarded the BCS Roger Needham Award for 2015 sponsored by Microsoft Research Cambridge. The award has been made in recognition of his outstanding work in the area of computer graphics and 3D geometry.

Dr. Mitra is a Professor of Geometry Processing in the Department of Computer Science, University College London (UCL). His research focuses on extracting high-level semantic understanding of the world by analysing raw and unstructured data collections (e.g., images, scans, shape repositories). He has been developing a mathematical framework to link apparently he... [more]

Peter Kirstein wins 2015 Marconi Society Prize

Professor Peter Kirstein has been awarded the prestigious 2015 Marconi Society Prize for his ‘tireless advocacy and pioneering technical contributions to computer networking which helped establish and expand the Internet in Europe and many other parts of the world.’

The Marconi Prize is given each year to a scientist or engineer who achieves advances in communications and information technology for the social, economic and cultural development of humanity.

?Peter is often recognized as the father of the European Internet,? said Vint Cerf, co-inventor of TCP/IP protocol.  ?But that phrase und... [more]

HIV spreads like internet malware and should be treated earlier

HIV specialists and network security experts at UCL noticed that the spread of HIV through the body using two methods – via the bloodstream and directly between cells – was similar to how some computer worms spread through both the internet and local networks respectively to infect as many computers as possible. They worked together to create a model for this ‘hybrid spreading’, which accurately predicted patients’ progression from HIV to AIDS in a major clinical trial.

Detailed sample data from 17 HIV patients from London were used to verify the model, showing that hybrid spreading provides t... [more]

MSc Computer Science students win #BuildTheNews Hackathon

Last weekend UCL MSc Computer Science student Pietro Passarelli took part in the #BuildTheNews Hackaton organised by The Times ( - and was part of the winning team.

Pietro commented on the hackathon:

"I am interested in learning more about NLP and I thought this would have been a good chance to try out a video system that would generate transcription, identify the different speakers, provide summary of main topics and keywords as well as the emotional charge of the speaker.We decided to use the upcoming elections debate  as a use case, but this could be gen... [more]

Register now for London Hopper 2015

UCL Computer Science and the BCS Academy will be presenting the 11th. London Hopper Colloquium on Wednesday, 20 May 2015 at the BCS headquarters in London. This 1-day event is free and will feature women speakers talking about their research, a spotlight competition open to postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers, and lots of opportunities to network with other new researchers in computing.

Confirmed speakers and titles of their talks are:

· Dr. Tracy Hall, Brunel University: Understanding, Finding and Eliminating Faults in Software

· Professor Carron Shankland, University of Sti... [more]

Students take part in Microsoft Band Hackathon

At Microsoft Ventures Whitechapel, David Xiao and Mark Menezes from UCL Computer Science (BSC and MEng First Years) took part in a prestigious early access hackathon of the yet-to-the-released in the UK Microsoft Band


After arriving early in the afternoon, the students along with other participants were briefed with a short presentation about the Microsoft Band, describing the capabilities of the Microsoft Band, and potential uses.

When the presentation ended, ideas for apps were discussed, where David came up with the idea of creating an app th... [more]

Fully-funded PhD scholarships in digital health & wellbeing

Applications are invited from prospective PhD students and UCL staff for three-year fully funded PhD scholarships in digital health and wellbeing. Students may be based in any academic discipline, such as computer science, behaviour science and human-computer interaction.

Bupa Global Institute for Digital Health Excellence(GLIDHE) is a new partnership between UCL and Bupa, established to develop digital health enabled solutions, evidenced by research.

The Institute will focus on the development of predictive techniques for behaviour change that are sustainable, to reduce the global burden o... [more]

UCL Interaction Centre Researcher wins British Library Competition

Sarah Wiseman was awarded 1st place in the #ShareMyThesis competition 2015.

The #ShareMyThesis competition challenged PhD students past and present to summarise why their PhD research is important  - in 140 characters or less. The competition was open worldwide.

Sarah's research was on "The Importance of Understanding Number Entry". As motivation for her research she notes "... many people have lost a lot of money by sending it to the wrong person. But that?s only money. Sometimes the consequences of number entry error can be even more severe: when a doctor or nurse types a number incorrect... [more]

UCLIC: most successful UK HCI group at CHI2015

Authors from UCL will have a great presence at CHI 2015, the premier conference in Human-Computer Interaction, which takes place in Seoul, Korea, April 18 - 23 2015.

Check out this list, which makes UCL Interaction Centre the most successful UK HCI group at #chi2015!

We are delighted that four of our papers received Best of CHI Honorable Mentions.

For over 30 years, the CHI conference  has attracted the world?s leading researchers and practitioners in the field of HCI from businesses and universities to share ground-breaking research and innovations related to how humans interact with digi... [more]

Fourth Annual Alumni Dinner

We are pleased to announce our 4th Annual Alumni Dinner on Thursday 23 April.

Alumni, guests and friends of the department are welcome to join us for a drinks reception and three-course meal, followed by a talk from our distinguished guest speaker Dr Zoe Laughlin.

Zoe Laughlin is a co-founder/director of UCL’s Institute of Making and the Materials Library project. She holds an MA from Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design and obtained a PhD in Materials within the Division of Engineering, King's College London. Working at the interface of the science, art, craft and design of m... [more]

Jan Kautz’s co-authored paper featured on cover of CACM.

Jan Kautz’s co-authored paper "Local Laplacian Filters: Edge-aware Image Processing with a Laplacian Pyramid" is featured on the cover and in the research highlights of Communications of the ACM.

The technique is outlined in a video presented by co-author Sylvain Paris and in the abstract below.

The Laplacian pyramid is ubiquitous for decomposing images into multiple scales and is widely used for image analysis. However, because it is constructed with spatially invariant Gaussian kernels, the Laplacian pyramid is widely believed to be ill-suited for representing edges, as well as for edge-a... [more]