Computer Science News

REF2014: UCL Computer Science ranked first

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) evaluation UCL was ranked in first place for Computer Science, out of 89 Universities assessed, and considerably ahead of other Institutions. 61% of its research submission is rated as world-leading (the highest possible category) and 96% of its research submission is rated as internationally excellent.

UCL researchers in Computer Science and Informatics received a ?grade point average? of 3.57 (out of 4) and submitted 75 staff to be assessed in REF2014. UCL Computer Science has made seminal contributions across the full range of its core stren... [more]

UCL winners at HackNotts

UCL Computer Science students returned from HackNotts as winners following a 24 hour hackathon held during 29th-30th November. Hosted by the University of Nottingham, over 200 students teamed up to learn about tech and create cool stuff.

Team Bello was comprised of Second Year UCL Computer Science Undergraduates Rohan Kopparapu, Kevin Kwan, Pranan Murugappan and Jazib Mahboob. Together they worked on an SMS based blogging system using Twilio and Google's Material Design project, Polymer.

The hackathon was an exciting and stimulating experience, and resulted in Team Bello winning prizes for t... [more]

CS stars at OxHack

We were delighted that two teams of four UCL Computer Science students joined OxHack 2014. Running during 29th-30th November and hosted by Oxford Entrepreneurs (OE) and Major League Hacking, the event included over 150 participants from universities all over Europe and sponsorship and mentorship from Facebook, Google, Bloomberg, SendGrid, Mendeley and more.

Sami Start, Paula Lopez Pozuelo, Divya Surendran and Zayed Al-Nehayan worked together to make an alarm clock that switches on Chromecast on your TV and plays personalised content in an alarm format to wake you up. The UI of the alarm was ... [more]

Sebastian Riedel wins major AI award

Senior Lecturer, Dr Sebastian Riedel, has won a major AI award.

The Paul G. Allen Foundation announced last Wednesday that it has awarded $5.7 million in grants to five projects that aim to teach machines to understand what they see and read, including anything from a photograph to a chart, a diagram to an entire textbook.

Sebastian's work will investigate an approach where machines convert symbolic knowledge, read from text and other sources, into vector form, and then approximate the behavior of logic through algebraic operations. Ultimately, this approach will enable machines to pass hi... [more]

Research Student wins Best Paper at ACM CoNEXT 2014

Jie Xiong, Research Student in our Systems and Networks Research Group has won the Best Paper Award at The 10th International Conference on emerging Networking EXperiments and Technologies (CoNEXT), hosted at University of Technology Sydney in Sydney, Australia.

CoNEXT 2014 is be a major forum for presentations and discussions of novel networking technologies that will shape the future of Internetworking. The conference is single track and features a high-quality technical program with significant opportunities for individual and small-group technical and social interactions among a diverse s... [more]

UCL CS winner at ACM Student Research Competition

Larissa Romualdo Suzuki, PhD Researcher in Software Systems Engineering and Smart Cities, is a proud winner of the ACM Student Research Competition - announced at the Grace Hopper Conference 2014. 

Winners of the Student Research Competitions held throughout the year advance to the Student Research Competition Grand Finals. Finalists and their advisors will be invited to the Annual ACM Awards Banquet for an all-expenses-paid trip, where they will be recognized for their accomplishments, along with other prestigious ACM award winners, including the winner of the Turing Award - the Nobel prize ... [more]

UCL-CS convenes UCL's first laptop orchestra

At the UCL DigiFest 2014 (, the CS Department's Music Systems Engineering Research Team (led by Dr Nicolas Gold) ran a 1.5hr session for people interested in digital music.  Participants learned about building digital instruments using the Pure Data programming language, explored the sonic possibilities of synthesised sounds, and then came together as a laptop orchestra to perform a new work composed by one of the department's PhD students, Christodoulos Aspromallis.

Laptop orchestras are an emerging type of ensemble (beginning about ten years ago with Princeton's PLOrk) chara... [more]

Students Win Google Product Management Challenge

Henry Scott-Green and Dominik Krejcik, 2nd and 3rd year Computer Science students at UCL, have won first place in a recent Google Associate Product Manager Challenge.

The challenge brief was to design a windscreen user interface system for the Google X self-driving car project. This was presented to Google product managers and simulated Venture Capitalists at Google's headquarters in Victoria, London. The winning design, as chosen by the panel of judges, was selected because of it's safety-oriented approach, combating the public-perception issue faced by the self-driving car industry.

The wi... [more]

UCL undergraduates feature in "hackathon".

According to Wikipedia a "hackathon" is "an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development ... collaborate intensively on software projects.

This was certainly the case for three UCL undergraduates who took part in the "Disrupt Europe 2014" hackathon in London. The three, Davit Buniatyan, Zahra Traboulsi and Muhammad Dwi Abi Rafdi​ worked overnight to produce their "Newsly" app. The app employs machine learning APIs to create a news-reader interface which makes it simple for users to express their preferences. The system subsequently reflects these preference... [more]

MEng Student wins Anita Borg Scholarship

Photo of Kinga Mrugala

Fourth year MEng. student Kinga Mrugala has been awarded an "Anita Borg" Scholarship. The award was established by Google "to encourage women to excel in computing and technology and become active role models and leaders in the field". Dr Anita Borg (1949-2003) fought to ensure that technology’s impact would be a positive one. In 1997 she founded the Institute for Women and Technology which today bears her name.

Kinga was one of 78 recipients chosen from applicants across N. America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Awards reflected the "strength of each candidate?s academic background an... [more]

CS wins funding for Master Teachers CPD

UCL Computer Science has won the funding from Computing at School (CAS) to run a continuing professional development course for ten CAS Master Teachers from September 2014 through to July 2015.

Our principle objective is to provide our CAS Master Teachers with the subject knowledge they need to teach the new curriculum and the pedagogy of how to teach Computer Science. The course kicked-off on the 16th and 17th September with Algorithms and Programming. Professor Stephen Hailes started the day with a review of some of the research in the department, an overview of what computer science is, ho... [more]

Advances in Architectural Geometry 2014

UCL Computer Science recently hosted the Fourth Edition of the Advances in Architectural Geometry (AAG) Conference. Running 18th-21st September.

AAG is a symposium where both theoretical and practical work linked to new geometrical developments is presented. This symposium aims to gather the diverse components of the contemporary architectural tendencies which push the building envelope towards free form and respond to the multiple current design challenges. It involves architects, engineers, mathematicians, software designers and contractors. We aim at connecting researchers from architectur... [more]

USENIX ATC 2014 Best Paper Award

Photos of the authors

Lynne Salameh and Astrit Zhushi, two PhD students in the Systems and Networks Research Group at UCL CS, have won the Best Paper Award at the USENIX ATC 2014 conference for their paper: Salameh, L., Zhushi, A., Handley, M., Jamieson, K., and Karp, B., "HACK: Hierarchical ACKs for Efficient Wireless Medium Utilization".

This work tackles a pressing problem in the building of high-speed WiFi networks. Continual improvements to WiFi's physical layer in principle support data transfer at ever-greater bit-rates. But for network applications that send data using the TCP protocol, which account for ... [more]