Computer Science News

Alexandra Silva wins EATCS Presburger Award 2017

The 2017 Presburger Committee consisting of Marta Kwiatkowska (chair), Stephan Kreutzer and Jukka Suomela has completed its deliberations and unanimously selected Dr Alexandra Silva, Senior Lecturer at UCL Computer Science, as recipient of the 2017 EATCS Presburger Award (European Association for Theoretical Computer Science) for young scientists.

Alexandra Silva has been instrumental in fostering the field of coalgebraic modelling and reasoning. In her groundbreaking thesis in 2010, she developed Kleene coalgebra, showing how automata and their extensions can be naturally embedded within a co... [more]

UCL Data Science Student Challenge: round 2.0

Microsoft’s global series of data science hackathons made its second stop in the UK, at UCL last weekend (Saturday 11-Sunday 12 March 2017). Over 170 students from across the country joined us on Saturday at the Bloomsbury campus to take part in the 21-hour long challenge.

The hackathon was themed around the development of innovative data science solutions with large financial data-sets in order to give Bloomberg a competitive advantage in the finance industry, while demonstrating use of Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite. Students had the opportunity to work on deep learning, text-mining ... [more]

Computer Science winners at UCL Engineering Engagement Awards

UCL Computer Science staff and students were winners at the 2017 UCL Engineering Engagement Awards. Led by The Provost, the awards  aim to recognise, empower and celebrate the hard work, commitment and passion that staff and students across the Faculty of Engineering put in to share their research, teaching, and learning with children, young people and schools.

Computer Science winners were recognised for the outstanding contribution they’ve made to engagement and outreach over the past year.

Hekla Helgadottir won Undergraduate Student of the Year; Susan Lechelt won Postgraduate Student of t... [more]

From the BBC Micro to micro:bit and beyond

An article in ACM Interactions has celebrated the UCL & BBC collaboration that has brought the Micro:bit and now Magic Cubes to the fore in the coding challenge for the 21st Century. 

Yvonne Rogers, Director of UCLIC (UCL Interaction Centre), Venus Shum (Research Fellow), Nicolai Marquardt (Associate Professor), Susan Lechelt (Ph.D. student) and Rose Johnson (visiting researcher) have been instrumental in first joining forces with the BBC to create the MakeMe cube; a simple flatpack construction kit, comprising six pieces, intended for assembly into a cube. When shaken, it would change colour ... [more]

Andrea Bittau memorial scholarship

Andrea Bittau, our PhD graduate, died far too young in a motorcycle crash a little over a week ago. (Brief tribute at http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/news/article/andrea-bittau-1983-2017/)

To honor and remember Andrea’s life, and his talent and passion for computer systems research, Mark Handley and Brad Karp are establishing the Andrea Bittau Memorial Scholarship, which will support a PhD student at UCL Computer Science.

If you would like to contribute to this memorial to Andrea, you may do so at:
https://aoc.ucl.ac.uk/alumni/donations-gbp-single?id=c48fbb6c-f02b-4883-b1fb-291e5985cd9e

(Note that U... [more]

Andrea Bittau, 1983-2017

It is our great sorrow to report that Andrea Bittau, who earned his BSc and PhD degrees at UCL Computer Science, died in a motorcycle accident in the San Francisco Bay Area on 25 February.

Andrea joined UCL as an undergraduate in 2001, and continued on to study for the PhD in 2005 as a member of UCL's Systems and Networks Research Group, supervised by Professor Mark Handley and Professor Brad Karp.

His PhD thesis, completed in 2009, was in the area of computer system security, and described the Wedge system, which provides primitives and tools for privilege-separating legacy applications. Afte... [more]

Undergraduates shine at Google Hash Code

Google Hash Code is the largest algorithmic competition of Google, in which teams of students and professionals compete to solve a real algorithmic problem that Google encounters! 

This year the UCL team composed of Andrei Margeloiu, Wojciech Golaszewski and Cosmin Vladianu has ranked 1st from the UK universities and 36th globally. Next, they were invited to compete in the Final Round taking place at Google Paris on the 1st of April.

 

The task was to optimize how Youtube videos are spread across different cache servers in order to make the video access as quickly as possible. They had to take... [more]

UCL Machine Learning graduate to present at leading Deep Learning conference

UCL Machine Learning graduate Michal Daniluk is to present his work at the 5th International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) held in Toulon, France, in April 2017; the most important Deep Learning conference in the field.

Michal will present a paper – “Frustratingly Short Attention Spans in Neural Language Modeling” based on his MSc Machine Learning project, supervised by Tim RocktäschelJohannes Welbl and Sebastian Riedel within the Machine Reading Group

Michal is the receipient of the MSc Machine Learning Programme Director’s Award (2015/2016) for Outstanding Project Repor... [more]

Personalised Medicine Global Challenges: Research Taps into Cerebral Malaria Gene

Towards Understanding Individual Predisposition to Life-Threatening Cerebral Malaria

A multi-site multidisciplinary team led by D. Fernandez-Reyes (UCL Department of Computer Science); S. Marquet and A. Dessein (Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France); O. Doumbo (Faculty of Medicine, Bamako, Mali) and B.J. Brown (College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria) have identified a variant in a key immune-regulatory-network gene (IL-22) that predisposes to childhood life-threatening cerebral malaria. The findings are published in the 31st January issue of Nature Scientific Reports... [more]

Can an algorithm be held culpable for its actions in a court of law?

Can an algorithm be held culpable for its actions in a court of law? In her ongoing project The Trial of Superdebthunterbot, Helen Knowles explores questions of ethics and accountability in relation to the increasing, and often unseen, computer automation of our lives.

The piece imagines a speculative scenario not too far removed from current practices in technology and finance. A debt collecting company buys up student loans and uses big data to ensure fewer loan defaulters by targeting individuals with job adverts posted to their social media pages. A chain of events leads to deaths in medic... [more]

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