Computer Science News
MSc students present to the HoloLens team at Microsoft headquarters UK
The MSc programmes in Computer Science, Software Systems Engineering and Financial Systems Engineering enable students to have the opportunity to develop a software project for a real client.
Last Friday, MSc students on these programmes presented to the Microsoft team at their headquarters in London. The presentations were the culmination of student’s work - either individually or in teams - to produce software applications for a multitude of clients including in healthcare (NHS Digital, Nuffield Health), public sector services (Camden Council) and financial services (Natwest, BNP Paribas) amongst others.
The MSc Computer Science students who worked with the Microsoft HoloLens’ mixed reality technology were given an exclusive opportunity to present and receive feedback from the Microsoft HoloLens team. They received direct feedback on their applications as well as the chance to interact with professionals in the augmented reality (AR) sector.
Rachel Slater is a student studying the MSc Computer Science at UCL and is the student representative for the programme. She talked about what it meant to complete a project for a client like Microsoft after only two terms of Computer Science, and how her AR application will help the retrieval and visualisation of genetic data for scientists and researchers.
She said: “I had the opportunity to present the application I had built for our final projects to the HoloLens team in their studio on Friday 8 September 2017. Having spent the past 12 weeks developing new applications for the HoloLens device from the ground up, the chance to get face-to-face feedback from the team was fantastic. Naturally, being industry experts with the technology, they spotted things that other eyes couldn’t.
My application and supporting thesis is titled Genetic Data Visualisation in Mixed Reality, with the primary objective being to create a genome browser in mixed reality (a genome browser is a crucial tool used by scientists and researchers to search, retrieve and analyse genomic data in a similar way to navigating the internet).
The final holographic application achieved this objective. It provides a unique mixed reality experience for the HoloLens device wearer, presenting holograms displaying REST API-retrieved genetic data, and scientifically precise 3D visualisations of genetic structures. The user can search for any gene of transcript, using voice commands or gesture capabilities, and can then interact with the rendered holograms. The application provides information down to the level of DNA sequences, mutation alleles and phenotype traits.
Getting to work with such cutting-edge technology for my final MSc project was both exciting and challenging, and what began as an experimental project resulted in a robust app, with practical utility. During my presentation I first explained the concept of the project and my approach, and ended with a HoloLens demo and feedback session. The Microsoft team provided invaluable tips, particularly on a couple of remaining bugs and nuisances in the app that I hadn’t solved.
Because I started this MSc programme wanting to somehow fuse my interest in medical sciences and health with technology for my final project, this opportunity certainly fulfilled that. I plan to release the app on the Windows Store soon.”
For more information about studying our MSc programmes at UCL Computer Science, visit http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/prospective_students.
Images above: MSc students with the Microsoft HoloLens team.
Images below: Slides from Rebecca Slater's presentation to the Microsoft HoloLens team