Archive for the ‘Research’ Category
Further to the CAS paper presented at Koli Calling 2011 in Finland in November 2011, Neil Brown (University of Kent) presented a paper entitled: Bringing Computer Science Back Into Schools: Lessons From The UK at SIGCSE’13, the 44th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, in Denver in March.
The paper is available to download for free via the ACM Author-ize service below; the abstract is as follows:
Computer science in UK schools is a subject in decline: the ratio of Computing to Maths A-Level students (i.e. ages 16–18) has fallen from 1:2 in 2003 to 1:20 in 2011 and in 2012. In 2011 and again in 2012, the ratio for female students was 1:100, with less than 300 female students taking Computing A-Level in the whole of the UK each year. Similar problems have been observed in the USA and other countries, despite the increased need for computer science skills caused by IT growth in industry and society. In the UK, the Computing At School (CAS) group was formed to try to improve the state of computer science in schools. Using a combination of grassroots teacher activities and policy lobbying at a national level, CAS has been able to rapidly gain traction in the ﬁght for computer science in schools. We examine the reasons for this success, the challenges and dangers that lie ahead, and suggest how the experience of CAS in the UK can beneﬁt other similar organisations, such as the CSTA in the USA.
Tiny Transactions on Computer Science (TinyToCS) is the premier venue for computer science research of 140 characters or less.
This is certainly an interesting concept: computer science research papers whose body fits into 140 characters, although the abstract may be longer (up to 250 words), plus references. However, the abstract is not allowed to elaborate on the result; see, for example, Safe Haskell. TinyToCS focuses on the sound bytes to draw readers in and convey key ideas, but provides background and references to those who want to dig deeper.
As per the Call for Papers and the Chairs’ Note in Volume 1, the creators hope that TinyToCS contributes to the growing discussion on academic publishing in the modern era. While similar initiatives using 140 characters have been used for science communication on Twitter, this is the first time I have seen a serious attempt at disseminating computer science research — it will be interesting to see how this project develops.
This week I had the pleasure of speaking at Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity and a unique conference centre in the heart of the Great Park, Windsor. Its patron is The Queen, who has granted sole occupancy of a beautiful seventeenth-century house for discussions aimed at the betterment of society.
I was an invited speaker for Life Beyond the PhD, a celebration of postgraduate research and an opportunity for PhD students to reflect on their future careers and develop the skills to get them there. The attendees are able to hear leading public figures recount the life decisions they made after their PhDs, as well as hearing from experts in higher education policy, communication, career development and impact. One of the aims of the conference is prepare students for an increasingly interdisciplinary academic life, as well as showing that PhDs have demonstrable value both inside and outside academia.
I was speaking in a session entitled Working Inside and Outside Academia: Views from the Recent Past, with Alice Bell and Paul Hurst, a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. We each gave a brief biographical history, our educational background and described our motivations for doing PhDs and why we stayed in academic or not. While each of our stories and career decisions are by definition unique (and hence it might not be possible to abstract anything explicitly transferable from them), it felt useful reflecting on what I had done and describing the processes and motivations. My one overriding message was along the lines of “be ballsy” i.e. go for it and take the opportunities that pop up, especially early on in your career. With the huge changes in academia and academic careers over the past ten years, I would say you have to be more adaptable and diversified: clearly research is of huge importance, but also teaching, policy and public engagement.
While I did not get the opportunity to listen to the attendee’s ten minute presentations on their research at the end of the week, I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with a wide range of researchers from a diverse set of disciplines (not just scientists!). It was also a pleasure to listen to and chat with some of the other speakers, including the Rt Hon the Lord Smith of Finsbury (former Labour minister, Chairman of the Environment Agency), Professor Rosemary Deem (Vice Principal-Education, Royal Holloway) and Professor Julia Buckingham (Pro-Rector-Education and Academic Affairs, Imperial College London). It was also great to finally meet Sophie Duncan, Deputy Director of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE).
A big thank you to Alastair, Owen, Faye and the rest of the Cumberland Lodge team for their warm welcome, hospitality and wide range of interesting discussions. If you are a PhD student in any discipline, I highly recommend applying for Life Beyond the PhD 2013 next August.
This started out as a list of top Computer Science blogs, but it more closely resembles a set: the order is irrelevant and there are no duplicate elements; membership of this set of blogs satisfies all of the following conditions:
- they are written by computer scientists and focus on computer science research;
- they are of consistently high quality;
- I regularly read them.
N.B. I have deliberately excluded blogs primarily focusing on computer science education (for another time).
The Endeavour by John D. Cook (@JohnDCook)
John’s blog cuts across using computing, programming and mathematics to solve real-world problems, pulling in his wide expertise as a mathematics professor, programmer, consultant, manager and statistician. Some great posts across the technical and socio-technical spectrum. Also runs a number of useful Twitter tip accounts, including @CompSciFact, @UnixToolTip, @RegexTip and @TeXtip.
Serious Engineering by Anthony Finkelstein (@profserious)
Anthony is Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL, having previously been the Head of the UCL Computer Science. His regular blog posts are an insightful and thought-provoking journey across computer science, engineering, research and academia.
Computational Complexity by Lance Fortnow (@fortnow) and Bill Gasarch
Since 2002, the first major theoretical computer science blog; computational complexity and other fun stuff in mathematics and computer science.
Daniel Lemire’s blog by Daniel Lemire (@lemire)
Daniel Lemire is a professor in the Cognitive Computer Science research group at LICEF in Canada, with his popular blog covering topics across his research areas (databases, data warehousing, information retrieval and recommender systems), as well as programming, education, economics and open science.
Gödel’s Lost Letter and P=NP by Dick Lipton (@rjlipton) and Ken Regan
This is a blog on and other questions in the theory of computing, named after the famous letter that Gödel wrote to von Neumann which essentially stated the question decades before Cook and Karp. Defined by the authors as a personal view of the theory of computation, it talks about the “who” as much as the “what”.
Editor’s Letters by Moshe Vardi (@vardi)
Moshe Vardi, a distinguished and award-winning theoretical computer scientist, has served as Editor-in-Chief of Communications of the ACM since 2008, discussing a wide range of topics across computer science, research and technology. Certainly worth following on Twitter too.
Alan Winfield’s Web Log by Alan Winfield (@alan_winfield)
Alan is the Hewlett-Packard Professor of Electronic Engineering at UWE and his blog is mostly, but not exclusively, about robots. It also touches upon artificial intelligence, artificial culture, ethics and biology, highlighting his definition of robotics as both engineering and experimental philosophy.
Lambda the Ultimate, the Programming Languages Weblog (@lambda_ultimate)
This site deals with issues directly related to programming languages and programming language research, as well as forays to bordering issues such as programmability and language in general. This is a community, but not for specific programming problems in some language; unfounded generalisations about programming languages are usually frowned on.
BLOG@CACM by Communications of the ACM (@blogCACM)
The Communications site publishes two types of blogs: the on-site BLOG@CACM expert blogs, as well as a blogroll of syndicated blogs, essentially covering the spectrum of computer science, research, education and technology. Something for everyone!
Google Research Blog by Google (@googleresearch)
The latest news on Google research, focusing on some of their key areas of interest: e-commerce, algorithms, HCI, information retrieval, machine learning, data mining, NLP, multimedia, computer vision, statistics, security and privacy.
Clearly this set is incomplete — please post your CS research blog recommendations in the comments below; I’d be particularly interested in blogs covering hardware and computer architectures.
I am chairing the IADIS International Conference Applied Computing 2012 and would like to invite you for the scientific committee of this conference that will be held in Madrid, Spain (please see http://www.computing-conf.org/).
As a member of the committee, you will get some papers to review in the topics you select (topics list available http://www.computing-conf.org/topics.asp). You are entitled to be part of the proceedings book and CD-ROM and also have free entrance to the conference except if you are author or co-author of a paper and wish to present it yourself or get it published in the proceedings in case none of the co-authors registers for the conference.
Can I just ask you for a couple of names that could also be part of this committee? The idea is to increase the number of members in the committee in order to reduce the committee members’ workload.
Also, can you please send me your address so that we can send you a CD-ROM with the proceedings of this year’s edition?
Could you please let me know whether you accept this invitation the soon
Hope to see you being part of this IADIS conference.
Applied Computing 2012 Conference Chair
I frequently receive emails inviting me to submit a paper to sham conferences or journals (or, better yet, to say that my “paper” has already been accepted for publication), but this is my first programme committee invitation. Needless to say, I am honoured.
More seriously, this is a worrying (and steadily increasing) phenomenon, particularly in computer science. An example that frequently tops lists of fake conferences is WORLDCOMP (see scathing critique here); agents purportedly representing this conference recently threatened the owner of the comp.compilers list that I follow.
Let’s be clear: these are not credible outlets for disseminating academic research, so how can we rid ourselves of these deceptive venues? Echoing the sentiments of Anthony, it will not be by exposing and condemning the organisers (potentially problematic from a libel perspective), but by systematically discouraging people from submitting. Spread the word.
In November, as part of our work with Computing At School (CAS), Dr Sue Sentance (Anglia Ruskin University) and I submitted a paper for Koli Calling 2011, the 11th International Conference on Computing Education Research. Our paper, entitled Computing At School: Stimulating Computing Education in the UK, describes the rationale and motivation for CAS, presenting the current state of computer science education in the UK, as well as its range of initiatives to support teachers and drive curriculum and policy change.
Check out this excellent research resource: the Best Paper Awards in Computer Science, a collection of the best paper awards of some of the major computer science conferences since 1996 by Jeff Huang.
This listing contains a couple of the conferences that I’m interested in, especially PLDI; however, it’s a shame that it does not collate POPL‘s Most Influential Paper Award (presented annually to the authors of a paper presented at the POPL held 10 years prior to the award year).
It’s also of interest to see the institutions with the most “best papers”.
Last week, the EPSRC announced the 43 successful researchers who have been awarded fellowships totalling £36M to “help develop their potential as the next generation of world-leading scientists and engineers.“
After a recent reorganisation of their fellowship programmes, the EPSRC now provide a number of personal fellowships to early career and well-established researchers to carry out ambitious programmes of research, usually over a five-year period. These fellowships fund the recipient and enable them to build a research team around a specific topic area; they are prestigious and highly coveted by those within the EPSRC‘s remit.
However, as discussed on the Dundee Physics blog, the EPSRC‘s press release appeared to focus more on the funding infrastructure and process (perhaps indirectly supporting Shaping Capability), rather than highlighting the excellence of the researchers (who, seemingly as an afterthought, were named at the end of the press release). This is in stark contrast to the recent announcement of the Royal Society’s 2011 University Research Fellowships.
Career Acceleration Fellowships
|EPSRC Ref.||PI||Organisation||Title||Value (£)|
|EP/J002062/1||Ross, Dr J||University of Cambridge||Links between Algebraic Geometry and Complex Analysis||693,701|
|EP/J002658/1||Dembele, Dr L||University of Warwick||Explicit methods for algebraic automorphic forms||589,359|
|EP/J001317/1||Jeffrey, Dr M||University of Bath||When Worlds Collide: the asymptotics of interacting systems||349,723|
|EP/J001686/1||Majumdar, Dr A||University of Oxford||The Mathematics of Liquid Crystals – Analysis, Computation and Applications||501,887|
|EP/J00149X/1||Haynes, Dr A||University of Bristol||Circle rotations and their generalisations in Diophantine approximation||590,969|
|EP/J002437/1||House, Dr TA||University of Warwick||Disease transmission and control in complex, structured populations||632,534|
|EP/J001872/1||O’Hara, Dr C||University of Strathclyde||Chiral Concepts in s-Block Metal Amide Chemistry||907,993|
|EP/J002194/1||Hofferberth, Dr S||University of Nottingham||Few-Photon Nonlinear Optics in Ultracold Rydberg Gases||1,142,329|
|EP/J002208/1||Kerridge, Dr A||University College London||Theoretical studies of actinide complexation with macrocyclic ligands: identifying synthetic targets and real-world applications||594,433|
|EP/J002615/1||McLain, Dr S||University of Oxford||Structural studies of atomic interactions in membranes: bridging the gap between physics and membrane biology||1,345,845|
|EP/J001821/1||Leek, Dr PJ||University of Oxford||Strong coupling and coherence in hybrid solid state quantum systems||892,726|
|EP/J002275/1||Hayward, Dr T J||University of Sheffield||MAGNETISM YOU CAN RELY ON: Understanding Stochastic Behaviour in Nanomagnetic Devices.||698,105|
|EP/J002542/1||Galan, Dr M||University of Bristol||Novel ionic-based tools for glycoscience||920,060|
|EP/J002550/1||Kar, Dr S||Queen’s University of Belfast||Next generation laser-driven neutron sources for ultrafast studies||617,279|
|EP/J002518/1||Graham, Dr DM||The University of Manchester||Terahertz electron paramagnetic resonance: A window on biological exploitation of quantum mechanics||755,989|
|EP/J002577/1||Eden, Dr SP||Open University||Electron attachment to biomolecular clusters: probing the role of multiple scattering in radio-sensitivity.||618,329|
|EP/J002348/1||Zair, Dr A||Imperial College London||CADAM: Capturing Attosecond Dynamics in Atoms and Molecules||697,864|
|EP/J001538/1||Bull, Dr JA||Imperial College London||Novel strategies to access chiral heterocycles as potential lead compounds in drug discovery||723,115|
|EP/J002305/1||Barnes, Dr P R F||Imperial College London||Charge Carrier Dynamics and Molecular Wiring in Hybrid Optoelectronic Devices||722,816|
|EP/J002534/1||Greaves, Dr S J||University of Bristol||Dynamics of Gas-Liquid Reactions; The Pseudo-Surface Approach||1,059,463|
|EP/J002259/1||Hubert, Dr C||Newcastle University||DEEPBIOENGINEERING||985,943|
|EP/J002186/1||NGODUY, Dr D||University of Leeds||Advanced traffic flow theory and control for heterogeneous intelligent traffic networks||480,598|
|EP/J002380/1||Eames, Dr M||University of Exeter||The development of an early stage thermal model to protect against uncertainty and morbidity in buildings under predicted climate change||506,058|
|EP/J002356/1||Dean, Dr P||University of Leeds||Coherent detection and manipulation of terahertz quantum cascade lasers||695,589|
|EP/J002224/1||Brotherston, Dr J||Queen Mary, University of London||Logical Foundations of Resource||465,503|
|EP/J002607/1||Sadrzadeh, Dr M||University of Oxford||Foundational Structures for Compositional Meaning||529,968|
|EP/J002526/1||Yamagishi, Dr J||University of Edinburgh||Deep architectures for statistical speech synthesis||741,163|
|EP/J001953/1||Mather, Dr M||University of Nottingham||Self-assembling Liposome Nano-transducers||733,385|
|EP/J002402/1||Ebbens, Dr S||University of Sheffield||Using Self-Assembling Swimming Devices to Control Motion at the Nanoscale||896,741|
|EP/J002100/1||Reddyhoff, Dr T||Imperial College London||Triboemission and Boundary Film Formation||719,805|
|EPSRC Ref.||PI||Organisation||Title||Value (£)|
|EP/J003948/1||Gelfreykh, Dr V||University of Warwick||Unstable Dynamics in Hamiltonian Systems||821,038|
|EP/J004022/1||Luczak, Professor MJ||University of Sheffield||Stochastic models for epidemics in large populations: limiting and long-term behaviour||952,949|
|EP/J003840/1||Adjiman, Dr CS||Imperial College London||The molecular frontier: extending the boundaries of process design||1,278,003|
|EP/J004081/1||Reynolds, Dr P||University of Sheffield||Advanced Technologies for Mitigation of Human-Induced Vibration||1,056,999|
|EP/J003867/1||Alavi, Professor A||University of Cambridge||Quantum Monte Carlo meets Quantum Chemistry||968,120|
|EP/J003875/1||Bongs, Professor K||University of Birmingham||Dipolar Quantum Magnets||1,325,121|
|EP/J003832/1||McKenna, Professor P||University of Strathclyde||Multi-PetaWatt Laser-Plasma Interactions: A New Frontier in Physics||1,330,510|
|EP/J003859/1||Bresme, Dr F||Imperial College London||Novel thermo-molecular effects at nanoscale interfaces: from nanoparticles to molecular motors||1,181,480|
|EP/J003999/1||Gregoryanz, Dr E||University of Edinburgh||Synthesis and Studies of Novel States of Matter at Extreme Conditions||1,103,039|
|EP/J004049/1||Colton, Dr S||Imperial College London||Computational Creativity Theory||970,170|
|EP/J004057/1||Cohen, Professor N||University of Leeds||WHole Animal Modelling (WHAM): Toward the integrated understanding of sensory motor control in C. elegans||1,185,968|
|EP/J004111/1||Krasnogor, Professor N||University of Nottingham||Towards a Universal Biological-Cell Operating System (AUdACiOuS)||1,026,408|
|EP/J003964/1||Rosser, Dr SJ||University of Glasgow||A synthetic biology approach to optimisation of microbial fuel cell electricity production||960,594|
Chwarae Teg, in partnership with the Science Council, are undertaking comparative research in the career paths of men and women across Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries in Wales. The survey is intended to be completed by men and women who either live or studied in Wales and hold a post-16 STEM qualification; for most people this will mean education and training undertaken after having completed your O-Levels/GCSEs.
Targeted subjects include: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, Biology, Geography, Geology, Forensic Science, Psychology, Sports Science and Archaeological Sciences.
The research will explore why women and girls do not progress into STEM careers in Wales; it forms part of the Agile Nation project run by Chwarae Teg, funded by the European Social Fund and Welsh Government.
Please complete the survey (also available in Welsh) and pass along to your colleagues and networks in Wales. The deadline for the survey is Tuesday 20th December 2011.
In October, Iain Gray (CEO of the Technology Strategy Board), ahead of a visit to Wales, compiled a list of 50 high-technology and innovation-led businesses and organisation across North and South Wales; I made a Storify of the tweets before I found his blog post.
- Creative Industries
- Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)
- Energy and Environment
- Advanced Materials and Manufacturing
- Life Sciences
- Financial and Professional Services
- Food and Farming
The list correlates to the first five of these priority sectors — it is in no particular order, and there are, of course, many businesses not included. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see the diverse range of innovation and high-value R&D in Wales across these five sectors, highlighting that there is a strong underpinning research base from Welsh universities, along with investment from both government and industry (but clearly more is needed). I have particular interest in the composition of this list due to the importance of the ICT sector (with its associated key priorities): I sit on the Welsh Government’s Strategy Group for the Digital Wales Research Hub, which aims to develop organisational and funding strategies to complement the RCUK Digital Economy Programme. The Hub will bring together industry, universities and funding bodies to facilitate the delivery of open, innovative and collaborative R&D related to the Digital Economy; creation of the Hub is a cornerstone of the Welsh Government’s Delivering a Digital Wales agenda.
More information about the Digital Wales Research Hub to follow in early 2012!