Welcome to Episode 27 of the CS@Manchester podcast!
This episode features a special interview with Experimental Offier Samuel Walsh from the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Christian Kinderman, a PhD student from the School of Computer Science.
We talk about their experiences representing the University as part of Project Malawi, an initiative with the Charity Ripple Africa to deliver Computer Science workshops in villages in North Malawi.
We talk about what initially drew them towards taking part in the project, the challenges of delivering the workshops to the schoolchildren there, how they were received and the experiences and relationships that they will take away with them forever.
Explore through some of the photos and videos and images that Samuel was talking about and showing:
Read more about the Project Malawi and the team of students and teachers supporting the project here:
Find out more about the charity Ripple Africa and the different support they deliver here:
The School's latest cohort of final year Undergraduates finished their degrees this summer and celebrated at the Graduation Ceremony in Mid-July.
We caught up with a variety of students and staff as they reflect on reaching the end of this long journey, what have been their highlights and what they have planned for the future.
Those featured in this podcast are in order:
Sarah Akerman, BSc CSwIE
Cameron Allan, BSc CS
Sean Bechhoffer, Senior Lecturer and First Year Tutor
Josh Langley, MEng CSwIE
Gavin Donald, Student Support Staff Member
Sami Alabed, BSc CSwIE
Ben Possible, BSc CSwIE
Prof Robert Stevens, Head of School
Prof Uli Sattler, Deputy Head of School
Stay in touch with the School by following us on twitter @csmcr!
Should you be interested in studying Computer Science here in Manchester, why not come to one of our upcoming UG Open Days on 29 Sep or 13 October.
The CS@Manchester podcast catches up with PhD student and BSc Computer Science University of Manchester graduate Josh Dawes, who is now studying and working at the Large Hadron Collider and CMS experiments at CERN in Switzerland.
Josh's PhD is concerned with developing methods for non-intrusive instrumentation and analysis of the computer systems running on the CMS Experiment. As the energy reached by the LHC increases, the volume of data generated reaches an unprecedented scale. It is therefore vital to understand in detail the services written to work with the data.
Since collecting every single piece of data available at runtime is infeasible, work must be done on reconstructing as much of a service's runtime as possible (to enable an ability to write expressive queries about the runtime), while collecting as little data (thus, intervening as rarely) as possible.
Find out more about Josh and his PhD here:
Episode 24 of the CS@Manchester podcast features a conversation between PhD student Ghader Kurdi from Saudi Arabia and her supervisor Dr Bijan Parsia.
We discuss Ghader's initial journey to start her PhD in the UK and then onto her research in writing Multiple Choice questions* examinations and how it has expanded into other research domains and disciplines.
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*Full abstract from Ghader's paper:
Abstract Designing good multiple choice questions (MCQs) for education and assessment is time consuming and error-prone. An abundance of structured and semi structured data has led to the development of automatic MCQ generation methods. Recently, ontologies have emerged as powerful tools to enable the automatic
generation of MCQs.
However, current ontology-based approaches focus on, mostly simple, knowledge recall questions. In addition, questions that have so far been generated are, compared to manually created ones,
simple and cover only a small subset of the required question complexity space in the education and assessment domain.
We present a novel ontology-based approach that exploits classes and existential restrictions to generate questions with complex stems and are suitable for scenarios beyond mere knowledge recall.
We implement our approach as an application for a medical education scenario on top of a large knowledge base in the medical domain. We generate more than 3 million questions for four physician specialities and evaluate our approach in a user study with 15 medical experts.
We find that, using a stratifed random sample of 435 questions out of which 316 were rated by two experts, 129 (30%) are considered exam-ready by both experts and a further 216 (50%) by at least one expert.
We caught up with Dr Andy Harter at the recent BCS/IET Turing Lecture 2018 as it entered it's 20th year at The University of Manchester back in February.
We discussed the topic of his talk on the role of "art" in innovation and technology, including not only the aesthetic but also craft, design, skill, invention and intuition.
We also talk about his background as Director of Research and Engineering at the influential AT&T Cambridge Laboratory and establishing the VNC software for the remote access market.
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Today's episode of the CS@Manchester podcast features an interview with two of our final year students, Sebastien Masaru and Joshua Langley.
Seb and Josh have been heavily involved in the student community in the School and University, with both having roles in the Computer Science Society (http://cssoc.co.uk), helping organise, and presenting at, Hackathons around the country, and hosting regular Staff v Student quizzes inside the School.
We talk what the student social network is like, why they prefer Manchester over London, the relationship between staff and students and some of the memories they will take away with them forever.
Here is a video to the Great Uni Hack event discussed in the podcast:
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or catch us on Twitter @csmcr!
Today's episode features an interview with 2016 BSc Computer Science graduate Todd Davies, who came back to Manchester recently to present a guest lecture to our current Undergraduates.
Todd is now working full time as a Software Engineer at the Google Offices in Munich, Germany. After initially undertaking a summer internship, Todd starting working there full time last year.
We talk about a range of things, including the google recruitment process, and what his role entails in Munich. We also discuss his experiences on degree, his infamous 'Todd's Notes' and the surprising price of Lederhosen!
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If you are interested in studying a degree in CS please explore our website for more information:
Today's episode features an extended interview with 2 key academic staff that help shape the Software Engineering course here in the School of Computer Science at The University of Manchester, both at Undergraduate level and at Advanced Computer Science for MSc study.
We talk to Dr Bijan Parsia and Dr Suzanne Embury about the many challenges of teaching the subject, what different techniques they use, the importance of team working and collaboration with Industry, and what skill sets they believe make a really good Software Engineer.
Find out more about Bijan and his work:
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Episode 19 of the CS@Manchester Podcast features interviews with a range of our Undergraduate students (now graduates!) at our recent summer graduation.
Gavin Donald from our Student Support office managed to catch up with graduates in the marquee and lawn outside the Alan Gilbert Common Rooms, whilst celebrating their achievements with family and friends, after the graduation ceremony in the Whitworth Hall.
He asks them how they were feeling after graduating, what their highlights have been in Manchester and where they are heading off for the next step of their career.
Featured in the interviews are Theodora Bors, Yazan Mehyar, Grzegorz Jancekow, Josh Dawes, Andi Zhang, Bryn Hanby-Roberts , Joe Razavi and Natalie Silver.
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Music by The Passion Hi-Fi
Episode 18 of the CS@Manchester podcast focuses on life in Computer Science from an Industry perspective, with an interview with Craig Dean, the CEO of Web Applications UK: https://www.webapplicationsuk.com.
We speak to Craig about his first interest in computers, his fascinating career path, including a life changing experience working for a few years in Africa and his thoughts on computer science education. He tells us why he loves to find out something he doesn't know and acknowledging the fact that as a developer there should always be more to learn.
We also talk about his focus on community engagement and instilling a passion for coding and developing to students, school children and adults.
Craig has done a number of guest lectures at the University, including his 'To Boldly Go' talk, which you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/user/WebAppsUK
Follow and get in touch with the podcast team @csmcr