Computer Science Showcase Success

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School of Computer Science students show off their final projects to industry leaders and fellow classmates in an exciting annual showcase event.

A Smart Mirror, a ‘Swords of Turing’ fighting game and chess lessons with a twist played a big part of the day-long event with undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Minerva Building, Atrium.

Senior Lecturer Bruce Hargrave said: “The event was a huge success. We had some great student projects on show throughout the day including postgraduate research, presentations and demo’s and it was great to see some local industry leaders getting involved in the day and giving advice to students too.”

Students created chatbots, games and other artefacts intended to ‘pass’ the Turing Test, under the title ‘Man or Machine? Can You Tell The Difference?’

Computer Science student Keiran Lowe said: “It’s been a really good experience and really valuable, because even though our project is in development, people who try the game have given us responses we might not have thought about. And because we have to programme each response in, we can add their responses to increase the knowledge base.

“It’s been a good event to showcase our project at, but also to test it on what people think.”

Watch Keiran’s project here:

Even Gadget Show presenter and University of Lincoln guest lecturer Jason Bradbury came along to see the projects in action. Jason helped students with ideas, encouraging projects to go further and promoting team work from start to finish.

Organiser Dr Amr Ahmed said: “This is another success and expansion over the last 4 years events. More guests and interests, better projects and demos, all made public in the Atrium for internal and external visitors.

“We are proud of our students achievements and annually organise such events to make opportunities for them to interact with employers and visitors to show their work. The panel find it more and more difficult to choose the winners at the end of the event. And they are looking forward for the next year’s event already. Some job vacancies have already been sent to us, from guests and employers.”

University Vice Chancellor, Professor Mary Stuart enjoyed the day too, adding: “What a wonderful event and so good to see all the work.

Lincoln researchers develop disabled-friendly interactive games

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University of Lincoln researchers have been working on interactive games to be more disabled-friendly.

School of Computer Science lecturer Dr Kathrin Gerling and Dr Adam Evans from Health Advancement Research Team (HART) have been creating computer games that allow young people with disabilities to use powered technology to interact on screen.

Dr Kathrin Gerling and Dr Adam Evans from Health Advancement Research Team (HART) have been working strongly with Lincoln’s St Francis School, a school that specialises in supporting young people with disabilities.

The technology allows the students to use their powered wheelchairs to help play the leisure games.

Dr Gerling said: “We wanted to see if movement-based games could be a positive experience for young people who use powered wheelchairs. When you use a wheelchair, you often have limited opportunity to take part in physical activity, and this means young people don’t have as much access to physical play as we’d like.

“There are many social benefits associated with taking part in these activities, which is why we thought it would be interesting to see if we could use games to create spaces for physical play.”

Collaborating with a group of students as a case study, they were asked questions about what games they were interested in playing, what they thought to games and physical activities in general, but more importantly, what their perspectives on representation of disability in games were – for example, if they wanted their wheelchair to be portrayed within the game.

Dr Gerling added: “Some of the younger students would say, “No I want to be able to play rugby and play all of these things, whilst a lot of the older students would say, “this is who I am, my wheelchair is a part of myself,” but would worry about introducing limitations to gameplay as a result of including disability in games.

Using student feedback, the project team built three different games: a skiing simulator game featuring a monoski, a robot boxing game and also a sensory experience game where you move through fields and see flowers.

The games aimed to interact with the movement of a wheelchair; if you wanted to punch in the boxing game you’d turn to the wheelchair to the right or left. Similar to the skiing game where movement would change the speed and direction of travel.

“Designing the games was challenging because we didn’t want the young people to be reminded of the things they couldn’t do,” Dr Gerling said.

“But the inclusion of disability in the skiing game was something players really appreciated when we took our games back to St. Francis – in fact, they commented that the game reminded them that just because you’re using a wheelchair, it doesn’t mean you can’t participate in certain things.”

Award-winning consultancy looking for top graduate talent

Are you ambitious, hungry for success, confident, but easy-going & caring, with excellent communication skills? An award-winning and rapidly expanding recruitment consultancy in London is looking for top graduate talent to join their success story. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and put in the hard work in order to progress and earn big rewards, this is the perfect place to start your career.

Company

Digital & Technology Recruitment Consultancy

Position

Associate Consultant

Industry

Recruitment – all levels from board down

Location

Central London

Salary

£24k starting base + uncapped commission
(Year 2 OTE – £60k; Year 3 OTE – £100k)

Start Date

Summer/Autumn 2016

How to apply

Upload CV to: http://bit.ly/1WccRL1 quoting “DEPT” as referral code

Deadline

9th May 2016

The company
They are a rapidly growing, 114-people strong technology recruitment consultancy who take great pride in their values and culture. Since forming 9 years ago they have won several awards for being one of the UK’s fastest growing companies, and for being one of the best places to work in the UK with a target of being No.1 by 2017. As a top employer, they attract the top graduate talent, taking on only the most ambitious graduates with real integrity to provide the best service to both their candidates and clients. Everyone on their team is given a slice of the equity – an enormous incentive which attracts top talent, drives a great team culture, and helps establish a collective pride in delivering the best possible results.

The scheme:

Experience is not important and you can be studying for any degree. All that matters is that you have the right personality, values, desire and motivation for this role. The role will see you supporting a team for several months as a resourcing associate, learning about the company and the position. Once you are ready you will become a consultant, executing 360 degree recruitment, which means that you will be responsible for finding and matching both clients and candidates. Your bonus is uncapped and you keep 1/3 of the money you bill. You will be working at all levels of recruitment for a top company, from the board down – permanent, contract, interim and executive search.

Selling Points

·         Equity for everyone who helps grow the business – commitment to give 40% of equity to staff

·         Excellent training and support

·         Rapid career progression into management

·         Excellent commission – you keep 1/3 of your billing as bonus

·         High performance and collegiate culture with emphasis on teams

·         Voted one of the best places to work in the UK

·         Focus on employee well-being (weekly massages, daily fruit etc.)

·         Company holidays (e.g. skiing abroad, trips to the coast)

·         International expansion in short term

·         Entrepreneurial environment where thinking big is rewarded

Is this right for you?

High performance and delivering outstanding service is assumed. High values are mandatory. Desire to be successful is key. You need to have integrity, sincerity and excellent interpersonal skills and want to work hard and push yourself to always be the best. You will be motivated by career progression and big financial rewards. 

How to apply
Click here: http://bit.ly/1WccRL1 to upload your CV, quoting “DEPT” as the referral code. We will then guide you through the recruitment process and prepare you before each stage, as well as consider you for other top graduate positions we have. 

Postdoc to give a talk at a world-leading AI lab in America

A School of Computer Science STRANDS postdoc has been invited to give a presentation at a world-leading Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in the USA.

Dr Tomas Krajnik, in L-CAS will give a talk next week at MIT: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, USA on ‘FreMEn: Frequency Map Enhancement for Long-Term Autonomy of Mobile Robots’.

Tom is a research fellow at the Lincoln Center of Autonomous Systems. He has a PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence and Biocybernetics from the Czech Technical University, Prague, Czech Republic, in 2012. His research interests include long-term autonomy, robot vision and aerial robotics.

This is an amazing opportunity for him to present the work of the STRANDS project to an American audience and we will keep you informed on how the talk goes.

Abstract:

While robotic mapping of static environments has been widely studied,life-long mapping in non-stationary environments is still an open problem. We present an approach for long-term representation of natural environments, where many of the observed changes are caused by pseudo-periodic factors, such as seasonal variations, or humans performing their daily chores.

Rather than using a fixed probability value, our method models the uncertainty of the elementary environment states by their frequency spectra. This allows to integrate sparse and irregular observations obtained during long-term deployments of mobile robots into memory-efficient models that reflect the recurring patterns of activity in the environment.

The frequency-enhanced spatio-temporal models allow to predict the future environment states, which improves the efficiency of mobile robot operation in changing environments. In a series of
experiments performed over periods of weeks to years, we demonstrate that the proposed approach improves mobile robot localization, path and task planning, activity recognition and allows for life-long spatio-temporal exploration.

STRANDS

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