All posts by Lorna Davis

A sad goodbye

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We say ‘good-bye’ with a heavy heart to Marc Hanheide from within the School of Computer Science who has now left  the University of Lincoln to start a new venture.

Marc is leaving for a visiting Professorship at the University of Rome, “La Sapinza”, one of the top university’s in Italy, which also ranks world-wide. The position is fully-funded by the Italian government to provide guest lecturers in the Masters programme in the country.

But don’t worry, he’ll be back!

Away till May 27th, Marc will be taking the research work he does with STRANDS and long term autonomy to further the work on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence they’re already undertaking at the university.

He will be joining the department, “Dipartimento di Ingegneria informatica automatica e gestionale Antonio Ruberti” (The Department of Computer, Control, and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti).

Marc said: “I’ve been in this post (at the University of Lincoln) for the longest in my life time ever. I’ve been doing this for four years. I felt I was ready for a change, and because I love it in Lincoln, I was looking for something which isn’t forever.

“This gives me more opportunities to make contact with new people, find new collaborators and come up with new ideas.”

Spending half his time teaching, the other half doing research, he hopes that it will open doors to enable collaboration with the University of Rome.

“We haven’t really collaborated with them before, so there are opportunities there,” he said. “The biggest benefit is that we’ll extend the network there.”

Students are advised not to worry as Marc will be contactable and in touch whilst he’s away and says Skype meetings will be arranged.

Marc says ‘experience’ is what he wants to get most out of this trip.

“It’s all about getting the experience; that’s what this job mostly is all about. Hopefully I come back and bring some new ideas.”

We wish Marc all the best with his new venture and we will see him back in May.

Jason Bradbury in two places at once

Who said you can’t be in two places at once?
bradburyTV presenter, tech guru for The Gadget Show and Visiting Lecturer Jason Bradbury showed us how by delivering a virtual lecture for our second year ‘Group Project’ students using new robotic communication technology.
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Using a Double Robotics system, Jason was able to have a physical presence in front of our students, even though he couldn’t be there in person.
He presented his lecture, moved around the room and discussed creative new ideas with students, all from his base in London.“It is so exciting to be living in a time when technology enables you to teach an entire lecture theatre in person, despite being hundreds of miles away. Technological advances are improving our means of communication on a daily basis,” explained Jason. “I’m delighted to be able to deliver virtual lectures at the University of Lincoln as part of what is a very exciting project for the students.”

Jason’s lecture formed part of a module for second year Computer Science students, entitled My AI Ate My Homework. He tasked the students with a challenging new project – to design and develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that is capable of passing the Turing Test.

The Turing Test was created by Alan Turing OBE, who was a pioneering computer scientist and mathematician and was instrumental in many technological developments during the 1940s. His work at the Bletchley Park codebreaking centre, where he lead a group to breaking the Enigma code, played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in World War II.

 

The Turing Test is a test of a machine’s ability to give the perception of ‘intelligent behaviour’, or to make itself indistinguishable from a human being. Thus, the student’s project would be to create a system which would make people believe they were interacting with a person, when really they’ve been responding to an AI robot.

Bruce Hargrave, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Lincoln, is leading the module. He said: “Turing proposed that for a machine to pass his test, a human must be unable to tell if he or she was communicating with another human or with a machine. In computer science, the interactions between humans and robots are important areas of study and it is fascinating to explore what it is that distinguishes human behaviour from that of a machine. We are inviting our students to build their own machine with the ability to do just that – appear human.”Suggestions for the type of systems that could be developed by the students include an online agony aunt, a social media communicator, a fortune teller and a fast food ordering service.

The students will submit written proposals before developing their systems, with the aim of exhibiting them in public later in the year.

Create a game in 48hrs for Global Game Jam

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We’re excited to announce we will be hosting a Global Game Jam event at the University of Lincoln THIS WEEKEND 29-31 January.

In the Co-Op Lecture theatre we will hold a massive 48-hour event where game designers of all levels come together and pit their development skills against the world for prizes and of course, fun!

From beginners to experts, we want everyone to join in the fun and you all you need to do is sign up here http://tinyurl.com/LincolnGGJ16 

Bring your friends along for this amazing event! 

Find out more about the Global Game Jam here

Save the date: Upcoming must-see seminars

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We’ve got some great seminars coming up in the School of Computer Science, so put these dates in your diary and we’ll see you there.

First up next week we have a seminar on ‘Visual mining – interpreting image and video‘ with speaker Professor Stefan Rüger from the Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, UK.

The seminar will start at 2pm on Tuesday 26th January in MB1013, Minerva Building. No need to book, just come along.

This talk highlights recent important technical advances in automated media understanding, which has a variety of applications ranging from machines emulating the human aesthetic judgment of photographs to typical visual mining tasks such as analysing food images.

Highlighted techniques include near-duplicate detection, multimedia indexing and the role of machine learning. The talk will end by looking into the crystal ball exploring what machines might learn from automatically analysing tens of thousands of hours of TV footage.”

We also have a fascinating seminar on ‘Guaranteed delivery systems for online advertising‘ on Wednesday 3rd February at 3pm till 4pm. Please come to MC0024, we look forward to seeing you there.

“Online advertising has become a significant source of revenue for publishers and search engines. One important business model in online advertising is the so-called non-guaranteed delivery (NGD) system, in which advertisers purchase their targeted advertisement inventories like page views or link clicks on the spot market through an auction mechanism.

Despite the success of the NGD system, it has several limitations including the uncertainty in the buyer’s payment, the volatility in the seller’s revenue, and the weak loyalty between buyer and seller. To alleviate these problems, guaranteed delivery (GD) systems have been recently studied in which advertisers are able to secure their targeted future deliveries through standardised or customised contracts.

In this presentation, we will discuss several GD systems that we have developed. “

We look forward to seeing you there so you can join in the conversation. 

Click here to keep up to date with all our seminars in the School of Computer Science