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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.

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.

Jason Bradbury to be Visiting Lecturer at the University of Lincoln

TV’s Gadget Show host and author Jason Bradbury is to become a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Lincoln, UK, teaching students on the Computer Science and Product Design programmes.

The self-confessed technology addict will lend his experience and industry insight to one of the project modules on both courses which require final year students to put their learning into practice by tackling a challenging problem relevant to society.

Details of the projects are currently being kept under wraps, but Dr John Murray, Principal Lecturer in Lincoln’s School of Computer Science, said: “The students are in for a real challenge that they will find hugely rewarding and exciting.

“The University of Lincoln is an award-winning institution, recognised by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for its development of innovative approaches to learning.

Jason Bradbury said: “I’m confident that the course modules I created with the academic team at the University of Lincoln will ignite the passion and ingenuity of the students. Having spent some time in the incredible facilities at Lincoln and met several of the students, I fully expect to see some truly innovative results coming out of these two first modules. Watch this space!”
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