Birmingham University School of Computer Science

For the past couple of weeks I have been busy travelling up North to see family and friends and also to Birmingham, for a Women in Computing conference. After receiving a (late) email from the MzTek mailing list about the
BCS Lovelace Colloquium 2011 taking place at the University of Birmingham, I booked my coach/train tickets to visit. Luckily my request for a place booking was accepted down to my A Level study…

This annual one-day event is open to all undergraduate AND taught postgraduate women in computing and related disciplines across the UK, and beyond.

It was kind of daunting being the only art student there among all of the computer scientists, but everyone was really friendly and I didn’t feel too out of place. I brought along my ‘Last Bug’ poster to display in the Computer Science building along with the project poster entries. It’s an understatement to say mine looked the odd one out but I did receive a good few nice comments and interest in it (also from professors and software developers) !

A few photographs I took... only remembered to take some as I was leaving!

It was great to hear the talks from the visiting speakers – especially Prof. Angela Sasse who discussed topics on the future of data privacy. It was surprised how much I understood of the talks and related to them, considering the audience!

‘Design’ began to crop up a lot in the talks, including those given by employees of IBM and Google. For some reason I had began to think computer science was mainly about coding software and the mathematics involved – although of course I knew that it is a very creative subject, I wasn’t fully aware of all of the interesting research that goes into it. I thought that these were maybe for separate specific subject areas. For example, my first project of second year on mind uploading could be used as a university computing research project easily (with room for mock ups and execution of course). I managed to speak to quite a few people on the day, whose work really inspired me to keep these themes running through my projects.

On the day I got to speak to Jennifer Sheridan of Big Dog Interactive who delivered a great talk about her progression as a post graduate Computer Scientist to working in a Digital/Interactive design studio. I hope to be able to meet up with her again soon, perhaps during Digital Shoreditch!!

We also got a few snazzy goodies from Google, which I’ll post up here sometime. I would like to look into internships for design students at Google, Microsoft or similar as I think it would be a fantastic opportunity and experience.

Couple more things –

With the recent addition of a new laptop in my life (!) I have switched the existing 320GB HDD with a more generous 750GB HDD. Now I have a little old lonely HDD which I need to buy an enclosure for to convert into a portable hard drive! But I am determined to create something for it in the laser cutter…

Also – I’ll be back in Liverpool for a few days soon where I’ll be taking photos for the photography brief by my tutor Sigune.


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