Jun 9 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Computing for a World Water Speed Record @ Oxford e-Research Centre | Oxford | United Kingdom
Computing for a World Water Speed Record A multi-media presentation by Nigel Macknight of the Quicksilver project Technology, history and human endeavour meet in the Quicksilver project – the determined bid that’s under way to[...]

[Event Summary] Scientific Supercomputing and Atlas 1, a 50 Year Story

[Event Summary] A Future in 3D

Cultural Heritage Preservation – looking to the future

Dr Alexy Karenowska began her talk by describing how important our buildings are to us.  Our emotional response can be as strong  as any aesthetic consideration. A loss of our cultural heritage can be deeply wounding. Alexy gave the example of  the Old Town Market Place in Warsaw which was devastated during WW2. In the 1950s it was completely restored to its pre-war appearance. Such was the priority accorded to a collection of buildings. There were many photographs and drawings available making the restoration possible.

The Million Image Database Program will preserve a record of many important structures and artefacts. There is an unfortunate and destructive trade in the sale of ancient artefacts and there is often no photographic record to prove their provenance. It is hoped that the database could help to prevent their export and sale on the open market. Ancient buildings can be under threat both from neglect or deliberate damage as in the case of Palmyra.

It is planned by February 2016 to have 5,000 3D cameras distributed in Syria and the Middle East for downloading images onto the database and in due course 1 million 3D cameras will be distributed worldwide. As there is some danger the organisers were concerned that there would not be enough volunteers in Syria to take the detailed images. But such is the importance placed on preserving their heritage that there have been many more volunteers than needed.

Work in is in progress to convert the camera images into 3D computer models and from there to actual 3D printed buildings. The project team have printed out a scale model and this is accurate in every detail, down to the moss stains under the arch.  The tops of tall buildings can be photographed by aeroplane or where that would be dangerous, such as a war zone, drones could be used.

There is proof of concept of the 3D printing of buildings. The example that Alexy gave was a Chinese project where some basic houses were printed out in 24 hours. Such rapid building could be of great use as temporary housing in disaster areas.

Alexy gave us a lively, interesting and thought provoking talk and posed such question as: should the replica be built using the original materials and to their original as new state, would the building be on the original site, should the attention to detail almost look as if deception was intended?

[Event Summary] Cultures of the Internet

BCS Bedford Branch – Making IT Good for Society

The Bedford Branch has an evening meeting on 15th March, Tuesday, at Bedford where Jeremy Barlow, one of the BCS Executives, is sharing the new vision of ‘Making IT Good for Society’.

The meeting is not a one way talk, but more a gathering of local stakeholders to work out how best we can work together in our area to serve the community.

As one of the Bedford Branch neighbouring branches, it would be great if you and/or your colleagues can join us.

Details are in the Branch website and the attached information sheet.


[Event Summary] Protect Your Light Bulb Moment

[Event Summary] Transparency Through Raw Material Traceability

[Event Summary] A Curator’s Guided Tour of the Museum of the History of Science

Dr Elizabeth Bruton gave us a brilliant guided tour, she made the exhibits come alive for us, drawing on her deep curator’s knowledge of the objects and a fund of anecdotes to make the personalities behind the exhibits truly human for us.

The Marconi story is a fascinating one in itself and we were taken from the early designs through to later iterations and the uses to which they were put. In a wireless receiver made by Marconi around 1896, first used to demonstrate utility, components were hidden in a black box so it would not be realised that others’ inventions and apparatus were being used. It is said that Marconi was an innovator rather than an inventor but perhaps better described as a great engineer and entrepreneur.  He was a man of extraordinary organising abilities and charm, bringing people together from the worlds of science, academia, business, government and the armed forces. This cross disciplinary collaboration publicised the usefulness of his wireless communications causing it to be quickly taken up in WW1. He also had the cheek of the devil and could be quite ruthless. He reneged on an understanding of future business collaboration with his champion, William Preece, engineer-in-chief of the General Post Office, who didn’t talk to him for three years after.

The ‘Dear Harry . . .’ story is a touching biography of a brilliant young scientist who would surely have won the Nobel Prize, for his work on the Periodic Table, had he survived WW1. This is also the story of the Gallipoli disaster. Arrogant leaders who thought one ‘Tommie’ was better than four Turks and who took little account of the waterless and daunting terrain. Harry had been encouraged by Ernest Rutherford, his former supervisor at the University of Manchester, not to volunteer but Elizabeth says that would have been un-thinkable, given his background. Elizabeth felt she got to know Harry really well during her research and putting on the exhibition. One of our group was a twelve year old boy who has yet to the meet the Periodic Table at school, but he has seen Henry (Harry) Moseley’s own graph produced from his research on X-ray spectra of the elements and the actual equipment on which the results were produced, what a privilege.  The wobbly entry in Harry’s mother’s diary stating that ‘Harry died’ must move anyone. The exhibition was due to end in October but because it has been so popular it is now on until the end of January.

How could we leave without paying homage to the Babbage difference engine? Ada Lovelace has her cabinet of exhibits too. Elizabeth brought our attention to three small objects, that we could well have overlooked, an early small calculator showing its evolution. This was in the process of design by Austrian engineer Curt Herzstark in the 1930s. Herzstark’s father was Jewish and so he was taken into custody in 1943, eventually finding himself at the Buchenwald concentration camp. When the Nazis found out about his considerable skills they made him work for them. He did not finish his work before the end of the war and was liberated before the Russians before travelling to Liechtenstein and persuading the Prince of Liechtenstein to get a consortium together to fund the manufacture. This little calculator was widely taken up and could compute to 16 decimal points, so very sophisticated for its time, and remained one of the most popular calculators until the development of electronic calculators in the 1970s.

We all love stories and Elizabeth told three very good ones, thank you Dr Bruton.

Annual Student Prizes 2015

BCS Oxfordshire Branch supports annual student prizes to the three Oxfordshire universities of Brookes, Cranfield and Oxford universities. Our Branch is pleased to announce the winners for 2015.

The Awards are as follows:

The best final Year Project in a computing subject (£75 each and a certificate)

  • Oliver Parker,  Oxford Brookes University, Course Title: BSc Computer Games and Animation
  •  Lewis Antony Privett, Oxford Brookes University, Course Title:  BSc Network Computing

Both were awarded the BCS Prize for the Best Final Year Project

The best results by a First Year student in a computing subject (Student membership plus certificate)

  • Sarah Phillips, Oxford Brookes University, Course Title:  BSc Computer Science

Awarded the BCS Prize for the Best Results by a First Year Student

The best performance in Preliminary Examinations (1st year)

  • Alexandru Okros, Worcester College, University of Oxford, Course Title: Master of Computer Science (MCompSci)

Awarded the BCS Prize for Best Performance in Preliminary Examinations (1st year)

The ICM Prize for Best Performance

  • Claire Bevan, Cranfield University, Course Title: ICM MSc

Awarded the BCS Prize (ICM Course)


Presentation of awards at Oxford Brookes University

CCT Graduation Awards

From left to right. Mrs Privett, mother of student Lewis Privett, Lewis Privett, award winner, Sheila Lloyd Lyons, vice chair BCS Oxfordshire Branch. Behind Sheila is Dr Faye Mitchell, Programme lead for Postgraduate Computing and Communication Technologies. Next to Faye is Dr Mark Green Senior lecturer in computing. Returning to the front row we have Oliver Parker, award winner, Mrs Parker, mother of Oliver. Next to Mrs Parker is Dr Nigel Crook, Head of Department of Computing and communication Technologies, and Mr Parker, father of Oliver Parker. In the rear is a family friend of the Parkers.



Lewis Privett accepting the award from Sheila Lloyd Lyons in the presence of Dr Nigel Crook


Oliver Parker accepting the award from Sheila Lloyd Lyons in the presence of Dr Nigel Crook


[Event Summary] Pervasive Computing


Chris Yapp is a freelance Consultant specialising in innovation and future thinking. He presented a very interesting talk on Pervasive Computing, which sparked significant discussion, which unfortunately had to be curtailed when we had to vacate the lecture hall.

Chris presented the two paradoxes at the heart of the Internet of Things:

  • it is here now, but it is also 10 year away
  • it is inevitable, but we don’t know what it is!

These issues were put into context by looking at some previous paradigm shifts in technology, and its implications for society. The challenges we face will be both technical and social/commercial, it it is the latter which might delay implementation. To address these issues a multi – and inter-disciplinary – approach will be needed.

He left the audience with an important question:

  • How can we accelerate developments that generate real social and economic benefits of innovation, while guarding against downsides that risk a backlash?


[Event Summary] Systems Implementation


Cranfield University: MSc Forensic Computing Open Day


Cranfield University invites you to the MSc Forensic Computing open day on the 29th June.

The MSc is solely focused on Forensic Computing enabling a student to take 11 modules: 8 Forensic Computing specific modules and 3 Forensic Science modules.  The full time MSc is delivered alongside our short course and part time programs enabling you to study alongside practitioners. Finally this MSc is taught on a Defence Academy site meaning you will have the unique opportunity to study on a military site alongside a wide range of other forensic science courses.

Please note this event is actually at the Shrivenham campus (based at the Defence Academy which is a military site) and that pre-registration is essential otherwise  you won’t get past the guards!!

Registration link: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/about/events/listings/events-2015/forensic-computing-open-day-2015.html

 Event Poster

[Event Summary] Federated Cloud

Federated Cloud Computing

The presentation has been made available for download.

Talent Pool #2

Talent Pool

Talent Pool #2 is a free event to connect skilled professionals who want a work/life balance with Oxfordshire businesses that promote flexible working.

  • Network with 20 major local employers in the marketplace and learn about the type of opportunities they have on offer.
  • Attend compact workshops run by specialists to build interview confidence, map career changes and learn how make flexible working work for you.
  • Match with a mentor who can support you through the career changes you want to make.
  • Hear from Oxfam’s Deputy Chief Executive Penny Lawrence and recruitment leader Sara Hill, the CEO of Capability Jane

When?  Friday 6 March 2015, 9.30 – 11.15am
Where? Oxfam, John Smith Drive, Oxford, OX4 2JY
How do I register? Visit www.oxfam.org.uk/talentpool (Places are limited)

Talent Pool first ran in 2014, when it was heavily over-subscribed. Participant Katharine Barber said: “Talent Pool was a great way to take my first step back to work, and be reassured that flexible options are out there, plus I made some useful connections.”

For more information contact Sally Otter at talentpool@oxfam.org.uk / 01865 47 3212
Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering

Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International and a company limited by guarantee registered in England No. 612172.
Registered office: Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY.
A registered charity in England and Wales (no 202918) and Scotland (SC 039042)

[BCS Data Centre SG Committee] DataCenterDynamics at CeBIT

CeBit Datacentre

CeBIT have joined forces with DatacenterDynamics to create the world’s largest data centre event.  The BCS Data Centre Special Groups has negotiated a 15% discount, for all BCS members, on published admission prices by quoting code DCSG1 when registering.

The event will take place under the huge roof of CeBIT‘s Hall 12, Hannover Exhibition Ground, Hannover, Germany on 16-20 March 2015.

The exhibition will bring together data center end-users, operators, service providers, advisors and vendors with the world’s largest gathering of over 150 data center technology and services vendors.

There will also be an ambitious conference programme that will explore the most pressing strategy and technology challenges facing the global data center industry.

The programme will help an international audience understand how to boost both efficiency and performance of the IT infrastructure on which their organisations rely.

Full details can be found by following this dedicated link

For anyone whose email filter blocks hyperlinks, it is at:


Remember to quote code DCSG1 for 15% discount to this ambitious world-class event.

[Event Summary] AGM and The Changing Face of Payments


We started the evening with the formalities of the Annual General Meeting agenda items. Details of which will be provided on this website.


After completing the activities of the AGM we were presented with a thought provoking view on the way payments are changing. Tim’s presentation generated considerable discussion and we ultimately ran out of time before we ran out of questions.


Tim has kindly provided a copy of his presentation which can be downloaded below.