University’s privacy protection success

The University of Brighton has helped develop a new software system that empowers citizens to take control of how their private information is used.

Hospitals in Spain and Italy, and government departments in France, Italy and Greece, have successfully applied the new platform in pilot projects, and the European Union has asked for presentations highlighting key aspects and successes.

Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme, the two-year ‘VisiOn: Visual Privacy Management in User-Centric Open Environments’ project has concluded with the successful development of a visual privacy management platform that enables citizens and public administrations to understand and visualise their privacy needs. It identifies conflicts with regard to different privacy needs and privacy laws and it provides warnings to citizens and organisations informing them of potential privacy breaches.

The University’s Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems was part of a consortium of ten other organisations in Europe which carried out the research. The University received €392,000 to develop a critical component of the platform which defines privacy requirements and their visualisation.

Professor Haris Mouratidis, Professor of Software Systems Engineering here in our school, and director of the Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems, said: “The University developed novel methods for the modelling and analysis of security and privacy requirements that are key for the privacy threat analysis performed by the VisiOn platform. We also developed a corresponding tool that automates the analysis and integrates with the rest of the platform components.

“This was an exciting project which focused on an issue that is important for all of us, that of privacy of our personal information.

“We all enjoy the benefits of modern technology such as easy exchange and 24/7 access of information. However, most of the time we use services, we have no understanding of how our personal data is used, shared and controlled. This is the case when using public administration services such as self-assessment tax returns.

“The new system will go a long way towards addressing these security and privacy concerns for both individuals and organisations.”

 

A winning placement year

Arun receiving his award

Arun Sharma is currently on placement as a junior software engineer at West Control Solutions, and is one of two recipients of the Lancia Consult Award for Excellence in a Computing Placement Year at our school awards ceremony.

We caught up with Arun, a student on our Computer Science (Games) course, to find out more about his placement and life at Brighton.

“I’ve always wanted to explore a degree with an emphasis on games, and Brighton offered me the chance to do so, with the opportunity to transfer from a partner college to the second year of the Computer Science (Games) course here.

Highlights of the course for me include the variety of lecturers and their well-established backgrounds, and the 3D Graphics and Animation and the Intelligent Systems modules. Intelligent Systems not only provided a glimpse into game development but also other real-world applications.

I must also recommend the placement year; regardless of any computing course you apply for. It expands your knowledge, allows you to make new contacts as well as possibly having a job offer at the end of it!

The placement office was absolutely excellent, consistently reviewing and offering improvements to my CV and offering mock interviews and tips. I am currently on placement at West Control Solutions as a junior software engineer. The Computer Systems Architecture module has been invaluable for my placement, giving me a solid understanding hardware basics for computer systems. I have already formulated a final year project using the technologies and programming languages I have acquired on placement.

I plan to use my course to get into the games industry. In addition to this, there is a possibility I may pursue a masters in Software Engineering using this degree as a base.”

Congratulations to Arun on his achievements so far!

Celebrating success

We celebrated some fantastic successes today with our award-winning computing students.

Head of School, John Taylor, introduced the School of Computing Engineering and Mathematics awards ceremony by leading a round of applause and congratulating all our winners.

Congratulations to Beck Rush, Digital Media Development BSc(Hons) and Arun Sharma Computer Science (Games) BSc(Hons)who both received the Lancia Consult Award for Excellence in Computing Placement Year and £500 each. The prize is awarded by a University of Brighton alumnus, the MD of Lancia.

Becky spent her placement year at the BBC, you can read about some of her experiences on this blog, including this post. And Arun worked for West Control Solutions, a local software company. We will be finding out more from Arun about how his placement went, soon.

Rupert Agnew Computer Science BSc(Hons) received the FDM Group Prize, and £250, for the best development project from a final year student completing either the Computer Science BSc(Hons), Computer Science (Games) BSc(Hons) or Software Engineering BSc(Hons). You can find out more about Rupert’s project on the blog, here.

Digital Games Production student, Laura Marquick was the recipient of an award from one of our accrediting bodies, the BCS, the Chartered Institute of IT Project Prize for the best project by a final year undergraduate computing student. Laura’s project explored ways to use the structure, abstraction, and discipline of programming to interpret physiological data from the human body and product unique visual effects that reflect the natural beauty of the body’s biological processes.

Our computing division has strong links with Wired Sussex, and Digital Media student, Jaime Dare, and Digital Games Production student, Scott Jarvis were the recipients of awards from Wired Sussex for the best project for a Digital Media, Digital Media Development and Digital Games Production by a final year student.

The celebrations for our graduating students continued into the afternoon with our school graduation ceremony at the Brighton Centre.

Congratulations and well done everyone!

Putting learning into practice on placement

Ganiyu Ibraheem, BSc(Hons) Software Engineering tells us why his placement year was the highlight of his course.

I’ve always had an interest in software development; having participated in programming competitions since high school. I decided I wanted to study Software Engineering at Brighton University as it is one of the few universities offering the courses and with the capacity to support my academic needs.

One of the best parts for me has been the amount of support I received from my lecturers, it really proved helpful throughout the course. The staff are very helpful and have lots of ideas on how to progress academically and professionally. And the course is quite flexible as there are numerous modules available to choose from during the final year ranging over different areas of software development.

The highlight of my course has been my placement year. I was a Software Development intern in the Research and Development Information department at AstraZeneca in Cambridge. I worked clinical trials software for the scientists and utility software for use internally within the department.

The most challenging part of the placement the shift from academia into the industrial setting, as this requires you to draw heavily on the knowledge gained in university and apply it to practical projects. The most interesting part was the amount of exposure I gained at AstraZeneca, as the company provided a lot of support and resources for our professional development.

Another highlight of the placement year was receiving a World-wide Developer Conference (WWDC, 2016) Scholarship from Apple, as I attended a lot of seminars from Apple Engineers in the context of Mobile App Development.

I intend to further pursue a career in Research and Development. The course and placement year has enabled me to pursue a master’s degree whilst I spend the summer working at Microsoft Research Cambridge.

I definitely would recommend the course as the course content is very up to date with industry standards and very practical in nature. And I would encourage prospective students to take advantage of the wide array of opportunities and support provided by the academic staff. And also to take a placement year if they can.

Dream big and aim high

Umair Khalil, Third Year (BSc) Hons Computer Science gives us an insight into life as a computing student at Brighton.

The reason I chose to study at Brighton is because the curriculum reflects what is being used and practiced in industry. The city of Brighton was another big factor as the community here is diverse and brings together the many different cultures within a vibrant city.

The guest lectures have been crucial in understanding how content taught at the University can be instrumental to tasks undertaken by large sized companies. As an example, the Pension’s Regulator gave a lecture for one of my modules, showing how some of their technical and business processes consist of some of the material we learn here. This was a prime example in showing how the course is up-to-date and useful for students to see how the newest technologies can be used in almost any industry.

The course remains up-to-date with the current technologies and theoretical approaches. In the final year, there are a wide array of options to choose from. Some of the modules help to gain the required knowledge on a particular field you want to advance in. I also found the final year project a good resource in helping me to gather a thorough understanding on a topic that is not taught at the University.

The staff have been extremely supportive since the minute I arrived. They have all helped to push me out of my comfort zone. They have always provided me with the advice and the tools to stand out in a very demanding industry, and how I can maximise opportunities in and out of university.

Although I didn’t do a placement year, I did do a spring internship at IBM which taught me massively about the responsibility of client requirements and how the latest pieces of technology within the field of computer science can simplify many everyday tasks and aid businesses to achieve their long-term goals.

The knowledge I have gained from the course has been an invaluable resource in equipping me for life after I graduate. I feel as if the three years I have spent at here have really prepared me for any small or big task I encounter in my everyday life.
I would definitely recommend the course to those who have a technical background, not afraid of challenging themselves and have an aspiration to be involved within a hugely prosperous industry. As there are constant evolutions within Computer Science, there are endless possibilities about what might occur within the field. There are new topics and tools which would be of interest to people based on their skillset and curiosity.

What I would say to a lot of people is to dream big and aim high. By setting a high standard for yourself, you can achieve many great things and life is too short for not taking any ambitious risks. Try to get as much experience as you can by either undertaking some side projects and publishing this online or getting some work experience. A lot of small and large firms hold internships so be sure to apply as this would put you in a great position when applying for jobs. As we’re living in a digital age, maximise your online profile by utilising websites such as GitHub and LinkedIn, since a lot of recruiters in the field of computer science tend to examine students on these profiles. Lastly, don’t be intimated by the job market when it comes to graduating, employers tend to recruit hard working students who are not afraid to have a bit of fun and there’s no better place to learn about the two other than the University of Brighton.

A warm welcome at our open day

Sunshine, blue skies, our brilliant ambassadors and friendly staff welcomed visitors to our campus open day on Saturday 17 June.

Open days are a great way to find out about the local area and campus where you will be studying. You’ll also be able to hear more about your chosen subject and talk to our staff and current students.

If you are thinking about beginning your studies in 2018 and missed this one, find out more about upcoming events on our website.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now that data is ubiquitous, how do we make it useful?

We are proud to welcome back one of our distinguished alumni and honorary graduate, Professor Mandy Chessell, for the final Distinguished Lecture series of the year on Tuesday 6 June, 5-6pm in Huxley 300.

As digital technology sweeps through every aspect of our lives, data has become ubiquitous. The problem is that much of this data is useless because it no longer has enough context with it for people, processes and analytics to understand what it means.

This is an amazing opportunity to hear Professor Chessell examine current data management practices and tools and explain why data loses its context. She proposes an alternative and open approach that will expand our ability to use data to its full extent. She also looks at the issue of providing appropriate protection and governance to valuable intellectual property and sensitive data.

Professor Chessell CBE FREng CEng FBCS is an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor, member of the IBM Academy of Technology and Fellow of the Royal Academy. Read her profile.

Find out more and book your place at the lecture here.

Moulsecoomb Campus Open Day

Open days are a great way to find out about the local area and the campus where you will be studying. You will also be able to hear more about your chosen subject and talk to our staff and current students.

If you are thinking of beginning your studies in 2018 come along to our campus open day on Saturday 17 June. Find out more about open days on our website.