Trends, technology and university life

In a recent article in University Life, Dr John Kingston, senior lecturer in Information Systems and Business Computing here at Brighton, joins the discussion about trends in technology at university and student and employer expectations.

One of the points the article makes is that 92% of CIOs think current IT recruitment needs are not being met by education, resulting in a £63bn cost to the UK economy (from a study by Robert Half UK).

At Brighton we have been using Mendix to help our students understand the requirements needed to design mobile applications, without the knowledge of coding, to address this.

“We use Mendix to teach students how to use software applications and the principles of applications without teaching them programming,” explains Dr. John Kingston, Senior Lecturer in Information Systems and Business Computing at the University of Brighton. “Mendix requires students to learn how to structure data, create workflow diagrams and specialised user interfaces.

“However, when they’re finished, they just press a button and it creates the application. We are using it with first-year Business Computing students, which has resulted in one student getting a summer job with Brighton City Council.”

You can ready the full article here.

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!

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.

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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.

Computing Open Day, June 2016

Today was the University open day for 2017 prospective students. Over in computing we had a good vibe, lots of happy ambassadors, some great work on display and curious students and parents with lots of questions. Everyone seemed to leave with a smile on their faces and the ambassadors looked like they were having a lot of fun talking about their experiences of university and Brighton life. They were keen to show off the work they had produced in their time here – whether they had just finished first year, final year or anything in between.

There was a real feeling of solidarity between the teachers and ambassadors which was great to be part of, and really highlighted what we as a university are about, hopefully our visitors felt it too and came away with a sense of the community we have here.

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Final Year Projects

Last week was final year project day, so Sam and myself decided to check it out, see what people had been up to and what their plans were now.


Louis Carter – Digital Media

Louis’s project was based on augmented reality – he had created a little app where when you hovered a tablet over a card he had created, a little creature would pop up and start playing music. He created this using Unity, Cinema 4D and the Adobe Creative Cloud to create a fantastic little game.

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When we asked him why he had decided to do this particular project he told us that it brought together all the different aspects of his course from the past few years. He had been inspired by the other fantastic augmented reality apps being developed at the moment and wanted ot challenge himself to create something similar.


Tom Brook – Business Information Systems

Unlike a lot of people in the room, Tom had not built something, instead he chose to write a dissertation. He decided to investigate the real world dangers associated with the Internet of Things – particularly focusing on privacy implications for businesses in the EU. He chose this topic as he wanted to learn more about IoT and has an active interest in politics. Furthermore, this topic is super relevant at the moment due to the EU Data Protection Reform 2018.

His project sounded fascinating, and I took a copy of his work to read for myself (which is having to wait till after my deadlines).

Tom has already secured himself a job for after he graduates in Texas. Very exciting stuff!

We were very impressed with what he had made and were hoping it would soon be commercially available but unfortunately not; however he does have other ideas which could be!


Rama Rahimi – Business Information Systems

This was a fantastic project with real potential to be used across the university – a uni-card app. Something so obvious we’re surprised it doesn’t already exist. An app that would allow you to check your balance, top up, borrow books etc all from your phone.

When we spoke to Rama in more depth about his idea, he told us that he thought it had potential to integrate NFC payments – allowing students and staff to pay via their phone linked to their uni-card account. Unfortunately, it sounds like he won’t be commissioned to finalize this project for use across the university.

He had also developed a device to show how easy t is to clone our current uni cards and emphasize the importance of adding more security to them.

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He may not be taking over Brighton Uni with his Uni-card app soon but this guy is clearly going far.

 

 


Master of Malt

We noticed that there were a fair few company representatives wandering round the exhibition too so Sam and I decided to take it upon ourselves to interview some of them too.

The guys we spoke to were web developers and software engineers from Master of Malt, who described themselves as a tech company that happens to sell alcohol. We questioned them about why they were here and what they were hoping to get out of the day. The guys told us that they were looking to hire some upcoming graduates from Brighton as they tend to see more potential in Brighton grads than Sussex.They often come to this event as the project exhibition day is a great way to pick out and chat to students they might be interested in working with. They were particularly looking for students who had challenged themselves to do something different in their project and had had fun putting the effort into learning something new.


Overall it was a great day. We had a lot of fun chatting to the third years about the different things they’d been doing and were very glad that we were both going on placement so we didn’t have to think about our own final projects too soon.
There were loads of other fantastic projects at the vent – to find about more about them, and the ones we’ve mentioned please click here.

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