3D Animation and Modelling

So, the academic year is over and my class and I are on to either placement years or 3rd year come October. For now, it’s that dreaded time where results are coming through and there’s a lot of mixed feelings going around. Personally, I think I did okay – not necessarily as good as I would have liked but I’m still fairly happy with what I achieved.

It seems like now is a good time to reflect on what we have all achieved this year and I think one example of a very successful module for the second years of Computer Science Games, Digital Media and Digital Media Development was 3D Modelling and Animation, taught by Andrew Blake.

Below is a little compilation of some of the animations that were created for this module.

The video features work from Jaime Dare, Amy Duong, Anna Wilde, Shane Smith and myself.
Other students work was also great and I would love to have included it in this little compilation.

 

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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Join us at our campus open day on Saturday 18 June

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 2017, you can find out more about our campus open day and how to book a place 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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Universities of Brighton and Cambridge share £368,000 Leverhulme grant

The universities of Brighton and Cambridge have won a £367,700 grant to research the use of diagrams instead of mathematical symbols to make complex data accessible to more people.

Scientific advances today increasingly depend on understanding, manipulating and querying data – and businesses which can capitalise on the value of information will have a competitive edge.

Traditional mathematical logics used to represent information are inaccessible to most people but by combining computer science and cognitive science, researchers aim to develop a novel and accessible diagram-based logic suitable for information representation and reasoning across a wide range of subject areas.

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Dr. Gem Stapleton

Dr Gem Stapleton, Reader in Computer Science in the University of Brighton’s College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences, said: “The tools we develop will enable better communication and understanding between those who produce models to represent information, and those who use them, and ultimately lead to more robust and effective models to underpin scientific research.

“A particularly exciting aspect of our project is that it draws on both computer science and cognitive science to address a long-held assumption that using diagrams makes modelling and reasoning accessible. To do this, we will produce a formal and accessible diagrammatic reasoning system. In doing so, we aim to bring the full communicative benefits of diagrams to the field of knowledge management.

“This will enable non-specialist users to access and understand data, a process which is vital to scientific advances in the 21st century.”

The grant, which will fund two post-doctoral researchers, one at Brighton and one at Cambridge, for three years, has come from the Leverhulme Trust which makes awards for the support of research and education. It was started by Victorian businessman William Lever who founded Lever Brothers.

The lead researcher at Cambridge is Dr Mateja Jamnik, Senior Lecturer in the Computer Laboratory. For more information on Dr Stapleton, go to: https://sites.google.com/site/stapletongem/home and for more information about the research project, go to: https://www.brighton.ac.uk/research/our-research/life-health-and-physical-sciences/research-groups/computing/accessible-reasoning-with-diagrams.aspx

or https://www.brighton.ac.uk/research/our-research/life-health-and-physical-sciences/research-groups/computing/accessible-reasoning-with-diagrams.aspx

A student startup success story

I’m always impressed when our students are able to combine their academic work at the University of Brighton with work commitments in the outside world. Usually this involves working for others but some of our students set up their own businesses. Thea and Sam are two such students. They have created a website, Share Style, which showcases fashion for real people.
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Sam

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I did a quick Q&A with Thea and Sam to find out more about Share Style and their plans for the future:
1) What courses are you studying and what year are you in? 
We’re studying Digital Media and Computer Science and we’re in the 2nd year.
2) What is Share Style and who is it aimed at? 
Share Style is a shopping and style sharing website; you can discover new brands, share your own style photos and collections; and most importantly shop the clothes you see on real people. The website is open to anyone, in fact a big aim of ours is to encourage people who might not ordinarily get themselves out there on social media to inspire each other and share style tips.
3) How did you come up with the idea for the site?
The initial idea came around because of our own frustrations when shopping online. We were sitting around in our flat one day trying to shop for clothes online, but ended up becoming more and more frustrated by the lack of choice and difficulty finding exactly what we wanted. The solution was simple, create a place where you can browse for clothes and see what they look like on real people!
4) Who does what on the site? 
Sam, who studies computer science handles the web development and infrastructure whereas I (Thea) take care of the design, marketing and PR. We’re lucky that we have a very cohesive skill sets and between the two of us we cover all the areas necessary to build and launch an online startup.
5) What have been the biggest challenges so far? 
Initially the biggest challenge was building the website whilst trying to keep on top of university and holding down part time jobs. There was a huge skill-gap that we needed to get past and it was incredibly time intensive. Since our launch, we’ve ditched the part-time jobs which relieves a little stress but the biggest challenge has been maintaining the marketing and keeping the website stable on a shoestring budget.
 
6) How do you balance your university work with running the site?
It’s definitely a challenge. Generally, during busy times at university we spend the weekdays doing university work and evenings and weekends working on the website. I can’t say we’ve always got the balance perfect, it’s taken lots of late nights and early mornings to squeeze everything in.
 
7) How much interest have you generated so far with it?
We’ve had some great feedback from our early adopters and everyone who comes across the site says they love the concept. Since our launch in February we’ve have collaborated with dozens of talented bloggers worldwide to celebrate how real people express themselves through style.
8) How do you see the site developing in the future?
In the coming months, Share Style will be released from beta with a bunch of new exciting features and an ultra modern front end.
We’ll be putting more of an emphasis on personalisation, for example, you’ll be able write and share posts formatted in a whatever font and style you please. We’re also introducing blog and Instagram integration, for our blogging community. After the website is officially re-released, plans for creating a Share Style app will swiftly follow. Everybody is crazy about apps, so we think this will be a great way for us to expand and grow.

Computing and Media Careers Fair 2016

University of Brighton Careers FairOn the 2nd March 2016, the University of Brighton held a Computing and Media Careers Fair on its Moulsecoomb campus. 22 companies had stands, all looking for talented computing and media graduates. I interviewed a few of them to find out what they did and the types of skills they are looking for from our graduates.

 

It was an excellent opportunity for our students to chat informally with recruiters from a wide range of local, national and global companies, including IBM, Brandwatch, Capgemini, Deloitte, West Pier Studio and ZenithOptimedia.

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Kate Conroy (left), Talent Resourcing Manager and colleague from ZenithOptimedia

A common theme amongst a number of the recruiters was a need for graduates with analytical skills, particularly around big data. I suspect this will be a trend for the next few years as companies try to gain a competitive advantage from the all the data they are collecting, particularly from the web and connected devices.

Graduate sells to Facebook

A University of Brighton graduate has sold the Silicon Valley company he co-founded to Facebook – just five years after graduating.

Will Blandin, who was awarded a first class honours deWill-Blandin-Cropped-260x320gree in European Computing, co-launched Wit.ai, a California-based company which provides applications for speech recognition for devices including mobile phones and tablets.

Wit.ai’s market niche dovetails with Facebook’s mission to connect everyone and build experiences for its 1.3 billion people on the platform.