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.

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.

Brighton SEO – keeping me up-to-date

brighton seoI’ve just got back from another interesting Brighton SEO conference. I started going to these twice yearly (April and September) events a few years ago when there were only a couple of hundred people attending. At today’s event there were about 3,500 attendees, 9 different streams and over 90 speakers all packed into the Brighton Centre. It’s a great way to find out the latest thinking in the digital marketing world and chat to practitioners from across the industry. I usually bump into current and former students and today was no exception. In terms of content, the conference has moved on from focusing on what marketers need to do to rank more highly in search results to include social media marketing, pay per click (PPC), AI and machine learning marketing applications, ecommerce and regulatory matters. I always recommend my students attend the event as tickets are free if you are quick off the mark (the free tickets normally all go in a few minutes!).

I could only stay until the lunch break but I’ve come away with some exciting ideas for updating my undergraduate and postgraduate digital marketing modules at the University of Brighton for the 2017/18 academic year. These include:

  • running workshops on implementing structured data to improve search rankings and results listings;
  • running some in-class demos of voice search using the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices and exploring what the implications of voice search are for marketers;
  • helping students understand the importance of the Google Knowledge Graph and what it means for search, particularly voice search;
  • running some demonstrations of the application of AI to search using services such as Pinterest’s “Shop the Look” and “Lens” and Google’s Translate service for images;
  • helping students understand the range of data sources which marketers can use to improve the application of analytics to market research and targeting. I think there will be some overlap here with my interest in the Internet of Things (IoT).

So, plenty of ideas to keep me busy over the next few months.

Success for MSc student

This post is from James Dunn who has just graduated from our MSc in User Experience Design. 

James Dunn

James Dunn, MSc User Experience Design

Shortly after completing my MSc in User Experience Design I was invited to submit my Major project for the Brighton University Environmental Award, for which I was delighted to receive a ‘highly commended’ recognition.

My project involved the creation of a prototype smartphone App called “Driven”.

It is designed to provide motorists with real-time vehicle telemetry geared around a variety of driving styles, including economic/sustainable motoring. Additionally, it automatically logs journeys, allowing users to build up a picture of their motoring habits over time.

It works by using a small hardware component connected to the car’s diagnostic port to read data from the vehicles systems, and transmit it to a smartphone. The App interprets this data and is presents it to the user via an appropriate interface, the design of which was the focus of the project.

The resulting information can be used to make informed decisions about driving styles, leading to more economical and sustainable behaviour. The project was conceived due to a lack of suitable existing products in the marketplace that offered comparable functionality. It feeds on the desires of users for increased information and data about the way they live their lives, extending from the number of paces they take each day, to the number of miles driven.

Motoring has for a long time been high on the agenda in sustainability conversations, with legislation being passed to encourage new vehicles to reduce their environmental impact. While it can’t force drivers to change their habits, it does provide factual data that can be acted on to reduce carbon emissions and encourage sustainable motoring.

The project was a lot of fun to work on, and concluded an excellent year at the University. Since graduation I have been working as a UX (user experience) Consultant, introducing a user-orientated design process to a software development company based in London.

You can follow me on Twitter @jdworksUX

 

A Project in the Life of a Visual Journalism Trainee

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A few months ago, I completed my first big project for the Visual Journalism team at BBC News. I worked alongside another developer to create the ‘Which World Leader are You?’ piece.

I was brought into the project as it looked like one which I could learn a lot from it, buddy up with an experienced developer and, given the scale of the project, it would probably benefit from an extra set of hands.

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Computing revolution

Dr Martin De Saulles, Principal Lecturer on our computing courses, has published a book on a rapidly developing area of the computing and communications sectors which “has the potential to change how we live and work”.

The Internet of Things and Business (IoT), published by Routledge, “represents the next evolution of the computing revolution and will see the embedding of information and communication technologies within machines at home and in the workplace and across a broad range of industrial processes. The effect will be a radical restructuring of industries and business models driven by massive flows of data providing new insights into how the man-made and natural worlds work.”

Dr De Saulles explores the business models emerging from the IoT and considers the challenges as well as the opportunities they pose to businesses around the world.
He said: “Via real examples and a range of international case studies, the reader will develop an understanding of how this technology revolution will impact on the business world as well as on broader society.”

Find out more about Dr De Saulles book here.

 

First week on BBC Placement

A week or so ago, I started my placement year. I got a great position as a Trainee Web Developer on the BBC News Website, based in Broadcasting House, London.

I’m shattered to be honest. But already I’m having a great time, learning loads and actually feeling like part of the team.

I’ve ended up in the Visual Journalism Team (Yay!) which mostly creates bespoke interactive content for news articles. Things such as the Olympic Face Wall and Will a robot take your job?. This is probably the team I was hoping to get the most (well, tied with Politics) and I genuinely think it’ll teach me the most too, in regards to front-end web development.

I’m not sure how much detail I can give about what I’ve been working on but I’ve already got the basics of my first project done (and that was only my second day!). It’s a little something for the US election, I’ll share it and describe it properly when it’s published.

Since then, I’ve been mostly finding and solving problems with another project which is due to be released into the big wide world next week. Again, I’ll try and share it and give a little more details when it’s ready.

I’ve spent a lot of the time getting used to using the Mac Terminal and Git, as well as the way the team approaches and builds content. It’s very different to anything I’ve worked with before, mostly due to it being such a big organisation who put an emphasis on automating as much of the development process as possible – so we can spend more time creating and developing awesome content.

The team are lovely and haven’t hesitated to include me and make me feel welcome. They’re happy to answer any of my questions (no matter how silly) and we all go to lunch together everyday. This in itself has been why I’ve settled so quickly and enjoyed my first week so much.

Weirdly, although this has been a major week for me, there doesn’t seem to be much for me to say… I’ll try and blog regularly with any exciting updates!