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.”

 

Sussex heritage in the digital age

Lecturers Jamie Kaminski and Karina Rodriguez give you the chance to explore the unique ‘Sussex Loops’ which were used as body ornamentation 3,200 years in the Bronze Age,  at the British Science Festival on 7 September.  You will gain insight on the use of scientific approaches and digital technologies used to experience the way of life of our Sussex ancestors.

Location Asa Briggs Arts, University of Sussex

Room: A1

Duration: 13:30 – 14:30

Date: Thursday 7 September 2017

Book your place now!

Soap Box Science’s first visit to Brighton

Head down to the seafront between 1-4pm on Saturday 29 July and celebrate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) with Soapbox Science.

Soapbox Science hosts events across the UK and the world raising the profile of women in science – breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes about who a researcher is. And they are coming to Brighton for the first time this summer.
Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank in 2016.

Find out more about the Brighton event here.

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.

 

Soapbox science

A scientist from our school left her lab to stand on a soapbox to explain nuclear physics to members of the public and to help eliminate gender inequality in science.

Chantal Nobs, a PhD student at the University of Brighton, was one of 12 women selected to participate in the Soapbox Science London event on London’s Southbank.
Her session ‘Nuclear physics: Exploring the centre of the atom and harnessing its potential’ involved discussing her work and her experiences as a female scientist.

Chantal said she was impressed with the reaction from members of the public. One said: “Now, not only do I know what it means, but I know that women can do it.”

The key aim was to help eliminate gender inequality in science by raising the profile and challenging the public’s view of women in science. In addition to sharing their research with the general public, all 12 women became role-models for future generations.


Chantal said: “Although I was incredibly nervous before stepping onto my soapbox I thoroughly enjoyed the hour-long session. As soon as I had introduced myself, out of no-where, a full crowd had formed around me. A complete mixture of young and old, male and female, some who knew all about nuclear physics, and some who had never heard of a nucleus.

“The best part of the event for me was the variety of questions asked, everything from ‘how did you get into nuclear physics’ to ‘how do we know whether we have created a nucleus if we cannot see it’.”

Watch video highlights from Chantal’s talk here

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