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!

Prize-winning ‘Home Automation using Raspberry Pi’

Rupert Agnew, studying Computer Science BSc(Hons), has designed ‘Home Automation using Raspberry Pi’, which, among a multitude of uses, will feed your cat when you are away from home.

This final year project has won Rupert a prize from the international IT services company FDM Group.

Rupert Agnew

The system uses the Internet of Things to link hardware and software devices in people’s homes.

He said: “Nowadays almost everybody has a smart phone and almost everybody has a WiFi connection in their home – but how many can control home devices securely from their phone? My project takes advantage of the low cost Pi but shields people from the complexity of programming and piecing it together.

“All peripherals connected to the Pi can be remotely controlled from a mobile, tablet or desktop computer from anywhere in the world. After logging onto the website using their credentials, the user is presented with a dashboard which allows them to interact with their home appliances – door locks, view a webcam stream, control lights, control AC mains plug.

“You can automate your kettle to turn on as you open the front door after a long day at work. When you hear the doorbell, you can view who is at your door, and let them in, all from your phone/tablet. When the temperature drops or reaches a certain temperature, you can control the boiler to meet your needs – you could even open or close a door to let a pet in or out of the house and automatically feed your pet based on a time schedule when you are away from the home.”

Waking up to sunshine

For his final year Computer Science (Games) BSc(Hons) project, Adam Worley invented an alarm called ‘Chrono-lux’ that banishes the wake-up blues and makes mornings more enjoyable by simulating a sunrise using a smart-bulb.

Adam Worley, Computer Science (Games) BSc(Hons)

Adam says: “My project is to develop a connected Android alarm application with integration with smart devices. For many, the mornings can be a struggle as they find it difficult to wake to their alarms. By developing Chrono-lux people will be able to configure smart-alarms, these alarms will be able to trigger smart-devices and other Internet of things (IoT) devices.

“Currently there is a boom of connected devices coming to market from smart-bulbs to connected kettles and fridges; these devices allow for a level of automation and intelligent features that can be useful in day to day use. Chrono-lux intends to bring these devices together to allow for a more enjoyable morning, by simulating a sunrise using a smart-bulb. It has been shown that mimicking aspects of the day/night cycle can help to improve alertness and bring your body gradually to more natural sleep cycles.

“There are multiple uses of lighting in use today such as morning alarm clocks that have built in lighting to simulate the sunrise or the use of mood lighting on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, intended to tune the passengers to their destination time-zone to reduce jet-lag and fatigue. However currently there are very few Android apps that utilise these smart-devices. Initially my application will work with Philips Hue bulbs, with the ability to be extended for use with other smart-bulbs and devices such as kettles, coffee machines and even toasters.”

Searching for UFOs

 

Software Engineering BSc(Hons) final year student, Dominik Boller, has developed camera software to automatically record unusual sightings in the sky.

Dominik’s ‘UFO Detector’ analyses the sky for anomalies and uses computer vision algorithms to record videos.

In his interview on BBC Sussex radio, Dominik talks to Neil Pringle about his project.

Continue reading

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

 

MSc student ‘Data Security and Brexit’ winner

Congratulations to MSc student Anna Hristova who was a winner in the BCS Women Lovelace Colloquium 2017 with a paper submitted as part of her Data Management module.  Anna’s module leader, Dr Sanaz Fallahkhair, encouraged her to enter and this year’s competition saw the highest number of entrants to date (116).  Anna will be going to Aberystwyth University when they host the prize winner’s event in April.  Read her abstract ‘Data Security and Brexit’ here.  Continue reading

A Project in the Life of a Visual Journalism Trainee

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 14.16.05

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.

Continue reading

Hungarian Adventure

We’ve broken up for summer, so what better time to do some travelling and combine that with skills I’ve gained from my course?

I came across this website called workaway where users can trade skills (physical labour, web development etc) in return for food and accommodation. This idea appealed to me quite a lot as a way of travelling on the cheap and getting to experience new cultures. After a couple of days of being on the site I was contacted asking if I would like to go out to Hungary to build a website for a dog and horse ranch. Yes Please! I’d been to Budapest a couple of time already  knew I loved the city so was excited at the prospect of visiting the more rural parts of Hungary.

Continue reading

Robot Wars

Yesterday, as part of my work with the Widening Participation Team, I spent the day helping teach year 7s from Shoreham Academy how to build ant-weight robots as part of their Raising Aspirations Programme. The idea of this project is to start discussing the idea of university with children from a young age by getting them to participate in a variety of activities and talk about university in particular as one option for their future.

A group of year 7s came up to visit Falmer campus yesterday and took part in a sports science activity and an engineering activity (which is the one I was involved in). I worked alongside two STEM ambassadors who provided all the materials and then got stuck in with the kids to design, build and ultimately compete with their robots. The teams had to enter a race, a game of football and a fight to the death with their robots. It was fantastic!

It was a pretty full on day but we built some impressive robots with just cardboard, skewers and straws (as well as the remote control, wheels and receiver). It was also brilliant to see the kids getting so excited, especially as this is a project that 2nd year students actually do at university (though with ‘proper’ materials). We all learnt a fair bit about robotics and designs and how the same materials could be adapted to suit different challenges.

Steven steps up to success!

Steven Salama, who graduates this month with a BSc (Hons) Software Engineering, has won the National Student Employee Step Up to Leadership Award 2016.

Steven, who balances his studies with work for Brighton-based software company RDF Group, saw off stiff competition at university, regional and national levels.

Steven Salama

Steven Salama

Commenting on his achievement, Steven said: “I am very proud of this award because it came after a lot of determination and hard work. Working and studying in parallel is a challenge. But being able to balance both has taught me a lot of skills which are useful in everyday life. It is a privilege to be the first University of Brighton student to win the national Step Up to Leadership award and be named student employee of the year. I would like to thank my tutors at the University, RDF Group and especially my family for all of their support.”

Continue reading