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Dec 9th, 2015, 2:00 pm in Royal School of Mines G08

Hour of Code 2015

We are very glad to present the ACM Imperial Chapter Hour of Code 2015 event! The Hour of Code is an international event organised by the mothership ACM to promote Computer Science public education. Join several millions of students coding simultaneously all over the planet! (Each one on a separate computer)

In the Hour of Code you will get the chance to try out some programming with the help of expert, all-knowing computer science PhD students. We suggest you to try a slick, powerful language called Python,that is used by many top-notch companies like Youtube and Dropbox. The tutorials will be adequate to any level from code-phobic to intermediate. The duration of the event is, against all odds, sixty minutes.

Also, the Hour of Code, or as we call it, the Moment of Joy, will be followed by copious amounts of free pizza! This is so that you recover from the rewarding mental and physical effort that is writing a computer program. The rules for the obtainment of free pizza are simple: No Python, no pizza. Python, pizza. Or, in Python:

if you.going(HourOfCode):
   you.fill(pizza)
else:
   you.regret()

The event runs from 1400 to 1500.

Read more→

Link

Jun 11th, 2015, 4:00 pm in Blackett Lecture Theatre 1Seminar

25 Years of Python

This talk will be given by none other than Guido Van Rossum himself (creator and BDFL of the Python programming language). Make sure you do not miss this opportunity!

This talk will review Python’s history, design philosophy, evolution and community, and gives a peek into future developments.

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Link

Guido Van Rossum is the creator of Python, one of the major programming languages on and off the web. The Python community refers to him as the BDFL (Benevolent Dictator For Life), a title straight from a Monty Python skit. He moved from the Netherlands to the USA in 1995, where he met his wife. Until July 2003 they lived in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC with their son Orlijn, who was born in 2001. They then moved to Silicon Valley where Guido worked for for a variety of companies including Google and Dropbox (spending 50% of his time on Python!). More about me→

Dec 10th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Royal School of Mines G08

Hour of Code 2014

We live in a world surrounded by technology. But only a tiny fraction of students learn how computers work, or how to create software technology. Computer Science provides a foundation for virtually any career and all students can benefit from learning the basics.

This year, for Computer Science Education Week, a massive campaign called the Hour of Code is introducing 15 million students to try one hour of introductory computer science.

We are bringing this campaign to Imperial College London, so all students across all fields can participate. Register today and join us on Wednesday 10th December, between 1pm and 2pm in Royal School of Mines G08. We will do our best to demystify “code” and show you that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator.

We are also looking for students who already know how to code and would like to help participants during the event. Please get in touch with us if you belong to this category.

Link

Dec 8th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 145Seminar

Meanwhile: How difficult is it to bring your favorite place live to your computer screen? The story of our tech startup.

It’s true we restless people often come up with exciting ideas. And it’s true we like to imagine them rolling out to be successful businesses. But what is it like when you get an idea like that and try to make it part of the real world, part of your life?

Our story is the story of four postgraduates trying to put together a tech startup under several constraints. Our talk will guide you through our business narrative, some technical challenges we had to confront, as well as the main lessons we learned through this whole exciting process.

Link

Zafeirios Fountas I am a Greek mathematician/computer scientist, highly interested in biologically inspired artificial intelligence and robotics. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD at the Department of Computing of Imperial College London, under the supervision of Prof. Murray Shanahan. My work focuses on biological action selection and applications of cognitive and computational neuroscience research in real embodied systems such as neuromorphic robots. More about me→

Filipe Peliz Pinto Teixeira is a PhD student in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London working on spiking neural networks and their applications within the fields of artificial intelligence and neuroscience. In his research he focuses on how chaos may optimize information flow and storage within neural systems. Filipe has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence from Imperial College London. In his spare time he can often be found running around with an over sized camera or attempting to reach a comatose state in front of his precious computer. More about me→

Nov 24th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 145Seminar

Topology of biological networks yields insight into protective role of diabetes in the development of aneurysm

There is a huge amount of available biological data for different organisms, describing interactions between biological macromolecules. Network representations of such interaction data enable graph theoretic approaches to identify topological properties of these networks which are different from what is expected at random. This is how we can, for example, reveal the connection between a specific topological property of a node in a biological network and a specific biological function or a process. In this presentation I will talk about an application of graph theory to human biological networks in research of cardiovascular diseases.

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Link

Anida Sarajlic Anida is a third year PhD student in Computational Network Biology Research Group under the supervision of Dr. Natasa Przulj at the Department of Computing, Imperial College London. Anida uses computational methods and graph theory to analyse topology of large bimolecular networks. She develops new topological measures, or uses existing ones in novel ways, with goal of discovering new biological knowledge, for example inferring proteins' roles in cardio-vascular diseases. She is also interested in applying new topological measures to other real world networks such as world trade networks, social networks etc. More about me→

Nov 17th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 145Seminar

Decisal: an Imperial College spin-off that saves airlines millions every year

Decisal is a company that sprung-out of Imperial College London when PhD students invented several novel algorithms for airline planning and scheduling optimization. These algorithms are now helping airlines improve their operations and as a result save millions every year. Before Decisal’s algorithms, airlines in order to reduce complexity were forced to separate fleet and network planning, as well as fleet, aircraft, and crew scheduling. However, all these processes are interdependent and such separation was unable to capture their mutual interaction and contribution to profitability. Decisal’s novel algorithms now provide airlines with Unified Optimization where all planning and scheduling steps are tackled simultaneously, accounting for these interactions and resulting in an overall profit maximization.

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Link

Nikos Papadakos Dr Nikos (Nikolaos) Papadakos is the research and development director of Decisal. Prior to that he worked as a research associate at Imperial College London where he also received a PhD in operations research and an MSc in advanced computing. He also holds a BSc in mathematics from the University of Athens. Finally, his work experience includes the Bank of Attica and Biomex Epe, in software development, sales, and customer support. More about me→

Nov 10th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 145Seminar

How to win the next Wimbledon

I will be talking about using spatio-temporal information for the analysis of tennis matches. State-of-the-art tennis modelling techniques use player statistics such as the percentage of points won in the first serve or double faults. Advances in computer vision techniques and technology have made it possible to obtain spatio-temporal data from tennis matches. It is now possible to get the 3D position of both players and the ball, the shot speed and angle and many more characteristics. In my work, I use this data in order to build better models. For instance, one of the key differences with the state-of-the-art tennis predicting models is that we can now look at intra-point dynamics.

In this talk I will first describe the state-of-the-art approach to modelling tennis matches. Then I will give an overview of some computer vision and machine learning techniques that can be used to extract spatio-temporal data from tennis videos. Finally I will talk about how these can be used to build better tennis models.

Link

Silvia Vinyes-Mora Silvia is a first year PhD student in the AESOP (Analysis, Engineering, Simulation & Optimization of Performance) group doing research under the supervision of William Knottenbelt. She works on video-based analysis of professional tennis matches. Previously, she pursued a BSc in Neuroscience at King's College London and an MSc in Computing Science at Imperial College London, where she was the Course Representative. In her free time she enjoys playing piano and traveling. More about me→

Nov 3rd, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 145Seminar

Big Data Processing: Navigating in a Zoo of Yellow Elephants, Sharks, and Giraffes

Big Data Processing: Navigating in a Zoo of Yellow Elephants, Sharks, and Giraffes

The term “Big Data” was ranked 10 on the Global Language Monitor’s 2013 top business buzzwords. However, behind the marketing phrase hides the actual hard problem of how to cope with huge amounts of possibly unstructured data that are produced at very high rates. Storing and processing that data is highly valuable as it provides insights that can be used by businesses to enhance user experience (making recommendations, refining search results, etc.) or to support decision making. However, traditional approaches are not able to provide feasible analysis at the required scale.

In this talk I will give an overview of existing software systems that aim to achieve this goal. I will start with MapReduce and its open-source implementation Hadoop, the most prominent among big data processing systems, and look at its basic concepts that enable users to conveniently analyse data at scale. I will also discuss its drawbacks and then introduce more advanced systems such as Spark that enable richer analytics via general, flow-based, programming APIs. Finally, I will briefly talk about network transfers as one major bottleneck these systems face and introduce NetAgg, a system developed in the LSDS group. NetAgg can reduce the amount of transferred data by performing early aggregation inside the network and hence, reduce the time it takes to analyse data.

The aim of this talk is to give a high-level introduction to the Zoo of systems that are out there to process big data and present some research directions we are pursuing in the LSDS group.

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Link

Lukas Rupprecht Lukas Rupprecht is a PhD student at Imperial College London, working under the supervision of Peter Pietzuch in the Large-Scale Distribute Systems (LSDS) group. His research focuses on network-aware big data processing, in particular, for SQL-on-Hadoop solutions. More information can be found on his website: http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~lr12/. More about me→

Oct 29th, 2014, 7:00 pm in

Bowling Social

Our first social event of the year will be bowling at Queens Ice and Bowl.

Members of the ACM Student Chapter will be sponsored!

Booking required Please see Christina Koutsoumpa on 20th/21st/22nd October 2pm-2.30pm in room 306 (Huxley), refundable fee: £10

Link

Oct 29th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 340

Internship Event

Have you ever considered doing an internship during your PhD? Are you aware of the internship opportunities for PhD students? Come find out at the annual PhD Internship Event organized by the ACM Student Chapter.

Google, IBM Research, JP Morgan, Microsoft Research and Thomson Reuters will give short presentations on PhD internship opportunities. This session will be shortly followed by a networking event during which you can ask specific questions related to your interests, and also interact with PhD students in our department who have already done internships: Tomek (Microsoft Research), Jack (IBM), Lukas (IBM), Raul (LinkedIn), Lucas (Thomson Reuters) and Luo (Google).

Read more→

Link

Oct 27th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 145Seminar

WriteLaTeX: Lessons from Building a Scientific Startup

WriteLaTeX is an online collaborative editor for writing scientific documents, like papers and theses. It started as idea and a hodgepodge of scripts I wrote as a PhD student. Now we’re a high growth, venture-backed startup and social enterprise, with hundreds of thousands of users around the world. I’ll talk first about writeLaTeX and how you can use it in your work, then about our startup story, and finally about some of the technical challenges we face in bringing a 30-year old technology (TeX) online and in scaling up (e.g. I’ll mention Docker, Ruby on Rails, data protection, cloud services, and bugs, lots of bugs).

Read more→

Link

John Lees-Miller John is cofounder and technical lead at WriteLaTeX, a London-based startup and social enterprise that builds modern collaborative authoring tools for scientists to help make science faster, more open and more transparent. Previously, he read computer science and then did a PhD in engineering mathematics on how to operate fleets of driverless cars efficiently, and he helped design and build the world's first driverless taxi system, the Heathrow Pod, at London's Heathrow Airport. More about me→

Oct 20th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 145Seminar

Facial Feature Point Detection: Recognising eyes from noses using Menpo

Recognising features from faces is a fundamental requirement for any system that hopes to analyse faces. In general, facial feature point detection algorithms attempt to find a sparse set of points on a face that correspond to definite features, such as the tip of the nose. Given the expressive nature of our faces and the large variety of poses present in the average photograph, facial feature point detection remains a challenging task.

In this seminar I aim to provide a general overview of the spectrum of techniques that have been proposed for facial feature point detection. In particular, I will focus on state-of-the-art techniques that have been implemented by members of the Intelligent Behaviour Understanding Group (IBUG) within a new Python package called Menpo. Menpo aims to provide a simple yet powerful playground for exploring image data and is useful for anyone who manipulates images on a daily basis. I will focus on simple examples of building and utilizing different models for facial feature point detection. However, Menpo is not a face specific framework and thus is useful for any kind of object that requires feature detection. Finally, I will talk about the current state-of-the-art for mobile devices and the future of facial feature detection.

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Link

Patrick Snape Patrick Snape is currently working towards his PhD at Imperial College London. He is a member of the Intelligent Behaviour Understanding Group (IBUG), focusing on dense reconstruction of facial shape from images. In particular, he is interested in investigating the low-rank relationship between images and shape. More about me→

Oct 13th, 2014, 1:00 pm in 145 HuxleySeminar

Introduction to Seminars

This introductory seminar provides more information about the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) in general, as well as about the ACM Student Chapter and its organizing members.

We are happy to announce that Prof. Alexander Wolf, who is both a professor in the Computing Department at Imperial College working on distributed systems, networking, and software engineering and the current president of the ACM, will join this first Seminar to talk about the ACM as well as his work.

This first Seminar will also be the perfect opportunity to ask questions about the ACM Student Chapter, to suggest events that you would like to see happening, and to find out more about how to get involved.

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Link

Claudia Schulz is a second year PhD student working in the field of knowledge representation and reasoning, where her particular focus is on Argumentation Theory. As a Teaching Scholar in the Department of Computing, she is gaining teaching experience of all kinds: tutoring, preparing coursework, marking, supervision, lecturing, etc. During her free time she loves to get out of London to go climbing or hiking in the British "mountains". More about me→

Alexander L. Wolf Alex is a professor in the Department of Computing. He received the B.A. degree from Queens College of the City University of New York, majoring in both Geology and Computer Science, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Alex was a Member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories (now AT&T Labs Research and Bell Laboratories) in Murray Hill, New Jersey, before joining the faculty of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He helped found the Faculty of Informatics at the University of Lugano, the first computer science faculty in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. He joined Imperial College London in 2007. Alex's research interests span the areas of distributed systems, networking, and software engineering. He is now serving as President of the ACM. More about me→

Oct 7th, 2014, 6:00 pm in HBar (Imperial College London, Sherfield Building)

Start of term ACM pub evening

We’re having a trip to the pub to welcome new first year PhD students and to have a general chat. Come join us!

Link

Jul 11th, 2014, 6:30 pm in HBar (Imperial College London, Sherfield Building)

End of ACM year pub evening

We’re having a fun get together to celebrate the hard work done by the previous commitee and just have a bit of fun. Come join and enjoy the evening with free food! If you’re a member of the ACM student chapter you also get free drinks! If you’re not already a member become a member now (it’s free) or come along to experience why you should join.

Please sign up to the event here

Link

Jun 4th, 2014, 1:00 pm in 301 William Penny

June Meeting

June chapter meeting is going to take place on Wednesday 4 June, room 301 in William Penny building at 13:00. The meeting is open to public and everyone is very welcome to attend and come with ideas, suggestions as well as critique. The chapter members are especially welcome to attend.

This is the last meeting ran by 2013-2014 officers and it therefore the last chance to comment on our work done in over the past year.

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Link

May 30th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345

LAN Part... err, Networking Tutorial

Imperial College London ACM Student Chapter is organizing a networking tutorial. The goal is simple, we will meet in the afternoon on a selected date and we are going to build our own local network, using only the equipment that each one of us will bring. Then, we will thoroughly test the network using a series of carefully benchmarks. There might some refreshments as well (e.g. Red Bull, pizza).

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Link

May 23rd, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 217Seminar

CMake - Get your build on!

Building C/C++ code is probably a frequent occurrence for many in the department. But how many know how to write a good build system for their C/C++ project? In this tutorial I will introduce you to CMake which is a cross platform meta build system that will read a description of your project and generate a build system from that. Notable supported outputs include make files, Eclipse projects, XCode projects, Visual studio projects and ninja files (hell yeah!). In this tutorial I will show you how to write a build system for your project that includes handling external libraries, generating documentation (doxygen), unit testing (GoogleTest framework) and more. I will try to do this as an interactive tutorial so feel free to bring your laptop and follow along.

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Link

Daniel Liew is a second year PhD student in the Software Reliability Group, Imperial College London. Daniel's research interests include software verification using symbolic execution and static analysis. He received an MSc in Computing from Imperial College during which he contributed to the KLEE project. Prior to this he studied Physics at the University of Bristol which included an industrial placement with Sharp laboratories of Europe. Daniel’s PhD studies are generously funded by the EPSRC industrial case studentship with ARM. More about me→

May 16th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

Demystifying The (Departmental) Cloud

Cloud has become one of the most-popular buzzword of the recent years, yet most people still do not understand what the cloud is and how it can help them in their work. In this tutorial, I will try to uncover part of the mystery and show you what the cloud really is. Contrary to some of the popular beliefs, I will try to convince you that the cloud is not something you have to be afraid of; rather opposite, combined with the right tooling, it can really benefit your workflow. Furthermore, I will show you how to use tools such as Vagrant or Packer to make an order in your virtual machines and how to use them to harness the power of the departmental cloud, so the next time, when you need to run a massive computational job just a few days before your paper deadline, you will know what to do.

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Link

Petr Hosek is a doctoral student in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, where he works in the Software Reliability Group under the supervision of Cristian Cadar. In his research, he focuses on exploring ways to improve the software update process. Petr has an MSc and BSc in Computer Science from Charles University in Prague, where he specialised in software engineering and dependable systems. More about me→

May 9th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

Tikz - putting an end to hideous graphs!

LaTeX is one of the most widespread markup languages for writing scientific research papers. However, despite using it frequently, most users only resort to a fraction of tools and packages that LaTeX has to offer. I personally found that in particular with respect to graph and table plotting, many users appear to prefer generating figures outside LaTeX, even though LaTeX offers excellent tools for doing so. Similarly many plots that I see in research papers were not created natively in LaTeX.

In this tutorial I am going to give an introduction to:

  • PGF (Portable graphics format)
  • PGFPlotsTable
  • TikZ (Tikz ist kein Zeichenprogramm - TikZ is not a drawing tool)

Aside from discussing benefits and drawbacks of using these tools as opposed to gnuplot or SVG-drawing programs, I will mostly focus on how the above tools can be integrated into an efficient paper writing workflow.

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Link

Chris Guenther is a 4th year DoC PhD student in spatial performance modelling in the AESOP group and a LaTeX enthusiast. More about me→

May 7th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 355

May Meeting

May chapter meeting is going to take place on Wednesday 7 May, room 355 in Huxley building at 13:00. The meeting is open to public and everyone is very welcome to attend and come with ideas, suggestions as well as critique. The chapter members are especially welcome to attend.

This is your opportunity to meet and talk to the chapter officers and learn more about the ongoing and future plans.

Read more→

Link

May 2nd, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 145Seminar

Webpage 101

This tutorial will assume attendees with absolutely no experience in HTML, and is going to be an interactive hands-on session (please bring a computer to try things out), covering the following main topics:

  • How to read and write HTML
  • Using CSS to style up HTML pages
  • Markdown - a text-to-HTML conversion tool
  • Tools and tips on creating accessible HTML pages

Read more→

Link

Nicholas Ng is a final year PhD student working on applying the theory of Session Types to guaranteeing safety and correctness of communication aspects of parallel programming. Previously he was the student representative for Faculty of Engineering in the Graduate Students' Union and a PhD student rep for the Department of Computing. He enjoys free food and spending time with computers. He is a Facebook addict More about me→

Apr 9th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 355

April Meeting

April meeting is going to take place on Wednesday 9 April, in the room 355 in Huxley building at 13:00. The meeting is open to public and everyone is very welcome to attend and come with ideas, suggestions as well as critique. The chapter members are especially welcome to attend.

This is your opportunity to meet and talk to the chapter officers and learn more about the ongoing and future plans.

Read more→

Link

Mar 21st, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

Keeping Safe While Being on the Edge

Software systems are constantly evolving, with new versions being released on a continuous basis. Unfortunately, software updates present a difficult challenge; the hassle involved in updating software–the fact you have to stop the application to upgrade it–combined with the fear that an update will introduce new bugs, means that many users simply do not do it, leaving their computers exposed to crash-prone, insecure code. In this talk, I will introduce a radically new approach that makes updating software less error-prone and disruptive, by making use of idle cores in multicore machines.

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Link

Petr Hosek is a doctoral student in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, where he works in the Software Reliability Group under the supervision of Cristian Cadar. In his research, he focuses on exploring ways to improve the software update process. Petr has an MSc and BSc in Computer Science from Charles University in Prague, where he specialised in software engineering and dependable systems. More about me→

Mar 14th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

How to Coach Robots to Play Soccer

People use different methods to make decisions. “Trial and error”, for instance, is widely used by people to learn the best decisions from experiences. Also, arguing with other people, or even self-arguing, could help people to identify advantages and disadvantages of each choice. In this talk, I will introduce how these two techniques can be used jointly to help computers (autonomous agents) to make decisions.

First I will motivate my research, followed by a high-level description of our integration technique. Also, I will compare the performances of my technique and standard Reinforcement Learning on RoboCup Soccer games, under both single-agent and multi-agent settings. Potential application domains and future work will also be briefly discussed. Videos and concrete examples will be running throughout this talk to instantiate my ideas and techniques.

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Link

Gao Yang (Alex) is a third year PhD student in the Computational Logic and Argumentation research group, Imperial College London, under the supervision of Prof. Francesca Toni. His research focuses on integratingdomain knowledge into machine learning so as to improve the learning performance. In particular, he has been working on incorporating Argumentation-based knowledge into Reinforcement Learning. He obtained his BEng degree from Northwestern Polytechnical University, China, where, together with other students, he designed strategies for robot soccer games and their team won the championship in several national and international robot soccer competitions. More about me→

Mar 7th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

Document Recovery

Imagine that you had been working on a document using your favourite application, but one day something happened to the file and you cannot open it anymore: every time you try to open the document, the application crashes or does not load the file. You would like to have your document back because it has some important data in it and you would not like to sacrifice much of the document contents in order to make it work again.

In this seminar I will talk about: the reasons why documents can cause incorrect operation of software, symbolic execution techniques that can be used to tackle this problem and my research project which is about a document recovery approach that is independent of the input format.

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Link

Tomasz Kuchta is a second year PhD student in the Software Reliability Group, Imperial College London, supervised by Dr Cristian Cadar. In his PhD research he works on a document recovery technique. He received a Master degree in Computer Science from Cracow University of Technology and after studies he was working as a software engineer in telecommunications industry. More about me→

Mar 5th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 217

March Meeting

The March meeting is going to take place on Wednesday 5 March in the room Huxley 217. The meeting is open to public and everyone is very welcome to attend and come with ideas, suggestions as well as critique. This is your opportunity to meet and talk to the chapter officers and learn more about the future plans. The chapter members are especially welcome to attend.

Read more→

Link

Feb 28th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 245Seminar

Crouching Time Series, Hidden Markov Model - Applications of HMMs in the Real World

I will present an introduction and brief discussion into the applications and variations of the Hidden Markov Model (HMM), combining unsupervised learning techniques with performance analysis measures. Their parsimonious nature and efficient training on discrete and continuous data traces have made them popular as storage workloads, Markov Arrival Processes (MAPs), social network behaviour classifiers and financial predictive models (to name but a few). We explain relevant findings of the AESOP group (aesop.doc.ic.ac.uk/) over the last few years and mention possible future research.

Read more→

Link

Tiberiu Chis is a PhD student at Imperial College London in the AESOP (Analysis, Engineering, Simulation & Optimization of Performance) group under the supervision of Prof. Peter Harrison More about me→

Feb 21st, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

EdgeReduce: Eliminating Mobile Network Traffic Using Application-Specific Edge Proxies

This talk describes an approach for reducing network traffic over radio access networks (RANs), e.g. 3G and 4G networks, associated with mobile client applications such as social networking, photo sharing and e-commerce clients. Such applications rely on frequent interactions with Internet backend services, which often entail unnecessary data transfers due to the coarse granularity of backend API calls and the aggressive prefetching strategies used. Our approach automatically partitions mobile client applications to offload the application logic responsible for processing API response data to remote nodes at edge locations of a mobile network. This allows for unused data to be discarded before traversing the RAN. This benefits both mobile users—by reducing increased data usage charges—and network operators—by reducing network contention in limited RANs.

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Link

Andreas Pamboris is currently a post-doc at Imperial College London, where he is a member of the Large Scale Distributed Systems (LSDS) group. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Computer Science department of the University of Cyprus, followed by a Masters degree at the Computer Science and Engineering department of the University of California, San Diego. During this period of time he has done research on wireless sensor networks and data-center networking. Andreas recently completed his PhD at Imperial College London under the supervision of Dr. Peter Pietzuch. His research during the past 4 years has focused on mobile cloud computing solutions. More specifically, his work delves into automatic code offloading approaches that leverage cloud-based resources to enhance the capabilities of resource-constrained devices via static application partitioning techniques, which allow mobile applications to execute across mobile devices and the cloud with increased performance and functionality. More about me→

Feb 14th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

The Brain: Bayesic Stuff

Classification of objects is a fundamental and innate ability of our brain, which allows us to use a limited set of words to describe an almost infinite space of different objects, for instance, learning to classify food into nutritious or poisonous has been a key to the survival of organisms. The algorithmic and neuronal implementations of human classification are, however, not well understood. Why is it that a single example from a new class is sufficient to spawn a new category? Why and when do we generate new categories and how do we update them dynamically? How do our minds get so much from so little? We build rich models through which we make strong generalizations, and construct powerful abstractions, while the input data are noisy and often ambiguous. The impressive ease with which humans deal with these problems has been a major focus of the research community with many potential applications. In this talk, I will introduce recent approaches to reverse-engineering human category learning and discuss why gaining an understanding of the mechanisms that humans use to categorise data is essential for learning how the brain functions and how this knowledge can be used to create even more intelligent machines.

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Link

Feryal Mehraban Pour Behbahani is a doctoral student at Imperial College London, where she is a member of Brains and Behavior Lab. She has a strong passion for studying human learning using the theoretical framework of machine learning and her research aims to model human categorisation behavior. In her spare time you can find her hacking, coding, exploring big data, reading Economist or with her camera, taking pictures. More about me→

Feb 7th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

Domain-specific languages: the key to computational efficiency and programmer productivity

A rule of thumb in computing says that generality and efficiency are conflicting goals when designing a system. In a similar way, a high-level system is generally regarded as less efficient than a low-level system. In this talk I will show that this is not necessarily the case and how domain-specific languages can be used as a building block in efficient yet high-level computational frameworks. Not only do they provide the key to computational efficiency, but also to programmer productivity and more maintainable codes.

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Link

Florian Rathgeber is a final year PhD student in the Software Performance Optimisation Group at Imperial College London. His primary research interests are domain-specific languages and compilers to translate mathematical models into low level code. His work is mostly concerned with delivering high-level tools in the hands of scientists, allowing them to work productively and run simulations efficiently on a range of modern multi- and many-core hardware platforms. He used to run the Graduate Students' Union (GSU) as vice president and the Linux Users' Group ICLUG. In his spare time he is a keen photographer and enjoys travelling and the outdoors. At night he looks after 125 undergraduates as a hall warden. More about me→

Feb 5th, 2014, 1:00 pm in Huxley 355

February Meeting

The February meeting is going to take place on Wednesday 5 February in the room Huxley 355. The meeting is open to public and everyone is very welcome to attend and come with ideas, suggestions as well as critique. This is your opportunity to meet and talk to the chapter officers and learn more about the future plans. The chapter members are especially welcome to attend.

Read more→

Link

Feb 2nd, 2014, 9:30 am in Bletchley Park Museum

Visit to Bletchley Park

We are organising a visit to Bletchley Park for postgraduate students. This will be an all day event taking place on Sunday February 2, 2014 with a planned departure from the Euston Station at 9:30am end expected return at 17:00 same place.

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Jan 31st, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

Machine Learning Applications: Empowering Medical Science Through Computing

Increasing computational power over the past decade has enabled the rapid development of a variety of new machine learning methods that primarily aim to analyse medical data, in order to offer extended insights about the inner workings of humans. Evidently, understanding the human body better can potentially aid the earlier diagnosis and treatment of certain diseases that have been troubling humans for many years now.

An inherent problem of medical data is their increased complexity and high dimensionality, which is essentially caused by the complicated design of the human body but is also a result of noise coming from the acquisition hardware. In this talk, we will demonstrate some recent machine learning methodologies for removing noise and extracting inference from medical data using linear and non-linear dimensionality reduction techniques along with a set of unsupervised and supervised classification algorithms. Moreover, we show how these techniques can be best applied in order to aid the diagnosis of different types of cancer and also help in understanding how the human brain works when we are performing various actions in our everyday life.

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Loizos Markides is a PhD student in the Department of Computing at Imperial College of London in the group of Machine Learning and Intelligent Data. He is currently working in the area of pattern recognition and machine learning in functional MRI data analysis, with special interest in the decomposition of the fMRI signal to primary cognitive processes using unsupervised learning techniques, and the later use of this decomposition to build large-scale fMRI decoding systems. More about me→

Zena Hira is a PhD student in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, in the group of Machine Learning and Intelligent Data. She currently works on applying unsupervised machine learning algorithms and statistical techniques on high dimensional cancer data, in order to find ways of reducing the dimensionality and correctly classify new examples. Part of her research is examining how different forms of prior knowledge will affect the performance of already existing algorithms. More about me→

Jan 24th, 2014, 3:00 pm in Huxley 345Seminar

The Fast and The Dangerous: Safer Parallel Programming with Types

Parallel programming is notoriously difficult. Years of research had led to a plethora of models and languages for parallel programming, yet the majority of the scientific computing community is stuck with Message-Passing Interface, a standard designed 20 years ago. MPI is known for its robustness but not for its user-friendliness, and communication errors are often hidden in plain sight. Session Types is a formal system that uses types to abstract interaction patterns and making sure message-passing communication do not go wrong, combining session types and MPI seems a sensible way to make parallel programming but is it really that simple? In this talk, I will introduce session types in the context of parallel programming and what it brings to making parallel programming easier and safer.

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Nicholas Ng is a final year PhD student working on applying the theory of Session Types to guaranteeing safety and correctness of communication aspects of parallel programming. Previously he was the student representative for Faculty of Engineering in the Graduate Students' Union and a PhD student rep for the Department of Computing. He enjoys free food and spending time with computers. He is a Facebook addict More about me→

Jan 15th, 2014, 1:00 pm in William Penny 301

January Meeting

The first meeting of this year is going to take place on Wednesday 15 January which is the first Wednesday of the spring term, in room William Penny 301. The meeting is open to public and everyone is very welcome to attend and come with ideas, suggestions as well as critique. This is your opportunity to meet and talk to the chapter officers and learn more about the future plans.

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Dec 13th, 2013, 5:00 pm in Level 5 Common Room

Christmas Special

Since it’s nearly Christmas, we are organising a Christmas-get-together for Postgraduate students. Come for some Christmas treats, Coffee, and possibly Eggnog and to enjoy the pre-Christmas atmosphere.

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Dec 11th, 2013, 1:00 pm in Royal School of Mines G07

Hour of Code

We live in a world surrounded by technology. But only a tiny fraction of students learn how computers work, or how to create software technology. Computer Science provides a foundation for virtually any career and all students can benefit from learning the basics.

This year, for Computer Science Education Week, a massive campaign called the Hour of Code is introducing 10 million students to try one hour of introductory computer science.

We are bringing this campaign to Imperial College London, so all students across all fields can participate. Register today and join us on Wednesday 11th December, between 1pm and 2pm in Royal School of Mines G07. We will do our best to demystify “code” and show you that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator.

We are also looking for students who already know how to code and would like to help participants during the event. Please get in touch with us if you belong to this category.

Link

Dec 6th, 2013, 3:00 pm in William Penney Building, room 212Seminar

The PhD Mind @Work: How my degree helps me today

In this talk I will discuss the impact that a PhD has on my life. More specifically, what drove me into a PhD, how it helped me to get a job and what difference it is making in my current role. This will include R&D challenges I face on a day-to-day basis and how they are tackled using an academic way of thinking. For that, this talk will focus on methodology rather than technical knowledge and highlight why the PhD experience may be more important than you might think.

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Felipe Franciosi has been a Senior Software Performance Engineer working for Citrix since October 2011, more specifically on XenServer Storage Virtualisation. Previously, he finished a PhD at Imperial College London on the same subject. Regarding computing and besides performance evaluation of virtualised storage, his interests also include computer networks, distributed systems and high performance computing to name but a few. In his spare time he enjoys playing his bass guitars, practicing Kyokushin Karate and doing close-up magic. Oh, and playing Poker and Chess. More about me→

Dec 4th, 2013, 1:00 pm in Huxley 355

December Meeting

The December meeting is going to take place on Wednesday 4 December. The meeting is open to public and everyone is very welcome to attend and come with ideas, suggestions as well as critique. This is your opportunity to meet and talk to the chapter officers and learn more about the future plans.

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Nov 29th, 2013, 3:00 pm in Huxley 217/218Seminar

Understanding human faces

Powered by ever more sophisticated sensors, the machines of the future will interact with humans far more naturally than is possible today. Most of us find face-to-face interaction the most comfortable and for good reason - the brain does an outstanding job of interpreting the identity and emotional state of another human - all from just looking at their face.

With this in mind we seek to develop algorithmic approaches to understanding the human face. I’ll explain how powerful generative models of the face can be constructed, and what we can learn from them. I’ll then demonstrate the usefulness of such models in identity and emotion recognition, and highlight how our collaboration with Great Ormond Street Hospital is helping advance craniofacial surgery techniques. Finally, I’ll talk about where we can take statistical facial modelling in the future, and discuss some of the challenges that we most overcome in order to advance.

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James Booth is a PhD student in the Intelligent Behaviour Understanding Group at Imperial College London. His research revolves around building and fitting 3D statistical models of the human face. He is also an honorary member of the Craniofacial Unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where his research is being applied to help advance corrective surgery for children with facial deformities. When not knee-deep in Python code James enjoys swimming and cycling, having recently completed his first Triathlon More about me→

Nov 25th, 2013, 3:00 pm in Huxley 342

Internship Event

Imperial College London ACM Student chapter together with the Corporate Partnership Program is organizing a PhD internship event on Monday 25th November.

This is a great opportunity to find out more about the experience of former PhD interns (your fellow PhD students), including how to get an internship, the best time for an internship, etc.Furthermore, we will have companies who are especially interested in having PhD students as interns. So far, Thomson Reuters confirmed their interest, and we are currently in contact with other companies like IBM, Google, etc.

We are looking for PhD students who has done an internship and would like to share their experience. If you belong to this category, please get in touch with us.

Link

Nov 22nd, 2013, 3:00 pm in Huxley 217/218Seminar

What else could you know, given what I assume you know?

In our everyday lives we engage in numerous dialogues as we socialise with people around us. Most times we attempt to persuade others to accept our point of view, which requires that we strategize against them so as to increase our chances of winning. However, as we are unaware of their knowledge we can only rely on our assumptions on what they might know, which are usually based on our previous dialogues with them, i.e. on the arguments they used in those dialogues. So for every individual we come against we can construct a model of their knowledge consisting of all the arguments they ever used against us, and rely on it for strategizing.

But wait a second! Is this all we can do? Could we possibly infer more things about what one might know given what we assume they know? And if yes, how can we do that? In this presentation we explore this possibility through intuitive everyday examples, which appeal to intuition and make conveying the ideas behind our research easy and fun. Need more reasons to attend this talk? How about never losing an argument again?

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Christos Hadjinikolis is a senior PhD student in the Department of Informatics at King's College London working on agent dialogue games based on argumentative systems. In his research he focuses on opponent modelling aspects of such games and with strategizing, while he is also interested in the development of Monte-Carlo simulations. More about me→

Nov 19th, 2013, 11:00 am in Huxley 218

ICCSW'14 Initial Meeting

ICCSW’14 initial meeting will be Tuesday 19th November, 11am till noon in Huxley 218. Anyone interested in the workshop (as attendee/organiser/advocate) are invited, and we will be forming the organisation team for this year during the meeting.

All are welcome. First year and second year PhD students are especially encouraged to attend. If you are interested in this exciting student event but cannot make the meeting, make sure you let us know.

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Nov 15th, 2013, 3:00 pm in Huxley LT308Seminar

Life After DoC

What do you do with a BA in War Studies? In my case: an MSc and a PhD at DoC. These degrees in turn led to jobs at a number of academic and non-academic institutions, including at one point returning to the Department as a post-doc in the research group with which I did my PhD. In this talk I will discuss my experience of working in a variety of environments and reflect on how my time(s) at DoC prepared me for what was to come.

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Nick Dingle obtained an MSc in Computing Science from Imperial College London in 2001 and a PhD in Computing from the same institution in 2004. After working for Dstl from 2004 to 2007, he was employed as a Research Associate at Imperial and the School of Maths at the University of Manchester between 2007 and 2013. His main research interest is parallel numerical linear algebra, with a particular focus on the efficient solution of large sparse systems. He is currently employed by NAG Ltd as an HPC Software Developer but retains a visitor's position at the University of Manchester. More about me→

Nov 8th, 2013, 3:00 pm in William Penny 212Seminar

Critical Spiking Neural Networks

Artificial intelligence is used as an umbrella term describing our attempts at reproducing two key human characteristics, intelligence and thought. We know that these abilities come from the brain, so why not start by reproducing the human brain ? A spiking neural network is an attempt at modelling how neural cells in nature behave dynamically. By reproducing the electrical signals of a single neuron and connecting neurons together we observe a complex interaction of spiking activity possibly underlying the intelligent behavior we see in nature. In my talk I will briefly describe this technique and give several examples on its application in neuroscience and artificial intelligence. I will conclude by defining what a critical network is and how chaotic behavior plays an important role in optimizing information processing in neural networks. This talk will be for those of you who are curious on how to make an artificial “brain” and how the chaos in your mind not only makes your forget where your house keys are but also optimizes your thought processes.

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Filipe Peliz Pinto Teixeira is a PhD student in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London working on spiking neural networks and their applications within the fields of artificial intelligence and neuroscience. In his research he focuses on how chaos may optimize information flow and storage within neural systems. Filipe has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa and an MSc in Artificial Intelligence from Imperial College London. In his spare time he can often be found running around with an over sized camera or attempting to reach a comatose state in front of his precious computer. More about me→

Nov 6th, 2013, 1:00 pm in William Penny 212

November Meeting

The Imperial College London ACM Student Chapter is going to hold a monthly meetings, which are going to take place every first Wednesday of the month at 1pm in William Penny 212. This is your opportunity to meet and talk to the chapter officers, to propose and take part in chapter activities, and to learn more about the chapter organisation.

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Nov 1st, 2013, 3:00 pm in William Penny 212Seminar

Probabilistic Logic: A Biased Review

Probabilistic reasoning allows us to act rationally under uncertainty. Logical inference allows us to act rationally given a set of premises and rules. If you want to know how to act rationally under uncertain premises, you need to define a probabilistic logic. If you don’t know how to do that, come to my talk and find out. I will review probabilistic logic in a brief and biased manner, and exemplify my perspective on the matter. I will also discuss key challenges of the field and propose some initial solutions in my area of interest.

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Călin-Rareș Turliuc is a second year PhD student at Imperial College London. His research concerns topics in probabilistic-logical reasoning: inference, parameter learning and structure learning, more concretely, probabilistic abduction and probabilistic inductive logic programming. In his free time, he enjoys studying ancient religions and reading fantastic novels with mythological and philosophical undertones. More about me→

Oct 25th, 2013, 3:00 pm in William Penny 212Seminar

Type Me If You Can

I will take you on an evolution journey of computing most precious concepts–data types and will present you a vision for the future–session types. Types has served us well in the computation era. In the talk, we would examine what is their role in the current era of communication, concurrency and distribution. What does it mean for two different programs, executed in different environments, to be type safe. We will look at how session types can change the landscape of programming practices and tools and how they can be used to prevent deadlocks and to reduce the cost of producing software, while increasing its reliability. Fasten your research belts, pack your bags of questions and get ready to look into the future of distributed programming.

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Rumyana Neykova is a second year PhD student at Imperial College London, under the supervision of Prof. Nobuko Yoshida. She holds a bachelor in Computer Science from University of Sofia (2009), Bulgaria and a Master in Software engineering from Imperial College London (2011). Her research interests are in the area of distributed systems and networks, as well as type systems and language design. Her Ph.D focuses on exploring the use of a distributed types theory (called session types) for runtime verification of concurrent and distributed systems. More about me→

Oct 18th, 2013, 3:00 pm in William Penny 212Seminar

Yes - No - Yes - No - Yes

My talk will be an introduction to the research field of “Argumentation Theory”. I will explain how Argumentation fits into the broader area of Artificial Intelligence, and try to answer the questions “What is Argumentation Theory?” and “Why bother?”. The obvious application of Argumentation Theory is in Multi-Agent Systems, that is when two artificial or human agents argue with each other. However, Argumentation Theory can also be applied in a wide range of other decision-making scenarios, such as deciding on the medical treatment of a given patient or evaluating whether or not a defendant is guilty in court.

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Claudia Schulz is a second year PhD student working in the field of knowledge representation and reasoning, where her particular focus is on Argumentation Theory. As a Teaching Scholar in the Department of Computing, she is gaining teaching experience of all kinds: tutoring, preparing coursework, marking, supervision, lecturing, etc. During her free time she loves to get out of London to go climbing or hiking in the British "mountains". More about me→

Oct 11th, 2013, 3:00 pm in William Penny 212Seminar

The What, How and Why

In the first talk of the newly re-started student seminar series, I am going to introduce our vision for these student-led talks as an opportunity for (research) students in any field of Computer Science to learn about each other’s research, to share and discuss new ideas. I am also going to talk about Imperial College London ACM Student Chapter, the first ACM student chapter in the United Kingdom whose aim is to create an active Computing research student community within our Department. I will explain the importance of these student activities, both from research as well as career perspective using my own experience and tell you how to take a part and become actively involved.

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Petr Hosek is a doctoral student in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London, where he works in the Software Reliability Group under the supervision of Cristian Cadar. In his research, he focuses on exploring ways to improve the software update process. Petr has an MSc and BSc in Computer Science from Charles University in Prague, where he specialised in software engineering and dependable systems. More about me→

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