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Past events from our meetings schedules

2008-2009 events
2009-2010 events
2010-2011 events
2011-2012 events
2012-2013 events
2013-2014 events
2014-2015 events
 

2008-2009

Method-based problem diagnosis

Date Wednesday 17 Sep 2008
Time 18:30 - Tea was 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Paul Offord - Advance7 www.Advance7.com
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract Method-based problem diagnosis is rarely understood and even more rarely practiced, and yet it offers an effective means to solving intermittent or long-running IT problems.
Paul Offord of Advance7 has a 30+ year career in the IT industry, working in the UK, the US and Germany for companies such as IBM, National Semiconductor and Hitachi.
In 1989 he founded Advance7, an independent consultancy specialising in IT performance and stability.
In August 1990 Advance7 launched a critical problem resolution service called REACT, since when the company has helped over 250 of Europe's leading companies solve chronic IT problems.

In his presentation Paul outlined RPR - an IT specific problem resolution method- and described the core principles.

He also described the benefits of the approach and illustrated the effectiveness of RPR with case studies from the finance industry, with no reference to an American Insurance Giant...
The meeting was well attended - 18 people signed in, not bad for the opening meeting of the season.
Downloads Speakers Notes

Software Development Process for Video Games

Date Wednesday 15 Oct 2008
Time 18:30 - Tea was 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Andrew Hague and Andrew Wallen - Blitz Games www.blitzgames.com
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract This talk covered the full software development process of a console video game from first concepts through pre-development and full development, testing and bug fixing to final mastering and release. It described many of the limitations that needed to be considered during the initial stages and presented the challenges faced towards the latter end of a project. It described the software production tools and practices that have improved efficiency in recent years. Andrew discussed testing of the software, revealing problems that stretch developers to the limits and some of the novel solutions they have implemented, including code reviews(!!). Video games are the product of many creative individuals, many originally from the film industry and the talk showed how game production software enabled the creative side to flourish. Andrew explained that games testing would appear to be a great job, however you play the game, report the bugs ("when I do this, this and this, this happens") then the developers improve the software, then you play the game again, and again ... One of the less interesting jobs is crashing your racing car into every section of wall/barrier; to make sure your car does not go through! (Anyone remember the funny swampy bit at the bottom right of "Tank Battle" where you could get your tank through and drive around the outside of the border, shooting at your opponent who couldn't shoot you back?)

Web based video conferencing

Date Wednesday 19 Nov 2008
Time 18:30 - Tea was 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Giorgio Bragoli - technilink iT Limited www.digitalmeeting.co.uk
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract Audio video conferencing was once seen as in the remit of the global corporate companies who had large conference rooms with big digital cameras and plasma screens. It was used on intranets to connect geographically dispersed sites together at times which had to be booked in advance so that everyone who needed to attend could free up their calendars to do so. With advances in technology audio video conferencing has now reached the desk top. This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for SMEs who can now enjoy the advantages of less need to travel to customer sites and not having to deal with the associated cost of travel expenses and wasted travel time as well as the reduced carbon foot print. The talk actively promoted the use of the audio/visual conferencing by showing its generic features and put these in the context for the SMEs. The speakers also showed how they could be used to reduce over-head cost. As a fine demonstration, Neil Johnson was in Winchester and Giorgio was actually at Coventry. During the demo Neil controlled the slides remotely and annotated them. They were using Skype and IP phones to provide the audio which was all controlled from a remote Bridge.

Scratch workshop

Date Thursday 04 Dec 2008
Time 16:30 - Tea & Coffee was 4.30 p.m. for 4.45p.m. start
Speaker Margaret Low & Jean Bodycote - Warwick University www.warwick.ac.uk
Location International Digital Laboratory, University of Warwick
Abstract An opportunity to try out this exciting multimedia language that allows young people to create their own interactive stories, animations, games, music and art.
Downloads Event Poster

 Prestige Christmas Lecture "Patterns and predictions of weather and climate"

Date Wednesday 17 Dec 2008
Time 19:00 - Refreshments were 18:00 - 19:00, a Buffet supper followed the lecture
Speaker Lord Julian Hunt - University College London, Trinity College Cambridge www.acops.org
Location Goldstein Lecture Theatre, Alan Berry Block, Coventry University
Abstract Since the 1960s predictions of weather and climate are based on massive computations of the equations of fluid dynamics, thermodynamics and chemistry. But even though ten million or more data points are used in the computations, they involve many approximations. Also there are insufficient data from measurements to initiate the calculations. So why can we rely on the predictions? This requires understanding the physical processes that control the weather and climate, such as clouds or cyclones or human influences, and also their characteristic patterns, which means that they are not as chaotic as some commentators suggest. Lord Hunt gave an interesting presentation that touched on a number of areas of engineering, fluid dynamics and geography. Those mountains, although only "pimples" when viewed on a global scale, have a large affect as the air with most of the weather is constrained to flow round them...

The Power of Immersive Experiences: Using serious games and virtual worlds to enrich social interactions and create new spaces

Date Wednesday 21 Jan 2009
Time 18:30 - Tea was 6:00pm for 6:30 start; thanks to Anne James for setting it all up.
Speaker Sara de Freitas - Serious Games Institute www.seriousgames.org.uk
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract The presentation explored how living, learning and working are changing in the face of new technologies allowing for more immersive experiences. The impact of games and virtual worlds is only beginning to be touched upon with new applications from health, education to business training emerging. However questions remain as to how different the twenty-first century will become in the face of new spaces emerging for undertaking all kinds of human interactions. Sara stepped into the world of the immersive and the social and envisaged how far these new forms may transform our everyday lives.

Dr Sara de Freitas outlined that she is Director of Research at the Serious Games Institute at the University of Coventry where she leads an applied research team working closely with industry. The Institute is the first of its kind in the UK and it is envisaged that it will play a leading role in future developments of game-based learning. Formerly Sara worked as Lab Manager, Project Manager on development programmes and Senior Research Fellow at the London Knowledge Lab. The Lab is a collaborative venture between Birkbeck College and the Institute of Education, University of London focusing upon technology assisted learning. Sara continues to hold a visiting senior research fellowship at the Lab. Sara is also working with TruSim (Blitz Games), the Vega Group PLC and the University of Birmingham on a 2 million pound UK Technology Strategy Board part-funded Serious Games research and development project which is developing highly immersive learning games demonstrators to solve business training needs.

A cracking presentation, with many video clips, including a demo of Triage Trainer and a comparison of results using this compared to table-top training.

University Challenge

Date Wednesday 18 Feb 2009
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Mike Joy, Irene Glendinning + PhD Students - Warwick and coventry Universities coventry.bcs.org
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract The rematch to the rematch - synopses in the order they were received...

Adam Grzywaczewski "User Task Perception"
The goal of this research is to investigate to what extent the way users perceive the task they are performing is associated to their information seeking behaviour. Bottom line: the user is the ultimate search engine as only they know what they are really looking for; too much intelligence in a search tool can impede the user.

Daniel Goldsmith "Wireless sensor networks"
Wireless sensor networks (WSN) have the potential to radically alter the way we gather and process information about the world around us. In this award winning talk Dan highlighted some of the uses of WSN and showed how they had been used to investigate the temperature changes in a jet engine.

Matthew Waters "Applying Computer Science Techniques to PLC Programming"
Control systems for automation are typically programmed using ladder logic, a forty year old standard born out of electromagnetic relays.
in this close second Matthew discussed how the ladder logic compiler had evolved over the years and how his project had helped to improve code, with clone detection, software metrics and code test coverage tools

Joung Huem (Remi) Kwon "virtual reality as therapy"
Remi discussed how VR could be used to help alleviate the fear of social interaction, his studies concentrating on provoking the best reaction from his virtual Avatars. His conclusion was that in most cases the realism of the Avatar made little difference, but to provoke the best reaction the Avatar needed to be photo-realistinc and behave in a negative way.

e-Learning

Date Wednesday 18 Mar 2009
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker David Morris - Coventry University www.coventry.ac.uk/researchnet/d/153
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract Just when we thought we had it all sorted, life got interesting again......

In the mid 1990's we began to build university-wide intranets to help manage teaching and learning content. However we struggled to add any interactive activity around this content. Then our problems seemed to be solved with the emergence of VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments), new-fangled software systems built on web technology. For the next five or six years we spent our time steadily developing the technology, adding functionality, improving the user interface and speeding the systems up. The gold-plated VLE was here, we knew where we were going and pretty much we were on top of the technology.

But then two things happened. Firstly "the no significant difference" phenomenon gained ground. Put simply, for all the money spent on the technology, it was very difficult to see what difference it made to students' learning. Secondly, Web 2.0 arrived and we began to see all the inadequacies of our gold-plated VLEs. We had to begin thinking again.

In this wide ranging and highly absorbing lecture David Morris described the e-learning journey over the last ten or so years from a small-scale cottage industry for enthusiasts to the cutting edge systems we develop and run today. We also debated the future of learning and teaching and how technology is fundamentally changing the nature of universities. Did you know Coventry University is the third biggest commissioner of building projects in Coventry city centre? did you know that most of their course material will eventually be online? Did you spot the change to their home page, and the "Facebook" type interfaces they now have there?

How three Open Educational Resource projects attracted involvement from four UK universities

Date Wednesday 22 Apr 2009
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Dr Tina Wilson - The Open University in the UK www.derby.ac.uk/pocket
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract In this talk Tina discussed three Open Educational Resource projects based in the UK and the involvement of four UK universities.

OpenLearn, the Open Content Initiative established by The Open University, was launched on 25th October 2006 as a result of funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. OpenLearn's twin websites, the LearningSpace and LabSpace have attracted more than 4 million visitors. They host in excess of 13,500 study hours of freely available course material across 12 different topic areas. While the LearningSpace is aimed mainly at learners, the LabSpace is geared more towards educators. Despite OpenLearn attracting many visitors, activity in the LabSpace was less than expected (a lack of downloading and repurposing of the available materials).

As a result, Project on Open Content for Knowledge Exposition and Teaching (POCKET) was designed to influence what had already been invested in OpenLearn, extend Open Content activity to other universities and place additional content in the LabSpace. POCKET was led by the University of Derby and partnered by The Open University and the Universities of Bolton and Exeter. It was funded by the United Kingdom Joint Information Systems Committee. POCKET improved upon the OpenLearn processes and procedures for uploading new content and uploaded whole courses of material (as separate units) into the OpenLearn LabSpace.

With existing OER communities having seven years of experience in the development of OER it is time to evaluate what has worked, why it has worked and how we can maximise on the design and redesign of OER for the benefit of learners and teachers. (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) http://web.mit.edu/ was the leader in this field with the OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiative in 2002).

The need to gather evidence of use and reuse of OER on a much wider scale is identified as a major research project Open Learning Network (OLnet), which started in March 2009. Based on the lessons of experience and evidence, the initial aim of the project is to draw in existing OER and social networked communities to evaluate what types of OER have worked well in terms of learning and teaching. The project will investigate the best ways to develop new OER and redesign existing OER for reuse worldwide. OLnet is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and starts from a base of having a number of partners, which will be built upon over the three-year period of the project (in conjunction with drawing on existing OER communities).

The AGM

Date Wednesday 20 May 2009
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker The "outgoing" committee - Your Branch coventry.bcs.org/index.php
Location Please note change of room: AS321b, Coventry University, third floor AS block
Abstract Some folk ask "why don't you have a presentation after the AGM?". The answer is, we've a packed programme of seven meeting and we like to use the AGM to give you the chance to tell us what else would get you out of doors on a cold, damp winters night to come along to a branch open meeting. We always say "Don't wait until the AGM, please tell us now!", but invariably the AGM is the time to reflect on past "glories" and plan for the future. So, please feel free to come along. It's a freindly, relaxed atmosphere and you won't get "recruited" - not unless you want to... We have a buffet mid-way through to split the formal meeting from the ideas session... we need your ideas please!

We'll probably end up discussing the School Competition as well.

The AGM adgenda is available from here, the minutes from here and my Secretary's report from here.
Downloads Last year's minutes
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2009-2010

Slumdog Millionaire Inspired by IT?

Date Wednesday 16 Sep 2009
Time 18:30 - Tea 18:00
Speaker Dr Sugata Mitra - Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University coventry.bcs.org/index.php
Location AS124 Coventry University Armstrong Siddely block
Abstract Are you one of the millions who've seen the film 'Slumdog Millionaire'? It is based on the book 'Q&A' by Vikas Swarup; who has acknowledged as his inspiration the extraordinary research begun in Delhi in 1999 by Dr Sugata Mitra whilst Chief Scientist at NIIT Technologies.

A brief report of the meeting is available from this link.
Downloads Colour Poster

eCrime: The Big Bad Wolf

Date Wednesday 21 Oct 2009
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Daniel Chapman - Forensic Investigator Global Security & Compliance; TNT www.TNT.com
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract What is eCrime? Dan answered that question succinctly and showed that perceptions were far removed from the truth. Whilst the precise definition of eCrime is largely an academic debate, Dan provided a brief overview to explain why the law enforcement agencies are having such difficulties addressing it, and in many cases seem not to be dealing with it at all. The presentation discussed a working definition before moving on to the unfortunate quantity of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) constantly circulated by the media; software vendors and occasionally the government surrounding the topic of eCrime.

What we all need is practical advice to help reduce the risk of eCrime in our everyday lives, which Dan overviewed in his talk. With a greater understanding of the risks and how the criminals operate we can take ownership and make wiser decisions about the ways in which we use computers, rather than waiting for the software vendors to produce a magic bullet solution that will never come. The presentation empowered the attendees with some of that knowledge and a few techniques to help use the Internet safely and potentially contribute directly to community policing of the eCrime problem.

Security Issues with Cloud computing

Date Wednesday 18 Nov 2009
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Sadie Creese - Warwick University Digital Lab. www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/about/centres/digitallab/
Location Warwick University Digital Lab: park in car park 8 - its free after 18:00
Abstract  
Cloud services are a hot topic and responsible for a significant amount of global R&D investment. Figures from Gartner (March 09) estimate that the market is currently worth $56bn and will rise to $150bn by 2013.

In this talk Sadie explored the drivers shaping this future, what capability maturity within the enterprise environment is likely to look like, and the resulting e-security issues and research challenges.

Professor Creese is Director of e-Security based in the International Digital Laboratory within WMG.
(http://digital.warwick.ac.uk/E-Security/sadie-creese.html)

This was a very well attended and interesting lecture; branch extends its thanks to Sadie.
Thanks also to Gavin for an interesting post-lecture tour of the facility.
Downloads Slides of the talk

Christmas Prestige Lecture
"Aeons Before the Big Bang?"

Date Wednesday 09 Dec 2009
Time 18:30 - Refreshments were available from 18:30 in Alan Berry Building Foyer (opposite Coventry Cathedral) for 19:00 start.
Speaker Professor Sir Roger Penrose FRS - Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, University of Oxford.
Location Goldstein Lecture Theatre, Alan Berry Building
Abstract There is much observational evidence to confirm the existence of an enormously hot and dense early stage of the universe-referred to as the Big Bang. A good deal of this evidence comes from a detailed analysis of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), frequently referred to as "the flash of the Big Bang", enormously cooled to about 3.7 degrees absolute, by the universe's accelerating expansion. But this very detail presents new puzzles of various kinds, one of the most blatant being an apparent paradox in relation to the second law of thermodynamics. The hypothesis of inflationary cosmology has long been argued to explain away some of these puzzles, but it does not resolve some key issues, including that raised by the second law. In this talk, Sir Roger described a very different proposal, which posited a succession of universe aeons prior to our own. The expansion of the universe never reverses in this scheme, but the space-time geometry is nevertheless made consistent through a novel geometrical conception. Analysis of the CMB data, obtained from the WMAP satellite, has a tantalizing bearing on these issues.

Attendees who booked enjoyed an excellent thre-course hot buffet supper in the Herbert Art Gallery foyer after the lecture.

A recording of the talk is available at http://www.youtube.com/user/CovStudent#p/u/0/OutKE3tyG94
(warning: it starts off very quiet then gets louder!!!).

Artificial Intelligence Demystified

Date Wednesday 20 Jan 2010
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Professor Adrian A. Hopgood - Dean of Faculty of Technology, De Montfort University www.dmu.ac.uk/technology
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract Despite the cold and damp, and the threat of snow, we had a very good turn out for January. We learned that artificial intelligence has been a rich branch of research for computer scientists and psychologists for over 50 years; the concept of mimicking human intelligence in a computer fuels the public imagination and has led to countless academic papers, news articles, and fictional works.

Such exposure has led to high public expectations, despite the incredible complexity of everyday human behaviour and the difficulties in replicating even limited aspects of it. The challenge now is to build a system that can operate across the spectrum of intelligent behaviour from low-level reaction and control to high-level specialist expertise.

The achievement of this goal requires a hybrid approach that draws on a variety of different techniques, each of which was explained by Adrian at an introductory level. Several practical examples were presented, ranging from the control of specialised manufacturing processes to the diagnosis of mouth cancer. No prior knowledge of artificial intelligence was assumed.

Professor Adrian Hopgood joined De Montfort University in 2007 as Dean of the Faculty of Technology, having previously worked for Nottingham Trent University and the Open University. He also has industrial experience with Telstra Research Laboratories in Melbourne, Australia and Systems Designers plc (now part of HP).

Adrian has published widely and his text book "Intelligent Systems for Engineers & Scientists" is ranked as a bestseller. He is a visiting professor at the Open University, Fellow of the British Computer Society, Chartered Engineer, and a panellist for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). He holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and a bachelor's degree from the University of Bristol.

The Lazy Project Manager - The Art of Productive Laziness

Date Wednesday 17 Feb 2010
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Peter Taylor -  
Peter is a dynamic and commercially astute professional who has achieved notable success in Project Management; currently as head of a PMO at Siemens PLM Software supplier of global product lifecycle management solutions. He is also very interested in maintaining a good work/life balance. www.thelazyprojectmanager.com
Location AS312d block, Coventry University,please note new room.
Abstract 'Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.'
Robert Heinlein

Peter encouraged the attendees to learn about the art of productive laziness with The Lazy Project Manager; understand what is meant by the 'productive lazy' approach to Projects (and life) and learn how to apply these lessons 'to be twice as productive and still leave the office early'.

The session covered the definition of productive laziness, the science behind the theory (yes there really is some), and shared some personal learning experiences that led to the creation of 'The Lazy Project Manager'. The audience was led through the three key project stages, one of which the 'lazy' project manager works very hard in and the second they should be in the comfortable position of enjoying the 'comfy chair' safe in the knowledge that the project is well under control.

A specific focus was made on the third area, project closure, which can be done so much better with very little effort but with a significant value add for all 'would be' lazy project managers.


Peter's background is in project management across three major business areas over the last 25 years, MRP/ERP systems with various software houses and culminating in a role with KPMG, Business Intelligence with Cognos, and now within product lifecycle management (PLM) with Siemens. He has spent the last 6 years leading PMOs and developing project managers.

He is also an accomplished communicator and leader and is a professional speaker with City Speakers International, as well as the author of 'The Lazy Project Manager' www.thelazyprojectmanager.com

Attendees had the option of purchasing a signed copy of Peter's book at a reduced rate. We also got some free badges designed to spark conversation.
The link below is to a copy of Peter's slides, which made great sense at the time. Branch Secretary recommends that if you are having trouble understanding the slides you may wish to visit Peter's web site. Some of the slides were extracted from his book, however much was freshly prepared for us.
Downloads Slides of the talk

University Challenge

Date Wednesday 17 Mar 2010
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Phd Students from Coventry and Warwick Universities -
Location This year held at Warwick University - in the auditorium in the International Digital Laboratory (park in Car park 8 which is free after 18:00).
Abstract Warwick University: Max Legg:
Automated Analysis of Mobile Phone data
Mobile Phones are one of the most common items of personal property used by people all over the world. In 2008 there were over 950 Million Mobile Phones sold internationally. By the end of 2008 there were estimated 4.1bn mobile subscriptions, up from 1bn in 2002. That represents six in 10 of the world's population having a Mobile Phone.

These devices are busy every day of the week transferring calls, messages, media and information about the activities of the users. If one imagines these devices communicating across the globe we can begin to imagine the scope for the use of this data for intelligence purposes. It is enormous. Of course we are not interested in the general use of Mobile Phones by citizens we are interested in the use of Mobile Phones by criminals and terrorists that cause a serious threat to civilised society. Criminals and terrorists use Mobile Phones in just the same way as ordinary citizens use Mobile Phones. They use them to communicate, share information and engage in the planning or execution of crime and terrorism.

In some parts of the world the police and security services collect data from Mobile Phones in investigations. What we have discovered is that when this information is processed and handled in highly organised ways using powerful modelling techniques the potential is enormous.

This presentation demonstrates the current state of the art in the automated analysis of this information and future direction for research and development.

Warwick University: Vibhor Aggarwal:
High-fidelity Rendering on Shared Resources
*** On the night this was the winning project ***

High-fidelity rendering has been traditionally restricted, to expensive shared memory or dedicated distributed processors, due to the high computational cost. Shared resources such as a desktop grid offer a low cost alternative by combining arbitrary computational resources connected to a network such as those in a laboratory or an office. However, prevalent interactive rendering algorithms are currently incapable of seamlessly handling the variable computational power offered by the non-dedicated resources of a desktop grid. This presentation looks at novel fault- tolerant rendering algorithms for handling variable resources which enable users to experience high-fidelity rendering on their desktop machines.

Coventry University: James McCorrie
Development towards In-flight Wireless health monitoring of Gas Turbine Engines

Gas Turbine Engines are one of the most common forms of Jet Engine. Most commercial passenger planes now make use of the turbofan variation of the jet engine, due to their efficiency at low altitude, compared to other engines such as the rocket.

Turbofans work by using some of the thrust the engine provides to drive a turbine which in turn feeds the engine with air via a compressor, completing the cycle.

Managing the temperature within such and engine is very important: if the temperature gets too high, then the turbine blades can melt, resulting in flying debris at speeds in excess of 1000MPH and a number of other such undesirable consequences.

Modern jets are now a lot safer than they used to be, mainly due to improved structural design to make them more tolerable to failure including catching flying blades and surviving bird strikes, as well as more accurate health monitoring, so as to reduce the likelihood of failure.

One of the main factors in determining the health of a jet engine is the temperature of the exhaust gas (EGT). Once EGT at full throttle reaches a certain threshold, the engine requires a service.

Current systems require a large number of heavily insulated wires, which are not suitable for in-flight monitoring. This project is working towards a wireless solution, that could be used to provide detailed, in-flight monitoring, allowing more efficient scheduling of maintenance; sooner if needed, or longer if not required.

There are many challenges to overcome with such a wireless system, as with any other system that has to run in a safety critical environment. This research is working towards a viable prototype system.

Coventry University: Ammar Alalawneh
Information Technology Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage: A Resource Based View for the Jordanian Banking Industry

In the last two decades, Information technology (IT) has become the most important resource in every organisation, especially in banking industry where IT is not only essential to run banks operations, but also as a source of creating and sustaining competitive advantage. Under the current competitive environment, Jordanian banks invest heavily in IT not only to accommodate dynamics changes in business environment but also a competitive weapon and a source of competitive advantage.

However, IT is a broad concept which includes different resources ranging from tangible (physical resources) to intangible resources (IT-human and relationship resources), thus, making it difficult to give more attention. The main challenges that face every management and IT managers are
  • How to utilise IT resources in an appropriate way?
  • Which IT resources have the most impact on the sustainability of competitive advantage?
Several studies have shown different gaps in this context, such gaps are related to complexity of IT concept itself and SCA, measurement problems, methodology problems, adopted theories and industry selection.

This presentation sheds light toIT resources and how they can create achieves, and sustains competitive advantage by using strategic theories such Resource -Based view RBV. The presentation also shows some initial results of the preliminary study. Finally, the study will show the future work of research

Flight Simulators

Date Wednesday 21 Apr 2010
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Mike Basini - Senior Lecturer in Aviation Technology
Location Coventry University Aerospace Technology Lab - Room ALG109, Alma Building, Alma Street
Abstract Mike provided a highly entertaining and informative introduction to the evening; providing much background information about aerospace technology and flight simulation concepts. Using archive photographs and recent video clips, Mike covered the history of flight simulation, flight simulators and part task trainers, aircraft modelling and human factors. There was adequate opportunity for members of the audience to experience the flight simulators first hand.

We also had an interesting tour of the facilities in both the Aerospace Laboratory at Coventry University, and the Alma Street building in general.

Computing at School

Date Wednesday 19 May 2010
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Simon Humphreys - www.computingatschool.org.uk
Location AS321d Coventry University
Abstract There is a collection of people in the UK collaborating under the heading "Computing at School" (CAS) who are working to address current issues that relate to ICT and Computer Science in school. Although an informal group, they have some influential people on board, and are engaging with exam boards, BCS and other interested bodies at a high level, as well as creating local 'hubs' to support teachers.

This was a slightly different format meeting; Irene (Chair of the Schools Committee/Schools Competition and now deptury Branch Chair) gave a brief report to the branch about our activities with schools, local Unis and local businesses before handing over to Simon.

In his talk Simon addressed CAS in general: educational background and challenge and how CAS are trying to effect change through working with partner groups including the BCS and teachers (through local networks and national conferences). The links they currently have with BCS at a national level are proving very significant especially with the new BCS Academy in the pipeline.
Simon would like to see the links at local level increase especially as Coventry Branch contains members who are concerned about computing in general and computing in schools in particular; witness this year's Schools Competition.

CAS want to develop a national network of local teacher communities where they can share best practice, share their own ideas and resources and also receive training (potentially accredited training).

Simon was pleasantly surpised at how switched on to the issues Coventry Branch already is and our interworking with other stakeholders, especially as we already have a lot of school contact. Simon was therefore able to take away one model of how CAS may be able to engage similarly with other local branches.

All teachers were especially welcome to attend, however we acknowledged that this meting coincided with several school open / parent/teacher evenings.

YES!!! this was an open meeting, not the AGM....

Planning Meeting

Date Wednesday 26 May 2010
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker members and (mostly) the Branch Committee -
Location Armstrong Siddley Block: AS321d
Abstract We had a good meeting and generated 23 ideas for meetings for the upcoming season. We also hope to have a meeting after a very quick AGM, giving YOU even more value.

As Don is having to tender his resignation after many years of sterling service, as Ericssons are closing the Ansty site; we wished Don all the best in his new position in Stockholm and elected Irene (yep, see Schools competition!) as deputy Chair to allow branch to carry on. BUT! please consider if you would like to take an elected post on the branch committee: think how good it will look on your CV!
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2010-2011

GoMad

Date Wednesday 15 Sep 2010
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Ian Chakravorty - Go MAD Thinking www.gomadthinking.com
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract Ian Chakravorty is a director of Go MAD Thinking, co-developer of the Go MAD Thinking System and book author.

Ian provided a lively overview of their new Business Improvement technique called GoMad, which harnesses the power of directed thinking and provides a different perspective or approach to getting things done.

Ian kindly provided a portal to Branch members to allow us to benefit from this new technique. Please go to http://www.gomadthinking.tv/bcs/ and use the Promotional Code BCS2010.

Very Short AGM followed by very interesting "Priceless IT at the V&A"

Date Wednesday 20 Oct 2010
Time 19:30 - Priceless IT
Speaker Sarah Winmill, Head of IS Services - The Victoria and Albert Museum www.vam.ac.uk
Location Armstrong Siddley Building: AS124
Abstract The Victoria and Albert Museum (a.k.a The V&A) explodes the image of a Museum as 'a place where objects of interest are displayed in glass cases with dry informational labels', with cutting edge exhibitions exploring digital art and modern popular culture, an outstanding programme of ultra chic special events and educational programmes, not to mention an enthusiastic and expert staff devoted to engaging the public in the beauty of the collections. Day to day IT systems allow the tracking, maintenance, research, and display of the millions of objects in the V&A's priceless collections.

Sarah Winmill, Head of IS Services at the V&A, was very enthusiastic about all the pretty things on display and considered the challenges of tracking where they all are, moving priceless and fragile objects (and shipping them internationally!), bringing the knowledge of the organisation into the public domain, and the technology into the 21st century! She also highlighted the challenges of providing information systems throughout a listed monument - you can't just channel the walls, you need to apply three months in advance just to lift a floor board. Therefore all upgrades are carefully planned around gallery refurbishments.

The information desk is an island in the middle of the entrance hall, to get the data and power to that they had to drill down throuhg a 12 foot thick concrete floor to the basement. Of an evening, that same desk is re-configured as a bar ... the monitor, keyboard and mouse is configured through a single custom plug, and can be broken down, put on a trolley and wheeled away at closing time, ready for any special events. Likewise, the lake in the fully enclosed garden can be emptied into a tank in 25 minutes for special functions, then re-filled back from the same tank afterwards .. and in the summer the kids love paddling in the lake. Did you know that they have the most secure server room in the country, after all who wants to steal boring old computers when they are surrounded by acres of beautiful, priceless pretty things???

 
SMS for Life: a Smarter Planet pilot in Tanzania

Date Wednesday 17 Nov 2010
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Pete Ward - IBM Client Technical Advisor Programme Manager, North-East Europe www.ibm.com/uk/en
Location IDL; Warwick University
Abstract This presentation described the SMS for Life project that Peter is running in Tanzania. Using mobile phones, SMS text messages and a central database the visibility of stocks of anti-malaria medicines in health facilities in Tanzania has been radically improved in three disparate pilot areas; to the point where the Tanzanian Governmental Health Agency is taking serious note; seniour ministers have acknowledged the life-saving capabilities of the system now available. You may have seen publicity in the media and on websites such as Roll Back Malaria, Lotus Live and the Smarter Planet blog. Peter told us first-hand about the success of the solution and the challenges of delivering a multi-company public-private project on the ground 8000 km from home.

Peter has worked for IBM for over 26 years in a wide variety of positions. He now has two significant roles as the Client Technical Advisor (CTA) program manager for North-East Europe and the SMS for Life project manager in Tanzania. In his CTA progam manager role he supports IBM's most senior technical professionals as they deliver innovative solutions to IBM's most important clients. He uses coaching and mentoring techniques and works to facilitate mutual support through culture change and the use of peer-to-peer collaboration tools and lotuslive. Managing the SMS for Life project involves leading a multi-organisation international team to pilot a life-saving solution for sub-Saharan Africa.

 
Christmas Prestige Lecture

Date Wednesday 08 Dec 2010
Time 18:30 - Refreshments were 6:00pm for 6:30 start, Attendees enjoyed a buffet supper in the foyer of the Alan Berry Building after the lecture.
Speaker Professor Ian Stewart, University of Warwick - Emeritus Professor of Mathematics , Digital Media Fellow freespace.virgin.net/ianstewart.joat/index.htm
Location Goldstein Lecture Theatre, Alan Berry Building
Abstract Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities, a surprise Christmas bestseller in 2008, is now accompanied by his Hoard of Mathematical Treasures. Both books are mathematical miscellanies for the general public, ranging from one-liners to mini-essays on the great problems and applications of mathematics. They include jokes, games, puzzles, and potted min-essays on important topics. Both are out in paperback for Christmas 2010.

Professor Stewart presented a selection of their contents, in an accessible and highly illustrated way.
We explored such interests as the paradox of the buttered cat, and the advisability of sending a Knight out on a Dog like this!

Seeing is Believing - The World's First Short Film Shot in High Dynamic Range (HDR)

Date Wednesday 19 Jan 2011
Time 18:00 - Tea 5:30pm for 6:00 start, please book to help us to plan the catering
Speaker Prof. Alan Chalmers - Professor of Visualisation, IDL digital.warwick.ac.uk/Alan/
Location IDL; Warwick University
Abstract Our meeting was a combined event and our chance to partake of a World First and a unique opportunity to see the world's first ever showing of a short film shot in High Dynamic Range (HDR).
Prof Alan Chalmers of WMGs Visualisation Research group also talked about an EPSRC funded project expounding the superior visual images produced by novel HDR capture and display technologies.

As well as seeing the first film recorded with this groundbreaking technology we also had the opportunity to discover more about the world's first HDR video camera. The camera is capable of 20 f-stops simultaneously at full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution at 30 frames per second (24Mb per frame)!!!
This project brings together internationally leading expertise in HDR imaging and a unique HDR video technology from the University of Warwick with an innovative professional film maker: Entanglement Productions, and a new high-tech company specialising in HDR technology.

One of our members - Barry Evans - wrote up the event and his report is available at http://www.oakdust.com/High_dynamic_range.html

Experiential Engineering

Date Wednesday 16 Feb 2011
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start, please book to help us to plan the catering
Speaker Paul Jennings - IDL www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/research/experiential/
Location IDL; Warwick University
Abstract For future products to be most successful, they need to be optimised to suit the subjective and emotional responses of their users. However capturing, understanding and converting peopleís thoughts into a form that is useful for designers and manufacturers is a significant research challenge.
WMG's Experiential Engineering team is taking on this challenge: they are a group of researchers who cross traditional academic boundaries, with expertise in engineering, design, physics, health and psychology.

This talk will introduce the work of the team, using their work on "vehicle sound" to illustrate some principles, including novel target setting and prediction techniques for sound evaluations, and new methods for performing subjective evaluations using an interactive vehicle sound and vibration simulator. Emphasis will be given to IT tools and techniques.
However it will also explain how these research outputs have benefits in areas as diverse as the reduction of carbon emissions from vehicles ( linking to the team's separate research on hybrid and electric vehicles ), and better healthcare environments for patients and clinicians.

Please book at Experiential Engineering Prof Paul Jennings
If you are having trouble with the link, please use the page url http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1122470339

Barry Evans has done us proud again, his report is available at http://www.oakdust.com/experiential_engineering.htm

Universities Challenge

Date Wednesday 16 Mar 2011
Time 18:30 - Buffet 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Students from Coventry and Warwick Universities -
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract Pen-Choug Sun
'Extended Core Model' for E-market
This research concerns coalitions of traders in e-markets. A new model, called extended core model, for group trading in e-markets is proposed. This new model is based on the core, which is an concept from economic, but unlike the core, it is developed into a distributed system to deal with large coalitions in e-markets. This model involves joint selling of multiple commodities in e-marketplaces, offering amount discount for group buying. Several providers are involved in transactions of bundle selling, and on the other side, many different buyers form coalitions for the amount discount. A comparison between the core and the extended core was made. The superiority of the new model in incentive compatibility, distributed computing, and less computational complexity demonstrated the high potential of the model. At the end of the report, the contributions, limitations and future works of the research are discussed.

Adam Grzywaczewski
synopsis here when received!

Maryam Ghaffari Saadat
Distributed Allocation Mechanisms for Multi-Player Graphical Resource Sharing Games
This project investigates the properties a social system must embed in order to fundamentally manage resource dilemmas which are the conflicts between personal and collective interests in the context of resource sharing. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this category of problems and the existing gaps between relevant research communities, often the proposed solutions to resource dilemmas do not fully capture the important dimensions of the problem. This project is interdisciplinary and will draw on resources from psychology, economics, social network theory, and computer science. The thesis of this project is that distributed mechanisms suitable for governing common-pool resources can be developed on the basis of Collaborative Consumption (CC) which is an emerging economic model of sharing and trade based on reputation as a social currency. The project is divided into two parts, the first is to construct a valid model of resource sharing problem by incorporating more realistic assumptions into a combination of the existing models such as Graphical Games and Cake-Cutting Games. The second part involves analyzing the reliability of different distributed allocation mechanisms based on the structural support they provide for cooperation and their insusceptibility to strategic behavior. One implication of this project will be the development of a self-organizing resource allocation mechanism that requires minimum interventions from central authorities. This will result in optimization of the monitoring costs and more importantly will lead to a sustainable development

Huseyin Kusetogullari
Transmission of Multimedia Information
The transmission of multimedia information over communication channels/paths has become a challenging problem with the increased usage of multimedia services in networks. In multimedia communication, multi-path selection is desirable because even if one packet is lost over a path, the lost packet may be received via another path. This has been a strong motivation to find the maximum number of optimal routings with available bandwidth in networks.
The project is focused on two different network problems which are peer-to-peer and multicast. In peer-to-peer networks, the major problem is to obtain the optimal multi-paths efficiently and quickly, hence, two meta-heuristic optimization algorithms, namely Genetic Algorithms (GAs) and Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) are applied. Thereafter, images are transmitted through the optimized networks to analyze and understand the performance of the algorithms implemented, which find the optimal routings effectively and maximize the received multimedia information. In multicast problems, network coding is an efficient technique to increase the information flow through the network. However, there is "unachievable" multimedia information at the clients and this is a significant problem. To offer a solution to this difficulty, a novel encoding/decoding method that increases the received information at the clients even in lossy networks is examined and developed.

Ubiquitous Computers: working towards lower carbon and increased comfort housing

Date Wednesday 20 Apr 2011
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Elena Gaura - Cogent Computing Applied Research Centre www.cogentcomputing.org
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract It is commonly accepted that housing is predominantly designed to meet what the building professionals believe is the need of the building fabric. However, upon implementation, designs do not appear to deliver what was predicted at pre-construction stage. Moreover, there are no tools available to builders, contractors and house owners to help quantify the resulting characteristics of the new buildings and their performance when in use.

The Cogent Computing Applied Research Centre at Coventry University have been developing the necessary sensing and instrumentation tools to examine the true impact of both refurbishments and new designs. The project also brings the further dimension of examining how those living within the property interact with the design. To meet the government's CO2 reduction targets, reduce energy consumption and help to eliminate fuel poverty, the project will provide valuable and cutting edge research into what is still a developing sector of 'retrofitting' buildings for the future.

In this talk Elena explained how the Centre are using ubiquitous computers and brought us bang up to date with where they are with this and other buildings-related projects. Some surprising results were presented, for instance the relative inefficiency of air-source heat pumps.

Assistive Technology

Date Wednesday 18 May 2011
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Paul Doyle - Hereward College www.hereward.ac.uk
Location AS321d (!! NOT AS124!!!), Coventry University
Abstract Hereward College is a general further education college located in Tile Hill, in Coventry, supporting day and residential students with a broad spectrum of complex learning needs, local non-disabled students may also attend the college. The college offers a range of specialist facilities which include comprehensive ICT and assistive technology (please see for example http://www.hereward.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99&Itemid=97).

In his presentation Paul Doyle focused on a project that he has been involved in using assistive technology for aiding people with impairments and disabilities, normally in their homes. Using video feed from U-Tube the person benefitting from that project was able to give his perspective! Paul also explained his interest in specifically promoting the need for the technical people involved in developing, installing and supporting such equipment and services to have good awareness about the people being helped and their situations to ensure the implementation is both functionally effective and appropriate on a personal level to meet their specific needs. During this talk Paul highlighted that kids of all abilities love high-tech gadgets, and the latest offerings are ideal for "sawing and soldering" into functional interfaces to established care devices.

ICT&L: Inspiring innovative Classroom Teaching & Learning
  The Branch IT Teachers' Conference

Date Tuesday 14 Jun 2011
Time 13:30 - 13:30 to 20:30 (welcome to attend all ar any part)
Speaker BCS, IET and other selected presenters - Contributions welcome from local teachers
Location Coventry University, please see the dedicated Teachers' Conference page.
Abstract Please see the link to the Teacher's Conference at left, or click here to go to teacher_conference.php.

Bloodhound SSC - Inspiring the Next Generation - Young Person's event

Date Tuesday 19 Jul 2011
Time 13:00 - 1:00pm for 1:15 start, until 2:30pm
Speaker David Rowley - Bloodhound SSC - Education Programme Director http://www.theiet.org/local/uk/westmids/warks/bloodhoundgen.cfm
Location Allan Berry Building, Coventry University
Abstract The Bloodhound SSC is designed by an engineering team led by the current land speed record holders Andy Green and Richard Noble. The current land speed record was set 13 years ago at 763mph. The new car proposes to break through the 1000mph barrier for the first time with a new 6.4-tonne supersonic car using a combination of jet, rocket and piston power. The new car SSC is designed to achieve Mach 1.4 and should sprint to 1050 mph in just 40 seconds.

David Rowley will present an overview of the programme and the engineering technology challenges presented to the team in the conception, design, realisation & test programme leading up to the land speed record attempt.

Tp register please visit the IET registration page at http://www.theiet.org/local/uk/westmids/warks/bloodhoundgen.cfm. Would schools and colleges please register with Derrick Willer for group bookings (link on the same page). Thank you.

Bloodhound SSC - Inspiring the Next Generation - Evening

Date Tuesday 19 Jul 2011
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:30pm for 7:00 start
Speaker David Rowley - Bloodhound SSC - Education Programme Director http://www.theiet.org/local/uk/westmids/warks/bloodhoundeven.cfm
Location Allan Berry Building, Coventry University
Abstract The Bloodhound SSC is designed by an engineering team led by the current land speed record holders Andy Green and Richard Noble. The current land speed record was set 13 years ago at 763mph. The new car proposes to break through the 1000mph barrier for the first time with a new 6.4-tonne supersonic car using a combination of jet, rocket and piston power. The new car SSC is designed to achieve Mach 1.4 and should sprint to 1050 mph in just 40 seconds.

David Rowley will present an overview of the programme and the engineering technology challenges presented to the team in the conception, design, realisation and test programme leading up to the land speed record attempt.

Open to Schools, Colleges, Members and Non-Members
Networking Buffet Afterwards

To register please visit the IET registration page http://www.theiet.org/local/uk/westmids/warks/bloodhoundeven.cfm. Thanks.
 

2011-2012

Green IT

Date Wednesday 21 Sep 2011
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker John Booth - Consultant, Carbon3IT Ltd www.carbon3it.com
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract John Booth is a leading expert in the field of Green IT, he is on the BCS Green IT & Data Centres Specialist groups committees as well as many others.
This presentation will take us through the science, the practical things we can implement and an overview of what the BCS is doing in the field.

Oh, we understand that some pachyderms may turn up!!

The Supercomputing Arms Race and its Impact on the Everyday

Date Wednesday 19 Oct 2011
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30 start
Speaker Steve Jarvis - Professor of Computer Science www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/dcs/people/Stephen_Jarvis
Location Computer Science Block, Warwick University
Abstract In this talk Steve played an interesting, animated, video on the impacts of High Performance Computing, and then spoke of how architectural innovations in this space have and will impact on computing in general. Did you know that in the '80s Seymour Cray produced a leading edge SuperComputer ... and that the equivalent power is now availalbe in an iPad?
Some of Steve's work was featured in HPC Wire recently, see http://www.hpcwire.com/hpcwire/2010-11-04/should_i_buy_gpgpus_or_blue_gene.html

This interesting topic area is currently dominated by the supercomputing arms-race between the US and China. N.B. in November the new Supercomputing Top 500 will be announced and there are some spectacular machines likely to feature. As to who will be top (US or China) Steve didn't know; but had some fun speculating.

Very Short AGM   followed by
Architecting solutions for major events

Date Wednesday 16 Nov 2011
Time 18:30 - Tea from 5:30pm AGM 6:15 start, Formal talk starts approx 19:00
Speaker Tim Boden - Business Technology Director, BT London 2012 Delivery Programme
Location AS124, Coventry University, unless advised otherwise(!)
Abstract For a Telco to support major world events such as the London 2012 Olympics is a tremendous opportunity to boost the brand of the company, find new ways to motivate staff and develop innovative approaches to delivery and service. However, there are a number of challenges including high service levels for short periods, failures that can be brand affecting, back-loaded plans, labour-intensive solutions and frequent change.

This presentation highlights the needs of key stakeholders such as organisers, international bodies, press and broadcasters, considers the major risks and their mitigation, and describes a set of frameworks for architecture and assurance, right first time delivery and operational readiness that enable flawless execution at lower risk and cost.

 
The AGM adgenda, Chair, Secretary and Treasurer's reports are now available... attendees are kindly asked to read the reports before the meeting to save time; to keep the AGM short.
Agenda
AGM 2010 Minutes
Chair's Report
Secretary's Report
Treasurer's Report and Spreadsheet
Thank you.

 
Christmas Lecture - Neural Interfaces: An Experimental Tour

Date Wednesday 07 Dec 2011
Time 18:30 - Refreshments from 18:30pm, lecture to start at 19:00
Speaker Professor Kevin Warwick - School of Systems Engineering, The University of Reading www.reading.ac.uk/sse/about/staff/k-warwick.aspx
Location Goldstein Lecture Theatre, Alan Berry building, Coventry University
Abstract In this presentation a practical look is taken at how the use of implant and electrode technology can be employed to diminish the effects of certain neural illnesses by opening up a new path between the brain and technology. However as a result this also results in biological brains for robots and enables human enhancement. In all cases the end result is to increase the range of abilities of the recipients. An indication is given of a number of areas in which such technology has already had a profound effect, a key element being the need for a clear interface linking a biological brain directly with computer technology.

The emphasis is clearly placed on experimental scientific studies that have been and are being undertaken and reported on. The area of focus is notably the need for a biological/technological connection, where a link is made directly with the cerebral cortex and/or nervous system. The presentation will also consider the future: in which robots have biological, or part-biological, brains and in which neural implants link the human nervous system bi-directionally with technology and the Internet.
Downloads Poster

Vehicles made of software, driven by software : an overview

Date Wednesday 18 Jan 2012
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30pm start
Speaker Mark Amor-Segan - Principal Engineer - Embedded Systems Group
Location AS124 Coventry University
Abstract Vehicles made of software, driven by software - an overview of current and future automotive electrical architectures;
This talk will cover:
  • The explosive growth in the use of distributed control systems and embedded software in the automotive industry.
  • The impact of this technological shift - illustrated through a tour of a typical modern automotive electrical architecture.
  • The unique challenges (and opportunities) of using this technology in automotive applications - technical, safety, legislative, social.
  • Continuing developments and future trends - what can we expect to see over the next 5years and more?
  • An example: The Self healing Vehicle research project
  • (If time) A brief overview of other research: automotive embedded systems, low carbon vehicles, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).


Mark is a Principal Engineer in the Embedded Systems Group within the International Automotive Research Centre at The University of Warwick
Downloads Speakers Notes

BigDog Interactive Installations

Date Wednesday 15 Feb 2012
Time 18:30 - Tea 6:00pm for 6:30pm start
Speaker Jennifer Sheridan - Director - BigDog Interactive www.bigdoginteractive.com
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract Jennifer G. Sheridan is co-Director and owner of BigDog Interactive (BDI - www.bigdoginteractive.com), a small company of creative Computer Programmers and User Experience experts who develop mobile applications and interactive installations for the creative industries. BDI's company objective is to promote knowledge transfer from Computing to the public through engagement with the Arts. In this talk, Jennifer will chart her journey with BDI and discuss her new mobile start up company and Apps which already have the attention of tens of thousands of users in over 100 different countries. Jennifer holds a PhD in Computer Science from Lancaster University, a Master of Science in Human-Computer Interaction from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a BA from the University of Waterloo, Canada.

BDI has extensive experience in software engineering, user interface design, networking and hardware development for a diverse set of user groups including gifted children, children with special needs, artists and scientists. Their portfolio includes large-screen interactive projections, mobile apps, emotional avatars, eye-tracking and tangible and wearable computing. BDIs works with global clients such as Nokia and UBS and their work has been exhibited internationally in North America, Europe and Australia, at venues and festivals such as the Science Museum London, the London Design Festival, the Vintage Festival and the Nuffield Theatre. Their innovations have received a number of awards - most recently an ICTomorrow Digital Innovation award at the BAFTA (2011) and Best Interactive Experience at the British Computer Societyís annual group conference on Human-Computer Interaction (2011).

BDI is an industrial partner on the £5M Media Arts and Technology Training Centre at Queen Mary University of London and their research and development work has been funded by the EPSRC, Technology Strategy Board, HEFCE and national initiatives such as Horizons, part of the Research Councils UK £40 million investment in the Digital Economy Programme. The Directors sit on a number of editorial boards, such as the International Journal of Performance Art and Digital Media, are long-time members of the Association for Computer Machinery and regularly review for international conferences such as CHI, UbiComp, HCI, TEI among others. BDI has published numerous articles and journals on computing and the arts for established publications such as the IEEE.

BDI is headquartered in London's 'Silicon Roundabout' and regularly takes part in initiatives such as the UK Trade & Industry's 'TechCity' and London's Tech Hub.

Events Planning and Budgeting Meeting

Date Wednesday 22 Feb 2012
Time 18:30 - Muster 6:00pm
Speaker You, and the Branch Committee -
Location AS124, Coventry University
Abstract So,what will get you out on a cold dark night? Please come along and tell us. Please Note; this is a planning meeting, not an AGM, we'd just like you ideas, please. The committee will be there to debate the budget we need to get the meeting programme and other branch activities in place.

Challenge IT - Finals Exhibition and Awards Ceremony

Date Thursday 15 Mar 2012
Time 13:30 - 13:00 onwards (to be confirmed)
Speaker The Sponsors, the VIPs, the Competition Committee, the finalists, their supporters, and you won't beleive who our MC is! -
Location in the Student Experience Hub (the new building in Jordan Wells)
Abstract Please see the competition page

Posters Presentation event 

Date Wednesday 21 Mar 2012
Time 18:30 - refreshments from 6:00pm
Speaker PhD Students from Coventry and Warwickshire Universities -
Location Warwick University Computer Science Block
Abstract This was different to the Universities Challenge events that we have previously run. This time the presenters defended the posters they produced as part of their coursework. It was a vibrant evening with much good quality discussion. There were two winners, one from University of Warwick and one from Coventry University, who each won 50 pound vouchers; everyone was a winner really as they got to discuss their work with interested peers. Margaret, who kindly helped to organise this great event, took some pictures which may be found from this link. Watch out for the weird bloke with the Wallace & Grommit tie!
Downloads Poster

Massivley Parallel Computing

Date Wednesday 18 Apr 2012
Time 18:30 - refreshments from 6:00pm
Speaker Nick Forrington - Allinea www.allinea.com
Location AS124 - Armstrong Siddely block
Abstract This highly entertaining talk explored how extreme concurrency and heterogeneous systems are impacting high-performance computing (HPC), and its overlap and implications for developers outside of HPC. It also explored the challenges of bug fixing in this environment, as exemplified by the UK's Allinea Software, whose debugging tool is designed to scale for software running in environments from the humble multi-core desktop, through GPU systems, and onwards to Petascale machines with over 200,000 cores...they await the 1,000,000 core machine to confirm the debugger still works on that platform!

Scratching with Sensors: the Coventry Branch way

Date Wednesday 16 May 2012
Time 18:30 - refreshments from 6:00pm
Speaker Margaret Low and John Rendall - Coventry Branch Committee coventry.bcs.org/committee.php
Location IMC, Warwick University
Abstract Students at Warwick University have been going into local schools for over 3 years, introducing primary school children to Scratch through the Technology Volunteers scheme. In 2011 the Encouraging Young Engineering scheme (funded by the UK National Higher Education STEM, Engineering in Society programme) enabled the purchase of a classroom set of Scratch Sensor Boards and the development of classroom resources, extending the range of workshops the Technology Volunteers could offer to local schools.

The Scratch sensor boards have the capability for four additional sensors to be connected, so for the last year, we've been exploring the opportunities for building homemade sensors using inexpensive materials readily available in the home. The joy and challenge of building cheap and cheerful sensors has a wide appeal to adults as well as children. It also opens a wide number of links to aspects of the maths, science, computing, design and technology, and engineering curriculum, supporting scientific investigation and discovery.

The sensor boards also provide a means of challenging the notion that computer interfaces are only keyboards and monitors. Young people are already familiar with other interfaces for example to mobile phones and game consoles, being able to explore alternative inputs to a computer via the scratch sensor board opens new creative avenues. It also poses other questions, for example, how reliable are the sensors over time? How and why do they fail? How can we build better ones? Exploring why things fail or don't work is often a key to deeper learning.
 

2012-2013

Smart buildings: towards appropriate technology solutions

Date Wednesday 26 Sep 2012
Time 18:30 - refreshments were from 6:00pm in EC1-03
Speaker Dr Ken Parker - Principal Lecturer in Building Services Engineering wwwm.coventry.ac.uk/researchnet/cucv/Pages/Profile.aspx?profileID=38
Location Room EC1-01 in The New (Gosford Street) Space
Abstract When does a building or a building system become smart? And how/why would a smart building have value to occupants? The talk centred around how a building and its systems can be configured, or self-configured, to meet users needs (not necessarily their wants!) and reduce mis-use as a more effective strategy than strive for optimum use.

Ken drew reference to a simple example - in winter a thermostatic radiator valve (trv) strives to maintain a constant room temperature, as compared to a manual valve that might be too open (overheating) or too closed (not warm enough!). But the trv goes about its task regardless of whether the room is occupied, the time of day or if an abuse is occurring - such as a window left open in winter, causing the heating output to rise and, in so doing, maximise heat losses! The question then becomes - can a trv with time programming, occupancy sensor and linkage to window opening state be accepted as 'smart enough'?

Ken also drew reference to the "instruction leaflet" for the heating and ventilation controls for the new building, and that it did not indicate the two were linked.

Configurable internal environments can not only save energy but they can better support the needs of persons with disability, seniors and others who may benefit from individualised supportive environments, such as those new to a building.

Ken blended quite a few topics - from energy and system use/ mis-use, inclusive design, 'just good enough' technology, building intelligence, to ideas of personal directions for new building users and smart badges - and presented many interesting, topical and thought provoking ideas on the way.

We had a whistle-stop tour of the New Space which is also a smart building, and enjoyed discussing some of the less obvious features and places where implementation did not quite live up to the grand design.

Development of an Unmanned Aerial Inspection Vehicle

Date Wednesday 17 Oct 2012
Time 18:30 - refreshments from 18:00
Speaker Stefan Winkvist - (Warwick winner from the posters evening in March) www.mobilerobotics.warwick.ac.uk/uav
Location IMC (International Manufacturing Centre) Warwick University
Abstract Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are becoming increasingly popular for use in industry, research and the military. Most commercial UAV systems are, however, designed to be operated outdoors, relying heavily on accurate GPS data to either maintain their position or to move to their next waypoint. There are many scenarios where a UAV may need to be operated indoors, or within urban canyons, where GPS is either unreliable or unavailable.

For example inspecting hazardous or structurally damaged buildings, where it would be dangerous for personnel to enter. In this scenario all current commercial UAV platforms would need to be manually flown by the operator, relying solely on first person view (FPV) video systems to control the UAV, avoid any collision risks, navigate the structure and complete the objectives of the flight.

The aim of this project is to overcome these issues by developing a semi-autonomous UAV, which, using on-board sensors, maintains stable flight, avoids collisions and can locate and navigate itself within an unknown, GPS denied environment. Thereby significantly reducing the operators workload, as their task is shifted towards simply directing the UAV where to go as best to complete the mission objectives.

Stefan is part of WMG Warwick Mobile Robots group - please see http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/eng/meng/wmr/projects/

Stefan outlined how this project was spun out from the needs of decomissioning one of the Sellafield reactor buildings, and the constrains and requirements put on the project. A series of interesting vidieo clips were presented followed by a live demonstration. Stefen also took the platform outside and some of us experienced the impressive rate of climb the hexacopter could acheive even with its expensive and heavy payload.
Downloads UAIV poster available from here

Imagineering Fair -  
inspiring Engineers of the Future

Date Saturday 20 Oct 2012
Time 09:00 - 17:00 and Sunday 21st October 2012, 09:00 - 16:00
Speaker JLR, National Grid, JCB, Delcam, Aero Engine Controls, WMG plus Trevor Baylis - inventor of the clockwork radio www.imagineering.org.uk
Location Jaguar Exhibition Hall, Richo Arena
Abstract Get up close with engineering and technology in a fun-filled family day out. Imagineering Fair 2012: the place to discover ... how things are designed & made ... and how they tick, click, fizz, pop and zoom!

Mostly under cover, there is plenty of action to occupy youngsters - and those of us who are young at heart - for hours, whatever the weather. From flight simulators to mechanical and electrical challenges, see and learn at first hand about the mind-blowing technology behind our everyday lives.

The Land Rover Experience team will be offering demonstration drives on a challenging off-road course throughout the event which showcases the class-leading capability of Land Rover vehicles.

Great value tickets allow for entry on both days: book before 19th October 2012 for Early Bird discounts. Tickets available from http://www.theticketfactory.com/ - under the "Hot Tickets" column - please scroll down... or phone 0844 338 8000
Admission prices Concession £3.00, Adult £6.00, Family £15.00, on the door £4.00, £8.00 and £20 respectively... No Booking Fee!
Downloads low-res (527Kb) Poster Available From Here and a hi-res (1.1Mb) poster from here

Start-Up: Networking Evening for IT focused Business start-ups

Date Tuesday 06 Nov 2012
Time 18:00 - 21:00
Speaker -
Location International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI), University of Warwick
Abstract For full details please follow this link to our dedicated page.

BCS members and non-members were warmly invited to join us for this free event, which had been designed and funded by BCS Coventry branch in conjunction with the hosts for the evening, University of Warwick's new International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI). We see this as a new way of connecting the work of BCS Coventry Branch and contributing organisations with the local community, IT skilled workforce and industry. We particularly welcomed contributions from SMEs in the region. As the evening progressed it became apparent thatthere is a lot of support for Stat-ups, and also for businesses looking to grow and export.
For full details please follow this link to our dedicated page.

Very Short AGM
followed by
Red Bull Racing - back on track!

Date Wednesday 21 Nov 2012
Time 18:00 - refreshments from 18:00, AGM 18:00 to 18:45, Racing from 19:00
Speaker Branch Committee, followed by
Steven Nevey - Business Development Manager - Red-Bull Racing www.redbull.com/cs/Satellite/en_INT/Video/Red-Bull-Technology-2009---Red-Bull-F1-Factory-021242813018882
Location EC1-01 Coventry University
Abstract AGM:
Attendeed read the 2011 AGM minutes from this link, the Chairman's Report from this link the Secretary's report from this link and the Treasurer's report from this link in advance saving time on the night, therefore the AGM proceeded to plan and we finished within the 3/4hr target. Meeting accepted the minutes of the last AGM with minor ammendments, the Branch Officer's reports, and helped re-elect Irene Glendinning as Branch Chair, Peter Mason as Deputy Chair, John rendall as Secretary and Ursula Rutherford a Treasurer: no surprises. Two committee meember stepped down and one new person - Chris Cliffe joined.

The Red Bull racing talk by Steve Nevey covered interesting detail about the design and construction of the cars, the pit team, the "Mission Control" and the back-room boffins

Steve explained that Red Bull entered formula one by purchasing the Jaguar Racing team in 2004. He explained Red Bull's approach to Formula One and shared details of what goes into getting the team and its entourage around the globe, especially floating hospitality suits for Monaco!.

Since agreeing to this talk Steve has moved into educational initiatives that leverage the motorsports world to encourage young talent into the technology sectors, and Steve described how experience has shown that once girls realise their potential, they are often found to be more logical, straigh-forward and successful than the boys.

Christmas Lecture - How to amaze your friends

Date Wednesday 12 Dec 2012
Time 19:00 - refreshements from 18:30 in room EC 1-29, buffet to follow Lecture, also in EC 1-29
Speaker Chris Budd - Professor of Applied Mathematics, University of Bath
Location Lecture in ECG-24 New Engineering and Computing Building, Coventry University
ECG-24 is directly below EC1-29
Abstract In this talk Professor Chris Budd looked at the maths of networks, mazes, the internet, Facebook and organised crime. Santa's problem was examined: factoring all the good children, the number of chimneys descended, the distance Santa had to travel and only one revolution of the earth to do it in (24 hours) Santa needed to travel faster-than-light! The solution? Use social networks, give children at the hub a number of presents, let them keep one and pass the rest on; job done. Cynical suggestion: let the minister for education re-assess the "good" criteria... We parked for free after 18:00 in the Coventry University Student car park which was accessed from Gulson Road, just next to the new EC Building. [This is where the Gulson Road Hospital used to be]. An excellent buffet followed the meeting with many networking opportunities. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Downloads Event Poster

Gone Fishing: the DEFRA Fishers IT way

Date Wednesday 16 Jan 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Bob Crooks - Chair of the BCS Green IT Specialist Group
Location EC 1-12
Abstract We're all aware of the excesses of the last century, when fish stocks were heavily over-fished. Once upon a time Pollock and Coley were what you gave your cat, now they grace the dinner table from necessity.

In this talk Bob Crooks discussed the use of IT to assist in the environmental management of not just UK but world-wide Fish stocks.
Downloads Speakers Slides available from here

Introduction to Software Development

Date Wednesday 20 Feb 2013
Time 14:00 - 16:00
Speaker Volunteers from Warwick University -
Location BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Open Centre (Priory Centre, Coventry, CV1 5SQ)
Abstract Volunteers from Warwick University are running a public event at half term - that gives a simple introduction to software development. Itís on the 20th February 2013, 2 - 4pm in the BBC Coventry & Warwickshire Open Centre. Itís a drop-in session, suitable for adults and accompanied children (aged 8 and above). Full details are available on the poster below.
Downloads link to poster here

Innovations in 3D visualisation

Date Wednesday 20 Feb 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Dr. Abdul-Hadi Abulrub - Research Fellow people.bath.ac.uk/ahgha20/
Location Warwick University IMC auditorium 004
Abstract As the movie, Avatar, launched at the end of 2009, public awareness of three dimension (3D) visualisation has begun. 3D applications are not merely for gaming or movies but ready to transform day-to-day activities, consumer expectations and business processes. However, 3D could be the new mainstream of communication in consumer products in the next few years.

Thus, it is important to recognise the new trend to review products digitally, especially with the ease of use of data management systems. The 3D digital models are integrated in the business to support their New Product Development (NPD) process which may also use physical prototypes to verify innovative designs. However, with the advancement in 3D technologies and virtual environments, the intention is to reduce the physical prototypes to a feasible minimum by performing verification tasks early at the concept stage on a digital model. In the future, a better understanding of 3D digital prototyping in the engineering processes will boost the confidence in making decisions with anticipation to move away from physical models in the NPD process.

Join us to explore how organisations have to adopt 3D innovation strategically.

Imagineering AGM

Date Monday 25 Feb 2013
Time 19:00 -
Speaker Officers and Trustees of the Imagineering Foundation - imagineering.org.uk/get-involved/
Location Engineering & Computing Building - Coventry University, room ECG-03
Abstract We will be voting on ammendments to the Constitution of the Imagineering Foundation including replacing references to the 'Institution of Mechanical Engineers' and 'Institution of Electrical Engineers' with 'Professional Engineering Institutions'.

YPG: Show and Tell

Date Wednesday 27 Feb 2013
Time 17:00 - to 19:00
Speaker All 'young' branch members, Coventry Branch YPG rep, staff from University of Warwick - covypg.eventbrite.co.uk
Location Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick
Abstract Do you have a great story, a new website, some current work or even a half-baked idea that you would like to share? Do you want to come along and hear about exciting and inspiring in-progress projects and new toys? If the answer to either question is yes, then Show and Tell is for you...

Show-and-Tell is a free event where hobbyists, professionals and researchers alike can present something that excites and inspires them as long as it is technology related. Over the course of the evening we'll have some short presentations, informal demonstrations and an opportunity to mingle over refreshments.

This event is free to attend, but registration is essential please see http://covypg.eventbrite.co.uk/ for more details and registration.

This event is part of the BCS (Coventry) Young Professionals Group (YPG) activity.

What would you like to see?
Branch Planning Meeting

Date Wednesday 27 Feb 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker All You Branch Members - and the Committee - coventry.bcs.org
Location Now moved to the Boardroom, IMC (Internationl Manufacturing Centre), University of Warwick.
Abstract We ask you every year: what will get you out on a dark wet night, or on a balmy summers evening? Please let us know if you have any ideas, if you have any firm contacts, or, more importantly, if you have something you would like to talk to us about! Please contact the Branch Secretary.

Cutting Edge Research- Posters Event
On Tuesday for those who can't make Wednesday

Date Tuesday 05 Mar 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Selected PhD students - Coventry and Warwick University
Location Engineering and Computing building EC 1-29 Coventry University
Abstract As with last year, selected students from both Warwick and Coventry Universities will present their leading edge research. This is your chance to get up-to-date with the cutting edge in a number of fields in only one hour!

In no particular order: (well, actually in the order we received them!)

Entertaining Subnetting: 
Mohammad Hijji, Coventry University
This research presents an educational game to support lecturers in 'computer networking classes' through make students to practice the concept of 'Subnetting technique' entertainingly. The game uses several application classes as 'engines' to train users on Subnetting technique. The design of game takes into account Human Computer Interaction (HCI), targeted audience and their pre-required knowledge. The UML and storyboard used to design the game. C# used to implement the designed framework for the game. The game constructed, and tested successfully, and evaluated through a process of primary data collection.
Key words: Subnetting Game, Converting Decimal to Binary Game, Converting Binary to Decimal Game, IP address classes Game, IP hosts Game, Subnet Game.
 
Agent Crowd Behaviour
Investigating links between the perceived realism and virtual realism of agent crowd behaviour within a simulated urban environment.
Stuart O'Connor, Coventry University
In this research, the implications of specific features discerned from a real-life scene and incorporated into an urban crowd simulation are discussed and evaluated with regards to both the virtual and perceived realism of agent crowd behaviour, highlighting links between the two types of realism. A cycle methodology consisting of the three elements, analysis, synthesis and perception was employed to enhance and test the simulations virtual and perceived realism over many generations in order to achieve a corpus of results from which to draw conclusions. The processed data from this research provides an in-depth insight into the quantity and type of features that are required to be incorporated into a crowd simulation in order to implement a single or combination of the two types of realism.
 
Stego-Image Creation
Creating Stego-Images through hiding single and multipile data using different steganographic tools
Ahd Al Jarf, Coventry University (Coventry Winner)
Recently, the concept of "Image Steganography" is became an important issue in the computer security world. Image steganography simply means hide some secret data into an object. The object can be a text, an image or a sound, but the most popular cover object used for hidden secret message is images.
On the other hand, to detect these hidden messages, many methods and techniques can be used as well. However, the procedures of detecting any hidden data, is called 'Steganalysis'.
This research focuses on creating stego-images through hiding secret messages into clean images. It also reviews some image steganography methods and tools. In order to create a number of stego-images, three steganographic tools are used. They are: OpenStego, S-Tools and F5 algorithm. With respect to the hidden data, one and more hidden data file is embedded. In addition, testing for differentiating between stego-images created and the clean one is presented.
 
Cardiovascular Health and Air Pollution
Spatio-Temporal Analysis of the Effects of Air Pollution Hazards on Cardiovascular Health Outcomes in Bangalore, India
Anitha Chinnaswamy, Coventry University
The aim of this research is to provide a spatio-temporal study of the impact of air pollution on cardiovascular disease through the development of a Web-based Geographical Information System (GIS) application. The study will determine the general effects of air pollution on cardiac disorders and the possible links that may exist between various air contaminants and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Bangalore. A Web-based GIS tool will be used to manage, store, analyse, and map disease information. This will be developed to assist cardiologists, healthcare providers and environmental stake holders in decision making and in the provision of optimal care to patients.

 Energy Management for Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV).
Abdulazeez El-Ladan, Coventry University
Energy management for HEV centred on battery management system as is critical in nature for energy power train system application, this is because of high number of cells in the battery pack. Besides battery pack is design not only to provide long lasting energy but also deliver high power. The degradation of battery is characterized by capacity decrease due to repeated charge cycles, especially with the case of Li-ion which is now considered to be the most promising battery for EVs and HEVs .However temperature uniformity within cells of the battery packs is too important in achieving maximum life cycle of the pack.
The research here intends to use advance control approach aimed at optimizing the electric energy flow in HEV, with the hope of achieving the following optimal objective:
Minimize battery degradation, reduce gas emission, improve battery longevity, maintain the battery power flow and optimize vehicle range.
 
Literature Duplication Detection
An Approach to Literature Duplication Detection and Investigation in Medical Domain Using Latent Semantic Indexing
Muna Alsallal, Coventry University
Research suggests that there are an increasing number of duplicate publications within the medical domain (Nayak, 2009). This is worrying not only because it violates the copyright law of journals but also because it artificially extends authors' biodata and misleads readers into thinking that what they are reading consists of original research. This paper focuses on analysing the way in which latent semantic indexing (LSI) is being used to detect duplicate publications within this domain and argues that its semantic categorisation of different documents means that it is more effective at detecting similarities between different documents when compared to alternative algorithms. However, empirical research suggests that it is also associated with a lower degree of precision, with a large number of false positives. It is suggested that this may be due to the failure to identify an optimal set of noise reduction parameters although it is clear that further empirical research needs to be conducted before this can be fully ascertained.
 
Empirical Mode Decomposition for feature extraction in Motor Imagery responses for BCI.
Simon Davies from WMG, University of Warwick
Presenting a novel method, based on multi-channel Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD), of classifying the electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings of imagined movement by a subject within a brain-computer interfacing (BCI) framework. EMD is a technique that divides any non-linear or non-stationary signal into groups of frequency harmonics, called Intrinsic Mode Functions (IMFs). As frequency is a key component of both IMFs and the µ rhythm (8-13 Hz brain activity generated during motor imagery), IMFs are then grouped by frequency. EMD is applied to the recordings from two electrodes for each trial and the resulting IMFs are grouped according to peak-frequency band via Hierarchical Clustering Analysis (HCA). The cluster containing the frequency band of the µ rhythm (8-13 Hz) is then selected and the sum-total of the IMFs from each electrode are summed together. A simple linear classifier is then sufficient to classify the motor-imagery with 89% sensitivity from a separate test set.
 
Developing Communication-aware Service Placement Frameworks in the Cloud Economy
Chao Chen, Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick
In a Cloud system, a number of services are often deployed with each service hosted by a collection of Virtual Machines (VM), and the services may interact with each other. In this paper, we present a method to determine the sufficient number of VMs for the interacting Cloud services in a Cloud. The proposed method borrows the ideas from the Leontief Open Production Model in economy. Further, this paper develops a communication-aware strategy to place the VMs to Physical Machines (PM), aiming to minimize the communication costs incurred by the service interactions. A genetic algorithm is developed to find a VM-to-PM placement with low communication costs. Simulation experiments have been conducted to evaluate the performance of the developed communication-aware placement framework. The results show that compared with the placement framework aiming to use the minimal number of PMs to host VMs, the proposed communication-aware framework is able to reduce the communication cost significantly with only a very little increase in the PM usage.
 
Quality in Closed-loop Lifecycle Management (QCLM)- Methodology & Implementation
Avishek Pal, WMG, University of Warwick

Quality in Closed-loop Lifecycle Management (QCLM) is a novel methodology of conducting root cause analysis and correction of product failures in service such as warranty and No-Fault-Found issues. It integrates heterogeneous data from service, manufacturing and design phases of product lifecycle on a common computing platform to apply machine learning algorithms that mine fault patterns from service data. These fault patterns are then correlated using statistical methods with manufactured dimensions and design specifications to root cause the failure. This is followed by multi-objective optimization to find the optimal corrective action. An IT architecture, leveraging in-database analytics, is also suggested for implementation of the methodology.
 
RLW Navigator
Software Architecture and Multidisciplinary Optimisation for Embedding New Production Processes
Abhishek Das, Digital Lifecycle Management Group, WMG, University of Warwick (Warwick winner)
Remote Laser Welding (RLW) Navigator aims to develop an innovative Process Navigator to configure, integrate, test and validate applications of Remote Laser Welding (RLW) in automotive assembly addressing todayís critical needs for frequently changing operating conditions and product-mix provisions. Thus, RLW Navigator will crucially serve as an enabler for future energy efficient smart factories. Currently, RLW systems are limited in their applicability due to an acute lack of systematic ICT-based simulation methodologies to navigate their efficient application in automotive manufacturing processes. RLW Navigator aims to develop a Process Navigator simulation system that will deal with the key challenges thereby allowing manufacturers to utilise the advantages of the RLW system.

It Caming to a printer near us: 3-D printing

Date Wednesday 13 Mar 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Dr Ben Wood - Technology Transfer Specialist, SME Programmes Team, WMG www.digital.warwick.ac.uk
Location IIPSI building - WMG - University of Warwick
Abstract We'd seen it on the TV, e.g. on Dara O'Briain's Science Club, we got up-close and personal with 3-D printing. In this talk Dr Ben Wood provided a lively general overview of the various 3-D printing technologies and showed some parts he'd made earlier. The different technologies were discussed. We then had a lightening tour of the facilities and saw the diverse range of fabricators and 3-D printers. Yes, you can print in Chocolate if you play about with the nozzle temperature. You can also print in Titanium, gold, silver and platinum...but not with the £500 printer!

Routes to Registration

Date Thursday 14 Mar 2013
Time 18:00 - 21:00
Speaker John Lorriman -
Location Engineering and Computing building ECG-26 - Coventry University
Abstract An increasing number of employers internationally are looking for staff and clients who are CEng, IEng or EngTech. This joint BCS/IET/IMechE event was aimed at helping delegates understand both the benefits of achieving this status and how to achieve it as quickly and easily as possible. John Lorriman, the IETs guru on Routes to Registration presented an evening workshop with support from all three Learned Societies.

The meeting was followed by an excellent networking buffet.

Daring Greatly

Date Wednesday 17 Apr 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Andy Conroy - COO, BBC Future Media and BBC Online
Location Engineering and Computing building EC 1-12 - Coventry University
Abstract Andy Conroy, the COO of BBC Online, reflected on the role that software engineering and product management will play in determining the BBC's future role. Andy has been involved with BBC Online since its creation in 1997, first as a producer and more recently as a member of the senior management team responsible for the technology which powers the BBC's internet services.

He looked at the changes the internet is forcing upon the BBC, how it is responding and what that might as the organisation faces its centenary in 2022. He touched on "non-BBC content", e.g. Robert Peston's twitter feed, which has links back into the BBC website, but is sourced by Robert, who owns the content, despite him being a BBC employee. Andy also highlighted the role the public play in bringing in news as it breaks... the Boston Marathon bombs were being reported 25 seconds after it happened (it will never be less that 25 seconds due to the necessary validation checks...)

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat"
-Teddy Roosevelt, speaking at the Sorbonne in Paris, 23rd April 1910.

Career Planning for IT Specialists

Date Thursday 18 Apr 2013
Time 18:00 - 21:00
Speaker John Lorriman - C. Eng. FIET
Location Engineering and Computing building ECG-26 - Coventry University
Abstract John Lorriman used his broad background in Continuing Professional Development, including in Mentoring and Coaching, to help attendees identify how they can plan and achieve the most successful possible careers in the field of Information Technology. John referring to a number of his books including 'CPD - a practical approach' published by the IEE, and his close involvement with the IET's web-based Career Manager tool.
Please see http://coventry.bcs.org/news.php#CAREER

Virtual Appliances - Just Fashion or Real Business and Architectural value?

Date Wednesday 15 May 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Bharat Bhushan - Principal Connectivity Architect www-01.ibm.com/software/uk/
Location EC 1-12 - Coventry University
Abstract Over the past decade, a plethora of hardware and more recently virtual appliances have flooded the market performing specific functions across all 7 layers of the TCP/ IP stack. Are IT managers buying appliances just because they are fashionable gadgets or because they provide real value to the business or Enterprise Architecture? This session explores the history, trends and the value businesses have achieved from these appliances. Are these appliances living up to the hype and delivering real business value? What future do these appliances hold in our data centres and application architectures?.

Computing and ICT Teachers' Conference:
Inspiring Creativity and Innovation in
Classroom Teaching and Learning

Date Thursday 12 Sep 2013
Time 09:30 - refreshments from 09:30 (please note, this is a one-day conference)
Speaker Coventry Branch Committee etc al. -
Location EC 1-29 New Engineering and Computing Block - Coventry University
Abstract Coventry Branch, Coventry University and the University of Warwick extend a warm invite to teachers using computers in their teaching from primary to sixth form, in the region around Coventry, IT technicians, careers teacher, school governors, anyone interested in Computing and ICT in schools, to atttend our conference dedicated to you.
Please check out The dedicated web page.
 

2013-2014

IT Services Road Show - Introduction

Date Wednesday 18 Sep 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Ian Connelly et al - BCS SMSG Branch Liaison www.bcs.org/category/12226
Location EC 1-12 New Engineering and Computing Block - Coventry University
Abstract The BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, as the leading learned society for IT has a number of specialist groups, not least of which is the Service Management Specialist Group. A fundamental aim of the Service Management Specialist Group is to provide an affordable informal forum for all BCS Members or Service Management practitioners to discuss service management benefits, issues, innovation, best practice, products and experiences, and to act as a resource for personal and professional development within the service management community.

They have two complimentary Road Show events, the first, to be presented here, is an overview; Service Management has been adopted by many thousands of companies worldwide but what is it? Fundamentally, it's a way to manage the delivery of IT, focused on the customers perception of IT's contribution to the business. This short introduction to Service Management will explain the key concepts and features and will give attendees sufficient information to understand and build upon the essentials. We'll begin with what the industry is getting out of Service Management, move on to explain ITIL® and ISO20000 in some detail and then finish with a brief look at other linked topics including ISO27001, COBIT and Lean.
Downloads Speakers Notes

Calling the Tune

Date Wednesday 16 Oct 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Gianni O'Connor - Founder & architect micsu.net
Location EC 1-12 New Engineering and Computing Block - Coventry University
Abstract The "official story" was that following a flash of inspiration during a finance exam, Gianni O'Connor realised his dream to create a music sharing website; the result is miscu.net which now has over 50,000 users. Fortunately he passed his exam, despite designing the code for the site on his exam paper and having to copy it before leaving the exam hall.
In practice Gianni had been working on his idea, "borrowing" effort from the Computer Science undergrads at Coventry Uni; he knows the CS block quite well as he visited it frequently: "do you know HTLM5/PHP?", "Do you know how to build a database?" for almost two years...the problem was getting it viral; getting the uptake. It was only after some nasty surprises with how much PR would cost that the idea came to him. He was taking a finance exam and realised the questions were all small stories, and that people enguage with a story ...so he wrote up his story of how the idea came to him in the finance exam and he wouldn't leave ... or variously the idea came to him in the finance exam and he ran out ...depending on which national ran the story! You had to be there to get the full machinations ..e.g. Solictors charge by the hour(!!), cheap programming: helps if you can speak Hindi, because Google translator can't!!!.

Very Short AGM-followed by
What we can really learn about Project Management and
Software Development from Agile and Waterfall methodologies

Date Wednesday 20 Nov 2013
Time 18:45 - AGM 18:45 - 19:15 approx, lecture from 19:30, refreshments from 18:00
Speaker Barry Evans - manager, coach, trainer and explorer into the creative mind www.TrousersOfReality.com
Location EC 1-12 Coventry University Faculty of Enfgineering and Computer Science
Abstract We had the shortest AGM we could manage - 30 minutes- followed by
Was Agile a Trojan Horse full of consultants bearing gifts or a lifeboat to rescue foundering projects from going over the Waterfall of intransigent tradition?
The answer was an emphatic YES to both!!

Barry gave some useful and unconventional planning and estimation techniques during the course of this talk that we could take away and use.

The 2012 AGM minutes were ratified

Comprehensive Branch Chair 2013 report still available from this link
Compensatingly short Secretary 2013 report still available from this link
Treasurer's report, Summary and transactions report:-
Treasurer's report
Summary Spreadsheet
Transaction Report.
Thank you to all the Branch members who turned up and voted. Thanks to all the visitors who patiently sat through the AGM, at least we had a tasty buffet to munch.

Recreating the Big Bang with the World's Largest Machine
- The LHC at CERN

Date Wednesday 11 Dec 2013
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Professor David Evans - The University of Birmingham www.ep.ph.bham.ac.uk/
Location Large lecture theatre, Engineering and Computing Building - Coventry University
Abstract The 27km Large Hadron Collider (LHC), situated 150 metres under the Swiss-French boarder at CERN near Geneva, is the World's most powerful particle accelerator.
Protons (hydrogen nuclei) are smashed together at 0.999999991 times the speed of light recreating, for a tiny instant, the violent particle collisions which would have existed less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang. At the end of each year, lead nuclei are accelerated and collided in the LHC producing the highest temperatures and densities ever made in an experiment and recreating the exotic primordial soup which existed at the birth of our Universe. This is literally like a soup, it had been found to model an ideal liquid.
Professor David Evans, from the University of Birmingham, explained the physics behind the LHC, what we further expect to learn and summarised the latest results.

His talk included audience participation and demonstrations with liquid nitrogen and was aimed at all age groups.

Up, Down, Strange, Charmed, Top and Bottom. The only job in the world where you get paid to look for a big Bottom (Quark - of course).
Downloads Event Poster

Bloodhound - the 1,000 MPH car

Date Wednesday 15 Jan 2014
Time 18:30 - refreshments started at 18:30
Speaker Richard Nobel!!! -
Location We were at Warwick University - WMG
Abstract Ever wondered how to move faster than Usain Bolt? The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) is a jet and rocket powered car and is being designed and built to achieve 1,000 mph (just over 1,600 kph) - which would break the land speed record by 33%, the largest ever margin!

You missed a really good meeting; Richard Nobel himself turned up to talk to us! He gave a brief overview of the land speed record (starting at 39mph) covering the progessive increases to around 400mph, noting the limits of wheel driven vehicles (drive shafts, gear boxes handling the power, getting the power to the wheels, getting the power to the ground), and the eventual move to thrust driven (jet and rocket powered) cars, and how the Americans excelled by belt-and-braces techniques. Hence when Richard came into the field and started wind-tunnel modelling this was revolutionary... one thing the models didn't show but the post-run data did was that the front of Thrust 2 was getting progressively lighter ...7mph more and the front would have lifted.
Thust SSC was an entirely different animal, the team used CFM (Computational Fluid Modelling) at a time when computers could barely handle it... hence lots of borrowed time on sponsors' computers. They eventually proved the mathematical models with a scale model mounted on a rocket sled ...don't blink or you'll miss it... Thrust SSC ran and Richard was standing mid-point by the measured mile when the car passed as supersonic speed... very loud!

And now, he's moved up a gear and aiming for an incremental leap to 1,000mph... not just the land speed record but the low-level flight record as well!!! Apparently the tail fin is the most complex part, never been done before... and a lot of people have sponsored it.
Richard also discussed the role the internet provided in getting the publicity out there, crowd-sourcing providing the fuel to get the car to the desert. Apparently the BBC were not interested in helping with publicity, hence the internet was a boon.
Richard also discussed some of the design challenges of Bloodhound SSC, such as the still-point for the air-speed indicator .. there is no still air around the car but the other tube can go into the point at the front...the still point is created using a vacuum flask with a tap... balance the air pressure before each run by opening the tap and letting air in/out...
Richard also told us about how they got the jet engine...with the help of Rolls-Royce.
Thanks to Richard Nobel for a really interesting evening..and the personalised autographed posters...

Click here to go to the Bloodhound website

 
Leading Edge Research - Posters Event

Date Wednesday 19 Feb 2014
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker PhD Students from Coventry and Warwick Universities -
Location Warwick University - Computer Science Block
Abstract On 19th February 2014 BCS Coventry Branch held their annual Universities Challenge Poster competition, this year hosted by the Department of Computer Science at University of Warwick. Ten postgraduate students researching within the field of computer science from both Coventry University and University of Warwick presented and defended posters about their research to the BCS members and other participants at this open meeting.
The two winning entries each received vouchers worth £50. Coventry University PhD students won both the 2014 prizes. Yamuna Bagiya was awarded the prize for best presented poster and Ahd al Jarf was presented with the award for most interesting research.
Full synopses from here

Branch Planning/committee meeting

Date Wednesday 26 Feb 2014
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Committee and Branch members with ideas -
Location Coventry University - Engineering and Computing Block EC1-12
Abstract Other than the AGM, this is the one time in the year when the Coventry Branch Committee meets to discuss branch business, and garner ideas from both the Committee and Branch members for ideas for future meetings. We also need to formally discuss who we will be voting for, as a Branch, in the BCS Council elections (there are two vacancies)... however noting that Branch Chair, Irene, is one of the nominations...
The full list of nominees :
  • Dr Ip-Shing Fan
  • Irene Glendinning
  • Jonathan Shenton
  • Peter Buchanan
  • Dr Helen Fletcher
  • Tom McEwan
Downloads Meeting Agenda

Assistive Technology projects

Date Wednesday 19 Mar 2014
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Dr Claire Rocks and Margaret Low - Research Fellows at Warwick University
Location Hereward College, Tile Hill Lane, Coventry
Abstract Independent living is a hot topic right now. Whether due to disability, long term illness or age the demand on technologies that will assist people to live life to the full will continue to grow.

This event brings together a number of projects looking at developing assistive technologies, including:
  • Encouraging young people to create assistive technologies using 3D printing technologies. This partnership between Hereward College and the University of Warwick aims to enable young people at the college to tailor the design of tools and accessories to their own requirements. For more information see http://warwick.ac.uk/stem/assistivetech
  • Dad in a Shed's story starts in November 1983, when Dad had a son, who turned out to have Muscular Dystrophy! The Dad and his shed churned out lots of gadgets and gizmos for his son over the years, everything from a swively chair so he could shuffle round on his bum as a toddler to an all-electric go kart so he could play with his friends
  • The Hereward Access Centre provides holistic, multidisciplinary assessments for a range of individuals in need of assistive technology services and non-medical helper's support.
  • CarePair is a free service helping carers and employers find each other as quickly and easily as possible, suggesting the most appropriate pairings based on common interests.

    This is an opportunity to see what has been developed, and meet and talk to the people involved in an informal atmosphere.
    Link to Google Maps for the college.
    To book please go to http://herewardbcsiet.eventbrite.co.uk

Hawkeye - Goal Line Technology

Date Wednesday 23 Apr 2014
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Dr Jouni Ronkainen - Senior Product Manager, Hawk-Eye Innovations
Location EC-1-12 Engineering and Computing Block - Coventry University
Abstract Hawk-Eye is the most sophisticated officiating tool used in any sport. It is accurate, reliable and practical, with fans around the globe now expecting and demanding it to be a part of every event. Annually Hawk-Eye is involved in over 100+ events worldwide including: The Wimbledon Championships, The Cricket World Cup, World Championships Snooker and the Indian Premier League.

Over recent years Hawk-Eye has developed a significant number of platform technologies that are used across a multitude of sports including Football, Cricket, Tennis, Snooker, Badminton, Baseball, Hurling, Gaelic Football and NASCAR. The technologies will be presented with a core focus on the Goal Line Technology system.

Hawk-Eye qualified as official FIFA licensee of Goal Line Technology on the 5th July 2012. For the 2013-2014 season the English Premier League and the Dutch Eredivisie leagues have been using Hawk-Eye GLT to assist officiating. Hawk-Eye can boast 4mm accuracy and is the only GLT provider to have passed each and every test ever set by FIFA.

The real reason that projects fail and how to fix it -
   An introduction to Critical Chain Project Management

Date Wednesday 21 May 2014
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 18:30
Speaker Gary Palmer - Critical Point Consulting www.criticalpoint.co.uk
Location EC-1-12 - Coventry University
Abstract Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is fast emerging as a major improvement in project management, dramatically improving project speed and predictability. Although currently relatively little known in the UK, it has become well-established and highly successful in America, India and Japan; to the extent that it is now used by many leading organisations including the US Military and Nasa, and has become the standard project management methodology required to be used for all government projects in Japan, approximately 20,000 projects per annum.

CCPM is now an accepted methodology by many standards organisations, including the PMI and APM, and is referenced in both organisations project management standards documentation (BoK).
Downloads Speakers Slides
 

2014-2015

Teaching of Computing in Schools:
How Coventry BCS is supporting the changes
to the National Curriculum

Date Wednesday 17 Sep 2014
Time 19:00 - refreshments from 6:30pm
Speaker Irene Glendinning and Margaret Low -
Location ECG-13 - Coventry University Engineering & Computing block - Ground Floor
Abstract This talk will examine the impact from the September 2014 changes to the National Curriculum for England that include the requirement for computing rather than ICT to be taught in primary and secondary schools. The presenters, Coventry branch chair Irene Glendinning and Education Liaison Officer Margaret Low, have both been working with local schools for some time both in their university day jobs and on behalf of the Coventry BCS branch, to encourage the teaching of computing in schools and promoting careers in computer science to young people. They will help to uncover the reasons these changes were needed and discuss some of the problems that need to be resolved in order to capitalise on this unique opportunity to inspire and attract the next generation of computer scientists.
Downloads Speakers Slides

Very Quick AGM followed by introduction to MakerSpace

Date Tuesday 14 Oct 2014
Time 19:00 - AGM from 7:00pm, MakerSpace from 7:45
Speaker The existing BCS Committee, then The Coventry MakerSpace committee - meetup.com/CoventryMakerspace/
Location Koco Community Centre, 15 Arches, Spon End, Coventry, CV1 3JQ
Abstract Links to the Chairman's Report, Secretary's Report, Treasurer's report and the agenda are below. We ask that you read last year's AGM minutes and the reports in advance so we can have a quick AGM to give us more time for the very interesting meeting afterwards.


MakerSpaces are community owned spaces where you can find the things and the room to make your projects; providing a positive environment for us all to be greater than the individual parts. With the Makers taking do-it-yourself further than a trip to the local home improvement store, you'll find a wide variety of creative minds.

Once established the MakerSpace offers space, facilities, equipment and support to help YOU acheive results with whatever you hope to make or do. Coventry MakerSpace started in May 2014 and has already achieved much, including finding a home (the Koco Community Centre) and attending two Imagineering shows! Plus there are regular (free) open meetings on Thursdays where anyone can come along and see what is on offer.
Downloads Ratified 2013 AGM Minutes, Chairman's Report, Secretary's Report,Treasurer's Report, Agenda
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