September Event – Requirements are Required!

For our first event of the new session, Chris Hills will be talking on requirements in general, along with some of the methods available that help ease the tasks of defining requirements for projects.

This event will take place on Tuesday 9th September 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00 in the main Trophy Suite at the Tally Ho! Sports and Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Tea, coffee and a buffet will be available. Both members and non-members are welcome.

Bookings for this event can be made on the BCS event booking system.

Closing date for bookings is Monday 8th September 2014 at 09:00 am. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

Event Synopsis

A major contributory factor to project development disasters is inadequate understanding of what the system is intended to do. This creates ambiguities and misunderstandings and makes verification pointless. Reliable systems need a clear set of requirements and then have to be able to measure how the system as implemented conforms to those requirements.

For many mission critical applications, the requirements of the application need to be mapped against the demands of a safety standard.  For non-critical systems they need to be mapped against profit and loss.

Chris will be looking at requirements generally but will also review some of the methods available that help ease the tasks of defining requirements for projects in general.  Unless your software is a hobby can you afford not see this presentation?

About the Presenter

Chris Hills BSc CEng MIET MBCS FRGS FRSA is a Technical Specialist at Phaedrus Systems Ltd.

December 2014 Event – The Importance of Non-Functional Requirements

Non-Functional Requirements are an important part of building any solution, system or piece of software, but are also a part that often gets missed when it comes to requirements gathering.  Our final talk of 2014 attempts to explain what they are, why they are important and how to find them.

This event will take place on Tuesday 9th December 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00 in the main Trophy Suite at the Tally Ho! Sports and Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Tea, coffee and a buffet will be available. Both members and non-members are welcome.

Bookings for this event can be made on the BCS event booking system.

Closing date for bookings is Monday 8th December 2014 at 09:00 am. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

About the Presenter

Stephen Booth MBCS MIET OLA PRINCE2 (2009) Practitioner CHAMPS2 (2010) Practitioner

More by luck than any intent Stephen Booth is a Technical Business Analyst for Service Birmingham Ltd, a Joint Venture company between Birmingham City Council and Capita Group.  This means that he spends half of his time talking to Customers about what they want from their systems and the other half translating that into to something the Technical Architects, Applications Support Analysts and Developers can use to build or select something that the Testers can demonstrate will do what the Customers said they wanted.  He used to be an Oracle DBA and UNIX Systems Administrator, and many days wishes he still was.

LinkedIn users are welcome to connect to Stephen via his profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenboothuk

November 2014 Event – Long-Term Autonomy in Everyday Environments

For our November event, Nick Hawes from University of Birmingham, Computing Science department will be talking on robots and how autonomous they can be in non static environments.

This event will take place on Tuesday 11th November 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00 in the main Trophy Suite at the Tally Ho! Sports and Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Tea, coffee and a buffet will be available. Both members and non-members are welcome.

Bookings for this event can be made on the BCS event booking system.

Closing date for bookings is Monday 10th November 2014 at 09:00 am. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

Event Synopsis

The performance of autonomous robots, i.e. robots that can make their own decisions and choose their own actions, is becoming increasingly impressive, but most of them are still constrained to labs, or controlled environments.

In addition to this, these robots are typically only able to do intelligent things for a short period of time, before either crashing (physically or digitally) or running out of things to do. In order to go beyond these limitations, and to deliver the kind of autonomous service robots required by society, we must conquer the challenge of combining artificial intelligence and robotics to develop systems capable of long-term autonomy in everyday environments.

This talk will present an overview of research in this direction, focussing on the mobile robots for security and care domains developed by the EU-funded STRANDS project (http://strands-project.eu).

July 2014 Event – How can games and gamification improve health and care?

For our July event, we are doing something a bit different from our usual format. On Tuesday 8th July, we are at the Innovation Birmingham Campus in Aston for an event co-produced by Health 2.0 and Games for Health UK – the satellite for Games for Health EU movement. Together they will showcase how serious games and gamification can improve health and care.

This event will start at 18:30 and runs until 22:30 at Faraday Wharf.

The event starts with food from 18:30 with presentations start from 19:00. Past events have completed the formal presentations by 20:15 with informal discussions for some time afterwards. Both members and non-members are welcome.

Bookings for this event are through the Meetup event, only.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

Agenda

“Introduction to Health 2.0 “
Dr Sebastian Yuen
Consultant Paediatrician, George Eliot Hospital
Lead of Health 2.0 Birmingham

“Research in serious games for health”
Professor Pamela Kato
Professor of Serious Games, Serious Games Institute

“How have you found gamification change behaviour / solve problems: A case study based on a gamified learning tool targeting medical students”
Adrian Raudaschl
Digital Director – Medikidz

“Creating The Walk: The first ever smartphone fitness game funded by the Department of Health”
Sophie Baker
Operations Manager, Six To Start

“Challenges in health and Innovation Platform”
Hugo Russell
Project Manager, Innovation Birmingham campus

“Creating Behaviour for Healthier Outcomes using Motion Game Play”
Stephen Priestnall
Research Director and Founder of Movonix Limited

“Games for Health UK – A think tank for game innovations in healthcare”
Alex Woolner, PhD
Senior Researcher
Serious Games Institute

June 2014 Event – Model-Driven Software Engineering – Theory meets Practice

For our June event, Professor Zhiming Liu will discuss model-driven software engineering, with a practical aspect.

This event will take place on Tuesday 10th June 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00 in the main Trophy Suite at the Tally Ho! Sports and Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Tea, coffee and a buffet will be available. Both members and non-members are welcome.

Bookings for this event can be made on the BCS event booking system.

Closing date for bookings is Monday 9th June 2014 at 12:00 pm. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

About the Presenter

Prof. Zhiming Liu is Head of the  Centre for Software Engineering in Faculty of Technology, Engineering and  Environment at Birmingham City University.

Event Synopsis

Software engineering was born with the “software crisis”, caused by the increasing power of computers and growing complexity of software development. Formal methods have been developed to tackle the grand challenge of correctness and dependability of complex software. Today, software programs are everywhere, but they are deployed on different platforms and embedded in different kinds of devices. These platforms and devices are distributed and connected with different networks. Consider smarter meters networked with industry control systems and mobile phone networks for home automation, and eHealth or mHealth. These applications of  the so called “Internet of Things”, “smart cities” and “cyber-physical systems” (CPS) cannot be designed top-down from scratch or synthesised bottom-up from existing pieces. They have to evolve incrementally from existing systems, even non-computerised systems, and be constantly maintained with updated technologies. In this talk, we discuss the fundamentals of model-driven software engineering and how its theory promises to deal with the complexity of these systems and in support of their evolution.  In particular, we argue that an architecture-centric modelling method could be the hope to scale up formal method by linking theories to system engineering practice.

May 2014 Event – How to search for ETI

For our May event, William Edmondson will discuss how to go about searching for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI).

This event will take place on Tuesday 13th May 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00 in the main Trophy Suite at the Tally Ho! Sports and Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Tea, coffee and a buffet will be available. Both members and non-members are welcome.

Bookings for this event can be made on the BCS event booking system.

Closing date for bookings is Monday 12th May 2014 at 12:00 pm. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

About the Presenter

William Edmondson has been actively involved in the international SETI enterprise since 2003, when he first gave a talk at a small workshop in Paris. Indeed France has a good track record in both SETI work - he presented at another SETI conference in Paris in March this year – and related topics.  For example, the website inventory/encyclopaedia of exoplanets is managed by Jean Schneider working in Paris. He has also conducted a radio search for signals using the Arecibo radio-telescope and a specific targeting scheme he developed. A paper was published on this in 2003. Sadly nothing was detected.

Event Synopsis

William will review the development of some ideas (but not list projects/attempts) in SETI from early days through to new debates about targetting, messaging and observing. His own thinking has changed to focus on arguments in favour of simply looking at selected targets, with ever-more powerful optical telescopes. He will explain why.  As ever, in cutting edge science, the role of instrumentation (and recently that includes computation) is an important part of the story.  He will also provide his take on the “Where are they?” question, but without going into details such as the Drake equation (historically provocative but not now so relevant in his view).

For those wanting further information in this area a well-written history of the field is available – although it doesn’t cover the most recent work. If you want to buy a single book on the topic, William Edmondson recommends buying this one: Life on Other Worlds: The 20th Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate.  Steven J. Dick. Cambridge University Press.  2001. Materials can be found readily via the web – e.g. here, also here and here.

April 2014 Event – Virtual Worlds for Real Business

For our April event, David Burden will discuss the history of virtual worlds and immersive spaces; look at (and demo) some current examples of their use; and think about where this technology may be headed in the future.

This event will take place on Tuesday 8th April 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00 in the main Trophy Suite at the Tally Ho! Sports and Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Tea, coffee and a buffet will be available. Both members and non-members are welcome.

Bookings for this event can be made on the BCS event booking system.

Closing date for bookings is Monday 7th April 2014 at 12:00 pm. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

About the Presenter

David Burden is the Managing Director of Daden Limited

Event Synopsis

On-line digital virtual worlds have been around for almost 20 years. As with any new technology they have been through the “hype cycle” of innovation – most publicly in the press frenzy around Second Life. But did you know that Second Life and its immediate derivatives are still being used by scores of universities around the globe to teach students subjects ranging from medicine to accountancy, and even by the US Army. Allied to public virtual worlds game engines such as Unreal and Unity3D are being used by a similarly wide range of organisations to deliver cost effective, immersive education and training for students as varied as those of the Open University (doing virtual geology) to those of the Department of Homeland Security (managing virtual disasters). Outside of the training and simulation field these technologies are also increasingly being used to visualise and make sense of the complex and large volumes of data that all organisations need to understand. And new interface technologies such as Oculus Rift and Leap Motion are opening up further possibilities.

March 2014 Event – The Risks of Cloud Computing

Event Synopsis

For our March event, Katie Wood will discuss the risks inherent in cloud computing and cloud technologies. This event will take place on Tuesday 11th March 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00 in the main Trophy Suite at the Tally Ho! Sports and Conference Centre in Birmingham.

Tea, coffee and a buffet will be available. Both members and non-members are welcome.

Bookings for this event can be made on the BCS event booking system.

Closing date for bookings is Monday 10th March 2014 at 12:00 pm. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

About the Presenter

Katie Wood is a Senior Lecturer in Informatics at the University of Wolverhampton. She had previous worked as a Lecturer at the University of Malta and Edge Hill University. Katie’s specialist areas are around cloud computing and security. She is currently undertaking a PhD in understanding the role and challenges of misconfiguration in public clouds.

As well as publishing at conferences and international journals, Katie has been a co-organiser of several workshops within cloud and security at international conferences.

December 2013 – Hadrian, Home and Away or Roaming round the Empire

Event Synopsis

For our Christmas event on Tuesday December 17th 2013, Peter Crouch will be giving a talk on “Hadrian, Home and Away or Roaming round the Empire”.

For almost 21 years, from AD 117 to 138, Publius Aelius Hadrianus ruled one of the mightiest empires the world has ever seen and in his lifetime he visited almost all of its provinces. The boundaries of Hadrian’s empire stretched from the Scottish Lowlands in the north to the Sahara Desert in the south, from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the River Euphrates in the east.

This talk will outline Hadrian’s life from his birth in Rome on 24 February AD 76 through to his death in Baiae on the Bay of Naples on 10 July AD 138 illustrated by photographs of places and structures associated with him, mostly taken by Peter on his travels in the provinces of Britannia, Africa, Asia, Hispania and Italia.

Tea, coffee and a buffet will be available. Both members and non-members are welcome.

Bookings for this event can be made on the BCS event booking system.

Closing date for bookings is Tuesday 17th December 2013 at 09.00 am. No more bookings will be taken after this date.

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event please note that BCS do not issue invitation letters.

About the Presenter

After studying chemistry at Southampton and Reading universities Peter was successively an industrial chemist, a computer software developer and a junior civil servant.  He officially retired in 2005.  He is currently a part-time consultant for the Nickel Institute.

In his spare time he is Chairman and Web Editor of the BCS Fortran Specialist Group and a member of the BCS Birmingham and Wolverhampton Branch Commitees.  He is also Web Editor for the Council for British Archaeology West Midlands group.

In the last decade his interest in history and archaeology has taken him to visit Roman and prehistoric sites across the UK, the remains of Roman and Greek cities in Asia Minor, Tunisia and Italy including Carthage, Rome, Istanbul and Troy as well as Visigothic churches in northern Spain.