The Death of Digital Literacy?

We are pleased to invite Andrew Whitworth, from Manchester Institute of Education, to speak on the topic of “The Death of Digital Literacy” on Monday February 15th, at 6pm. This will be in room A14 in the Hugh Owen building at Aberystwyth University. A map of the location is available.

The event is co-hosted with the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University.

There will be refreshments available from 6pm and the talk will start at 6.30pm.

Abstract

In 2012 the Royal Society published Shutdown or Restart?, a report on the teaching of computing in schools which called for a renewed emphasis on coding, a change then pushed through into the National Curriculum by Michael Gove. The notion of ‘digital literacy’, though presented by the Royal Society as something fundamental to the effective application of computing in education, business, civic and private life, has been largely removed from the picture in UK schools, at least formally.

While a healthy community of ‘digital makers’ does exist, centred around micro-scale technologies like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, the way coding is now being taught in schools is not engaging those who might want or need to develop good digital literacy skills but do not want to become programmers or other ICT professionals. In essence, Gove’s ‘reform’ of the computing curriculum has turned UK computing back to the 1980s, the time of the first emergence of micro-computers onto the educational scene. There were many positive outcomes from this time, but to simply replicate the model now, in an era where so much more of life is mediated through the digital, is doing large numbers of children a disservice and storing up educational problems for the future.

Biography

Andrew Whitworth is Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Institute of Education, and Programme Director of the MA: Digital Technologies, Communication and Education. He is the author of two books on digital, media and information literacy: Information Obesity (2009) and Radical Information Literacy (2014).

Registration

This event is free and open to everyone.

To help us plan for the catering, please register using the online form.

The Codebreakers. Enigma, Bletchley Park and the Battle of the Atlantic

 

We are pleased to welcome Dr Mark Baldwin to Aberystwyth to give an illustrated presentation of the fascinating story of “The Codebreakers – Enigma, Bletchley Park & The Battle Of The Atlantic”. This is from 6pm to about 8.30pm on Wednesday 2nd March in Physics Main lecture theatre at Aberystwyth University.

As part of the session, you will have the opportunity to take part in a practical demonstration of one of the few remaining U-Boat Enigma machines; this machine appears in the recent film ‘The Imitation Game’.

There will be some refreshments after the presentation part of the session. To help us plan the evening, we ask that you register for the event on eventbrite.

This event is free and open to all.

Abstract 
One of the Second World War’s most fascinating stories is that of the Enigma machine, a portable encryption device widely used by the Germans, whose ciphers they believed to be totally secure. Nevertheless, by mathematical analysis and modern technology, the Allies devised techniques for ‘breaking’ Enigma ciphers, and thus read several million German messages, providing a wealth of reliable Intelligence. The attack on Enigma, initiated by the Poles in the early 1930s, was later perfected by the British at Bletchley Park, today open to the public as a museum site.

The Intelligence gained was of immense value to the Allies in virtually every theatre of war, but nowhere more so than in the Battle of the Atlantic, that fierce conflict which lasted nearly six years and cost over 60,000 lives. Dr Baldwin uses the Battle of the Atlantic to exemplify the importance of code breaking in winning the war.

After the presentation, the audience are invited to take part in a hands-on practical demonstration of one of the few surviving Enigma machines. Only about 300 are known to survive worldwide; of these, only about a dozen are in public collections in Britain. As these machines are so rare, Dr Baldwin is providing a unusual opportunity for the audience not just to view, but also to operate, an original U-Boat Enigma machine – the actual machine which appears in the recent film, ‘The Imitation Game’*.

Biography
Dr Baldwin is one of Britain’s most experienced speakers on the Enigma machine and the work of the WW2 code breakers. He has travelled widely throughout Britain addressing a variety of audiences – professional, educational, commercial and the general public – and has also been invited to speak in Germany, Belgium and Poland.

* The Enigma machine shown in the picture is one at Bletchly park. It is a different model to the one that Mark Baldwin will bring with him.  The machine at this session will be a more typical model of the Enigma machine.

BCSWomen call on women in tech to celebrate Ada Lovelace’s 200th birthday

On Thursday 10th December 2015, Ada Lovelace, the first programmer, would be 200 years old.

If 2, 3, 4 or more women, who work on or with computers, could get together, for say a morning coffee for a few minutes, or after work, to raise their cups or glasses to Ada, please do take a photo, and Tweet it to #BCSWomenAda

These will be collected by BCSWomen, part of the professional body, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. BCSWomen would like to collect 200, or better still 2,000 photos of groups of women, who work on or use computers, from all parts of the world, all saying “Happy Birthday Ada”. http://www.bcswomen.bcs.org/?p=433

There will be a group of West Wales women in computing gathering at Aberystwyth Arts Centre Bar on the afternoon of the 10th – we’ll be there from 3.30, come along, and join in – get yourself a cup of tea or a festive glass, tweet a photo or two, and have a chat. https://www.facebook.com/events/1502945260033968/

Making Use of Technology in NHS Wales

The South Wales Branch is hosting a series of talks looking at Making Use of Technology in NHS Wales. The events will be held in Cardiff and live-broadcast to a few sites around Wales. The Mid-Wales branch has arranged to make a room available for the live broadcasts.

The second session is on Tuesday December 8th. We will be showing the video link in the Computer Science department, Aberystwyth University. The event starts at 18:00 and finishes at 19:30. The details of the this series can be found below.

If you would like to attend this event, please contact Neil Taylor (nst@aber.ac.uk) or Fred Long (fwl@aber.ac.uk).

A series of sessions on Making Use of technology in NHS Wales

NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) is the national organisation providing the information and technology services used by NHS Wales to support high quality patient care. In this short programme we are attempting to showcase how the use of technology is supporting better and more efficient care for patients and the citizens of Wales; how we are setting the standards for Health Informatics professional development and provide the opportunity to discuss technology in NHS Wales

November 10th

Overview of NWIS, the patients journey using technology and the case for professionalism of the Informatics staff.

December 8th

Dealing with the management issues of large volumes of sensitive data – data protection, information sharing, persuading the public, cross border issues, training staff, Caldicott.  Intended to be non-technical.

January 12th

Deep dive on a couple of national systems:

  • Imaging (X Rays to you & me) - The gee-whiz of moving data around, combining it and presenting it for clinicians and patients.
  • Laboratory system exploring the amount and time span of data a consultant has to make that decision across Wales.

Technology Question Time

How should computing technology be used in our society? What role should it have in areas such as the environment, transportation and health? What is the role of government to influence the direction of technology, including education about technology and the effects of technology on the economy? 

The Mid-Wales branch of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT is pleased to host a panel debate on the role of technology in our society, at 6.30pm on Friday 13th November at the MedRus Conference Conference Centre at Aberystwyth University. A map is available.

Come and join the audience and debate the issues with panel members who have insight and influence on the direction of technology which affects us all.

Members of the audience are invited to propose questions (in advance or on the day) across topics including:

  • Technology Infrastructure: broadband, mobile, social media, connecting the unconnected across the globe.
  • Education: Role of technology in primary, secondary, apprenticeships, university and continuing education.
  • Economy: Role of technology is promoting sustainable economic growth.
  • Environment: Applying technology to reduce environmental impact, clean energy and reduced waste.
  • Transport: Future shape of how we travel, what will change and how?
  • Health: Challenges and opportunities of delivering technology to improve access to healthcare.

An independent chair will ensure fair play for the panel members and select question to best represent those submitted.

Panel (updated 4th November)
We are delighted to announce our panel members:

We look forward to welcoming you for what will be a interesting, insightful and thought provoking discussion.

Refreshments
There will be some food and drink available from 6pm, before the event starts at 6.30pm.

Registering and Submitting Questions in Advance
The event is free and open to all. We ask you to register so that we can estimate catering for the event. We have a form where you can register for the event and also submit questions in advance.

To register and optionally submit questions, please complete the form.

Hawl i Holi yn canolbwyntio ar dechnoleg

Mae cangen canolbarth Cymru y Gymdeithas Gyfrifiaduron Brydeinig yn noddi sesiwn Hawl i Holi yn canolbwyntio ar dechnoleg.
Mae gan y panelwyr sy’n cymryd rhan farn a dylanwad ar gyfeiriad technoleg sy’n effeithio arnom ni i gyd. Gwahoddir aelodau o’r gynulleidfa i osod cwestiynau (o flaen llaw neu ar y diwrnod) ar bynciau amrywiol, gall gynnwys y canolynol.

  • Isadeiledd technoleg: band llydan, symudol, cyfryngau cymdeithasol, cysylltu’r digyswllt ar draws y byd
  • Addysg: rôl technoleg mewn addysg gynradd ac uwchradd, prentisiaethau, prifysgolion ac addysg gydol oes
  • Economi: rôl technoleg mewn hybu twf economaidd cynaliadwy
  • Amgylchedd: defnyddio technoleg er mwyn lleihau effaith amgylcheddol, ynni glân a lleihau gwastraff
  • Trafnidiaeth: sut yr ydym am deithio yn y dyfodol, beth fydd yn newid a sut
  • Iechyd: sialensau a chyfleon wrth ddefnyddio technoleg i wella mynediad at ofal iechyd

Bydd cadeirydd annibynnol yn sicrhau chwarae teg i’r panelwyr ac yn dewis cwestiynau fydd yn cynrychioli’r rheiny a gyflwynwyd.

Edrychwn ymlaen at eich croesawu i drafodaeth ddiddorol, fydd yn taflu goleuni ac yn ysgogi meddwl o’r newydd.

Cofrestrwch

——-

Please note: We had been pleased to welcome Tanweer Arif from CareUK to the event, but unfortunately, he has had to withdraw from the panel.

 

AGM 2015 and “Seize the Day – Making IT work for society”

The Mid-Wales Branch AGM will be held at 6.30pm on Tuesday 27th October 2015. The formal notice is available here. This will be in Medrus 1, Penbryn, Aberystwyth University. See Map.

The AGM has traditionally been quite short and we then move on to our featured session. This year, we are pleased to invite David Evans to talk to us about “Seize the Day – Making IT work for society”. David is the BCS Director for Policy and Community. His abstract and biography are below.
There will be a buffet and drinks from 6pm, with the AGM starting at 6.30 and shortly move on to David’s session.
The event is free and open to all. To help us plan for the catering, please indicate if you plan to attend this event by filling in the form on Google Docs.

Seize the Day – Making IT work for society
David Evans, the BCS Director for Policy and Community, wants to hear your views on how we keep BCS relevant in society. What role can and should BCS play? How might we achieve that role?

Whether you are a student who is yet to enter the profession, or a seasoned professional of many years, BCS wants to hear your views. David will talk about what is going on across BCS and he is ready for a lively debate to explore the future. Come and join the discussion about BCS so that we remain the professional voice for computing in our society.

Biography: David Evans 

David joined BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT in 2006. He is Director for Policy and Community. After a physics degree at the University of Southampton, David started his career in IT, then moved into a variety of marketing, communications and policy roles.

He has worked in a range of organisations from technology startups to global technology firm Intel Corporation. David’s background covers science and technology, marketing and communications, public policy and politics. In addition to being a professional member of BCS, he is also a member at the Institute of Directors.

 

Show & Tell – 25th September

BCS Mid-Wales and Aberystwyth BCS Student Chapter are holding a Show and Tell event at 6pm on Friday September 25th in the Llandinam Building, Penglais Campus.

A free tech-related event where you can show off your latest creations, in-progress projects or new toys. Tell us about your half-baked ideas, great experiences and favourite new website.

Working on a new mobile app? Have an idea for a hazard sensing robot? Built something epic in Minecraft? If you’re playing with technology, we’d love to hear about it. Hobbyists, professionals and researchers alike.

There will be free refreshments (beer and pizza).

You can see images and video from past events here: http://midwales.bcs.org/show-and-tell-events/

Further info at: Eventbrite page.

To show or tell something fill in:  http://bit.ly/1Y3C1xZ

Generative Art, Complexity Science, and Their Cultural Implications

UPDATE: 23rd April. With regret, Philip is now unable to attend and this event has to be cancelled. If there is an opportunity to reschedule, we will announce it on this site.

We are pleased to invite Philip Galanter from Texas A&M University to talk about “Generative Art, Complexity Science, and Their Cultural Implications.” This talk is on Tuesday 28th April, in A6, Llandinam Building. A map of the location is available. There will be refreshments available from 5.30 outside the room. The event is free and open to all.

Abstract
Generative art is a primarily, but not entirely, computational approach to art making. It involves the artist yielding control to an autonomous system which then makes, or is, the work of art. This talk will provide a conceptual overview of generative art techniques, the relationship between generative systems and complexity science, the nascent field of computational aesthetic evaluation, and the possibility of a higher synthesis reconciling the apparently incommensurable views from the modern culture of the sciences, and the postmodern culture of the humanities. Along the way examples of digital art by the speaker and others will be shown.
Biography
Philip Galanter is an artist, theorist, and curator. As an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University he conducts graduate studios in studios in generative art and physical computing. Philip creates generative hardware systems, light sculptures, video and sound art installations, digital fine art prints, and light-box transparencies. His work has been shown in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Italy, and Tunisia.

Philip’s research includes the artistic exploration of complex systems, and the development of art theory bridging the cultures of science and the humanities. His writing has appeared in both art and science publications, and often in association with organizations such as SIGGRAPH, IEEE VIS, ISEA, the College Art Association, xCoAx, and others.

You can find out more about this work at http://philipgalanter.com

You can sign-up to the Facebook event, which will help us with planning the catering. You are are still very welcome to attend, even if you don’t sign-up on Facebook.

Webcast 
We plan to webcast the slides and audio for this event at the link: http://jump.aber.ac.uk/?bdmdt

Show & Tell – 23rd April 2015

BCS Mid-Wales, Aberystwyth University’s Department of Computer Science, the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies and Aberystwyth BCS Student Chapter are holding a Show and Tell event at 6pm on Thursday April 23th in the Parry Williams Building, Penglais Campus: map.

A free tech-related event where you can show off your latest creations, in-progress projects or new toys. Tell us about your half-baked ideas, great experiences and favourite new website.

Working on a new mobile app? Have an idea for a hazard sensing robot? Built something epic in Minecraft? If you’re playing with technology, we’d love to hear about it. Hobbyists, professionals and researchers alike.

There will be free refreshments (beer and pizza).

You can see images and video from past events here: http://midwales.bcs.org/show-and-tell-events/

Further info at: Eventbrite page.

To show or tell something fill in: http://goo.gl/forms/LelpgfHzcL

 

App-a-thon World Record Attempt

Design your own Android App on 13th June 2015, and take it home to show your friends and family!

The BCS will be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people learning to write Android smartphone applications at the same time and you can be part of it!

Individuals and families with children over the age of 10 (or possibly a very IT-savvy younger child) are welcome to come and learn how to build Android apps using MIT AppInventor, which is a free, web-based system for creating simple apps using drag-and-drop coding techniques.

Using a mixture of talk, activities, and hands-on coding we will help you build some simple interactive applications that you run and install on your own Android phones or tablets. You will leave the day with apps you’ve built, and the software installed on your own laptop to play around with it once you get home.

What You Need

  • A laptop and an android smartphone/tablet
  • The desire to design your own app
  • Your guardian if you are under 16
  • A packed lunch

BCS will provide:

  • The location
  • Wifi and access to MIT AppInventor
  • Tea/coffee and juice station
  • All the training and assistance you will need to create your own app

Register

The BCSWomen App-a-thon event will take place in the Medrus conference room, Penbryn, on the Penglais Campus in Aberystwyth on Saturday 13 June 2015, from 10am. For further information and to register for your place on this free event, please visit: http://www.bcs.org/content/ConWebDoc/54581