Next Show and Tell Event: May 9th

BCS Mid-Wales and Computer Science are holding a show and tell event at 5pm on May 9th in the Llandinam concourse, 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’s free beer and pizza as well as a prize giveaway.

You can see images and video from past events here:

Please contact Jonathan if you want to present:

Please register your interest here.

Telemedicine and its Future in Health and Social Care

BCS Mid-Wales branch is pleased to invite Dr Alan Axford and Mrs Delyth Lewis to talk about Telemedicine in Wales and to lead a discussion on the successful use of Telemedicine as part of Welsh healthcare. This event is on Wednesday March 12th at Aberystwyth University.

Delivering health and social care in rural settings is experiencing a revolution. Wales, like other countries, is seeing a reduction in the number of rural community hospitals and outreach GP surgeries in more remote rural villages.

‘Telemedicine’ is an important element of the new rural healthcare delivery mechanism – the use of information and communications technology to deliver a medical response to illness and ailments.
Continue reading “Telemedicine and its Future in Health and Social Care”

Nobody needs more than 19Mbps broadband, do they?

We are pleased to invite Richard Brown to talk on “Nobody needs more than 19Mbps broadband, do they?“, at a new event in Newtown on Wednesday, 29th January. The talk is free and open to all.

Title: Nobody needs more than 19Mbps broadband, do they?

Update: Online copy of talk We tried to broadcast the talk live, but were beaten by a firewall. Richard has kindly recording a voice over to accompany the set of slides. These can be accessed at:


BSG (Broadband Stakeholder Group – who advise the UK Government, published a report stating that 19Mbps will be sufficient for the median household until 2023. Richard will take a look at this number; it’s impact on the future and will encompass current BDUK projects, comparing those to his own (and other industry leaders) opinions and thoughts.

Location: NPTC Group Building (formerly Coleg Powys), Llanidloes Road, Newtown, SY16 4HU at 6:00pm on Wednesday, 29th January. There will be light refreshments from 5.30.

Continue reading “Nobody needs more than 19Mbps broadband, do they?”

The Dilemmas of Big Data

Image of Poster

Martyn Thomas will speak at our first meeting in 2014 about the Dilemmas of Big Data. This is on Thursday January 16th at 6pm in Physics B lecture theatre at Aberystwyth University. There will be light refreshments from 5:30pm.

The session is free and open to all. Registration is requested to help with planning (details below). An abstract for the talk follows.


It is often said that “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” but this is unthinking, ignorant and callous.

The era of anonymised data has passed and anyone claiming that data sets of detailed, personal data can be released without it being possible to identify many of the individuals concerned is either a fool or a liar.

There is no question that Big Data and data analysis can be of great benefit to society (for example for medical research, social policy and the investigation of crime) but the consequent loss of privacy could also be very damaging.

All citizens should have a say in the decisions that are taken about how their medical history and other personal data is made available to Government agencies, to researchers and to private industry. But what is the right balance between the citizen’s right to privacy and their responsibilities to help fellow citizens to live in a law-abiding, healthy and prosperous society?

IT professionals need to understand the dilemmas presented by the growth in Big Data and to consider the ethical issues that should guide their professional activities.

The Snowden revelations have ignited an arms race between the spooks and the geeks. Should it be possible to be private, even if that means that terrorists, paedophiles and other criminals have somewhere to hide? Or should we allow the Government and private industry to maintain an infrastructure of universal surveillance and trust that it will not be abused?

Everyone needs to understand the issues and the possibilities if we are to have an informed debate. What is decided in the next year or two could profoundly affect the sort of country that we and our children and grandchildren live in.

Bring your knowledge, opinions, hopes and fears and let’s examine the dilemmas and see how much progress we can make in one evening.

Martyn Thomas CBE FREng is Vice President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chair of the IT Policy Panel of the IET. He has been a visiting Professor at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and at Oxford and Bristol Universities and a director of the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

To help with our planning, please register for the event at: The Dilemmas of Big Data registration form. If you forget to register, you can still turn up on the day and see if there is space.

A map with the location is available at Google Maps.

Maurice Wilkes on Alan Turing

At the 2013 AGM, we showed an extract from a video of Maurice Wilkes talking about Alan Turing. The full video is available to view at

AGM 2013 and Maurice Wilkes Event


The BCS Mid-Wales AGM for 2013 will take place at 6.30pm on Monday 21st October 2013. This will be held in the Physics B lecture theatre in the Physical Sciences Building at Aberystwyth University. The formal AGM Notice is available. The minutes for 2012 are available to download.

Maurice Wilkes

While much publicity was given last year to the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth, very little attention has been paid to the centenary of the birth of Maurice Wilkes, whose influence on the British computer industry was immeasurably greater than that of Turing. Wilkes led the team that produced EDSAC 1, the first computer to offer a regular computing service and which, under his guidance, became the model for the LEO 1, the first computer to be used for business applications. He went on to invent and develop such ideas as microprogramming, cache memory and the Cambridge Ring.

This meeting will be a celebration of Wilkes’ life and achievements. Frank Bott, who knew Wilkes personally for over 40 years, will give an overview of his career and personality. Tom Brooks will tell a number of anecdotes about him. Roger Boyle will present a perceptive paper on neural nets that Wilkes wrote late in his life. And the meeting will finish with a recording of part of an after-dinner speech given by Wilkes in 1997 in which he reminisces about his relationship with Turing.

This event is free and open to all.

A poster is available for the event. Please download and display this to promote the event.

Android programming family fun day

Want to have a go at coding mobile apps? BCSWomen have got together with BCS Mid Wales, Ysgol Bro Ddyfi and Computing at School to present a bring-your-kids coding day, suitable for mothers and sons and fathers and daughters.

We are pleased to announce a joint event between Ysgol Bro Ddyfi, BCSWomen and BCS Mid Wales branch and supported by Aberystwyth University’s Computer Science department. The event is free and open to all.

Saturday 6 July 2013, 10.00am – 3.00pm

Ysgol Bro Ddyfi Greenfields, Machynlleth, Powys, SY20 8DR

Full Details

The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

Visit to the National Plant Phenomics Centre

We have arranged for a visit to the National Plant Phenomics Centre (NPPC) at Aberystwyth University. The centre is a new multi-million pound centre that will be run by the Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences (IBERS). The centre will be fully operational this year.

This visit is an opportunity to learn about the work of the centre to provide a step change way in which data is gathered about plants. The Centre will have an automated process to collect measurements such as height, growth rate, number of flowers and leaf-shape. The following page introduces the work of the Centre.

The visit to the Centre will begin at 6pm. We will meet in the car-park of IBERS (see address below). There will be a short introduction to the work of IBERS, and an illustration of the way that computer automation can help with plant biology. We will have a tour of the centre, looking at the equipment and talk about the automation process. Following the visit, there will be an optional trip to the Welsh Black in Bow Street.

The NPPC is located at the Gogerddan Campus, Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, SY23 3EE.

This event is free and open to all.

Please complete the booking form to register your interest in the event. We hope to offer lifts to anyone who does not have their own transport to the event; we plan to arrange this between Aberystwyth and Gogerddan for the event. If you are interested in car-pooling for this event, please email