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CS@Manchester Podcast
School of Computer Science, The University of Manchester
Category: Educational Technology
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February 11, 2019 06:51 AM PST

Today's episode features an episode with final year student Teo Stoleru, who during her time as a student here as been working for Google for her placement year and also, applied and was succesful in achieving a place on the prestigious global @womentechmakers scholarship program.

We talk about the process of getting onto the scholarship, her experiences at the retreat and who she met.

We also discuss her time working at google, and how she is finding the course here at Manchester, and what she gets up to when not studying - plenty of hackathons!

Stay in touch with the School by following us on twitter @csmcr

and now we are on Instagram!
Search: UoMCompsci

If you're interested in studying on one of our undergraduate programmes then please visit the following link;


December 21, 2018 07:52 AM PST

Today's episode of the CS@Manchester podcast features an interview with three academics who are the course module leaders of the brand new elective and cross-discplinary module - AI: Robot Overlord, Replacement or Colleague.

Artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of machines to learn from data, make decisions and perform actions, is now creeping into every aspect of our lives. This unit explores the mechanisms, implications and ethics of an environment where AI plays an increasingly important role.

The academics we speak to are Andy Brass, Professor in Bioinformatics, Dr Caroline Jay, Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science and Dr Iliada Eleftheriou, a Lecturer in Health Sciences.

Find out more about the programme at these links below:



September 12, 2018 08:43 AM PDT

Welcome to Episode 27 of the CS@Manchester podcast!

This episode features a special interview with Experimental Offier Samuel Walsh from the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Christian Kinderman, a PhD student from the School of Computer Science.

We talk about their experiences representing the University as part of Project Malawi, an initiative with the Charity Ripple Africa to deliver Computer Science workshops in villages in North Malawi.

We talk about what initially drew them towards taking part in the project, the challenges of delivering the workshops to the schoolchildren there, how they were received and the experiences and relationships that they will take away with them forever.

Explore through some of the photos and videos and images that Samuel was talking about and showing:

Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/KC7usVjaiJYVYEuY7

Read more about the Project Malawi and the team of students and teachers supporting the project here:

Official report: http://www.socialresponsibility.manchester.ac.uk/events/project-malawi-the-school-of-computer-science-visits-africa/



Find out more about the charity Ripple Africa and the different support they deliver here:


September 06, 2018 07:31 AM PDT

The School's latest cohort of final year Undergraduates finished their degrees this summer and celebrated at the Graduation Ceremony in Mid-July.

We caught up with a variety of students and staff as they reflect on reaching the end of this long journey, what have been their highlights and what they have planned for the future.

Those featured in this podcast are in order:

Sarah Akerman, BSc CSwIE

Cameron Allan, BSc CS

Sean Bechhoffer, Senior Lecturer and First Year Tutor

Josh Langley, MEng CSwIE

Gavin Donald, Student Support Staff Member

Sami Alabed, BSc CSwIE

Ben Possible, BSc CSwIE

Prof Robert Stevens, Head of School
Prof Uli Sattler, Deputy Head of School

Stay in touch with the School by following us on twitter @csmcr!

Should you be interested in studying Computer Science here in Manchester, why not come to one of our upcoming UG Open Days on 29 Sep or 13 October.

Register here: https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/open-days-visits/open-days/

July 20, 2018 08:16 AM PDT

The CS@Manchester podcast catches up with PhD student and BSc Computer Science University of Manchester graduate Josh Dawes, who is now studying and working at the Large Hadron Collider and CMS experiments at CERN in Switzerland.

Josh's PhD is concerned with developing methods for non-intrusive instrumentation and analysis of the computer systems running on the CMS Experiment. As the energy reached by the LHC increases, the volume of data generated reaches an unprecedented scale. It is therefore vital to understand in detail the services written to work with the data.

Since collecting every single piece of data available at runtime is infeasible, work must be done on reconstructing as much of a service's runtime as possible (to enable an ability to write expressive queries about the runtime), while collecting as little data (thus, intervening as rarely) as possible.

Find out more about Josh and his PhD here:

June 05, 2018 06:37 AM PDT

Episode 24 of the CS@Manchester podcast features a conversation between PhD student Ghader Kurdi from Saudi Arabia and her supervisor Dr Bijan Parsia.

We discuss Ghader's initial journey to start her PhD in the UK and then onto her research in writing Multiple Choice questions* examinations and how it has expanded into other research domains and disciplines.

Stay in touch with the School of Computer Science by following us on Twitter.

*Full abstract from Ghader's paper:

Abstract Designing good multiple choice questions (MCQs) for education and assessment is time consuming and error-prone. An abundance of structured and semi structured data has led to the development of automatic MCQ generation methods. Recently, ontologies have emerged as powerful tools to enable the automatic
generation of MCQs.
However, current ontology-based approaches focus on, mostly simple, knowledge recall questions. In addition, questions that have so far been generated are, compared to manually created ones,
simple and cover only a small subset of the required question complexity space in the education and assessment domain.

We present a novel ontology-based approach that exploits classes and existential restrictions to generate questions with complex stems and are suitable for scenarios beyond mere knowledge recall.

We implement our approach as an application for a medical education scenario on top of a large knowledge base in the medical domain. We generate more than 3 million questions for four physician specialities and evaluate our approach in a user study with 15 medical experts.

We find that, using a stratifed random sample of 435 questions out of which 316 were rated by two experts, 129 (30%) are considered exam-ready by both experts and a further 216 (50%) by at least one expert.

March 28, 2018 09:26 AM PDT

We caught up with Dr Andy Harter at the recent BCS/IET Turing Lecture 2018 as it entered it's 20th year at The University of Manchester back in February.

We discussed the topic of his talk on the role of "art" in innovation and technology, including not only the aesthetic but also craft, design, skill, invention and intuition.

We also talk about his background as Director of Research and Engineering at the influential AT&T Cambridge Laboratory and establishing the VNC software for the remote access market.

If you have any questions for the podcast team then please email:

February 28, 2018 08:34 AM PST

Today's episode of the CS@Manchester podcast features an interview with two of our final year students, Sebastien Masaru and Joshua Langley.

Seb and Josh have been heavily involved in the student community in the School and University, with both having roles in the Computer Science Society (http://cssoc.co.uk), helping organise, and presenting at, Hackathons around the country, and hosting regular Staff v Student quizzes inside the School.

We talk what the student social network is like, why they prefer Manchester over London, the relationship between staff and students and some of the memories they will take away with them forever.

Here is a video to the Great Uni Hack event discussed in the podcast:

If you want to contact the podcast team please email us at jez.lloyd@manchester.ac.uk
or catch us on Twitter @csmcr!

November 20, 2017 03:31 AM PST

Today's episode features an interview with 2016 BSc Computer Science graduate Todd Davies, who came back to Manchester recently to present a guest lecture to our current Undergraduates.

Todd is now working full time as a Software Engineer at the Google Offices in Munich, Germany. After initially undertaking a summer internship, Todd starting working there full time last year.

We talk about a range of things, including the google recruitment process, and what his role entails in Munich. We also discuss his experiences on degree, his infamous 'Todd's Notes' and the surprising price of Lederhosen!

Follow us on twitter for all the latest news from the School of Computer Science: @csmcr

If you are interested in studying a degree in CS please explore our website for more information:

October 31, 2017 09:58 AM PDT

Today's episode features an extended interview with 2 key academic staff that help shape the Software Engineering course here in the School of Computer Science at The University of Manchester, both at Undergraduate level and at Advanced Computer Science for MSc study.

We talk to Dr Bijan Parsia and Dr Suzanne Embury about the many challenges of teaching the subject, what different techniques they use, the importance of team working and collaboration with Industry, and what skill sets they believe make a really good Software Engineer.

Find out more about Bijan and his work:

And Suzanne:

Follow the School on Twitter for all the latest news and information @csmcr

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