2007 - 2008 Programme

All events unless otherwise stated will be held in the Lord Todd Conference Room, Strathclyde University. The Lord Todd is entered from Collins Street (on which parking is readily available); see the map on the venue page.

Events start at 6.30 p.m. Usually, there will be a light buffet from 6.00 p.m. Non members are welcome to all meetings. Branch meetings qualify for BCS CPD credit.

Programme Summary

Date Event
1 Oct 2007 Mashing the Phone and the Web
16 Oct 2007 BCS Glasgow Student/Young Professionals Event - Talk and Pub Quiz -
5 Nov 2007 Security - Safety first or Paranoia
3 Dec 2007 Christmas Lecture - Beyond YouTube
14 Jan 2008 Computers are not Omnipotent
4 Feb 2008 The Challenges of Health Informatics
21 Feb 2008 Target earth - The BCS/IET Turing Lecture 2008
3 Mar 2008 Data Mining through Visualization
7 Apr 2008 Grid Computing
12 May 2008 Space Wire Technology
2 Jun 2008 BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2008 with Survey of Job Market

Programme Detail

Mashing the Phone and the Web - Slick ways of integrating phone and web services

Date Monday 1st October 2007
Location British Telecom, Alexander Bain House, 15 York Street, Atlantic Quay, Glasgow G2 8LA.
Convenor Andrew Back
Speaker Tim Stevens - BT Design

Tim Stevens is a 21st Century Web to SDK Evangelist with BT Design.

Over the last year BT has begun opening its global network to a broad development community. In this talk we will see how telephony features previously out of reach of small development teams due to cost and complexity, can now be easily and securely integrated into any application, often with as little as one line of code.

*** Registration is required for this event - contact: andrew.bcsg@googlemail.com ***

Poster download - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/btposter.doc


BCS Glasgow Student/Young Professionals Event - Talk and Pub Quiz -

Date Tuesday 16th October 2007
Location Room A005, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens, Glasgow
Convenor Daniel Livingstone
Speaker Ash Henstock (Rare - Microsoft Game Studios)

The talk: Kameo to Viva Piñata and beyond

This talk will provide an overview of how lightmaps are used to produce enhanced graphical output in recent generations of games - and look in detail at some of the advanced techniques used in recent games such as Rare’s Xbox 360 hit ‘Viva Piñata’ as well as some of the techniques currently in development for their future titles.

Speaker: Ash Henstock is based in the shared technology group at Rare, working closely with Rare’s game teams. Ash has been focussed on lighting solutions, particularly lightmapping, to capture realistic global illumination and material response; this involves research in to lighting techniques as well as tools integration.

A fascinating look inside the latest generation of graphics technologyFollowed by a fun and frivolous technology pub quiz in the student union - with prizes!

Event Poster - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/studentnightposter2007.doc


Security - Safety first or Paranoia

Date Monday 5th November 2007
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Eddie Gray
Speaker Russ George - Security Minds

Russ George is an experienced Information security and business assurance Advisor and the Managing Director of Security Minds. He is engaged as a trusted advisor and accreditor to Government; covering all areas of protective security and security assurance and also provides support as a Security SME and Technical SME. In 2005/6 he served on the British Computer Society Security Expert Panel, he is also a founder member of the Institute of Information Security Professionals and in part time government service.

Over his career to date he has managed a wide range of programmes and projects of all sizes delivering business benefit and enhancing understanding across business groups of the value of protective security and security assurance to business delivery and business change.

Event Poster - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/RussGeorgeposter_v0.9.doc


Christmas Lecture - Beyond YouTube

Date Monday 3rd December 2007
Time 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (meeting begins at 6:30 pm)
Location University of Strathclyde, Room 13:18 (13th Floor) Livingstone Tower, 26 Richmond Street, Glasgow
Convenor Bill Milne
Speaker David Irvine - MD of Madesafe.net

A visionary look at where we are and where we are going with the World Wide Web. Data centric networking and the Global net as a super computer. Snakes and ladders of networking progress. New developments in storage and automatic back up and security. Perpetual and Self repairing data and much more besides.

David Irvine is a qualified graduate in Electronic Engineering who has spent over twenty years in the computer industry much of this time in large scale networking projects. David believes in our rich heritage of Scottish engineering innovation. He has no less than 12 hot computing patents which Maidsafe are poised to exploit.

Plus - Special Christmas party refreshments from 6.00 pm.

Event Poster - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/Christmas_guest_lecture_2007.doc

*** Please note the change of venue *** Map of Location


Computers are not Omnipotent

Date Monday 14th January 2008
Time Tea & Coffee 6.00 pm. Presentation 6.30 pm
Location Scapa Suite, IET Teacher Building, St. Enoch Square, Glasgow - Map of Location
Convenor Eddie Gray
Speaker Prof. David Harel - Dept. of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

An exposé of the realistic future uses of computing. By a speaker of international renown.

David Harel has been at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel since 1980. He is the inventor of statecharts and co-inventor of live sequence charts, and co-designed Statemate, Rhapsody and the Play-Engine. Among his awards are the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (1992), the Israel Prize (2004), the ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award (2006), and three honorary degrees. He is a Fellow of the ACM, the IEEE and the AAAS.

In 1984, TIME magazine quoted the chief editor of a certain software publication as saying: "Put the right kind of software into a computer, and it will do whatever you want it to. There may be limits on what you can do with the machines themselves, but there are no limits on what you can do with software."

This talk will survey results obtained over the last 70 years by mathematicians, logicians and computer scientists, which disprove this ignorance-based statement in a sweeping and fundamental way. We shall discuss problems that are provably non-computable, as well as ones that are hopelessly time- or memory-consuming (requiring far more time than has elapsed since the Big Bang, or requiring a computer that would not fit into the entire known universe). Time permitting, we will also take a somewhat more amusing look at these facts, and relate them to the (im)possibilities of true artificial intelligence.

Download an Event Poster to display on your noticeboard - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/DHARELposter_v3.doc

Map of Location


The Challenges of Health Informatics

Date Monday 4th February 2008
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Andrew Back
Speaker Ewan Davis Director - Woodcote Consulting and Dr Ian McNicoll from BCS Scottish Health Specialist Group

Patient records and other IT challenges in the UK and Scottish Health Service

Advances in medicine, changing demographics and growing expectations make the delivery of affordable health care a major challenge across the globe.

Many believe that IT can make a major contribution to addressing this problem, but so far no healthcare system has been able to achieve the sort of transformational change that has been seen in some other sectors.

The UK and particularly UK Primary Care has been at the global leading edge in Health Informatics for many years and current programmes in the UK NHS are amongst the most ambitious anywhere. However, the NHS National Programme for IT in England, the biggest civil IT programme ever undertaken, is making only slow and painful progress with an equivalet programme in Scotland fairing only a little better while programmes in the other two home countries have yet to get off the ground.

Ewan Davis and Dr Ian McNicoll have worked for many years in UK Health Informatics and will briefly describe the global challenge and the progress being made with particular reference to the NHS Programmes in England and Scotland.

Ian and Ewan will also describe some of the issues that face those trying to develop systems in the healthcare sector where the requirements are complex and poorly understood and where "traditional" approaches to managing large software development projects are failing to deliver. In particular Ewan and Ian will try and explain why Health Informatics is different and make some suggestions as to how Open Source approaches and Agile development methodologies might help us make progress.

Speakers' presentation slides from the meeting (PowerPoint 1.2MB)


Target earth - The BCS/IET Turing Lecture 2008

Date Thursday 21st February 2008
Time 18:00 - Lecture registration, 18:30 - Lecture
Location Lecture Theatre 1 (ground level), Boyd Orr Building, University Avenue, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ
Convenor Bill Milne
Speaker Dr James Martin

The problem of global warming is now widely known about. There are 12 megaproblems, like global warming, which must be urgently dealt with. All of these have potential solutions, but most of them are largely ignored. It is desirable to set targets so that we can measure the progression towards solutions. If we deal with these megaproblems in time, the 21st century could bring a magnificent future.

*** Please note this is event is bookable ***

Further details and registration: Register online


Data Mining through Visualization

Date Monday 3rd March 2008
Location Room M225, George Moore Building, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA - Map of Location
Convenor Daniel Livingstone
Speaker Prof. Colin Fyfe - University of the West of Scotland

Abstract: A range of data-mining methods have been developed over recent years to automatically sift through large amounts of complex data to discover potentially interesting and often valuable information. Prof. Fyfe presents a review of progress in biologically-inspired data-mining methods, showing how these can help human analysts to visually find the structures hidden in high-dimensional data sets. The review will concentrate on highlighting a number of innovative, non-standard, methods and implementations for data-mining.

Bio: Colin Fyfe completed his PhD in 1995 in artificial neural networks and has since supervised 16 completed PhDs in neural networks, evolutionary computation and probabilistic modelling. He is on the Editorial Board of several neural network and wider computational intelligence journals, and has been Honorary Chair of several international conferences. He has published over 300 refereed conference and journal papers, many book chapters and three books and is Series Co-Editor of the series "Computational Intelligence: Theory and Applications" with IGI International. He has given plenary talks at several international conferences and been visiting professor at universities in Australia, Korea, China, Taiwan and Spain. He is currently a Personal Professor at the University of the West of Scotland.

Map of Location


Grid Computing

Date Monday 7th April 2008
Location Room M225, George Moore Building, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA - Map of Location
Convenor Calum Morrell
Speaker Andrew Elwell - University of Glasgow

"How to scale beyond the datacentre" - Andrew will talk about the methods possible when your application requirements exceed that of 'normal' computers and datacentres. He will talk about grid computing and how it is being used to process the immense data and computational requirements of such things as the Large Hadron Collider due to come on stream this year at CERN.

Andrew Elwell is a senior systems administrator at the University of Glasgow having worked in industry and with novel and large scale high performance computing architectures, including the first IBM BlueGene in Europe and the UK National Supercomputing service. He now spends his time worrying about moving data around the UK and being able to find it again.

Map of Location


Space Wire Technology

Date Monday 12th May 2008
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Sean Mackay
Speaker Steve Parks - MD Star-Dundee Ltd Author of European Space Communications Standards

The challenge of real time and highly critical software remote command software development

SpaceWire is a standard for high-speed links and networks for use onboard spacecraft, easing the interconnection of: sensors, mass-memories, processing units, and downlink telemetry sub

SpaceWire is being widely used on many space missions.


BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2008 with Survey of Job Market

Date Monday 2nd June 2008
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Bill Milne
Speaker Sam Wasom (Computer Futures)

Our speaker for Monday will be Sam Wasom, Principal Consultant, Edinburgh Office of Computer Futures. Sam will talk about the "ICT job market Scotland 2008 - Opportunities and Skills requirements"

There will be as before, an opportunity for those interested to have an individual meeting with the Computer Future's people.