2008 - 2009 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
6 Oct 2008 28 Days After...
20 Oct 2008 BCS Glasgow Student/Young Professionals Event - Web mashups
3 Nov 2008 eCare
8 Dec 2008 Christmas Lecture - Scotland's Got Game: The place of games based learning in Scottish schools
5 Jan 2009 The Visualization of Glasgow: Urban Modeling with 3D Laser Scanning
2 Feb 2009 The ACM Computing and IT curricula
2 Mar 2009 Emotional aspects of music and the play experience in video-games
6 Apr 2009 The Semantic Desktop
11 May 2009 Mobile Computing
1 Jun 2009 BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2009 + Ethical IT

Programme Detail

28 Days After...

Date Monday 6th October 2008
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Richard Trail
Speaker Prof Chris Johnson (University of Glasgow)

What Would Really Happen to Our Computational Infrastructures in a Pandemic?

Recent events in the financial industry brings home the need to prepare for 'unpredictable' events. Those events, which in hindsight, are all too predictable, if a little thought is given beforehand. Prof. Johnson has been doing some thinking ahead of time and is going to share it with us.


BCS Glasgow Student/Young Professionals Event - Web mashups

Date Monday 20th October 2008
Time 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Location Room A426F, Govan Mbeke Health Building, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA - Map of Location
Convenor Daniel Livingstone
Speaker Tony Hirst (Open University)

Tony Hirst works at the Open University where he has been showing the world (via his popular OUseful blog) how to mix and mash the web for fun and learning.

Pulling together widgets, feeds and scripts from numerous sites and providers, Tony will demonstrate how creating your own web mashups can be simple, fun and even useful.

From having fun with Google Maps to developing custom tools for commerce and education, this hands-on talk will show you how it’s done.

Bring your laptop and create your own web mashups.

Followed by a fun and frivolous technology pub quiz in the student union. Refreshments will be provided.

Map of Location



Date Monday 3rd November 2008
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Richard Trail
Speaker Kerr Donaldson (Scottish Government)

Kerr Donaldson, Head of Design Authority for the eCare Data Sharing Programme, will discuss the privacy and technology landscape and describe how eCare tries to balance privacy and data governance with the need to deliver effective personal data sharing.


Christmas Lecture - Scotland's Got Game: The place of games based learning in Scottish schools

Date Monday 8th December 2008
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 Daniel Livingstone
Speaker Derek Robertson

Speaker Bio: Derek began his teaching career in 1994 in Dundee, Scotland. During this time he became interested in the positive impact that technology had on the learners in his class but he became particularly interested in computer games when he observed two boys from his ‘lower ability’ maths group willingly engage with a complex problem solving environment within a Nintendo computer game. This experience made him reflect on why these boys were so successful at problem solving within the computer games context but not so successful within the more traditional school contexts that he was offering.

This experience greatly influenced his thinking and classroom practice and also when he moved to be an ICT Staff Tutor in Dundee City Council where he led teacher ICT staff development initiatives. A subsequent position as a lecturer in the teacher education programmes at the University of Dundee offered him the opportunity to embed games based learning contexts within the developmental experiences of B.Ed(P) and PGCE(P) teaching students.

His current role as National Advisor for Emerging Technologies and Learning has allowed him to lead developments for Learning and Teaching Scotland in the field of games and learning. To assist in this aim he established the Consolarium: The Scottish Centre for Games and Learning and via this national resource he has, with the help of teachers throughout Scotland, championed the effective and innovative use of appropriate games to help ensure that Scotland’s digital learners are challenged, motivated and enthused to learn via contexts that have demand, relevance and cultural resonance.

Synposis: The world of the computer game has entered Scottish clasroooms and children are playing and learning. An initial reponse to this may be , why? What on earth does this have to do with teaching and learning? School shouldn’t be about this - this is what learners can do after their school work? Are they for real in Scotland?

Well yes, this is for real, Scotland has ‘got game’ and this approach is helping to make learning a dynamic rewarding and relevant experience and one that resonates so much with our learners that they want to be part of it.

Games such as Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, Guitar Hero and Nintendogs are not only allowing teachers to enhance the learner experience and to open doors to the ‘traditional curriculum’ for those, who may not have willingly walked through them in the past, but they are also helping to nurture a learning culture within classrooms that focus on collegiality, creativity and self-improvement. Achieving in school via the context of the computer game seems to be working for Scottish children.

Learning Teaching Scotland which is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Scottish Government Schools Directorate, is committed to exploring, promoting and developing innovative and effective models of teaching and learning that will ensure that we contiune to offer a world class education experience to our children. In order to contribute to this aim they have established The Consolarium, otherwise known as the Scottish Centre for Games and Learning. This is a centre in their Dundee Office that aims to:

- explore the range of games technologies and in doing so practically and theoretically inform and influence curriculum developments and professional practice.

- provide a resource where teachers and educational managers can come and get hands-on access to these resources and where they can begin to engage with the debates that surround games and learning

- establish relationships with education, academic and industry partners that will help us to extend, refine and articulate what effective practice with games based learning means.

In this presentation Derek Robertson will discuss a number of games based pilots that he has initiated and supported in Scottish schools over the past year. He will also deliver an impassioned and informed series of arguments as to why games based learning has a vital role to play in creating contexts for learning that resonate with and motivate the client group that we now find in our schools. The benefits, practicalities and challenges of classroom use of games based learning will then be explored via the experiences and lessons learned from the range of games based pilot projects that the Consolarium has initiated over the past two years.

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


The Visualization of Glasgow: Urban Modeling with 3D Laser Scanning

Date Monday 5th January 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor James Penn-Dunnett
Speaker Douglas Pritchard (Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art)

Recent developments in high-definition digital technology have enabled local governments to explore the use of detailed, dimensionally accurate 3D models to encourage greater public access and understanding of the urban development process. In April 2005 the City of Glasgow, under the Access Glasgow programme, commissioned the Digital Design Studio, Glasgow School of Art to develop two 3D models of the city. The first is a low-resolution interactive online model and the second is a highly detailed, dimensionally accurate, photorealistic model. Both versions were initiated in response to the Council’s and citizens’ lack of easily accessible, accurate and understandable information in the design and planning of the city of Glasgow. The result of this project is what is possibly the most detailed and dimensionally accurate urban 3D model in Europe.


The ACM Computing and IT curricula

Date Monday 2nd February 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Daniel Livingstone
Speaker Prof. Andrew McGettrick (University of Strathclyde

Bio: Andrew McGettrick studied Pure Mathematics at the University of Glasgow. He was awarded a scholarship to Peterhouse, Cambridge obtaining his PhD in Pure Mathematics and, later, Diploma in Computer Science. Throughout his career he has been at the University of Strathclyde, promoted to professor in 1984 and served for many years as the Head of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and a Fellow of the British Computer Society where he is also Vice President, Qualifications and Standards. Prof. McGettrick is the chair of the ACM Education Board and Education Council, which provides curriculum guidelines for the key sub-disciplines of computing. He also chairs the IET/BCS Competency Liaison Group. Professor McGettrick holds the ACM SIGCSE Award for Lifetime Service.


Emotional aspects of music and the play experience in video-games

Date Monday 2nd March 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Eddie Gray
Speaker David Moffat

The new field of "affective computing" recognises that emotion and other kinds of affect are important to consider in designing computer interfaces of many kinds, and this is especially true for entertainment media such as video games. It is not easy to make see how to make systems that measure or evoke emotional states in users, but this talk will show some recent work that uses physiological devices to record data and correlate with known or expected emotional reactions. The effects of background music can be seen. People's appreciation of computer creativity in music will also be discussed, showing a certain prejudice.


The Semantic Desktop

Date Monday 6th April 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Kenny Duffus
Speaker Laura Dragan (Digital Enterprise Research Institute, Galway, Ireland)

Synopsis: In traditional desktop architectures, applications are isolated islands of data - each application has its own data, unaware of related and relevant data in other applications. Individual vendors may decide to allow their applications to interoperate, so that e.g. the email client knows about the address book. However, today there is no consistent approach for allowing interoperation and a system-wide exchange of data between applications. The Semantic Desktop paradigm adopts the ideas of the Semantic Web paradigm and offers a solution to the data interoperability problem based on formal ontologies able to capture a shared conceptualization of desktop data in RDF (Resource Description Format), as a common data representation format. Together, these technologies provide a means to build the semantic bridges necessary for data exchange and application integration.


Mobile Computing

Date Monday 11th May 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Eddie Gray
Speaker Pete Barrie

Bio: Peter Barrie is a lecturer and co-director of the Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing Laboratory (MUCom) at Glasgow Caledonian University. Over the span of his academic and industrial career he has worked in many areas including real-time systems, parallel-computer design, industrial automation, robotics, clinical software, transport systems and mobile and ubiquitous computing.

Synopsis: The talk will first of all provide an introduction to MUCom in relation to some of their work in mobile information systems. Secondly there will be an overview of the technology and a live demonstration of the MUCom Mirrored Motion system for real-time body-motion capture. This will include an application of the system in the area of augmented-reality - using gesture recognition to interact with virtual objects. The custom-designed technology makes use of wireless-sensor technology to form a body-area-network.

Poster download - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/PeterBarrie_BCSposterMay2009.doc


BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2009 + Ethical IT

Date Monday 1st June 2009
Location Lord Todd, University of Strathclyde
Convenor Richard Trail
Speaker William Macleod

Synopsis: What is Zen of IT and how can it help you?

Why Green IT is important. How to develop a Green policy and encourage your company to embrace the concept.

Green Technologies and how they are applicable in IT e.g. power consumption, consolidation, vmware, low power chipsets, SANs, cloud computing.

What will IT look like in the future. What impact will the green technologies have on future devlopments in computing.

2009 AGM Agenda - http://www.glasgow.bcs.org/BCS-glw-agenda-agm2009.pdf