Ramana Kumar wins the ACM SIGPLAN Doctoral Dissertation Award

Ramama Kumar has been awarded the ACM SIGPLAN John C. Reynolds Doctoral Dissertation Award for 2017. The award is presented annually to the author of an outstanding dissertation in the field of programming languages, and includes a prize of $1000. This prize was established to honour the theoretical contributions made by John C. Reynolds to programming languages including type theory and Lambda calculus.

Ramana is the third PhD student from the Computer Laboratory to have been awarded this prize, in this case for his dissertation Self-compilation and self-verification. This dissertation establishes the possibility of end-to-end verification of software, and makes use of this property for both the compiler and theorem prover using the CakeML language.

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Raspberry Pi wins UK’s top engineering innovation prize

Raspberry Pi has won the UK’s top engineering innovation prize – the Royal Academy of Engineering MacRobert Award.

Known for spotting the ‘next big thing’, the annual MacRobert Award is presented to the engineers behind the UK engineering profession’s most exciting innovation.

Originally conceived as a way to boost computer science applications to the University of Cambridge, Raspberry Pi has created a whole new class of computer that has transformed the way engineers design control systems in industry.

The Pi has also proved phenomenally successful in its original educational ambition. Over 12 million devices have been sold in total, re-engaging people with the power of coding, and helping to ensure that future generations are equipped for the increasingly digital jobs of the future.

Dr Dame Sue Ion DBE FREng FRS, Chair of the MacRobert Award judging panel, said:

“All three of this year’s finalists demonstrate exceptional engineering, but what sets Raspberry Pi apart is the sheer quality of the innovation, which has allowed the computer to be used far beyond its original purpose. By blending old and new technology with innovative systems engineering and circuit board design, the team has created a computer that is cheap, robust, small and flexible. It is manufactured in the UK cheaper and at higher quality than elsewhere. Raspberry Pi’s original educational goal has actually resulted in a computer control system that can influence many different industries.

“Raspberry Pi has also inspired multiple generations to get into coding: children are learning about coding for the first time, often alongside their parents and grandparents. Communities in the developing world are being empowered by the Raspberry Pi and its modern day computing-on-a-budget.”

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Wheeler lecture video now available

The video of Angela Sasse’s lecture entitled “Can we make people value IT security?” is now available. This lecture was given on 24th May as this year’s Wheeler lecture, and is now available to view.

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Dr Marwa Mahmoud presents research on new artificial intelligence system

Dr Marwa Mahmoud recently presented the results of research on a new artificial intelligence system designed to detect pain levels in sheep, at the 12th IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition in Washington, DC.

The new system can detect different parts of a sheep’s face and compares them with the standardized measurement tool developed by veterinarians for diagnosing pain.

‘You can see a clear analogy between these actions in the sheep’s faces and similar facial actions in humans when they are in pain,’ said Dr Mahmoud.

The research could improve sheep well-being with early detection leading to faster treatment and pain relief.

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Diana Popescu named Google Women Techmakers Scholar

Diana Popescu has been named a Google Women Techmakers Scholar 2017.

Through the Women Techmakers Scholars Program – formerly the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship Program – Google is furthering Dr. Anita Borg’s vision of creating gender equality in the field of computer science by encouraging women to excel in computing and technology and become active leaders and role models in the field.

Diana is a PhD student and a Marie Curie Early-Stage Researcher in the Networking and Operating Systems Group. She is under the supervision of Dr Andrew Moore.

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Professor Andy Hopper appointed Treasurer of the Royal Society

Professor Andy Hopper CBE FREng FRS has been appointed Treasurer of the Royal Society. The appointment, which is for five years, starts on November 30 2017.

Andy has been a recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his influential work, with the Science Council naming him as one of the UK’s 100 leading practising scientists in 2014.

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Cambridge Computer Lab Ring Company of the Year, Improbable, raises $500m

Cambridge Computer Lab Ring Company of the Year, Improbable, has raised $502m from Japan’s SoftBank corporation.

Founded in 2012 by Computer Lab graduates Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead, Improbable’s software simulates systems on a massive scale with a level of detail not previously possible.

Improbable will remain independent with Softbank having only a minority stake in the business.

You can read more about Improbable in the latest edition of The Ring.

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Professor Sir Tony Hoare newly elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences

Professor Sir Tony Hoare, an Honorary member of the Computer Laboratory, has been elected a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) elects new members and foreign associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Election to membership in the NAS is considered one of the highest honours that a scientist can receive.

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Professor Lawrence Paulson elected a new fellow of the Royal Society

Lawrence Paulson, Professor of Computational Logic, has been elected a new fellow of the Royal Society.

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth. Fellows and Foreign Members are elected for life through a peer review process on the basis of excellence in science.

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Success for Cambridge team at final of Google’s Hash Code 2017

Congratulations to team МЕТАШСА (PhD student Petar Veličković along with Part IB students Marko Stanković and Dimitrije Erdeljan) who came fifth in the final of Google’s Hash Code 2017.

The competition was open to all university students and professionals across the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) region. 2815 teams participated in the Online Qualification Round with 50 invited to the Final.

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