Computer Laboratory

Computer Laboratory Outreach and Public Engagement Activities


The Computer Laboratory is engaged in a wide range of outreach activities with schools, colleges and communities. Our staff participate in public engagement activities to inspire, inform and foster debate.

Some of the many outreach and public engagement activities

  • Sam Aaron has run a wide range of Sonic Pi workshops. These have incuded workshops for A-Level students and teachers as part of the Sutton Trust, workshops at St John's School Cambridge and The Spinney Primary School, Think Computer Science at Duxford, the Centre for Computing History and Picademy. Sam has also given a number of Sonic Pi talks including SuperMondays in Newcastle, Bellerbys College as well as a talk to visitors from Kazakhstan. Sam has given interviews about Sonic Pi to both BBC radio and TV. He has also given a large number of live coding performances both in the UK and overseas. On February 15th 2015 Sam was at Media City in Manchester to give a BBC Learning 'Imaginarium' session. The session introduced his Sonic Pi work to core members of the BBC Learning team. In the week of February 23rd Sam gave a talk at FutureEverything, an award-winning innovation lab for digital culture. He also gave talks at Change the world: Exploring the potential of Computing for everyone, to an audience of both Primary and Secondary School teachers. Sam was at Raspberry Pi's third birthday party on February 28th where, with his band 'Poly Core', he gave a live code performance. In the week of March 2nd Sam was at Cottenham Village College where he gave a school assembly about creative live coding with Sonic Pi. In the week of March 16th Sam visited five local schools to talk about creative coding with Sonic Pi. He also delivered a BBC live lesson which was streamed to an estimated 40,000 school pupils nation wide.
  • Ross Anderson's research is regularly featured in both the print and broadcast media. Most recently, there has been coverage of the report for the Nuffield Bioethics Council.
  • Alan Blackwell worked with Cambridge Junction to run the Summer School for 10-14 year olds, with each being given the opportunity to work towards a Bronze Arts Award qualification. Alan has also coached a group of students at Chesterton Community College for a live coding performance at Chesterton's Got Talent. He has helped Cambridge Citizen's Advice bureau to review their web kiosk service for rural Cambridgeshire and has incubated a new Cambridge experimental arts agency, Collusion, which aims to unite Cambridge's art and technology sectors. Alan and Sam Aaron have performed as 'The Humming Wires' at the Birmingham Algorave. Alan has also recently given a talk in a Royal Academy schools public programme spring symposium.
  • Alex Bradbury demonstrated Raspberry Pi related projects on the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists' stand at the Livery Showcase, organised by the Livery Schools Link, on March 4th 2015. The Livery Schools Link aims to demonstrate a range of potential career opportunities to Year 9 schoolchildren.
  • Amir Chaudhry's work has been reported on in the print media, most recently the Cambridge Evening News and The Guardian.
  • Max Conway has taken two assemblies at the King's Hedges Educational Foundation.
  • Jon Crowcroft is the local host for Raspberry Pi's 3rd birthday party at the end of February 2015. He is also Chair for a discussion event ('Can our online lives be private') at the Royal Society in February 2015.
  • Data from the Device Analyzer project (work done by Alastair Beresford, Andrew Rice, Daniel Thomas and Daniel Wagner) has been used for the new Information Age exhibition at London's Science Museum. A plaque on the wall acknowledges the project.
  • Ramsey Faragher has made numerous appearances on BBC Radio. He is a science advisor for two production companies that work with the BBC and Channel 4 and has organised conferences and public seminars for the Royal Institute of Navigation.
  • Tony Hoare has given lessons on Quicksort at Secondary Schools, most recently at Finham Park in Coventry. Tony has recently given two lectures to the general public in Cambridge.
  • Isak Herman was interviewed by BBC Look East about Mephistophone, a project exploring the interactions between people and visualized sound.
  • Andy Hopper has given around 60 public lectures worldwide on innovation and the role of computing in sustainability.
  • Mateja Jamnik was featured in CAM magazine. She has also run a programming club for local children aged 7-11. Mateja was interviewed with the Naked Scientists for Radio 5 Live's programme on 'The Science of Sex and Love', broadcast (appropriately) on February 14 2015. She was also interviewed by on the topic of automated medical diagnosis systems.
  • Mateja Jamnik, Markus Kuhn and Piete Brooks provided 14 refurbished second-hand PCs from the department to Milton Road Primary School in April 2015, to help set up a new computer room for delivering the year-6 curriculum in Computer Science.
  • Markus Kuhn regularly interacts with the media on computer-science and computer-security topics. His recent articles at were read by over 100,000 people.
  • Pietro Lio will be speaking at the University of Cambridge's Alumni Festival on Saturday 26 September 2015.
  • Recent research by Neal Lathia and Cecilia Mascolo (in collaboration with the Department of Public Health & Primary Care) has been featured in the Medical Research Council's Network Magazine and podcast.
  • Cecilia Mascolo has run a code club at Morley Memorial Primary School. Ceclia team's work is regularly featured in the print media
  • Riaz Moola runs a trust that conducts free Computer Science and IT training in South Africa. It administers the largest unique IT and Comp Sci only course in the country. 2500 full time university students in SA, primarily those from disadvantaged backgrounds and without their own internet (or with poor access to computers), have taken beginner courses in Java, Python and C++. The project is funded by the Python Software Foundation.
  • Robert Mullins published an article on the Raspberry Pi at The Conversation, a news organization where scientists write for the general public. It was read by over 15000 people.
  • Tassos Noulas was an expert witness at the fifth meeting of the Social Media for Business Consortium.
  • Helen Oliver is a Trustee of the Space Science & Engineering Foundation which organizes the UK Space Settlement Design Competition, a design challenge open to secondary and sixth form students in Years 10-13. A separate series of Micro-Competitions replicate the experience for younger students in years 7-9. Teams are given a request for proposals, set anywhere from 20 to 70 years into the future, to design a space settlement on, or in orbit around, a given planet or moon in the Solar System. Competition is intense in this very realistic industry simulation as each team strives to be the one that will win the contract (and go on to the international finals at NASA).
  • Helen Oliver has been a Judge and Technical Expert at the National Finals, held at Imperial College London, since 2011, and has also judged the international finals at NASA Johnson and NASA Kennedy. Alumni of the competition have gone on to pursue degrees in STEM and many cite the competition as a major influence in their lives, even describing it as one of the best things they have ever done.
  • Andrew Rice hosted the British Olympiad in Informatics final 2014 at the Computer Laboratory.
  • Andrew and Amir Chaudhry organised and hosted an 'appathon' as part of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK.
  • Laura Rimell is helping her local primary school, the Bellbird Primary School, with advice on the computing curriculum. She has already given a lesson to pupils and plans to give more in 2015.
  • Peter Robinson has run a number of schools workshops at Gonville & Caius College. He also participates in College Open Days. Peter's YouTube video, The Emotional Computer has resulted in regular TV and radio appearances and his work has been reported on in the print media.
  • Bogdan Roman spoke at the Oxbridge Conferences in Birmingham and Swansea.
  • Peter Sewell gave an invited talk titled 'Why are computers so @#!*, and what can we do about it?'at the 31st Chaos Communication Congress (31C3), to an audience of around 2000 people, on December 30 2014.
  • Simone Teufel spoke at the Oxbridge Conference in Surrey.
  • Sophie van der Zee and Mateja Jamnik have organised a series of two-minute madness presentations at the Museum of Computing History. Presentations were given by: Annalisa Occhipinti, Heidi Howard, Sophie van der Zee, Ekaterina Kochmar, Tamara Polajnar, Mateja Jamnik and Noa Zilberman.
  • Amy Weatherup will be at the Cambridge Science Festival running an event called What would you use THAT for?
  • Every year Ian Wassell goes to St Peter's Collegiate School in Wolverhampton to help the students with their electronics projects which are part of the Electronics AS and A levels.

Contact details

If you have any questions about our outreach and public engagement activities please contact us at