Ben Roberts

I am a PhD student in the Systems Research Group at the Computer Laboratory, together with being a member of the MCR at Churchill College. I graduated from Churchill College with a Computer Science B.A. in June 2008, and started my PhD in October 2008. Together with this I also supervise a few of the undergraduate courses.

Previous Work

During the summer of 2008 I worked as a Research Assistant in the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) as part of the ENSEMBLE pilot project. This involved extensive work with the SIMILE toolkit developed by MIT, in particular the Exhibit and Timeplot tools. Together with Nicola Peart, a 2008 Plant Sciences graduate, I created a prototype web-based teaching tool designed to aid Part IA and Part II Plant Scientists with their studies of plant evolution. A public version of this website can be found here. I am currently developing a newer version of this tool which should be released under an open source licence sometime in the Summer of 2010.

The previous summer (2007) was spent working with Greg Chadwick under Simon Moore, redesigning the Part IB ECAD Hardware Practicals to take advantage of the new Altera DE2 teaching boards.

Other Work

Together with Cecily Morrison, I am putting together an outreach course targeted at a group of GCSE-level students, with the aim of increasing their interest in Computer Science. The course is ran over two non-consecutive days, with an overall theme of cryptography. Activities planned include a few short lectures on the history of the subject, as well as some of the more practical applications of cryptography (e.g. wireless encryption), together with short practical sessions using Excel formulae and macros (for the more advanced student) to implement simple ciphers.

I'm currently the webmaster for the University of Cambridge Marlowe Dramatic Society, and the Strathspey and Reel Club, a Scottish dance society in Cambridge. I have also worked on the Churchill-College Computer Science Admission Information page, and am also re-designing the Churchill College Table-Tennis website.


I am supervising the following courses:

  • Mathematical Methods for Computer Science (IB)
  • Quantum Computing (II)
  • Digital Signal Processing (II)

Other Interests

I have an interest in a wide range of sports, particularly table tennis, tennis and squash, although I also like to play badminton, cricket and golf. Basically anything that involves hitting a ball! Feel free to contact me if you're looking for a game. I also use the table football and pool tables available in the Lab - email me if you fancy a game. Dancing is another big interest, particularly folk dancing and ceilidhs. I'm a member of the Cambridge University Acrobatic Rock 'n' Roll team, and have also tried many other styles including salsa and ballroom & latin.

Contact Details

Ben Roberts
Systems Research Group
Computer Laboratory
William Gates Building
15 JJ Thomson Avenue


That should be safe until spambots can understand English...