Computer Laboratory Outreach and Public Engagement Activities

The University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory aims to raise the profile of Computer Science and inspire young people to think about a career in technology.

  • 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

    Ross Anderson's research is regularly featured in both the print and broadcast media. This includes coverage of the report for the Nuffield Bioethics Council. In September 2015, Ross gave the keynote at Sweden's annual conference for public sector IT. In November 2015, Ross gave evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on the draft Investigatory Powers Bill. He also gave written evidence. In January 2015, Ross organised Scrambling for Safety" which brought together parliamentarians, lawyers, industry, NGOs and academics to discuss the draft Investigatory Powers Bill during the Bill's consultation period. This is the tenth of a series of occasional events Ross has run since 1998 as parliament has been considering various laws and regulations on electronic surveillance. Previous efforts had a significant influence on our current regulatory environment.

    Alastair Beresford and Diana Vasile spoke to an audience of over 100 women at Robinson College's Women in Science Festival. In March 2016, Alastair Beresford, Gareth Bailey and Andrew Rice hosted the British Informatics Olympiad at the Computer Laboratory. In October 2016, Alastair ran a regional centre for the annual UK and Ireland ACM Programming Contest. Over 20 teams from Oxford and Cambridge participated.

    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.

    Alex Bradbury volunteered with the Raspberry Pi Foundation team at Camp Bestival on July 28th-31st 2016, to give children an introduction to programming with Raspberry Pi and the Sense Hat.

    Alex Chadwick has visited his old secondary school in Lincoln to speak at an access to Oxbridge conference.

    Amir Chaudhry's work has been reported on in the print media, most recently the Cambridge Evening News and The Guardian.

    Oliver Chick gave a talk on Captain Buzz - the all-smartphone drone - to a wide audience at Gonville & Caius College.

    Max Conway has taken two assemblies at the King's Hedges Educational Foundation.

    In October 2016 Ann Copestake collaborated with artist Sally Stenton on the Stone Paper Cloud installation.

    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. In October 2016 Jon Crowcroft, Zafar Gilani, Andrew Moore and Diana Popescu participated in a panel discussion at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

    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.

    Matthew Daggitt gave a talk at Magdalen College School in Oxford titled 'How to teach computers to play games using 1 billion random numbers'. In May 2016 Matthew gave a talk about computer science to potential applicants at the Jesus College Open Day.

    In August 2016, Matthew Danish gave a talk at the Fortran Modernisation Workshop at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. He gave the same presentation in September at Queen Mary University of London.

    Anuj Dawar writes a blog for CUP Education Digital. In January 2016, Anuj recorded a radio podcast for a programme called SynTalk. In November 2016, Anuj led a session for the Berkeley Math Circle, a group for high school students interested in mathematics in the San Francisco Bay area.

    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.

    Richard Gibbens is on the STIMULUS steering committee.

    Mark Granroth-Wilding spoke at KVIT, an annual Cognitive Science symposium in Sweden.

    In September 2016 Hatice Gunes gave an interview on the BBC World Service. Hatice (with RA Oya Celiktutan) gave a demonstration, with a humanoid robot at 'The Being There Showcase: Humans and Robots in Public Space' at the Watershed. Hatice and Oya also gave talks at the same event. In November 2016 Hatice took part in Wellcome Collections' Friday Late Spectacular - Body Language Event, London.

    Andy Harter has spoken at a wide range of events (including the Institute of Directors and Cambridge Business Week) and been interviewed by the print media. In November 2015 he spoke at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield. In March 2016, Andy spoke at a Founders4Schools event for Y10 at the Stephen Perse Foundation. In April, Andy participated in the IET's Junior Board where a group of school children were invited join its new Junior Board in a groundbreaking move to tackle the engineering shortage by encouraging input and ideas from the potential engineers of tomorrow. Andy was also an organising participant of Cambridge Network School for Scale-ups and RAEng Innovators Network meeting.

    David Hartley gave a presentation at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California about the BCS Computer Conservation Society and The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

    Jonathan Hayman gave a talk on Computer Science at Emmanuel College's residential programme for year 11 students from Sheffield.

    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.

    Sean Holden gave a talk at the Pint of Science Festival. He also appeared on BBC Radio 4's 'Front Row'.

    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. In September 2015, Mateja gave a tech talk and sat on a panel discussing 'Could machines do politics better than humans?' organised by TechCentral at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. In December 2015, Mateja gave a talk and was part of the panel Forum for European Philosophy public talk and panel discussion at the London School of Economics, on "Will Machines Rule the World?" She also wrote an article for the BBC Focus Science and Technology magazine: Jamnik, M. (2015). The end of work? BBC Focus Magazine, December Issue 288:56.

    In March 2016, Mateja took part in two public talks and panel discussions at the Cambridge Science Festival: 'Will artificial intelligence be superior to the human brain?' and '#ILookLikeAScientist'. She also wrote an article, 'Our work in the future', for Cambridge News.

    Mateja gave a talk, at TEDx Klagenfurt, on 'Will AI outsmart humans?'

    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.

    Martin Kleppmann submitted evidence to the evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on the draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

    Markus Kuhn regularly interacts with the media on computer-science and computer-security topics. His articles at were read by over 100,000 people. The Dutch government has appointed Markus to the expert group that advises the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations on electronic voting and counting in the polling station. He was interviewed by the BBC for an article on safety hazards posed by integer overflows.

    Jack Lang has given several lectures about Raspberry Pi, most recently in Munich and Cyprus. In June 2016, Markus, along with Piete Brooks and Mateja Jamnik, helped Milton Road Primary School with the installation of 14 computers.

    In October 2016 Ian Lewis worked with local authorities on the smartCAMBRIDGE project board to improve the digital infrastructure in the region.

    Pietro Lio gave a talk 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 In May 2015 Cecilia gave a talk about Computer Science to potential applications at Jesus College, Cambridge. In October 2015 she gave a talk at St Mary's School, Cambridge and at Somervile College, Oxford (as part of their Ada Lovelace Bicentenary celebrations. In January 2015, Cecilia was a judge at Hack Cambridge. In May 2016, Cecilia gave a talk about computer science to potential applicants at the Jesus College Open Day.

    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. In January 2016, Rob was a judge at Hack Cambridge. He also gave a Raspberry Pi/lowRISC talk to approx 50 undergraduates (part of the De Leidsche Flesch, a Dutch Science Society). In March 2016 Rob gave a talk entitled "From light bulbs to microprocessors" at Eton College and to groups of school children in Cambridge.

    Alan Mycroft participated in Cambridge Coding Academy iDEA 2015 hosted at the Computer Laboratory. The event gave over 60 school students the opportunity to start coding using the interactive Cambridge Coding online platform and receive an iDEA badge. iDEA is the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award founded by The Duke of York to support young people in developing digital skills. The Computer Laboratory was delighted to welcome HRH The Duke of York to the Lab to celebrate the launch of the iDEA badge. In March 2016, Alan gave an invited lecture at the 'Continuing Professional Development for Teachers' computing event at the Prince's Teaching Institute.

    Tassos Noulas was an expert witness at the fifth meeting of the Social Media for Business Consortium.

    Annalisa Occhipinti is a PhD tutor for the Brilliant Club, a not-for-profit organisation that exists to widen access to top universities for outstanding pupils from non-selective state schools. She has taught 15-year-old students about the application of Mathematics and Computer Science in cancer research. She wrote her own handbook for the course called "Can a Mathematician help a Doctor?". Annalisa has also given a taster lecture about Maths and Biology to 13-year-old students. In addition, she is writing resources for the Cambridge Mathematics Education Project". Annalisa is a tutor for the Cambridge Coding Academy and is teaching at the Cambridge Literati Summer School 2015. From October 2015 Annalisa will run a code club at Arbury Primary School in Cambridge and a coding course for Code First: Girls for women at the University of Cambridge. She is also teaching Mathematics in two primary schools in London (St Helen's Primary School and St Ursula's Catholic Junior School) with The Brilliant Club. During Lent Term 2016, Annalisa is teaching in two schools in London, The Archer Academy and Bishop Douglass Specialist Science College. She is delivering a course based on her PhD topic on the application of Computer Science and Maths in cancer research. The course is for year 9 and 10 pupils and it is part of The Brilliant Club programme. In April 2016, Annalisa was involved in the Raspberry Pi competition in London. She was also a tutor for the "Building a game in Javascript" session with Cambridge Coding Academy. In July 2016, Annalisa taught coding to 14-19 year olds at the Cambridge Coding Academy summer school. She also taught an HTML course for 14-year-old students at Fitzwilliam college. In October 2016 Annalisa gave a master class at the Royal Institution.

    The OCaml team hosted its eleventh Compiler Hacking Session at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Both beginners and seasoned programmers attended. The team will be hosting these sessions every couple of months, and all are welcome to attend. In January 2016, the OCaml team arranged and spoke at a tech talk at Facebook, California. In November 2016, the OCaml team hosted the fifteenth OCaml compiler hack evening.

    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). During summer 2015, Helen helped to bring the UK Space Design Competition to the Imperial Global Summer Schools. In March 2016, Helen was a judge and technical expert in human engineering at the 2016 national final of the UK Space Design Competition at Imperial College, London.

    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.

    Dominic Orchard gave a Cambridge Coding Academy 'coffee shop' Tech Talk.

    In summer 2016, Larry Paulson participated in Clare Colege Open Days.

    Andrew Rice hosted the British Olympiad in Informatics final 2014. In March 2016, Andrew was one of a number of staff who hosted the Raspberry Pi Big Birthday Bash at the Computer Laboratory. Over 1500 people attended the event.

    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. Peter was interviewed by 42evolution on why he is interested in computing with emotions. In February 2016, Peter gave a talk for TEDx Cambridge University. In June 2016 Peter gave a talk, 'Some Cambridge contributions to digital computing', to the Friends of St Giles. He also appeared on Spanish national television on a progamme about the emotional robot and participated in the University and Department Open Days. In July 2016, Peter gave a lecture at The University of Cambridge International Summer Programmes. In Septembe 2016 Peter gave a number of talks: "Is there anything constant in our ever-changing world?" at Parks at One on the Science Park; "Ethical implications of emotionally responsible machines" for the Faraday Institute course on Robots, Reality and Religion; "Computers that know how you feel" for New Scientist Live at the ExCeL Centre. In October 2016, Peter contributed to the film on "Pain in the machine" which shown at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

    Bogdan Roman spoke at the Oxbridge Conferences in Birmingham and Swansea. He also hosted a group of school students from Kew House School. The visit which took place at Homerton College included a talk and project demonstrations.

    In July 2016, Graham Rymer wrote an article on cyber security war games for British Mensa magazine.

    Advait Sarkar was interviewed by Cambridge TV.

    In March 2016 Philip Saville and Lucas Sonnabend spoke at the Oxbridge Conferences.

    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. In December 2016, Peter gave a keynote at Multicore Day 2016, part of SICS Software Week 2016 - an industry outreach event in Sweden.

    Laurent Simon was interviewed by The Naked Scientists.

    In March 2016, Laurent Simon gave several interviews about Factory Reset on Android and the Apple vs FBI case (unlocking iPhone).

    Jat Singh has written an article for The Guardian. He has also given a talk on the Internet of Things at a the Royal Academy of Arts - as part of the Ai Weiwei late: Digital (Dis)connections.

    In November 2016, Beth Singler was interviewed by Cambridge TV about The Cambridge Ideas film about Pain in the Machine


    In November 2016, Quentin Stafford-Fraser was interiewed on Newstalk 106-108fm: Ireland's National Independent Talk Radio Broadcaster.

    Frank Stajano gave an interactive encryption masterclass to an audience of activists and social scientists at the Amnesty/CGHR Encryption and Human Rights workshop. He has also been invited by the Italian Embassy in London to give presentations on his research: in November 2015 he will be speaking at The Rotary Club The City & Shoreditch and The Italian Institute of Culture.

    Simone Teufel spoke at the Oxbridge Conference in Surrey.

    Daniel R Thomas supervised a work experience student from Comberton College to work on Physics simulations using Anvil. Daniel also gave a lecture at the Joan Clarke summer school and a talk at the 2015 Festival of Ideas.

    Sophie van der Zee has been interviewed by the King's Parade magazine about her motion-based lie detection research, and by the BBC in response to a story on the rise in indentity thefts. She also spoke at the HowTheLightGetsIn 2015 Philosophy and Music Festival at Hay. Sophie was interviewewd on BBC TV's Crimewatch Roadhow and by Dutch national news. The TV interview featured a demonstration of the Lab's automated lie detection research.

    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.

    In June 2016, Petar Velickovic gave talk on deep reinforcement learning to a group of delegates from the Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU), as part of a "Deep learning tutorial day". In July 2016, Petar gave a talk to students at the Cambridge Coding Academy Summer School.In August, Petar gave a tech talk on AlphaGo at THECUBE in London. He also published a tutorial on deep learning essentials.

    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.

    Volunteers from Women@CL ran a Sonic Pi/Raspberry Pi workshop at St John's College. It was attended by 55 Year 10 girls. In March 2016, women@CL organised and hosted the 3rd Oxbridge Women in Computer Science Conference.

    Contact details

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