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Previous Events

The Antikythera Mechanism Decoded

09/05/2011 - 19:00
09/05/2011 - 21:00

This is joint event brought to you by the IET and BCS Bristol branches.

Venue: Lecture theater 1.11 Merchant Venturers’ Building, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1UB Map

Please help promote this event by putting this Poster on your notice board.

What may well be the most extraordinary surviving artefact from the ancient Greek world was discovered just over a century ago. Found in 1900 in a wreck off the coast of the Mediterranean island of Antikythera, the device contains over thirty gear wheels and dates from around 100 B.C. Now known as the Antikythera Mechanism, it is an order of magnitude more complicated than any surviving mechanism from the following millennium, and there is no surviving precursor. It is clear from its structure and inscriptions that it is an astronomical calculator, although its exact purpose is still shrouded in mystery. Over the past few years an international research program has involved scientists from Greece, the UK and HP labs in Paolo Alto, California. The use of cutting-edge technology has revealed a great deal more about the structure, function and inscriptions of the Mechanism. This illustrated review will describe the modern research methods we have used, and the profound implications of the results for the development of ancient Greek astronomy, philosophy and technology.

The Rise of Silicon Gorge

06/04/2011 - 19:00
06/04/2011 - 21:00

Speaker: Nick Flaherty, editor of SiliconSouthWest

City of Bristol College, Bristol (see Venues)

The South West, and Bristol and Bath in particular, is home to the largest group of silicon designers in Europe, creating a 'silicon gorge'. Nick Flaherty, editor of SiliconSouthWest, looks at the history and background of silicon design in the region and the influence that has on the region today. He looks at the current state of silicon design and other activities in the region, from established companies and design centres to successful new ventures such as Icera Semiconductor, picoChip, Nanotech Semiconductor, Phyworks and XMOS Semiconductor, and new startups, as well as the different markets that are being addressed

Marketing and selling your application

28/03/2011 - 19:00
28/03/2011 - 21:00

This part of the series of talks on Mobile Applications Development. Booking and payment is essential. For booking details please see the main article.

Speakers: Ian Pond The Fireplug and Rick Chapman, Park View Consultants

City of Bristol College, Bristol (see Venues)

Apps Marketing on a shoe string! (Ian Pond)

Without the vast marketing budgets of network operators, the reality for most app companies is creating maximum bang for minimal bucks. This is made all the more difficult by the almost endless choice of apps the consumer has to choose from. How can practitioners make progress under these challenging conditions?

Show me the money! (Rick Chapman)

Creating an app is often the easy part. Monetizing it is a significant challenge. With an increasing numbers of apps on a plethora of platforms and an expanding range of stores, how can you create a revenue stream from your app? We've all heard the stories of people becoming overnight millionaires with a simple idea, but what are the alternate strategies to trusting to blind luck and pushing an app out there?

Distinguishing your mobile application

21/03/2011 - 19:00
21/03/2011 - 21:00

This part of the series of talks on Mobile Applications Development. Booking and payment is essential. For booking details please see the main article.

Speaker: Alasdair Allan

City of Bristol College, Bristol (see Venues)

Continuing on from the development session but you will learn more about the types of features that you may want to use to distinguish your application e.g. GPS, actuator, compass, building an attractive GUI, etc.

First Alasdair Allan will guide you through developing applications for the iPhone that make use of the on-board sensors: the three-axis accelerometer, the magnetometer (digital compass), the camera and the global positioning system. You’ll learn how to make use of these on-board sensors and combine them to build augmented reality applications. This will give you the background to building your own applications independently using the hottest location-aware technology yet for any mobile platforms.

Then Tom Melamed shows us a world full of HD, 3D and stereo in a way that no app will ever be. But with the correct use of context you can weave the real world and your app together to create a rich and fully immersive experience that goes far beyond pushing some buttons on a screen. This talk will provide an introduction to creating those kind of apps, with examples.

Mobile Application Development

14/03/2011 - 19:00
14/03/2011 - 21:00

This part of the series of talks on Mobile Applications Development. Booking and Payment is essential. For booking details please see the main article.

Speaker: Stuart Scott and Kieran Gutteridge, intohand.com

City of Bristol College, Bristol (see Venues)

Everything you need to know about developing an app: operating systems, development languages, SDK's etc. And how to test your application.

Android + iPhone application development
So you have an app idea, how are you going to take this idea and actually get a working application on a handset. Which platform should you develop for? what are some of the highlights and lowlights that you will encounter with the different SDKS, is native application development necessarily the right way to go?

Stuart Scott CEO of Intohand, providers of tools to publish to the small screen and makers of apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Java Mobile, Web

Introduction to the Mobile Application Ecosystem

07/03/2011 - 19:00
07/03/2011 - 21:00

This part of the series of talks on Mobile Applications Development. Booking and payment is essential. For booking details please see the main article.

Speakers: Ben Trewhella, Mubaloo and Chris Book, bardowl

City of Bristol College, Bristol (see Venues)

The team at Mulaboo give us a complete guide to mobile apps.

Chris Brook of bardowl then gives us An overview of the mobile apps ecosystem

Caveat Vendor

16/02/2011 - 19:00
16/02/2011 - 21:00

How to develop software commercially and avoid ending up in court (or, at worst, win)

Speaker: Martyn Thomas CBE FREng

Building 8West, University of Bath (see Venues)

Many software projects overrun time and budgets or get cancelled. When this happens, more and more customers seek financial compensation through mediation or litigation, and most suppliers lose. The compensation is often millions of pounds, and so are the legal fees.

Over the past fifteen years, I have acted as an expert witness in several large cases. Often, the result hinges on issues that did not seem especially important to either the customer or the supplier during the project, and often the supplier's case is weakened because they tried to be too helpful and accommodating.

In this talk, Martyn Thomas will explain and illustrate some of the key lessons that have come out of my cases, and give some insight into what is involved in acting as an expert witness.

Martyn Thomas undertakes consultancy assignments and acts as an expert witness. He was a founder of Praxis and a former partner in Deloitte Consulting. He is now entirely independent.

He is a visiting professor of software engineering at Oxford University Computing Laboratory. He was recently awarded a CBE for services to software engineering, and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is a director and the principal consultant of MTAL.

The room is in 8 West, on the top left of the map next to the West Car Park. It is probably easiest to arrive via Quarry Road, the entrance from North Road, as at present the through-route is a bit restricted and prone to change due to building work that is going on. There will be signs to direct people, and the room itself is very close to the car park and accessible by wheelchair.

Designing Location Aware Mobile apps

18/01/2011 - 19:30
18/01/2011 - 21:00

Speaker: Jo ReidJo Reid

City of Bristol College, Bristol (see Venues)

In this talk Jo Reid will give an overview of Pervasive Media and then focus on experience design guidelines for location aware mobile apps. Jo will include a number of case studies and past work to illustrate her points.

Jo is currently Creative Director at Calvium, responsible for working with customers to create location aware mobile apps for the iPhone and Android phones. In addition to providing consultancy services to help people create mobile apps Calvium have developed a suite of software services for people to easily create their own context aware mobile applications.

Jo was formerly a senior researcher at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories with expertise in experience design and user centred research, specialising in mobile location aware experiences or mediascapes. Jo has also worked for Texas Instruments on information engineering expert systems and Xerox on HCI prototyping systems.

She holds an MBA, a BSc in Computer Science and is currently working on a PhD researching how people make sense of pervasive technologies and environments.

RoboThespian™ - Automating the acting profession

08/12/2010 - 18:30
08/12/2010 - 21:00

Bristol Branch Christmas Lecture

6.30 Refreshments and opportunity to interact with the robot (all ages welcome)
7:30 Talk (but talk will be technical)

Venue: Ramada Bristol City, Redcliff Way, Bristol, BS1 6NJ Map

Technology has been the actors friend for many years. From the creation of amphitheatres to the blu-ray disc, engineers continually find new ways to deliver the story. But what about automating the actors themselves?

In fact this is already common place, computer generated imagery often replaces actors in today's films. Robo Thespian extends this to the physical world, a real robot that you can watch and interact with, appearing 'live' for its audience.

Will Jackson of Engineered Arts Ltd demonstrates the technology, and discusses the appeal of watching robots perform.

Extending 'The willing suspension of disbelief' into the real world.

Topics of discussion include:
The value and application of robots for entertainment.
The psychology of human - robot interaction.
The current state of the technology.
Future plans and projects.

Booking is not required for this event, but to give us an idea of numbers, please register your interest with the "Go" button above.

This event was originally advertised as the 9th December - please note that the date is now Wednesday 8th December.

Linked Open Data

03/11/2010 - 19:30
03/11/2010 - 21:00

Speaker: Dr. Ian DickinsonIan Dickinson

City of Bristol College, Bristol (see Venues)

Linked open data is an approach to publishing datasets using web technologies and standards. The linked data approach emphasises making data items identifiable and findable at a fine-grain level, and creating cross-links between datasets published on the web. In this overview of linked open data, we will look briefly at the history of linked data, survey the technologies underpinning the approach, and examine some examples and case studies drawn from our recent work with government financial data.

Dr. Ian Dickinson is a semantic web and linked data developer, with a particular interest in user interfaces and user experience design. He has worked in semantic web technologies and applications for the last ten years. He has a BSc(hons) in Computer Science from the University of York; his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Liverpool was in the domain of intelligent software agents.

While working for Hewlett-Packard's Bristol research laboratory, Dr Dickinson was a member of the team responsible for Jena, a leading Java semantic web platform. As one of the founder members of Epimorphics Ltd, he has worked on linked-data projects for local and central government, including an integrated community information portal and the publication of national expenditure data using linked open data standards.

Founded in 2009, Epimorphics Ltd. provides linked-data and semantic web solutions and consultancy.

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