The Third Annual British Computer Society (BCS) East Anglian PhD
Competition took place on the 19 February and was hosted by the School of Computer
Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex. The competition
is organised by the local BCS branch and involves a presentation from one PhD
computer science student from each of the leading three universities in the
region (Essex, UEA, Cambridge). Competitors are usually in their second or third
year of study and they must present a 30 minute talk about their research
suitable for a general computer science audience. An independent panel
awards a prize of £200 to the best presentation. Last year the competition was
at UEA, the year before at Cambridge.
This year's participants were (from left to right):
Mr Matthew Benedict Stocks (UEA), title: Haptic Rendering Techniques for the
study of Protein Structure and
Mr Oliver Woodman (Cambridge University), title: Pedestrian Localisation for
Mr Navin Gupta Cota (Essex), title: Brain Biometrics-The next generation High
The judges commented that the standard of presentations this year was
particularly high and it made the job of judging extremely hard. The audience
were also given the opportunity to express their views and these were taken into
account by the judges.
The winner of the Third BCS Annual PhD competition was Mr Oliver Benedict
Woodman from the University of Cambridge who was congratulated by Mr Tony
Hainsworth, Chairman of the East Anglian BCS Branch (left).
Christopher Stolz has been selected to present a poster at
the SET for Britain 2009 event
at the House of Commons on 9 March. Christopher’s poster will be on the topic
“Chaotic lasers for secure communication”. His research is supported by an EPSRC
grant under the supervision of Mike Adams, Rodney Loudon and Nick Zakhleniuk.
Aimin Zhou passed his viva with minor corrections on Friday 13 February. The
External Examiner was Professor David Corne of Heriot-Watt University and the
Internal was Dr Simon Lucas.
Aimin’s PhD work, sponsored by the Honda Research Institute of Europe, was on
estimation of distribution algorithms for continuous multi-objective
optimization. During his doctoral studies he published more than ten papers
including one in IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, the flagship
journal in his research area. He was co-supervised by Dr Qingfu Zhang and
Professor Edward Tsang.
Aimin has been offered a lectureship at East China Normal University in
Kajtazi has also passed his PhD. The oral examination was a few weeks ago – and he
has been attending to minor corrections in the meantime; all now completed
The thesis title is “Specification Refinement and Program Development in nuZ”
and explores a wide-spectrum specification logic I developed in 2004. His
internal examiner was Prof Ray Turner and his external Prof Steve Reeves of the
University of Waikato in New Zealand.
Besnik co-published several papers along the way, including a definitive account
of nuZ in the “Formal Aspects of Computing Journal”.
He is now working for Praxis, one of the few companies that use formal methods
aggressively. They can demonstrate massive productivity benefits of their
approach, and quality standards (essentially bug-free software) that are second
to none. Praxis is currently involved in a massive safety-critical project
concerning air-traffic control. Unfortunately they use Z rather than nuZ.
Congratulations to Besnik, who came to us from Kosova as an undergraduate
several years ago.
25 February 2009, 1.00 -2.00pm, Room 4N.2.3
Speaker: Dr James Coomer (Lead HPC Architect, Sun Microsystems UK)
Abstract - Sun manufactures, designs and implements High Performance
Computing systems that scale up to the largest systems in the world using
standardised technologies and open-source software. This talk shows Sun's
approach and concentrates on one critical component - the parallel file system:
Lustre. A parallel file system that scales must implement novel methods for
coping with massive IO rates, vast numbers of clients and servers as well as
handling the range of failures that occur regularly in very large hardware
deployments. This talk overviews Sun's approach and looks at some of the
methods implemented in the file system to cope with massive scale.
Please register for the event
Refreshments and freebies are provided.
Contact Jenya Kovalchuk
email@example.com for further details.
27 February 2009, 3.00 - 4.00pm, Room 1N1.4.1
Speaker: Dr. Alan McGuire, BT (hosted by Dr David Hunter)
Abstract – We live in an uncertain world. One of the few things we do know is
that when we make a forecast of what will happen it will inevitably be wrong.
This talk considers uncertainty as part of the network planning process where
traffic volumes, traffic mixes and distribution all impact the design of
networks. We look at some of the tools and techniques that could be employed to
manage uncertainty and in doing so revisit some of the ideas of the physicists
Boltzmann and Newton.
13 March 2009, 3.00 - 4.00pm, Room 1N1.4.1
Speaker: Dr. Martin Kuball, Bristol University (hosted by Professor Naci
Abstract - GaN power electronics has great potential for future radar and
communication applications. Huge advances in their performance have made this
new material system superior to GaAs and Si in particular in terms of power
performance. However, there are still large reliability challenges which need to
be addressed, often related to high device temperature and large stresses in the
devices. Those are very challenging to assess as these are present only in
sub-micron device regions typically located near the gate of an HEMT. I report
on our work of the development of Raman thermography, to assess temperature,
stress as well as hot phonon effects in AlGaN/GaN but also GaAs pHEMTs to
address reliability challenges in power electronics. The techniques developed
enable temperature and stress measurement in devices with submicron spatial and
nanosecond time resolution. Effects of thermal cross-talk, but also heat
transfer across interfaces in the devices will be discussed, together with