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Sixth Form: Computing Society

Updated: Wed 13 Nov 2019   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email

The new student-led Computing Society was set up in September 2018 and all students in Years 12-13 are welcome to attend; we meet in Room 28 Tuesdays as per the school's Daily Notices.

Computer Science is a 21st Century skill that enables students to be creators rather than just consumers of technology and the aim of the Society is to help and support students who have a passion for computing and who are keen to discuss and debate any aspect of the subject that interests them.  Whether it be coding and programming, the dawn of artificial intelligence (AI) or the latest technological developments in this fast changing and moving industry, we want to provide an atmosphere in which students can share their proficiency with other like-minded students. Whereas some of us are hoping to study Computer Science at university, others come along as there are distinct overlaps with Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics.  We welcome thoughts and ideas from students, especially if we can all learn from one another, impart and share knowledge with an emphasis on problem solving applicable across disciplines.

All are welcome, regardless of whether they study Computer Science so come along and find out more.

Freddie Jonas
Year 13
 
The Computer Society were very happy to host a visit from software developer Joe Clarke from Cambridge Intelligence who visited the school and the Society this month.  His visit was timed in order to catch Year 13  students before their study leave begins so they could benefit from some realistic and current careers advice.  Cambridge Intelligence specialise in building data visualization technologies; supporting law enforcement, cyber security and fraud detection.  Joe had kindly pre-prepared for his presentation with an excellent Powerpoint explaining more on KeyLines and Graph Visualization as well as giving an overview of the company.  Joe made his subject extremely accessible to the students which included some younger pupils which was really helpful. He also gave us some excellent careers advice regarding pathways, training and work experience and after an animated Q & A, we thanked Joe for his time and trouble and for making the journey from Cambridge.
Freddie Jonas, Year 13
TBSHS Computer Society 

Computing Society Visits Jesus College, Cambridge

On Monday 18th March the Computing Society took a trip to beautiful Jesus College, Cambridge to participate in a lecture by Dr Ulrich Schneider, University Reader in Many-body Physics, and Fellow & Director of Studies, Jesus College.  The talk was held at the College’s West Court Lecture Theatre and proved insightful for the students, and gave good background to what quantum computers are versus their counterpart classical computers. These novel machines which fully harness the ‘weirdness’ of quantum mechanics are supposed to soon outperform all classical computers and change the world! What was particularly interesting though, was when Dr Schneider spoke about what quantum computers could open up for us in the future and specifically how RSA encryption could be broken in a matter of seconds versus the thousands of years that is presently required to break encryption. Dr Schneider also spoke about the time that is needed before quantum computers become part of our everyday life, and how perhaps one day they could be incorporated into devices we carry around every day and although that’s not currently possible as the technology has yet to develop – it could quite easily become a reality in the future.

After a Q&A with Dr Schneider, we walked into Cambridge city centre where we purchased a meal at a local burger restaurant and our discussions continued - where might quantum computers lead us? What are the realistic prospects of quantum computers?

We thank the Cambridge University Science Festival for hosting and running this fascinating lecture, we feel fortunate to have secured tickets and listen to the eye-opening address by Dr Schneider.

 

Former Student Visits Computing Society

On Tuesday 5th March, the Computing Society welcomed ex-student Charles Lockie  back to school after leaving TBSHS in 2018 to study Computing Science with Electronics at Bristol University. The session was well attended by sixth form students, with a number of avid and eager Year 11 students also joining us.

Charles spoke about his current university studies, and the type of projects that he’s currently working on. He also spoke about the importance of Computer Science in the future, and how Electronics is key to how Computers are used and built. Charles also talked about his life at university, and the type of clubs and societies he’s currently joined, all of which were insightful into the life of a Computer Science university student.

The session ended with a Q&A, with students asking a range of questions from how useful TBSHS was for preparing Charles for university and student life, to his future career prospects as a Computer Science graduate.

The Computing Society thanks Charles for the enormous time and trouble he took to return back to school, and we wish him all the best for what we’re sure will be, a very bright future.

Computer Society see Prof. Brian Cox

Students come face-to-face with AI

Students within The Computing Society have just enjoyed their first outreach trip; we all travelled to London to see a Royal Society production of a lecture ‘You and AI’.  The evening took place at the Barbican Hall and was presented by Professor Brian Cox. This unique presentation invited the audience to consider and question what challenges and opportunities AI (artificial intelligence) will present us within the next decade. The event brought together a panel of experts of AI who answered questions sent in by the audience which proved to be both interesting and insightful with some very thought provoking issues being raised – plus plenty of real world examples to illustrate how and what the changes are that AI is bringing and may bring - to our lives.

One example given was by Vivienne Ming, who quoted a recent event that took place at Columbia University where there was a competition between human lawyers and their artificial counterparts in which both read a series of non-disclosure agreements with deliberate loopholes in them. The AI found 95% of the loopholes, and the humans just 88%. However, the interesting aspect was that the human took 90 minutes to read  and find them, whilst the AI took just 22 seconds! This indicates perfectly just how AI will cause labour market disruption, not just for factory jobs, but also for brain workers. 

During the train journey home, we found ourselves discussing many of the topics raised in the lecture and it was interesting to compare opinions and thoughts with one another and whether we agreed with the Barbican panel.  One thing is for sure, our world will see rapid technological change in the next 20 years and AI is here to stay.  Thank you to all Year 13 Computer Scientists who went on the trip and entered into the spirit of the lecture.

 

Dr Gopalan Visits from Imperial College

Last Tuesday, the newly-formed TBSHS Computer Society were very privileged and happy to welcome its second guest speaker, Dr Anandha Gopalan, a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Computing at Imperial College, London. The session was extremely well attended by Year 12 & 13 students plus we were very happy to see some keen and enthusiastic Year 11 students there too.

Dr Gopalan spoke briefly about the work currently being completed at Imperial College, whilst also speaking about the importance of Computer Science and its impact on us in the future. He also talked about specific topics, in particular cyber security, artificial intelligence and robotics. After his speech, Dr Gopalan opened up the floor to questions from the audience, which proved insightful as students asked a huge range of questions from Is a driverless car driven solely by AI ethical? How will the medical industry change in the future with advances with robotics and AI? Will anti-virus software ever reach a point where it can stop every type of malware?

The talk and Q&A session was incredibly interesting and allowed students to grasp some of the work currently being researched at Imperial as well as the research being undertaken within the sector as a whole. The Society thanks Dr Gopalan for taking the time and trouble to travel from London to visit us here at TBSHS and present such a fascinating session – he is a tough act to follow!  We wish him every good wish for his research and for the future.

 

Inaugural speaker, former student Ben Biggs, and presented a session on AI to the Computing Society.

We were very pleased to welcome our inaugural speaker, former student Ben Biggs, who visited TBSHS and presented a session to enthusiastic students in the Computing Society. 

Ben spoke about his work relating to tracking and reconstruction using artificial intelligence, with particular attention towards deriving 3D-shape and pose from animals and humans. He also showed off the new Microsoft Hololens, allowing some students to experience their first taste of augmented reality, which was an extraordinary experience.  The work Ben is doing for Microsoft is incredibly exciting and it will be interesting to see if Ben’s developing projects become a part of every-day life in the future.

The Society thanks Ben for his time and trouble, especially as he’s so busy.  The presentation worked well as a dry run for the International Computer Vision Conference in Perth, Australia where he flies on Friday.  Ben will be addressing 2,000 people at the conference - let’s hope they ask as interesting questions as the Society!