Departmental Team wins BCS Machine Intelligence Competition!

The Research Group on Development of Intelligent Environments, headed by Prof Juan Carlos Augusto from the department of Computer Science, won the first prize in this year British Computer Society (BCS) Machine Intelligence Competition which took place at BCS Headquarters in London during the 4th of October. The Middlesex University team won by a big margin against other finalist entries from Imperial College, Manchester Metropolitan, Southampton Solent/Algobroz and the University of Lincoln.

The team gave a live demonstration transmitted from the Smart Spaces Lab, currently hosted in Mdx Farmhouse, showing real advances in ambient intelligence and context-aware intelligent support. This research particularly aims at supporting vulnerable people and their carers at home. The technology uses sensors and actuators in a home automation setup, supported by a sophisticated AI architecture that reasons by analysing sensor data and provides intelligent analysis and services based on context and personalisation in real time.

The team who presented the system during the competition consisted of: M. Ali, J. C. Augusto, O. Benes, J. G. Manuel Gimenez, G. Ogbuabor, Ch. Oguego, and M. Quinde. However the team of MDX colleagues who contributed to the system one way or another was much larger. The following colleagues contributed with technical advice: Jill Stewart (S.L. in Housing & Environmental Health), Mark Springett (S.L. in CS, Interaction Design Centre), Carl James-Reynolds (S.L. in CS) and Ralph Moseley (S.L. in CS).

And the team wishes to specially thank the Department of Computer Science, the Faculty of Science and Technology management for the sustained support, as well as technical support from our university infrastructure, without all of which this achievement would not have been possible.


The team photo shows (anti-clockwise from left to right): Chimezie Leonard Oguego (PhD student), Mark Springett (S.L. in CS, Interaction Design Centre), Murad Ali (PhD student), Godwin Okechukwu Ogbuabor (PhD student), Jose Gines (MRes student), Ondrej Benes (MRes student), Juan Augusto (Head of Research Group on Intelligent Environments and of Smart Spaces Lab) and Mario Jose Quinde (PhD student).

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Prof. Chris Huyck on “AI: The Rise of the Machines”

Prof. Chris Huyck will be a panelist for the debate on the rise of Artificial Intelligence and the impact robots and automation will have on have on jobs, society and the UK economy.

This event is organised by Parliament Street think tank. You can find more information at this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/artificial-intelligence-the-rise-of-the-machines-tickets-51710245737

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Partnership on gamification for healthier lifestyles

A new technical collaboration has been established between the Research Group on Development of Intelligent Environments at Middlesex University London and GLL, a non-profit charitable Social Enterprise organization which runs over 250 sport and leisure facilities and libraries in the UK. Click here for additional details.

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New research published in Nature Scientific Reports

New research on 3D RNA folding in the context of gene editing (using CRISPR/Cas9) has been published by Professor Andreas Albrecht in Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group): CRISPR/Cas9 editing reveals novel mechanisms of clustered microRNA regulation and function.

The following are examples of 3D RNA structures from the paper:

Movie 1 – Mutant Structure Mut 1

Movie 2 – WT Structure

Movie 3 – Mutant Structure Mut 5


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Two positions available on recently awarded EU projects

The department has two research positions available:

  1. Research Assistant on the EU project SUCCESS: https://jobs.mdx.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=SCT194 (deadline 03/08/2017). Please contact Florian Kammueller for more information.
  2. Research Fellow on the EU project DREAMS4CARS: https://jobs.mdx.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=SCT196 (deadline 20/08/2017). Please contact David Windridge for more information.


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Presentation on LEO computers at London Hopper Colloquium


Elisabetta Mori, 2nd. from left, waiting to give her Spotlight presentation at London Hopper 2017

The London Hopper Colloquium  is an annual one day event for researchers across the UK who are building a career in computing. It is modelled on the American Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which aims to bring the research and career interests of women in the spotlight. These annual American meetings are held as a tribute to Admiral
Grace Murray Hopper – pioneer of one of the first high-level computer language COBOL and was one of the first programmers of Harvard Mark I computer. She inspired many young U.S. Naval computing students at the time and still continues to do so years after her death.


Elisabetta Mori, 2nd. from left, waiting to hear the results of the Spotlight competition at London Hopper 2017

This year, the 13th London Hopper Colloquium was organised by UCL and the BCS Academy on Thursday 25 May 2017 at the BCS headquarters in London. We are delighted to announce that Elisabetta Mori, a PhD student at Middlesex, was chosen to present her work in a research spotlight on the day. Ms Mori’s research focuses on the LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) computers developed by the catering firm J. Lyons and Co in the 1950s. In particular, she is investigating the social, political and business circumstances that contributed to the success and later decline of LEO Computers, as well as the technical developments and
hardware design.


London Hopper 2017

Follow the work of the History and Philosophy of Computing group at Middlesex University: http://ta.mdx.ac.uk/leo/
twitter: @leomiddlesex

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Middlesex Women in Computing travel to BCS in Aberystwyth to win award!

The Women in Computing group at Middlesex, coordinated by Kelly Androutsopoulos, was founded in 2014 . The purpose of this group is to bring together Middlesex-affiliated women who are studying or interested in Computing and to share common interests, concerns and ambitions. We have over 40 members. We post events or interest and communicate via the following facebook group (closed group). Please feel free to join if you are interested: https://www.facebook.com/groups/womenComputingmdx/

One of our aims is to help undergraduate students participate in the BCS Lovelace Colloquium, which is an annual one day conference for women students of Computing. The colloquium provides a forum for undegraduate and masters students to discuss their own work in the form of a poster contest, with cash prizes provided by industry sponsors. Also, it provides a series of inspiring talks from women in computing in industry and academia and a chance for networking and obtaining career advice.
This year, the BCS Lovelace Colloquium was held on the 11-12th April at Aberystwyth University, and had around 200 participants. We had 6 undergraduate students participating from Computer Science, three from the first year, two from the second and one from the third. The topics of the posters were varied, e.g. one described a Robot that a student built for Eurobot and how it could build a moon base autonomously, another was on Virtual Reality and looked at its affect on the body, while another considered the ethical issues with autonomous systems. This year, Rosie Hyde, a third year student, won the People’s Choice Award (where all attendees vote for their two favourite posters) for her poster titled “Can Stress and Anxiety be Tracked Through Wearable Technology?” which is based on her final year project.



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Samson Abramsky awarded Honorary Doctorate by Middlesex University

Professor Samson Abramsky FRS was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Middlesex University. Samson is the Christopher Strachey Professor of Computing at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford. He has local connections. Samson grew up in Golders Green and went to school in Hendon. His PhD supervisor was Richard Bornat, and Samson was the PhD supervisor of Rajagopal Nagarajan. Both Richard and Raja are professors in the department. From Left to Right: Vice Chancellor Tim Blackman, Professor Samson Abramsky, Professor Raja Nagarajan, and Pro Chancellor Lorna Cocking.

IMG_0380 copy

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Quality awards for two papers!

  • Second Best full paper at the 11th International Conference on Intelligent Environments: “Assessing Real World Imagery in Virtual Environments for People with Cognitive Disabilities” by Alexandra Covaci, Dean Kramer, Juan Carlos Augusto (Middlesex University), Silvia Rus, and Andreas Braun (Fraunhofer)
  • Best Short Paper at the 11th International Conference on Intelligent Environments: “Developing Navigational Services for People with Down’s Syndrome” by Dean Kramer, Alexandra Covaci, Juan Carlos Augusto (Middlesex University)

Three papers were selected in each category based on the scores assigned by the reviewers, then the public voted for the best of these three.

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Research Fellow position in Modelling Tools

A 36-month fellowship position is available to work on the XMF/XModeler toolset. The post is  in collaboration with the Department of Information Systems and Enterprise Modelling at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.

More information can be found here: http://www.mdx.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/207145/SCT92.pdf

Please contact Prof. Tony Clark if you wish to discuss the post in further detail.

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