Online talks about computing & maths, 19 & 20 Oct 2021 from £0-£6

All of these talks are online or hybrid (Gresham College – if you’re in London and feel able to attend in person – you can). At the end there’s a list of computing-related places that host talks about computer science. If you know of others I should keep an eye on (location doesn’t really matter if at least some of them are online) please let Jo know, or @JoBrodie on Twitter, thanks.


Tonight: Tuesday 19 October 2021

The National Museum of Computing / @tnmoc
From teapots to Toy Story: a prehistory of computer graphics
Eventbrite tickets: £0-5.98 [ONLINE]

“In this virtual talk, Jacob travels from Utah to the UK. He goes back to the University of Utah Computer Science Department’s Graphics Lab where modern graphics was born and whose graduates include co-founders of Pixar, Adobe Systems and Silicon Graphics.

He will explore the impact of Martin Newell, the British researcher who – inspired by a teapot – defined realistic 3D rendering and is honoured by animators, illustrators, and User Interface and design practitioners to this day.

He will also tell the history of Newell’s famous teapot simulation and its connection to modern computer graphics.”


Tomorrow: Wednesday 20 October 2021

Ada Lovelace Institute
Accountable AI: A route to effective regulation
14:00 15:00 Free, £0 [ONLINE]

“On 10 September, the UK Government published its proposal for amending the current data protection regime (the UK GDPR). The aim is to create ‘a pro-growth and pro-innovation data regime whilst maintaining the UK’s world-leading data protection standards’.

At the Ada Lovelace Institute, our mission is to ensure that data and AI work for people and society. In order to explore whether the Government’s plans will enable these aims, we are organising a series of five events, each looking at different sections, questions, statements and framing in the Government’s consultation and asking what benefits and challenges are brought by the proposals.”


Gresham College / @GreshamCollege
Numbers in Different Languages and Cultures
16:00-19:00 Free, £0 [HYBRID]

“This event will focus upon mathematics as expressed in different languages and cultures. The main speaker, Professor Karine Chemla, will discuss Histories of Numbers (6pm). This will be preceded by shorter presentations by Dr Anuj Misra on Sanskrit Mathematics in the Language of Poetry (4pm) and by Manuel Medrano on Knot Just Numbers: Mathematics and More in Andean Khipu Strings (4.45pm). The event ends at 7pm.”


Diamond Light Source
Practical Programming at Diamond – family webinar
4:00pm Free, £0 [ONLINE]

“Everyone is welcome to tune in as this webinar is specifically aimed at a general audience and no previous knowledge is required.

Every day we come into contact with the results of programming and we often don’t even realise it. Whether it is heating our houses, washing our clothes or the mobile phones in our pockets, we engage with the results of programming before we have even left the house! Diamond Light Source is no different. Without programming Diamond would not be able to run any of our experiments and advance our knowledge of the world around us. This week we will be exploring the world of programming at Diamond. We will discover how important programming is and watch a live demo of programming in action. Then we will delve deeper into the role of our x-ray detectors, what they are used for and how they work, and how programming plays a vital role there as well.”


The National Museum of Computing / @tnmoc
Solving historical ciphers with modern means
Eventbrite tickets: £0-5.98 [ONLINE]

“Many old encryption methods are still hard to break today. For instance, cryptanalyzing a short 19th century Playfair cipher is far from trivial. WW2 Enigma messages, spy ciphers from the Cold War, and manual methods used by criminals such as the Zodiac Killer can also be challenging, especially when the ciphertexts are short. On the other hand, techniques for breaking historical ciphers have recently made considerable progress.

Computer-based cryptanalysis methods such as hill climbing and simulated annealing have been successfully applied to break original WWII Enigma messages, as well as one of the world’s most famous unsolved codes, a 1970 ciphertext sent by the Zodiac Killer. The record in solving short Playfair messages has improved: whereas many years ago the shortest Playfair ciphertext that could be cracked required a minimum of 60 letters, now messages as short as 26 letters have been solved. However, many other historical ciphertexts are still unbroken to date.”


Places that have computing-related events

Ada Lovelace Institute

Alan Turing Institute

BCS – British Computer Society

Centre for Computing History (Cambridge)

Centre for Digital Education (Edinburgh, many talks online)

Dorkbot London (not specifically about computing but lots of computing is featured)

Finding Ada (Ada Lovelace Day is on 2nd Tuesday in October)

Gresham College

National Museum of Computing

A big list of places that do all sorts of talks and events, curated by me (Jo) :)