Events for teachers, schoolkids, families, general public
This is an occasional post highlighting some talks and events that touch on computer science or computing-adjacent tech and which are not aimed solely at an academic audience. This isn’t a complete list (an impossible task!) but is drawn from a range of venues and organisations, some already computer-focused, some that have a wider focus but who sometimes host computing events. If you have a suitable event, that the public / schools can get tickets for, please let me (Jo) know, thanks.
8 March 2023 (Wed)
The Digital Republic: How to regulate digital technology
Oxford Internet Institute, Hybrid (£0), 5-6pm
“Jamie Susskind is the bestselling author of The Digital Republic: On Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century (Bloomsbury 2022) and the award-winning Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed by Tech (Oxford, 2018), an Evening Standard and Prospect Book of the Year. Future Politics was awarded the 2019 Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize.
Jamie is an author and barrister. He has held fellowships at Cambridge and Harvard Universities. His work is at the crossroads of technology, politics, and law.”
13 March 2023 (Mon)
Just relax, Or: How I’m bad at my own algorithmic advice
Imperial College, Online (£0), 5.30-6.30pm
“In computational optimisation, a relaxation of a difficult-to-solve optimisation problem is an easier-to-solve approximation with special properties. Application are wide and varied, from manufacturing to and logistics to machine learning, and can also include bioprocess optimisation under uncertainty and petrochemical process network design and operations.
Ruth Misener is Professor in Computational Optimisation at Imperial College London whose work has focused on developing relaxations and other approaches to expedite the solution of challenging optimisation problems. In her inaugural lecture, she will explore the possible future impacts of these relaxations whilst acknowledging her ironic struggles to achieve more traditional forms of relaxation in her real life.”
Living with robots
Edinburgh Futures Institute, Hybrid (£0), 6-8pm
“Will human beings ever embrace robots as a daily part of our social and economic lives? What would it mean to live well with robots? How can we ensure that robot design and development is driven by and aligned with our fundamental human needs, such as security and social connection? Where are robots already transforming our lives in ways we may not recognize, and which of our ideas about robots remain mere science fiction fantasies? Where can tomorrow’s robots make the world a better place, and most importantly, better for whom? Join us for a conversation among experts in the technical, moral, social and economic dimensions of the oft-promised ‘robot revolution’.” With Dr Kate Devlin, Adam Stokes, Ram Ramamoorthy, Helen Hastie and Shannon Vallor (Chair).
14 March 2023 (Tue)
Webinar: Inform, educate, entertain… and recommend?
Ada Lovelace Institute, Online (£0), 5-6pm
Exploring the use and ethics of recommendation systems.
“Where should I go for dinner? What should I read, watch or listen to next? What should I buy?’ To answer these questions, we might go with our gut and trust our intuition. We could ask our friends and family, or turn to expert reviews. Recommendations large and small can come from a variety of sources in our daily lives, but in the last decade there has been a critical change in where they come from and how they’re used.
Our recent report explores the ethics of recommendation systems as used in public service media organisations. These independent organisations have a mission to inform, educate and entertain the public, and are often funded by and accountable to the public.
In this virtual event, we will present our research, including our key findings and recommendations, before bringing in our expert panel to respond and discuss the ethics and use of recommendation systems in public service media and beyond.”
16 March 2023 (Thu)
Webinar: Mental Health and the effects of Social Media
BCS, Oxfordshire branch, Oxford, £0 (7.30-9pm)
“Mental health is affected by many different things; is social media one of them? In this talk, Luisa Fassi will discuss the extent to which existing research can (and cannot) inform us about the effect of social media use on adolescents’ mental health. Specifically, Luisa will cover how researchers 1) measure social media use, 2) conceptualise mental health and 3) establish cause and effect when studying the relationship between social media use and mental health. Lastly, Luisa will address the way different patterns of social media use (e.g., scrolling through posts, messaging with friends, posting) might be related to different mental health states (e.g., wellbeing and life satisfaction) and conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety).”
21 March 2023 (Tue)
Defeating Digital Viruses: Lessons From the Pandemic
Gresham College, Hybrid (£0), 6pm
“This talk will explore the potential for harnessing the public health framework for addressing online safety and security.
Throughout the COVID pandemic, citizens have washed their hands, covered their faces, and maintained a physical distance. If members of the public can protect themselves and others from offline viruses, why not digital ones?”
23 March 2023 (Thu)
TechTalk: Daryl Baxter – The Making of Tomb Raider
Centre for Computing History, Cambridge (£6), 7pm
“Join us at the Centre for Computing History as we welcome podcaster and writer Daryl Baxter, author of The Making of Tomb Raider. Daryl will be talking about his experiences in writing the book and his years of being a Tomb Raider fan. As always there will be a Q&A session afterwards and an opportunity to grab yourself a signed copy of his book.
This talk will begin at 7pm and last around 60 minutes, with the opportunity to ask questions afterwards.”
3 April 2023 (Mon)
How 26 lines of code changed the world
Royal Institution, London (£16/10), 7-8.30pm
“Everything from law enforcement to space exploration relies on code written by people. Throughout the history of coding, people have made choices and assumptions at the time that would turn out to have long-lasting, profound implications for society.
Join Torie Bosch as she brings together many of today’s leading technology experts to provide new perspectives on the code that shapes our lives and the human stories behind programming.
In this talk, discover the importance of code that has changed our lives and some outdated choices that reflect how society has changed.”
Coming up in May
3 May 2023 (Wed)
Computer vision: learning to see the world at the Royal Society (hybrid)
11 May 2023 (Thu)
Co-Design Beyond Words: Exploring Digital and Tangible Technology Design in Neurodiverse Classrooms – from the Centre for Digital Research, Edinburgh (event location tbc)
Places that have computing themed talks and events
Have I missed yours? Please tell me, thanks :)
- Ada Lovelace Institute, London
- Alan Turing Institute, London (see also their Fringe Events)
- BCS – British Computer Society, London and national
- Centre for Computing History, Cambridge
- Centre for Digital Education, Edinburgh University
- Computer Conservation Society
- Edinburgh Futures Institute, Edinburgh University
- Gresham College, London
- Imperial College, London
- The National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park
- Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University
- Royal Institution, London
- Royal Society, London
- TEDI (The Engineering & Design Institute), London
- Warwick Data, Warwick
This blog is funded through EPSRC grant EP/W033615/1.