R4 programme on Ada Lovelace (2 days left to listen)

BBC Radio 4 has a two-part series on Ada Lovelace’s letters. Alas Part One of the series has already passed into the ‘programme no longer available’ territory, but Part Two (~28m) is live to listen to online for the next couple of days [at time of writing!].

Our cs4fn magazine special issue on Ada Lovelace isn’t going anywhere though, please download a free PDF at your leisure :)

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“In part two of this dramatization of The Letters of Ada Lovelace, Georgina Ferry reveals the nature of the relationship between the young heiress, Ada Lovelace (Sally Hawkins) and the crusty mathematician, Charles Babbage (Anthony Head), inventor of steam-powered calculating machines.

More info at the programme’s page.

What else are we up to?

1.Saturday 21 Nov – £30/60, 2-5pm
Introduction to Arduino [info] [tickets]
Aimed at teachers of pupils at KS3 and above our miniCPD session will introduce you to programming using an Arduino with simple electronics.

2. Wed 25 Nov – FREE, 5pm
Sorting Unplugged [info] [tickets]
This is a free workshop, aimed at computer science teachers, which introduces sorting algorithms in an ‘unplugged’ style.

3.Sat 28 Nov – £30/60, 2-5pm
Introduction to Arduino [info] [tickets]
Aimed at teachers of pupils at KS3 and above our miniCPD session will introduce you to programming using an Arduino with simple electronics.

4. Wed 2 Dec – FREE, doors 5pm, show at 5.30pm
The magic of {Christmas} Computer Science – free magic show for young people. [info] [tickets]
This is a free public talk aimed at secondary school-aged children and their families & friends. Paul Curzon and Peter McOwan will present a fun magic show powered by hidden computer science. There are rumours of mince pies too.

 

 

Can computers be creative? BBC R4 prog 15 May, 11.30am w Prof @Trevor_Cox

For those near a radio tomorrow morning Prof Trevor Cox is exploring whether we can consider computers as having the ability to be creative. His programme “Can a Computer Write Shakespeare?” will be broadcast on Thursday morning (15 May 2014) at 11.30am on BBC Radio 4, or you can listen online at the link given.

“Trevor Cox asks whether computers can ever be truly creative.

An old adage says that a monkey sitting at a typewriter could eventually write Shakespeare. By the same token, could a computer ever create a work of art that could match Shakespeare’s creativity?”

He’s also written a blog post “Can computers compose?” which talks about software used to create pieces of music, including a piece called ‘Adsum’ that had a full orchestral arrangement and premiere (see the video on Trevor’s blog).

For a more unplugged way of creating music have a look at Howard Goodall’s episode on Melody from his ‘How Music Works‘ series. In the video below (from 12min 54sec but Howard introduces the piece a few seconds before that) he asks people at a shopping mall to pick numbers from a bag and uses these to determine which notes to play on the piano, resulting in a piece of crowdsourced music.