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The following is a list current news items within the school.
Computing students take second place in international programming competition
MSc student wins Poster Prize at BCS Women Lovelace Colloquium
Software Development Society
University awarded €638,000 for advanced computing research.
Open Day - Saturday 6th November
For further informationa and to register for this event, please go to the registration page
Open Day - Wednesday 6th October
For further informationa and to register for this event, please go to the registration page
Graduation Success - Yvonne Lowe
The 41-year-old left school when she was 18 and went straight into employment in Lincoln, where she is originally from.
After 15 years of working in the private and public sectors she gave it up and moved to Aberdeen with her partner. She suffers from epilepsy and has been under the care of various consultants but she was told she would need major surgery to relieve the effects of her condition. She said: “The surgery had a huge impact on my life and it was an extremely hard time for my partner and myself.
“When I began to get my strength back I decided that I should return to education as I had always wanted to further my studies but never had the opportunity. “Despite the continuing effects of my medication, and being a mature student among a peer group aged 18 to 25, I thoroughly enjoyed my course and time at university. I am delighted that I managed to complete my degree.”
During her course she was president and one of the founder members of RGU: Singers, the university’s singing group, as well as being the student representative.
Graduation Success - Zoe MacKay
Rounding off a successful four years, the ex-Dunfermline High School pupil celebrated her recent success at His Majesty's Theatre where she graduated on Friday 16 July, with family and friends.
Earlier on this month, Zoe received an i-pod and Amazon voucher from Andrew Cameron of the Amor Group, Scotland's largest independent business technology solutions company, at the School of Computing's annual prize giving reception attended by fellow students and academics.
Zoe is now set to travel the world for six months, jetting off to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and America at the beginning of September.
Reflecting on her time at University, Zoe said: "I really enjoyed my course and feel that it has provided me with the relevant industry skills for my future career. I'm looking forward to the next chapter in my life and hopefully travelling around the world will broaden my horizons and give me more life experience."
Graduation Success - Michael Topp
Rounding off a successful four years, the ex-Ellon Academy pupil celebrated his recent success at His Majesty's Theatre where he graduated on Friday 16 July, with his family and friends.
Earlier on this month, Michael received his prize from Chris Liddle, of the Aberdeen branch of the British Computer Society, at a reception attended by his fellow students and School of Computing academics.
After leaving school, Michael decided to explore his interest in web development and attended a Robert Gordon University Open Day where he was impressed by the facilities and decided to apply.
Reflecting on the past four years, Michael said: "I have really enjoyed my time at University and have no regrets. My course has really equipped me for the working world and I hope to get a full-time job which will develop my skills further."
Whilst dealing with the pressures of full-time study, Michael found time to dedicate himself to charitable causes.
Michael explains: "I captained two teams in this years' ChildLine World Footie Competition helping to raise £2139 for the charity from March to June. I also ran the Big Fun Run in Aberdeen representing ChildLine and managed to raise a further £100."
Graduation Success - Emma Clarke
The ex-Aboyne Academy pupil was recently jointly awarded the Divex Prize for Best Fourth-Year Student on her course at the School of Computing's annual prize giving ceremony on Friday 2 July, and has already started working as a Software Developer for local business software solutions company, Codify.
Collecting the Divex Prize earlier this month had special meaning for Emma as she was presented the prize by her dad, Derek Clarke, Joint Managing Director of Divex, a world leader in commercial and military diving equipment.
Emma's proud dad also saw her pick up another accolade at the prize giving, the Frances Morrison Prize for Best Honours Project involving software development. For her final-year project, Emma visited her mum's pre-school class to do research into developing an innovative educational computer game for pre-school children.
During her university years, Emma has been a member of several committees including the Academic School Board, Student Staff Liaison and Faculty Quality Assurance Committee and also regularly worked as a Student Ambassador at University Open and Applicants Days. It was at one such Open Day that Emma met Katherine Rutherford, a former Computer Science student at the University and now Marketing Manager at Codify. Katherine invited Emma to come and meet the team at Codify, which resulted in them offering her a software developer position.
Emma comments: "Even though I have already started my new job, I am really looking forward to graduation as it will close one chapter of my life and open another. My new job at Codify includes liaising with clients, developing SharePoint and Business Intelligence solutions and training clients on the Microsoft software solutions we develop. I feel my course at the University has really prepared me for the working world and has given me lots of opportunities to further my career."
School of Computing Prize Giving
This year's ceremony will see around fifty prizes being presented for the highest academic achievement to Undergraduate and MSc students selected from all of the School's courses. This is a time to celebrate the successes and special achievements of our students. This is an acknowledgement of the hard work and commitment that students from the School of Computing have shown towards their studies.
After the ceremony there will be an opportunity for prize winners, guests and sponsors to mingle over refreshments in the School's Computing Technology Centre.
Robert Gordon University Excels in National League Tables
Graduates of Robert Gordon University are amongst the most sought after by employers in the UK according to The Times Good University Guide 2011 published today. Only Imperial College has a better record for students going in to graduate-level jobs with both Cambridge and Oxford lagging behind RGU.
Professor John Harper, Acting Principal of Robert Gordon University welcomed the results. He said, "In the current economic climate where the job market is increasingly competitive, it's important that new graduates have the skills that employers want. The University has been particularly successful in engaging with companies to ensure that our graduates are well equipped for their chosen profession and this is reflected in the league tables."
Robert Gordon University came 46th overall, the first time the University has appeared in the top 50 of The Times Good University Guide, just behind Heriot-Watt (43rd), Dundee (44th) and Stirling (45th) universities.
Admission is FREE and lunch / rereshments are provided.
‘World Wide Waste’ – Talk on green IT to highlight energy issues
On Monday 12 April, serial entrepreneur Mary Vincent, founder and CEO of Green Star Solution, a global business and technology firm, will examine why innovation methodologies for IT are so important. Brought to Scotland through the Girl Geeks global network for women in IT, Mary hopes to urge more women to create technology-related businesses.
Ian Allison, Head of the School of Computing at Robert Gordon University, comments: “We are delighted to welcome Mary to our shores. When you consider that Google handles something like 200 million searches daily, and some say just a couple of these generate as much energy as it takes to boil a kettle, the issue of green IT suddenly becomes a pressing matter. Research suggests that the IT industry generates as much greenhouse gas as the world’s airlines!”
Open to the public, the second talk of the day, from 5.30pm at the University’s St Andrew Street Building, will be co-sponsored as part of the IT Leaders’ Forum by HEAD, the IT resourcing group, ScotlandIS, the trade body for IT in Scotland, and law firm McGrigors. The aim of the Forum is to grow and support a network of IT managers and this event will allow members to share ideas on the global green IT issue.
Based in San Francisco, speaker Mary Vincent has an impressive track record of software product innovation, and is now an ambassador for green software solutions. Previously, she worked at Sun Microsystems and DHL, creating and managing global Java programmes. She has since founded a number of green businesses and is keen to establish links with businesses and educational communities across the world. For more information, visit: http://www.greenstarsolution.com.
Sheryl Newman, Operations Director of IT training consultancy Easthaven, the company that coordinates the Aberdeen arm of Girl Geeks Scotland, adds: “This event is great news for the women in IT working in Aberdeen. Mary is a phenomenal speaker and has proven time and time again that female entrepreneurs can engineer hugely profitable ventures that are ethically and environmentally sound.”
For more information and to register for this free event, call 01506 472200 or email email@example.com
Keeping more than one oar in the water
For more information click here.
Applicants' Day (3rd & 6th March)
We think you will be impressed. The School of Computing offers a range of professional undergraduate computing degrees. Computing is the focus of study in all years of every course. This means that you concentrate on computing from the very start of your University studies, and have the time to develop a deep understanding of the subject, and to perfect advanced practical skills.
For more information click here.
Quick on the draw to network with students
An Aberdeen university is hoping to attract future students with the latest computer technology.
Robert Gordon University has created quick-response cards to be distributed to maths, science and computing teachers across Scotland to pass on to pupils.
The cards look like a normal business card with a barcode displayed across the front. The code is a web link to RGU’s school of computing’s new I-create website. Pupils can access the site by taking a picture of the code with the camera on their mobile phones.
The phone needs to have special software in place to scan the code and access the site, which can be downloaded from the internet.
The website features information about computing courses at the university and pupils can also take part in an online chat session with lecturers and other potential students.
Ian Allison, head of the school of computing, said: "This interactive campaign, including the visual, snappy format of the new site, has been designed to draw out the exciting, technology-led aspects of the courses on offer at the School of Computing."
"Our aim is to surprise, attract and engage our mainly young audience by connecting with them on their level, using tools that mean something to them. "The school of computing offers a wealth of innovative courses that are crucially relevant to industry today and we hope that the campaign will encourage young people to find out more about their further study options and a wealth of career opportunities open to them."
The new site can also be accessed at www.rgu.ac.uk/icreate
Microsoft to inspire Robert Gordon University students
IT leaders come together in Aberdeen
Co sponsored by HEAD, the IT resourcing group, and law firm McGrigors, the aim of the Forum is to grow and support a network of IT leaders. The Forum will allow members to share ideas and deal with issues together, as well as receiving expert input from leaders in the field at tailored networking events. The first event organised by the IT Leaders’ Forum is to take place at Robert Gordon University’s St Andrew Street Building in Aberdeen city centre on Thursday 14 January from 5.30pm.
David Mitchell, Senior Vice President of IT Research for leading market analysts, Ovum, is to deliver a presentation at the launch event, the Forum’s inaugural Technology Forecast. David has previously presented the Technology Forecasts in Edinburgh, but through this co-sponsorship ScotlandIS has been able to bring this annual event to Aberdeen too.
Professor Ian Allison, Head of the School of Computing at Robert Gordon University, who has played a key role in setting up the Forum, comments: “This is a really positive step forward for the IT specialists in the North-east and the University is delighted to be part of it. We launching a new course in IT Management in February, designed to fill a growing shortage of technical leadership skills across all sectors, and initiatives such as the Forum will reinforce this objective.”
Christmas Lecture (Festive Feast of Multimedia)
Further details can be found here
ECIR2010 publication success
ECIR2010's full paper acceptance rate is only 22%. Ulises' paper is one of the two additional full paper submissions accepted as posters.
Computing student works to improve performance of popular search engine
Using the spare cycles of the computers at the University, Maryam Kontagora from Abuja, Nigeria, ran a myriad of concurrent MapReduce jobs to simulate hundreds of users searching and sorting on Google at the same time, ultimately improving the results of these searches.
The MSc student has just been informed that an article based on the findings she has put together for her Masters dissertation has been accepted at a top international conference. The IEEE International Conference on Complex, Intelligent and Software Intensive Systems (CISIS), to be held at Krakow, in February 2010 will give Maryam a forum in which to showcase her findings.
Her work describes how to improve benchmarks of the search engine's MapReduce environment on multiple virtual machines. According to the international reviewers for the CISIS conference, her article "is certainly interesting for the audience and a very good and solid work".
Introduced by Google in 2004, MapReduce is a programming environment to allow hundreds of computers to work together on gaining results for complicated searches. Thousands of MapReduce jobs are executed on Google's clusters every day, meaning that lots of the searches we run on our favourite restaurants and TV shows will be executed by using a MapReduce tool.
Maryam explained: "My ultimate career goal is to help advance knowledge in the field of parallel computing and how it may be used to improve the performance of large tasks, like searches that would normally take a long time to execute."
Dr Horacio Gonzalez-Velez, a lecturer with the School of Computing who is Maryam's academic supervisor for her dissertation, said: "Maryam has always demonstrated an outstanding ability for computing. She is a very clever young woman with an ability to identify useful connections among concepts that other people miss. Her work is definitely a step in the right direction and will hopefully help us to gain further insights into the performance of parallel computers."
Professor Ian Allison, Head of the School of Computing added: "This project is an excellent example of how our applied research shapes our teaching. Students get to work with leading edge technologies and ideas. I'm delighted that Maryam will have a chance to discuss her work to an international audience."
New course to address skills shortage
A taster session for a new Masters course in IT Management developed by Robert Gordon University, which has been designed to fill a growing shortage of technical leadership skills across all sectors, will take place on Tuesday 17 November at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa, Pitfodels, Aberdeen. The Business Breakfast event, taking place from 8am, will see Ron Mitchell, Chief Information Officer, BP North Sea, talk on the challenges facing IT leaders in the current climate.
Ron says, "I believe that the new course will enable people from technical backgrounds to bridge the gap between IT delivery and IT leadership, so that they can take a lead in providing services and solutions. The challenge for IT leaders is to truly understand their organisation and to ensure that they provide the solutions required to address real business needs."
With the need for skilled IT professionals already outstripping demand, market analysis has shown that this is going to continue to increase in the UK for at least another five years. In particular, there is a serious shortage of skilled IT managers, and there are very few courses available that offer the blend of industry-relevant material that these managers need.
The new postgraduate course, which will see a first cohort begin their studies in January, will be delivered by online distance learning supplemented with on-campus teaching days. A full-time version of the course is planned for September 2010.
Professor Ian Allison, Head of the University’s School of Computing, explains, "The key aim of the new course is to provide technical leadership skills, brought together in the same way that our highly-regarded Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programme supports business managers of the future. It is aimed at experienced IT professionals who are seeking to lead IT projects and services, and capitalise on the career opportunities the predicted surge in demand for IT skills will bring.
"We are really excited about the mix of subjects that this unique course will bring together, including IT strategy planning, project management, leadership skills and enterprise systems management. With teaching staff who are experienced IT leaders, the course has been designed in collaboration with industry. On-campus teaching days that have been built into the course will give students the chance to hear from guest speakers at the cutting-edge of IT leadership, as well as an excellent opportunity to network with fellow professionals."
For further details about both the event and the new course, contact Robert Gordon University’s School of Computing on 01224 262700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, visit: http://www.rgu.ac.uk/ITManagement
University Open Day to include ‘Xtra’ special workshop for parents
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