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UCL Computer Science hosts the founder of virtual reality

Jacinta MMulders13 November 2017

32806882423_39e06fd52e_oLast week, UCL Computer Science hosted Jaron Lanier of Microsoft Research, who coined the term “virtual reality” and founded one of the first companies to create and sell virtual reality equipment.

To an at-capacity lecture theatre, Lanier, who was in London to promote his latest book: Dawn of the New Everything: A Journey through Virtual Reality, described how he started as a computer scientist and what it was like in the earliest days of VR. The lecture left off from the content of his book, which he described as “part memoir, part introduction to VR”.

While Lanier was keen to emphasise his ambitions towards a utopic vision when he started thinking about VR, he also emphasised the capacity that exists within the medium for terror, and how VR could be used in awful ways. For this reason, he structured his talk as a “thesis, antithesis, and synthesis”: putting forward his initial dream-like impetus for thinking about VR, the problematic potential it has for it to go awry, and concluding with a synthesis of his arguments containing some suggestions for how we should move forward.

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Lunch Hour Lecture: Protecting users’ privacy in modern web applications

KilianThayaparan18 February 2015

Cyber security robot“This thing will never take off,” Professor Brad Karp (UCL Computer Science) jokingly recalls himself saying about the World Wide Web when the concept was first introduced to him in the 1990s. Yet since its introduction, when websites were simply static documents, it has gone on to be of incredible value to people across the globe.

The evolution of the World Wide Web has led to an increasing focus on web applications, or ‘apps’, and with this has come a problematic conflict between privacy and functionality. It is this conflict that formed the basis of Professor Karp’s Lunch Hour Lecture, as he put forward a solution to end this “unpalatable trade-off”.

According to Professor Karp, the issue has arisen as a result of the Web’s original architecture; designers were thinking about privacy when building the Web, but this same approach has restricted the creation of web applications. To get around such restrictions, developers need to work outside of this architecture and subsequently compromise on privacy.

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Animate this!

newseditor21 June 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Tia Kansara, PhD student at the UCL Energy Institute

The projections were awe-inspiring: an unrivalled London event. Whoever would have thought ten years ago that education could be delivered in such an interactive, fun and intelligent manner?

UCL Quad during the day

The above image is of the UCL main building in all its architectural glory, below how it was transformed at night

Projections on the UCL Portico

The UCL quad was filled with people excited to see how the iconic Wilkins building was transformed, as EPSRC-funded research was projected on the building as if it were a screen. (more…)

Kickstart your career – entrepreneurial skills for creative computing

newseditor12 March 2013

pencil-icon  Rosie Simm, CASE Graduate Trainee, UCL Development and Alumni Relations Office

This UCL professional networking event on 19 February was the second that I have been to and I was unsurprised to find it as well-attended as the previous one.

Creative_computing_event

Among the audience were several family groups, where two generations of UCL alumni had come along to seek advice before launching their first family enterprise.

The panellist’s backgrounds were varied: while Michael Doyle, CEO of the Alacrity Foundation, and Christian Nentwich, founder and CEO of Model Two Zero Ltd, had studied computer science at UCL, Sanchita Saha, CEO and founder of Citysocializer, and Nageela Yusuf, founder and MD of Cerebriam, had studied maths and archaeology respectively.

This was encouraging to see for those of us in the audience with a more limited grasp of the digital world (more…)