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UCL Student Blog



Review: Computing At School by BCS

By Neema Kotonya, on 4 April 2016

For a number of years, the British Computer Society (BCS) has run an online platform it has developed in partnership with schools and educators to help secondary school teachers who are new to teaching computer science and technology.

This platform is called Computing At Schools (CAS). Currently CAS has 150 regional hubs, over 20,000 registered users and more than 3,000 teaching resources. The teaching resources are available both through the official CAS website. There are also video tutorials available on the newly launched YouTube channel CAS TV. The CAS community offers support to teachers both online in form of discussion forums, and also offline in the form of regional group meetings.

As well as offering a great teaching aides for educators, the YouTube channel doubles as a useful resources for learners who are new to coding. The online video lessons are available to individuals who want to learn how to program in their own time, and at their own pace.



Event Review: BCS Ada Lovelace Colloquium

By Neema Kotonya, on 3 February 2016

The Ada Lovelace Colloquium is a one-day event held every Spring to celebrate the achievements of women computer science students. The Colloquium is the brainchild of Hannah Dee a computer science lecturer at Aberystwyth University, and was first hosted by the University of Leeds in 2008. Now in it’s 9th year, the Colloquium has grown from strength to strength and is offering travel and accommodation bursaries for up to 80 women undergraduates and masters students to attend the celebration this year.

I had the pleasure of attending the event last April in Edinburgh, where I presented a poster entitled: “Have Massive Open Online Courses Revolutionised The Way In Which We Learn?” The event gave me the opportunity of meeting and networking with other young women who had the same passion for computer science and technology, as well as attending four brilliant and inspirational talks from guest speakers who are working in the field.

2015 Colloquium Highlights

  • Employer stalls: Bloomberg, Twitter, VMWare and Scott Logic are just a few of the companies who were present at the 2015 Colloquium.
  • 150 attendees: Great opportunity to meet fellow women computer science students and learn about what they have been studying and their interests. Also, you don’t have to be a woman or a student to attend – the event it open to the public!
  • Prizes for winning posters: There are four prize categories: First Year Poster Contest, Second Year Poster Contest, Final Year Poster Contest and MSc Poster Contest. There are runners up prizes in all four categories too. A list of previous winners can be found here.
  • Great talks in the morning from women in software engineering. Very inspirational talks.

Tips for writing abstracts

An abstract is an introduction-of-sorts to a piece of academic work, which summarises the aims of the research, and what has been achieved by the author. I have outlined some tips for writing abstracts below:

  • Keep it short and sweet: An abstract should be succinct and straight to the point. It’s important that you only include the key, relevant points and that you avoid waffling, this will make your writing more coherent and increase the chances of your poster being accepted!
  • Try creating the poster first: In academic writing, the abstract is usually the last thing, which is written after the paper, this ensures that nothing that is included in the paper is left out of the abstract. Also, it’s easier to write the abstract at the end because after working on the paper you are well-versed in the topic area, and know exactly what to include in the abstract.

Related events

The deadline for submitting abstracts for this year’s event is Saturday, 6th February. More information can be found here.