Past Meetings - Descriptions and Summaries

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2017 - 2018

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2016 - 2017

Thursday 20 September 2018

7.00pm. at The Hemel Hempstead School, Heath Lane, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1TX

AGM followed by: Cyber-Bullying and online safety for children

Dr Xiaohua (Anna) Feng, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science and Technology, University of Bedfordshire

There is an increased public awareness and media coverage of Cyber- Bullying/Stalking. It is seen as a growing problem and has led to concerns in particular for the on-line safety for children and vulnerable adults. Currently there is little academic research into the prevalence, motivations, impacts and risk assessment which will lead to effective preventions of and responses to Cyberstalking. This has led to the creation of The National Centre for Cyberstalking Research at the University of Bedfordshire. It aims to provide high quality research to help, understand and tackle the problem. The Centre is interdisciplinary in nature and draws upon the expertise of people working in different fields including technology, psychology, sociology and law. Dr Feng will discuss the domain issues and how the work of the Centre is addressing them.

The slides from Anna's informative and valiant presentation may be found here. (3.7 Mb pdf file)

Tuesday 12 June 2018

5.00pm. at the Waterways Experiences, Kings Langley, Nash Mills HP3 9TE

Visit to Waterways Experiences

A boat trip on the Grand Union Canal with Fish and Chip Supper. The boat is operated by a registered charity without any paid employees. It aims to provide accessible canal boating for all. More information at Travel from Nash Mills south on the canal to Hunton Bridge and back.

The people from Waterways Experiences made us very welcome and entertained us with their stories. We were able to get off the boat and help with operating the locks. One or two also took the helm for a while and steered the boat. No mean feat as it was 70 feet long. The fish and chip supper was very well received and we had ample helpings. The weather was excellent, nobody fell in and we all had a relaxing and enjoyable time.

Click to enlarge —›

Photographs courtesy of David Hubbard
and Peter Klein.

Tuesday 15 May 2018

6.30pm. at the St. Albans Signal Box, St. Albans, AL1 3AJ

Visit to St Albans South Signal Box

Visit the largest preserved Midland Railway signal box in the UK.

Signalling demonstrations are run on the operating floor and railway videos and a slideshow of the restoration are shown downstairs, with many signalling items on display. In the garden, there are working signals, old signs, oil lamps and other exhibits. The site is fully accessible except for the upper floor of the signal box. A video of the upstairs workings can be shown downstairs. Park at the station or in Ridgmont Road. Free to members and £10 for non-members.

Thursday 19 April 2018

7.30pm. at the Lindop Building, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB

How the UK Video Games Industry Can Advance Beyond Brexit

Dr. Richard Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, TIGA

The UK video games industry is one of our most successful creative industries. We need to ensure that the sector continues to thrive as we leave the European Union.

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, outlines the challenges facing the sector including practical policies which should be implemented to help the industry thrive and steps that we can take to make the UK a global leader in video games development, training and education.

The slides from Richard's presentation may be found here. (7.76 Mb pdf file)

Saturday 10 March 2018

11:00am to 4:00pm at the New Chapman Lounge, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB

Hertfordshire Hackathon

Join BCS Herts in association with the University of Hertfordshire for the Hertfordshire Hackathon. Come along for the day or just pop in to learn, socialise and have fun. This exciting opportunity will lets you get involved in a high focus, hands-on real-world challenge. Whatever your skill level and background; design, programme and collaborate on the Hackathon Challenge and you and your team could win a prize.

We will have a variety of Prizes and Challenges to suit different interests, experience levels and abilities, with winning solutions being rewarded across a range of categories (not just programming). If you are interested in exercising your problem-solving skills, programming ability, want to come along and share your programming and design skills with the teams, or if you just want to watch. Come and share your Saturday with our friendly group.

The New Chapman Lounge is the large room adjoining the foyer at the UH Main Reception - identified in red on the Find Us page.

Thursday 8 February 2018

7.30pm. at the Lindop Building, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB

Using Analytics to Extract Value from Big Data

James Dales, Altius UK

Advances in data capture and storage networking technologies have enabled organisations to capture huge amounts of data about their customers, products and processes. However, unless they can intelligently analyse this data to produce useful information that will help improve business decision making and performance then the data is of little value. The keys to unlocking the value in data are data science and analytics and for many organisations this is the new, must have, technology that delivers real benefits. In this lecture analytical software, together with the tools and methods used to develop it will be explored, using real world examples and demonstrations from major UK organisations.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

7.30pm. at the offices of Sopra Steria, Three Cherry Trees Lane, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7AH

Running a free and open source business for fun and profit

Dr. Jeremy Bennett, CEO, Embecosm

In this talk, Jeremy Bennett will share his experiences of running a fully open source (OS) consultancy implementing OS compilers and chip simulators for major corporations around the world. The issues covered will include:
     - business models that allow a decent profit
     - staff recruitment, training and retention
     - legal challenges, including licensing
     - the dangers of 'open washing'
     - how to manage without Microsoft Office!

Thursday 7 December 2017

7.30pm. Fujitsu, Cavendish Rd, Stevenage, SG1 2DY

Infrastructure as code “we are all coders now”

Nick Parlow, Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer, Fujitsu

At its simplest, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is the separation of configuration from platform, using machine readable files to define your computing environment. Using software development practices this approach produces a repeatable, testable and easily maintained environment that can scale into the thousands of servers. There are, however, major challenges, including what to do with all those SCO boxes. Along the way we may take diversions into DevOps, Containers, serverless computing, dirty servers and what your operations department can learn from livestock farming. With luck, there will be a live demo.

Thursday 9 November 2017

7.30pm. at the Lindop Building, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB

Quantum Communication and Networks

Dr. Joseph Spring, Senior Lecturer, University of Hertfordshire

Recent developments in technology are creating opportunities for the practical application of quantum concepts to networks and distributed systems, which could later contribute to the development of a quantum based internet. Quantum repeaters are currently reported as working over distances in excess of 100km, with quantum dark fibre networks achieving distances of 2000km. Quantum based satellite communication are currently proposed with a view to achieving a global network by 2030. A UK National Quantum Technologies programme has been unveiled with the object of making the UK a world leader in quantum technology development. In this discussion we consider the progress being made in this field, together with a selection of issues relating to quantum communications.

Thursday 12 October 2017

7.30pm. at the Lindop Building, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB

Ada Lovelace Commemorative Lecture: Cloud Computing - Demonstration and Directions

Paul Moggridge and Dr. Na Helian, University of Hertfordshire

Using the Cloud is easy. You may already be using the Cloud without realising it! In this presentation, we will demonstrate a variety of ways you can utilise the Cloud. Cloud services are grouped into three layers, Software, Platform and Infrastructure as a Service - SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. This talk will look at the aims and examples of each specific type, with insights of value for users both new and experienced on the topic including a discussion on the directions that Cloud Computing is moving in. Please note, this presentation will be interactive. Please bring a device capable of browsing the web, a smartphone is ideal.

The slides from Paul's informative talk may be found here.