Past Meetings - Descriptions and Summaries

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2017 - 2018

Wednesday 18 September 2019

7.00pm. at Verulamium Museum, St. Michael's Street, St. Albans, AL3 4SW

AGM followed by: Visit to Verulamium Museum

The meeting starts with the AGM. The AGM is open to all (only members may vote) and takes abour 30 minutes. We do urge you to attend so that you may participate in the election of your committee, whose main business is to organise branch meetings and represent members through the Branches Congress.

Volunteers for the committee are always welcome; if you would like to join, please get in touch with David Hubbard, our Branch Secretary.

Nominations to the positions of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer should be with the Secretary 14 days ahead of the AGM; nominations for other positions and for those without portfolio may be made at any time before the close of the elections phase of the AGM. Some of our most effective volunteers have put their hands up at the very last minute.

The AGM will be followed by a guided tour of the museum conducted by St. Albans Tour Guides. Containing a wide variety of Roman artefacts excavated from the site of the town of Verulamium, the Verulamium Museum is considered one of the best museums of Roman history in the country. Discover how one of the largest towns in Roman Britain, situated next to the River Ver all but disappeared beneath the earth. Explore how our ancestors lived and how modern technology and conservation is bringing the ancient city back to life.

Wednesday 12 June 2019

6.30pm. at Unit 18, Boxted Farm, Berkhamstead Rd, Potton End, HP1 2SG

Visit to Mad Squirrel Brewery

Mad Squirrel Brewery has won multiple awards at local, regional and national level. This visit consists of a 45 minute in depth tour covering process to finished product by a qualified beer tour guide, a tutored tasting in the tap room (6x 1/3 Pint of Mad Squirrel Beer), and an artisan pizza from hand-made dough baked with local fresh ingredients.

Wednesday 15 May 2019

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

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: Drones for civilian and humanitarian needs

Stephan Barnard, Product Developer and UAV entrepreneur

Aimed at providing a quick and practical guide to starting your own Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) project, this interactive talk will focus on opportunities, issues and safety in civilian UAV projects - including local examples of what can go wrong and how forensic analysis can be used to show how a small mistake can lead to potential disaster. You will hear how civilian UAVs save lives, protect wildlife, and are being used to improve agriculture across the world as well as in Hertfordshire, where significant agricultural UAV research is being performed.

You are encouraged to come to interact, to ask questions and discuss your aspirations and ideas for the future of UAVs.

The slides of Stephan's thought-provoking talk are here. (4.2 Mb pdf file)

Tuesday 9 April 2019

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

Improving Strategic Management with Dynamic Business Models

Kim Warren, Strategy Dynamics

The availability of quality data from IT systems has improved strategic decision-making but organisations should now aim for more: the continual, holistic steering of all policies and decisions across all functions at all times. This has not been possible until now, as it requires a working quantified simulation of the entire enterprise, itself requiring rigorous principles on which such Dynamic Business Models can be built and the ready availability of accurate corporate data to populate the models.

In his lecture Kim Warren will demonstrate how this challenge can be met using real world examples which show the power and business value of the models.

Wednesday 13 March 2019

7.30pm. at BSI, Kitemark House, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 4SQ

An Introduction to the role of BSI and Standards in IT

Thomas Harrison (Engagement Manager) and Emma Quigley (Sector Proposition Manager, IT), BSI

Come visit the British Standards Institution's global centre of testing excellence to learn about how Standards affect and improve the business resilience of the UK. Founded over 115 years ago and the world's first National Standards Body, BSI is responsible for the creation and publication of some of the world's most commonly used business standards.

Learn first-hand about how Standards are formed and used to improve and strengthen areas such as cyber security, IT performance and the Internet of Things. Also learn how Standards will continue to play an important part in international co-operation in the post-Brexit landscape.

Saturday 9 March 2019

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

.helloworld Hertfordshire Hackathon

Join BCS Herts in association with the University of Hertfordshire for the Hertfordshire Hackathon.

Join us for the day or just pop in to learn, socialise and have fun. Whatever your skill level or background, get involved in a high focus, hands-on real-world challenge; design, code and collaborate on the Hackathon Challenge and you and your team could win a prize. Prizes and Challenges will be available to suit different interests, experience levels and abilities, with prizes being awarded across a range of categories (not just programming). If you are interested in exercising your problem-solving, design or programming skills, or if you just want to watch. Come and share your Saturday at our family friendly event.

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

Below are some pictures of the Hackathon taken by Ronald Edema
Click images to enlarge

Demonstration of virtual reality.

Cyber Prevent display from the Regional Cyber Crime Unit of Hertfordshire Bedfordshire and Cambridge Police.

"Fetch", an industrial robot used for manufacturing and warehousing applications.

"Pepper", described as a socially interactive humanoid.

A demonstration of System Dynamics, "an approach to understanding the nonlinear behaviour of complex systems over time using stocks, flows, internal feedback loops, table functions and time delays" (Wikipedia).

Capture the flag, an online activity based on the completion of various challenges to earn points.

Thursday 7 February 2019

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

GDPR: 9 Months On

Ian Fish, Chair, BCS Information Security Specialist Group

In May 2017 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced by the UK Government to much hype. Its aim was to protect the public from unauthorised and possibly illegal use of personal data by organisations but was met with wide confusion.

In this talk Ian Fish, Chair of the BCS Information Security Specialist Group, will critically review the impact of GDPR, identifying what has gone right, what has not gone as planned and what needs to be done to make it work as originally intended. GDPR affects us all so this is an excellent opportunity to find out the truth and become better informed about this important subject.

The slides from Ian's presentation may be found here (0.72 Mb). So much information about the GDPR was involved that many of the slides seem to be lists of subject headings, so extra reading would be required by those needing to know the subject fully. The application of the GDPR in the countries of the EU varies slightly from country to country. Anyone concerned for the first time, with the laws applied to the use of IT, should be aware that in the UK, both the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR apply.

Tuesday 15 January 2019

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

The Internet of Things Everything you've ever wanted to know and a few things you didn't

Andrew Yeoman, CEO, Concirrus

With everything from cars to fridges, TVs to trains, buildings and roads connecting to the internet it's estimated that there will be 25 billion IoT devices by 2020. Each of these devices is measuring some element of the physical environment and giving us data and insight into the world around us. What is driving this growth though and where does it end? What are we going to do with this data and how do we keep it secure? In this talk we'll explore some of the key dynamics driving this including cheap sensors, ubiquitous and free comms and unlimited computing power.

We'll also explore some of the implications of the market and explain the odd connection between your fridge, Coronation Street, and a power station in Wales.

The slides from Andrew's light-hearted but informative presentation may be found here. (3.74 Mb pdf file)

Those unfortunate enough not to be able to attend this meeting, may like to know that "the odd connection between your fridge, Coronation Street, and a power station in Wales" is that during the commercial break in the broadcast of Coronation Street, the power station detects the increase in demand for power while people make tea and to prevent the overload of the power station, requires (via the IoT) fridges in the neighbourhood to switch off until the power-load reduces to a normal level. I believe that the owners of the fridges get a rebate from the power company for this service.

Friday 14 December 2018

7.30pm. at the Style Bar, The Forum, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, AL10 9AB

Quiz Evening

The BCS Herts committee is throwing a quiz evening at the University of Hertfordshire's Style Bar. Join our free Computer Science themed quiz and test your knowledge against our fun set of questions. Whether you are an IT novice or a veteran programmer, there will be questions you can get in involved with. If you are interested in testing out your Computer Science knowledge or just want to have a good time and socialise, come and join in as an individual and meet like-minded people or bring your own team. The event will conclude with a prize for the lucky winners. Christmas jumpers are optional, but brains are required!

Thursday 8 November 2018

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

Developing, Integrating and Deploying Software in Primary Care

Ben Osborne (VP Engineering) and Laurence Bargery (CTO), accuRx

The pace of change in how modern software is built, deployed and iterated is staggering and the inexorable pace of protocols and standards facilitating integration between these, increasingly complex. But is this impacting Primary Care in the UK? How easy is it to build, deploy and update a software product in that space? Just how easy is it really to inter-operate with other software/services already in use?

In this presentation, Ben Osborne and Laurence Bargery will share their experiences of building software products for Primary Care, covering topics including the use of Cloud Services to rapidly structure software development, Continuous Deployment to rapidly iterate with users, deployment approaches at the country-level and their experiences integrating and inter-operating with existing Medical Record software.

Thursday 11 October 2018

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

Ada Lovelace Commemorative Lecture: Forensic IT

Siobhan Forster, Senior Commercial Dispute Consultant, IT Group

Modern organisations depend on their IT systems and infrastructure for their competitive and reputational survival. Yet visibly in the media or quietly behind the scenes, things can and do go wrong; with the outcome often meaning litigation between the provider and the client. Forensic IT has emerged as a discipline holding increasing importance in arbitration processes, seeking to analyse causes using evidence-based approaches in helping to resolve disputes.

Siobhan Forster, an expert in Forensic IT, will describe how she has developed her career in the discipline, the nature and content of her work and the tools and skills needed for success. Her talk will conclude with a personal look at the future of Forensic IT and its role in the Industry.