Tag Archives: Lovelace Colloquium

BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, 4 April 2013

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Thursday saw fellow student Aga Banach and myself representing Edinburgh Napier University at this year’s Colloquium at Nottingham University.  I’ve spoken a lot about this event recently so I’ll keep the descriptions to a minimum, but the Aberystwyth University run event is a great opportunity for female computing students from across the UK to get together and meet industry professionals, academics and employers whilst mingling with their peers.  There is also a poster competition, with very generous prizes provided by the sponsors.

Aga and I were selected as finalists in the poster competition so the main sponsor, Google, very kindly paid for our travel expenses and accommodation.  Aga’s poster covered the digital matte painting process while I went for a poster detailing my journey through university:

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We arrived in Nottingham the day before and spent an enjoyable evening wandering around and taking in the sights.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper trip to Nottingham if this guy isn’t mentioned at some point:

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Aga and I then retired to our accommodation, which was surprisingly nice for student digs!  I spent the evening working on my pitch for my poster while drinking tea and watching Netflix, my new favourite thing ever.

The event kicked off at 10 am, before which those of us who stayed overnight got to know each other over breakfeast.  After the welcome speech and inital tech talks we broke for lunch, where afterwards we set up our stands and spoke about our posters to the judges and other attendees.  There was a prize for each year plus a People’s Choice award, so Aga and I got an opportunity to take a look at the competition and vote for our favourite.  The range of subjects covered was huge, with a lot of brilliant projects and ideas on show.

I got a lot of positive responses from my poster and spent the afternoon chatting about what it’s like to be the only female networking student in my year and the support I get from the groups I’m involved with.  I had an especially lovely chat with one of the Google student recruiters about the cloud and big data, discussing our love for Dropbox (who very generously gave me 50GB of space when I bought my Galaxy S3) and how to manage listening to Google Music with mobile data allowances.  I’m with 3 so no data caps for me, huzzah!

I was also approached by Ann Danylkiw, who was there to make a documentary about the Colloquium and the experiences of women in tech.  I agreed to take part and had a lovely time chatting with another student on camera about our experiences, which were surprisingly very different but made for good subject matter.

Afterwards we had some more technical talks and the prizegiving.  Unfortunately Aga and I didn’t win anything, although we were very pleased for those who did as several were from Scottish universities – well done, Scottish winners!  Aga and I did spot a couple of factual inaccuracies in one of the winning posters (not sour grapes, just good old pedantry – honest!), however the standards were generally excellent and I have some ideas to think about for next year’s poster.

I enjoyed myself thoroughly at the Lovelace Colloquium and will definitely be attending again next year.  I would like to once again thank the organisers, in particular the lovely Hannah Dee, who worked so hard to put on a great event.

Here’s to next year!

Happy Easter!

 

Yummy Easter cake

 

So it’s finally Easter and the sun has even decided to come out, huzzah!  Our Easter weekend has been great, full of sunshine, homemade Easter cake, chocolate and a hormonal pet rabbit (a real one, not the decoration).

It’s also great to get a breather from uni, although I’ve set myself the task of getting some coursework done and handed in a couple of weeks before the deadline.  I’m using this time to gather my thoughts for the final push towards the end of the semester and my first year so I can go out on a high.  I really can’t believe how fast this year has gone in!

My first year has been fantastic and I’ve learned an awful lot.  The main challenge has been getting used to full time study again whilst learning how to juggle study time with family time, which is pretty difficult but doable once I set myself some rules and boundaries.  It’s been a while since I was first at university (doing journalism – what was I thinking?!) so although I knew what to expect, it still takes some time to get back into the swing of student life.  Luckily I’ve had lots of support from my wonderful family and the teaching and faculty staff, plus all the various groups and events I’ve become involved with to support the 20-odd women in first year.

Although this year wasn’t plain sailing all the way through, I feel really good about my experiences from first year – good and bad – and am all set for second year.  I’m not resting on my laurels yet though as I still have two class tests and my coursework to go, but the way the first year has been planned has been a great way to ease back into full time study.  From the support of the staff to practical tutorials such as report writing, I’ve built a really great foundation in my first year on which to continue forward.

Finally, please wish me luck in the poster competition at the Lovelace Colloquium tomorrow!

 

First week back

Ah, it’s good to be back at uni after four weeks off!

A lot of my free time has been taken up by sorting out my timetable and reading up on resources and study materials.  I’ve also been busy with my student rep duties and preparing for the Lovelace Colloquium (you don’t want to know how many times I typed that word until I was happy with the spelling) with the lovely Hazel Hall.

This semester sees us moving away from doing the same modules to starting on the core modules for our individual courses.  I miss many of my friends already, but I’m also enjoying getting properly stuck into the (metaphorical) meat of my course (I’m a vegetarian).  Today was spent quite productively mucking around with the likes of ipconfig and tracert and wondering if the website we were all pinging thought it was under a DDoS attack.

On a more personal note, this week also saw us welcoming a new addition to the family:

Betty

Betty is a Lab X Collie from the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home and is absolutely mental, but is also very loving and has settled in really well.  Her owners sadly had to give her up when they moved house so we are fortunate that she came to us with basic training and house manners.  However, Betty does tend to pull on the lead as she’s always desperate to have a good run across the fields, but I daren’t let her loose just yet as I’m not sure she’d come back!  I blame the rabbit warrens dotted all over the place…