Our seminar series is free and available for anyone to attend. Unless otherwise stated, seminars take place on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm in the Kilburn Building during teaching season.

If you wish to propose a seminar speaker please contact Antoniu Pop.


3pm: Serious Fun in Computer Science. 4pm: Reasoning about Human Error with Interactive Systems based on Formal Models of Behaviour

  • Speaker:   Dr  Paul Curzon  (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Host:   Adrian Albin-Clark
  • 5th December 2007 at 15:00 in Lecture Theatre 1.4, Kilburn Building
3 till 4pm. Serious Fun in Computer Science

Computer Science has been in crisis for several years. Interest in studying it has dropped dramatically. Our approach has been to show potential students how much fun it is. This is more effective than selling specific courses or institutions. CS is after all a naturally exciting, innovative and thought-provoking subject. cs4fn ( a website and magazine, now funded by an EPSRC PPE award, that we?ve been writing for the sheer enjoyment of it is just one part of it. We also do Computer Science Research "shows" for kids, including a Magic Show and an AI show that involves building brains out of rope and toilet roll. Our approach works: teachers, industry and the International Review of ICT have commended us ... and we have seen an increase in undergraduate applications of over 130% in 2 years.

In this talk we will demonstrate some of the live activities we do, show how some have translated to online activities and discuss some of the issues in making sure Computer Science is fun as well as serious.

4 till 4:30pm. Reasoning about human error with interactive systems based on formal models of behaviour

Humans make mistakes. Such errors can have a variety of causes. Some, such as slip errors, have cognitive causes. The design of interactive computer systems can make such slips more or less likely. We will overview the work of the Human Error Modelling Project (HUM). It is an inter-disciplinary project between QMUL and UCL that brings together formal verification and empirical studies on human error. Its aims include the development of a deeper understanding of the causes of such errors and the development of formal verification techniques based on formal models of the human behaviour from which systematic errors emerge.
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