Category Archives: News

An algorithm walks into a bar and orders a new joke: Prof Simon Colton on Radio 4

Professor Simon Colton leads the Computational Creativity Group here at Goldsmiths (based in the Department of Computing). Last week he appeared on BBC Radio 4 in comedian, Natalie Haynes’ documentary about computational creativity and humour. She writes:

Simon Colton of Goldsmiths College showed me how his algorithms search the day’s newspapers to calculate, from the headlines, whether it’s a happy day or a sad one. The programme’s mood is thus decided, and it can write something akin to poetry by picking key words from the newspaper articles themselves. Mr Colton’s computer can also turn Twitter into verse, finding short chunks of prose which fit the mood he’s chosen, then picking tweets which rhyme and scan and putting them in a meaningful order.

You can read Natalie’s full piece in The Independant here.

Mick Grierson live on resonanceFM tomorrow

Breaking news: Dr Mick Grierson, the programme leader for BSc Creative Computing and the MA/MFA Computational Studio Arts is being interviewed tomorrow afternoon on “PassWord with Peter Warren”, live on resonanceFM. He’ll be talking about Creative Computing, music tech industries and other, related stuff about digital making / computational arts.

You can listen live at resonanceFM, or tune in to 104.4FM in the london area.


All Goldsmiths postgraduate Games students secure industry placements

(Project by MSc student Tudor Nita)

All of the 2012/13 MSc in Computer Games and Entertainment students at Goldsmiths, University of London have secured placements at UK computer games companies.

The students, who finish their masters this summer, will take up placements at some of the UK’s top games development institutions, including The Creative Assembly (SEGA), Rebellion, Supermassive Games, Gamesys, Roll7, Beefjack, Hadrian York, National Film & Television School, and British Petroleum (BP) Graphics Group.

Professor William Latham, co-director and co-founder of the MSc Computer Games and Entertainment, said: “We have created a programme that is line with industry needs and focuses on placing students with companies during this exciting time in the industry – as PS4 and Xbox One arrive and casual games and underlying games analytics demand grows. From the students’ point of view, invariably these placements become a rapid stepping stone to full-time employment”.

MSc in Computer Games and Entertainment graduate Andrew Dyer, now a Programmer at Supermassive Games, commented: “The MSc Computer Games & Entertainment course has done an excellent job preparing me for working at the front lines of the games industry, and as a programmer specifically. It has been intensive and very thorough, encouraging us all to understand first-hand the workings of graphics, animation, and physics systems that ultimately helped me working with them at a higher level during my internship at Supermassive Games and subsequent employment at the studio.”

Professor Frederic Fol Leymarie, co-director and co-founder of the MSc Computer Games and Entertainment, said: “Our lecturers have tens of years of experience in the games industry and still practice on current and emerging titles and consoles, such as Andy Thomason who continues to work as a games programmer at Sony.”

Placements for new students joining in September 2013 are already being confirmed:

Martin Servante, Director of Operations & Finance at The Creative Assembly, makers of the hit series Total War, commented: “Following two consecutive years of taking Goldsmiths MSc Games students on placements, we are pleased to announce that we have reserved a minimum of three placements for Goldsmiths students starting the course in September 2013, on site during the period May to September 2014.”

The programme has attracted partnerships with UK games developer Rebellion, Creative Assembly, Supermassive Games, world-renowned advertising agency M&C Saatchi, and the National Film and Television School (NFTS).

For more information about the MSc Computer Games and Entertainment at Goldsmiths, visit

Goldsmiths Computing Expo 2013: interesting people doing interesting stuff

The annual Goldsmiths Computing Expo is where we open our doors to everyone and offer them a chance to come and see some of our technological innovation and meet the staff and students behind it.

This year’s Computing Expo was a fantastic showcase of the work of our department at all levels from first year undergraduate to PhD and staff research. The diversity of work was impressive, from a durational performance recreating in digital form the collaboration between Marina Abramović and Ulay, to an app that suggests clothing and make-up colours to complement your skin and hair. There was also a first year collaborative music making systems that many attendees mistook for a final year project!

These were all projects that were very creative and well thought out but also highly technically challenging. What was particularly impressive was the number of students who were getting their work out in the real world from iPhone games on the app store to collaborations with Choreographers and open source hardware.

In the early evening, a range of professionals, students and academics took to the Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre to hear a series of short presentations from some of the departments brightest undergraduate students. Martin Roth, head of research at interactive music company RjDj, and Research Fellow in the department, chaired a panel of industry experts including Lisa Long – Director of Soniq Play , Alan Stuart – Director of Wow Elite, Brendan Quinn from Clueful Media Ltd, and Justin Spooner, Director of Unthinkable consulting. Martin Roth said “It was great to be able to see what Goldsmiths students are up to and how the College is thinking about entrepreneurship.”

Check out some of the projects below:

The Department of Computing at Goldsmiths is arguably Europe’s leading interdisciplinary computer science department for research, teaching and enterprise across the arts, music and social sciences. Our success has been based on a strong strategic focus with London’s creative industries and realised through strong partnerships with other departments in Goldsmith such including Art, Music, Sociology, Design, Visual Cultures, Theatre and Performance and Psychology.

We are already looking forward to EXPO 2014 where, you never know, it might be your work we’re showing off!

See our Expo pics on Flickr


Killer Robots: Mark Bishop in New Scientist

The Computing Department’s very own Prof Mark Bishop has appeared in New Scientist this week where he has been interviewed about the development and potential (mis)use of military killer robots. Mark argues that a ban on these kind of weapons is essential.  Read the online version of the article (by Simon Makin) here. 

Image, Will Hutchinson

Mark Bishop is professor of cognitive computing at Goldsmiths, University of London, and chairs the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour

Computing at Goldsmiths top in the UK for student satisfaction

Goldsmiths’ Computing Department is celebrating after coming top in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching for their subject area in the 2012 National Student Survey (NSS).* The Department also came joint first for academic support, joint first for learning resources and joint second in the UK for overall student satisfaction in computer science.


93% of respondents agreed that they had received the advice and support they needed, 96% agreed that Goldsmiths’ staff were good at explaining things, and 100% said they had been able to access general IT resources when they needed to.**


Computing Department Business Manager Wendy McDonald said, ‘We are really pleased with this result. The opinions of our students are very important to us and we take their feedback into close consideration as we continually work to improve the courses we offer.’


The Department hopes its new BSc in Games Programming, introduced by popular demand, will achieve a similar result in future student satisfaction surveys. Applications for the first intake opened in September 2012 and interest in the new programme, which is designed to prepare students for a career in the video games industry, has exceeded expectations.


Computing at Goldsmiths prides itself on its acclaimed approach to interdisciplinary teaching. It also boasts a wide range of opportunities for its students to gain practical experience through extensive industry partnerships; recent collaborations include projects with Google, Motorola and M & C Saatchi. Most programmes also include an optional one-year work placement, providing invaluable experience to enhance future career prospects. 100% of those who graduated from the MSc in Games and Entertainment Industries in 2011-12 were employed within a year in the games and entertainment industry.

*Based on mean score of respondents completing their first degree

** Based on percentage agreement