Category Archives: Students

Goldsmiths Course Survival Guide Part Un

This blog is for anyone thinking about joining MSc Computer Games and Entertainment and wants some insight into what they’re jumping into, some helpful resources, some of the mistakes I made and how you can avoid them and finally (if like me) you’re new to programming: how you can catch up and code like the best of them.
But first, introductions: Hello everyone, my name is Max Bye and I’m an alcoholic.
Eyes below for a picture.

Here I am asleep in your Computer Labs

Continue reading Goldsmiths Course Survival Guide Part Un

CAST launch party: sushi, pecha kucha and Paul the Robot

On Thursday 26 April 2012, the Department of Computing hosted the launch of CAST (Centre for Creative and Social Media).

The event was a huge success and a highly enjoyable evening. Our compere for the evening was Mark Grist, former MA Creative and Life Writing student, and Edinburgh Fringe Slam champion 2010, Mark Grist (markgrist.com), who has just completed two national tours with his performance poetry. His double act, Dead Poets, seeks to challenge preconceptions of poetry and hip hop, and was recently featured on BBC 6 Music with Steve Merchant. Recently, a video of Mark’s rap battle with Blizzard went viral which has earned him a huge amount of media attention with the Independent on Sunday calling him a ‘Face to Watch’.

Our brilliant Pecha Kucha speakers included:

Our speakers were challenged to brevity and impact: 6 minutes and 40 seconds to explore innovation in their field. They did an absolutely fantastic job and we are really grateful to them for their involvement.

Other stars of the evening were Patrick Tresset and Paul the Robot, Annette Walker and her tap-dancing, and Bruno Zamborlin’s incredible Mogees installation which turned the railings on the venue’s staircase into musical instruments.

About CAST

This year, students in CAST have enjoyed Innovation Internships at the Wall Street Journal, Telegraph Media Group, Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), Livestation, Runnymede Trust, and Headshift.

CAST programmes offer interdisciplinary teaching across computing and professional disciplines with students learning applied computing and research methods to complement the fundamentals of journalism, sociology and cultural studies.

CAST is currently accepting applications for the 2012/13 academic year on the following programmes:

MA/MSc Digital Journalism
MA/MSc Digital Sociology
MA/MSc Creating Social Media

Matt, BSc Computer Science

Matt Huxley, computer science thinkerHi! I’m Matt. I’m 24 and a current second year computer science student at Goldsmiths. I’ll basically be blogging about my degree, what work or projects I’m on and any computing related work I’m doing outside of uni. Here’s a picture of me looking somewhat inspirational in my kitchen; no doubt thinking of doubles or 32 bit single precision floating point binary representation.

Currently I’m working on my Android, Networks & Web and Distributed Programming courseworks and looking forward to the exams in May. Fun! I’m also putting together a project for the Warden about the library at Goldsmiths for the student union. My contribution for the presentation will be presenting it myself and putting together a video of Library project video previewthe interviews we did. Though, an in-proportionate amount of time currently is going into an excessive and perhaps joke intro. Think dubstep, and lens flares, and contrast. Yeah, about that.

 

Outside of uni I work for a company iBid as one of their technicians. They provide wireless silent bidding systems for auctions and events. So I set up the wireless networks in the big event halls/rooms in connection to our server, set up all the tablets and configure them for the tables and manage the guestlist/table number database throughout the night. We also set up the displays and dynamic leaderboards on stages and TVs around the room, so it’s working with a lot of AV people too. It’s quite a lot of fun, getting to be privy to VIP celebrity auctions but pretty long hours and hard work. Most of them don’t finish way beyond midnight, so not for everyone.

Hopefully I can put some examples of what I’m doing as I progress and as deadlines loom next week I’m sure spotting something I missed on the marking criteria will give me something to show off I’ve just done. Back to work!

Student Profile: Alina, BSc Creative Computing

Hello! My name is Alina, i’m originally from Kazakhstan, but currently I live in London studying BSc Creative Computing at Goldsmiths University, and I really love it here!

When I came to Goldsmiths for my first year of Creative computing, I had no clue about how to use a programming language or what SQL means… And now as I am reaching towards the end of my course, I feel I have opened a whole new dimension of knowledge and skills for myself. I now feel a lot more freedom and confidence in solving any problem I might come across!

Because the areas of technology and especially computing are evolving very fast from year to year, nowadays, our skills in using computer technology have to evolve together as fast; and this is probably the greatest skill that you grasp on this course. Creative Computing is a great course that not only teaches you how to program, but also gives you freedom to explore your creativity, and it is the main reason why I was eager to chose and study this course in the first place.

When working on a group project I always take on an artistic part of it, as this is what I am best at. I love to create designs, and art scope for any of the projects. Nevertheless such languages as
C++/OpenFrameworks and Processing  are of great interest to me, simply because they allow us to create visual and graphical stuff.
Outside of university, I work part-time in ENRC company, where I take care of IT services as well as assist in some website development projects. During my free time I greatly enjoy exploring Fashion and Art exhibitions and practice my drawing and photography skills!

I hope in the future I could devote myself to many artistic projects, and use programming skills I have gathered in Goldsmiths. One of them, for example, will be a fabric pattern designs created with computer coding.

January Exams and Final Projects

This week, for the first time, we are running our 3rd year exams in January rather than in the summer. This is part of our continual process of updating our degrees to make sure that our students get the best and most relevant experience they can.

We are doing it to make sure our final year projects are the best they can be. The final year project is our students’ opportunity to work on a large scale software development project like one they will work on when they get a job as a programmer. Employers are looking for graduate software developers who have practical programming experience and so the final year project is a vital part of the portfolio our graduates can show to employers. We have therefore made it an important part of their degree and work hard to make it as close to work in industry as possible.

Like most universities we used to run our projects at the same time as the 3rd year taught courses. Many students told us that this made it difficult to work on the project, as they were torn between working on their course works and on their project and could never concentrate on their project as they should. Based on this feedback we took the radical step of making the second term project only, so they could concentrate entirely on their project and have a term entirely dedicated to practical work as a preparation for their first job.

We tried this last year and our students gave us great feedback, and produced some excellent projects, but they still said they couldn’t concentrate 100% on their projects because they still had to do exams in the summer. So this year we have moved their exams to the first week of this term, after which they can concentrate on nothing but their projects.

It’s been a lot of hard work for us, we are the only department to have exams in January and organising them at this time has meant a lot of preparation to tight deadlines, but it will all be worth it if it gives our students the opportunity to work on exciting projects and to do great work.

-Marco