Category Archives: Events

Computing alumni’s have research papers accepted at the ieee 2022 conference

The Goldsmiths computing department has recently received wonderful news from 3 previous MA students who have had their research papers accepted in the IEEE 2022 Conference

What is the IEEE?

IEEE stands for International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Virtual Environments for Measurement Systems and Applications. The organisation boasts nearly 2,000 annual conferences and events worldwide for all of the technical fields of interest within IEEE.

The organisation annually allows new submissions of research projects,  articles and more to be submitted for publication followed by a paper-selection process and are peer reviewed before they are published. 

Due to the pandemic, the conference wasn’t held in New Zealand as previous advertised. The event was instead held via a unique virtual experience.

Video of the virtual IEEE conference

3 Goldsmiths Alumni’s had the pleasure of attending the event, share their experience of it and their excitement when finding out that their paper’s were accepted in this year’s intake.

Meet Sasha Jiang who recently graduated from the MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality at Goldsmiths. She now works in an Ad agency as a junior designer where she explores how to include VR work into advertising. Her accepted poster in the IEEE was titled “Rereading the Narrative Paradox for Virtual Reality Theatre – collaboration with Prof Jonny Freeman, Goldsmiths Psychology”.

Alumni Interview with Sasha Jiang

Meet Celine Yu who recently graduated from the MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality at Goldsmiths. With a background in film and TV, Celine was drawn to explore how VR and AR could affect different ways of story telling. Her accepted poster in the IEEE was titled “A validation study to trigger nicotine craving in virtual reality” in collaboration with Prof Daniel Freeman, Oxford University.

Alumni Interview with Celine Yu

Meet Fang Ma who recently graduated from the MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality at Goldsmiths. Fang’s interest in VR and AR explores avatar fidelity and making the whole VR experience more immersive. Her accepted poster in the IEEE was titled “Visual Fidelity Effects on Expressive Self-avatar in Virtual Reality: First Impressions Matter”

Alumni Interview with Fang Ma

What happens after?

Now that the papers have been accepted they will be peer reviewed and then published by the IEEE. This is a big ordeal for our Alumni students as less than 10 papers per conference are accepted.

The university is incredibly proud of the achievements of our Alumni students and would like to say a big congratulations to all those involved!

Masters student hosts departmental social event

Image: Rose; Organiser of the social event

Meet Rose, a programme representative for MA Computer Games: Art and Design. Rose, recently organised a social event for the department which garnered a lot of attention. We sat down to interview Rose about the event and what student’s can continue to look forward to.

Rose stated that “The main theme of the event was dress up and storytelling and a lot of snacks! All students from the masters computing department were invited to come. Students spent their time chatting, sharing stories about their lives as well as cultures and indulged in the chocolate fountain.”

Rose’s motivation for creating the event was to help form a community amongst students that would create a pleasant atmosphere while studying and make lasting connections among themselves. 

Image: Food Spread at the social event


At the events students were encouraged to play on the switch together, engage with icebreaker activities and in the story telling sessions which combined both worldly and personal stories. 

Rose has noted that her most memorable experience from this event was when they all shared their unique life stories as she got to connect with her fellow class mates and computing students better.

“There were a few challenges when organising the event”.

Rose noted, with the most challenging being finding an appropriate place to host the event. However, this logistical challenge was soon resolved.

Image: Students Socialising at the social event.

Rose confessed to us that by creating the event, she had developed new skills. “I would say that I definitely learnt a lot about time management whilst hosting this event. I had to plan accordingly in order for the timing to work well with people’s schedule and I also had to make sure that the pacing of the event was enjoyable.” 

Rose’s successful delivery of this event has prompted her to create more gaming and social events for the computing students to participate in in the future. Rose stated;

“I have several ideas for new events such as a group cinema outing,  a psychology and board games event and so much more! I am planning to host one event at the end of Easter Term, as well as other events in term three. 
If anyone would like to get more information about future social events, please either contact me on 
rpokr001@gold.ac.uk.”

We encourage other all computing students to engage in these social events as they are a great way to meet fellow students! You can also join the Goldmsiths’ Student discord and keep up to date with the Computing announcement emails.

Meet the students from HTC Vive Developers Jam

On Jan 24th – 26th, Goldsmiths Department of Computing, ran a Virtual Reality Hackathon weekend with HTC Vive. Participants were challenged to use VIVE hardware, including Software development kits like eye, lip and hand tracking to create an innovative virtual reality project. Meet some of the Goldsmiths student teams who wowed the judges with their unqiue and brilliant projects.

Group 1: Active Listening Training in VR

(aka the winners of the HTC Vive Hackathon 2020)

Our team had a very strong technical strength, with extensive knowledge in machine learning, VR and Unity development”

Carlos Gonzalez Diaz

What was the biggest challenge?

For this group the biggest challenge was the use of eye tracking, as well as the additional challenge of adding experimental sensors together. This team experimented with movement, mouth, eye, fingers and EEG (brain electrical activity) trackers. Unfortunately EEG and finger trackers proved too difficult within the strict time restrictions so they dropped them. The team managed to successfully integrate movement, eye and mouth tracking into a machine learning model in the final prototype.

What made the project unique?

The combination of technologies the team used, paired with an interesting story line made the project stand out. The team used the InteractML machine learning tool, an interactive machine learning framework for Unity which was developed by Carlos and colleagues. The machine learning aspect eased the teams workload.

What did they learn?

Cristina Dobre said “I’ve learnt many things from taking part in this event but if I’d choose one, that would be integration-as-you-go. As the team members specialised in different areas and worked in parallel on various parts of the system, we managed to put everything together towards the very end of the event. This gave us only little time to test and fix integration bugs which made the final work very stressful (also given our sleep-deprived states). We managed to have a playable demo with most of the important parts working, but it would have been a much smoother process if the integration would have taken place throughout the development, even though each part might have been only partly finished “

Team members (from left to right in tweet above):

Cristina Dobre, PhD Human Centered AI Characters in VR,
Lili Eva Bartha, experienced Designer and Scientist,
Claire Wu, PhD Neuroscience,
Carlos Gonzalez Diaz, PhD Machine Learning for expressive interactions


Group 2: VR Illusion

This team was a group of Goldsmiths students, many of whom has just started to learn VR in October 2019.

What were the teams strengths?

The skills in the team were varied, Hankun’s knowledge of unity helped them to solve their biggest problem of using C# to set the relationship between the size and position of the object. Yaqi brought skills in 3D modelling, so could quickly create the models they needed. Chaojing is skilled with the storytelling and drawing, so could set the story of the game and draw assets they needed. Finally, Shuai Xu is experienced in user interface design and sourced the music for the project.

How did the project relate studies at Goldsmiths?

Chaojing Li said “For the production of virtual reality games, the sense of the presence of the player is essential, because I think the most important meaning of Virtual Reality is to give people an immersive experience. We think that if there is no such sense of presence, then VR games are no different from games on ordinary platforms. During last semester, in the “3D Virtual Environments and Animation” class, our teacher Xueni Pan and Marco Gillies explained a lot of theory about Virtual Reality and some related psychological knowledge. This gave us a preliminary understanding of how to create a sense of presence in the virtual environment.”           

(From left to right) Hankun Yu, MA VR&AR student & Programme developer,
Yaqi Chen, MA VR&AR student & UX Designer,
Chaojing Li, MA VR&AR student & UX Designer,
Shuai Xu, MFA Computational Art Student & Visual Designer

Group 3

What was the project?

The group focused on virtual reality object interaction and eye tracking technology and how to combine the two to work together. In their programme cubes are thrown onto a mechanical belt like you would see in a factory, the user must stack the cubes onto each other, the challenge is that when the user looks directly at the area where the cubes are their vision is blocked, so they must use their peripheral vision to complete the task.

What is unique about your project

Nima Jamalian said “for our project we reversed the use of eye tracking technology. In majority of application that uses eye tracking the focus is on where user eyes are looking at however in our application we reversed it, the progamme checks if the player is not looking and only then the user can perform the task – so we sort of track where the player is not looking.”


Magdalena Nuspahic – Goldsmiths student, MA Virtual and Augmented Reality
Elisavet Koliniati – Goldsmiths Strudent Computational Arts student / Architect
Andrea Fiorucci – Goldsmiths graduate in Games Programming
Nima Jamalian – Goldsmiths Student PhD in Computer Science
Johannes Tscharn – Goldsmiths Student MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality

CareerHack – the traditional careers fair reinvented

This week we ran our second CareerHack event in partnership with Hacksmiths.

What is CareerHack?

CareerHack is a career & developer event where attendees spend 4 hours competing challenges in teams, showing off their skills to potential employers.

Challenges tested technical skills, with things like building an interactive game, as well as employability skills, like writing a personal profile and skills section for your CV to get students to think about the resources they need when heading into the working world. Employers are there to let the students know more about working at their organisations.

It’s a collaboration between the Department of Computing, Hacksmiths (our student-led tech society), our Careers Department and employers.

Our employer partners, Goodboy Digital; Lewisham Homes; Richmond & Wandsworth Council; and Scored provided challenges to the hack and were judges, working their way around the 8 teams of students and awarding points.

We wanted to look at new ways of employers and students interacting and piloted the event last year to great success, including one student getting a placement and another applying successfully for a full time position on graduation.

Employer feedback from last year’s event:

“much more useful than a “traditional” careers fair.” 

“being able to watch your students do actual engineering as opposed to just talking about it was really helpful (I was able to flag a number of final year students to our recruitment team as people whose applications should be expedited, if they choose to apply).”

We’re now pulling together feedback from the CareerHack this week and will start planning for next year! Well done to the winning team.

If you’re interested in working with our students on other innovative events, talks, placements and lots more, please contact Eilidh Macdonald.

Games Library Night

Games Library Night at Goldsmiths, University of London

For the second year in a row, at Goldsmiths we have celebrated the connection between our library and the world of games. The social space in the library is an incredible setting for showcasing games and have a friendly meetup and talk sessions with people from the game industry.

Plus, we had popcorn, cupcakes and tea for getting cosy and relaxed as the reading week is fading out and the winter is kicking in.

Across the evening we showcased many student games, some of which are making their own way to publishing and hitting the market. We played and talked together, giving and receiving feedback.

After a brief opening by Eve Jamieson and Alan Zucconi we’ve welcomed on stage our speakers.

Jupiter Hadley has introduced the audience to her job as a journalist and a reviewer, pointing out what are the elements that stand out in independent and game jam games.

Allan Cudicio, the second speaker of the evening, talked about how to research precolonial Africa for games. His talk was very well received, especially given how strong the discussion about decolonising the library currently is.

Anisa Sanusi closed the event talking about her mentorship programme for underrepresented genders in the game industry. We think this discussion is extremely relevant and important in an industry that is changing a lot and which is not always welcoming people in the best way.

We recorded all of the talks, which you can see in this playlist:

We’ve literally filled the space up to the brim and the Games Library Night has been a success for Goldsmiths. The feedback has been great, and the event was also featured on Timeout London.

Alan Zucconi, Federico Fasce, Eve Jamieson and Pete McKenzie

Games Library Night

To celebrate International Games Week, Goldsmiths Computing and Goldsmiths Library present a night with special guest speakers from across the games industry.

The event is free and open to the public, all are welcome. Participants will have an opportunity to play exciting new games created by Goldsmiths alumni and current students.

  • When: Friday 8 November 2019, 5pm – 9pm. Talks start at 6pm
  • Where: Goldsmiths Library
  • FREE. Register on Eventbrite

Speakers

Jupiter Hadley: Game Jams and Games You’ve Never Heard of….

Jupiter Hadley

This talk will explore Game Jams and highlight a collection of amazing game jam games that you have probably never heard of before.

Jupiter Hadley is a games journalist and YouTuber, primarily of indie games. Jupiter is also the Games Wizard at Armor Games.

Allan Cudicio: Make Pre-Colonial Africa Great Again – in Your Game

Allan Cudicio

This talk will tell you why you should start thinking about including precolonial Africa in your game (or other media) and will provide actionable first steps on how to research and implement it.

Allan Cudicio is Founder & Creative Director at Twin Drums, a new independent games studio focused on bringing together the fantasy genre and African folklore. Berlin based, Allan has worked for, among others, Candy Crush’s maker King and story driven mobile game developer Wooga.

Anisa Sanusi: Mentorship for the Underrepresented

Anisa Sanusi

Anisa discusses the story behind Limit Break Mentorship, a program created specifically to connect senior women in games to new or mid-level developers who are considered to be underrepresented in the industry.

She delves into how help can be sought after at any level of ones career, and the importance of giving back to a community – whoever you are.

Anisa Sanusi is a video games UI/UX Designer and Founder of Limit Break, a mentorship program for developers of underrepresented genders in the games industry. Throughout the years Anisa has cultivated a devotion to ethical UX design, speaking at the first UX Summit held at GDC in San Francisco and also served as a Juror for the BAFTA Games Awards for multiple years.

Anisa is an advocate for diversity and inclusivity in the industry, and this year she was listed as one of the Top 100 Influential Women in the UK Games Industry.

Tea & Testing ☕️🎮

On Monday 14 October, games students from across the department came together for our very first ‘Tea & Testing’ session.

Created by games lecturer Alan Zucconi, the event is an opportunity for students in different years and on different courses to test out their games, and explore the games that are being made by their fellow students. What’s more, there’s tea and biscuits, an important part of the testing process.

As a bonus addition to the first session, a guest visitor was invited.
Award-winning game developer Alan Hazelden came along to get some feedback on a new game he is developing. The room was buzzing and many different weird and wonderful games were played, and plenty of chatting and mingling alongside.

The event highlighted that alcohol isn’t a necessary ingredient for testing sessions. Alan Zucconi said “Most social events that give students an opportunity to playtest their games tend to revolve around pubs, which are rarely accessible and not always promoters of an inclusive environment.

“The people who don’t feel comfortable in those environments are the ones we need to hear the most. The idea to switch to tea instead is to provide students with a safer and more inclusive space.”

If you’re interested in attending the next session – either because you have a game you would like to playtest, or because you want to play some games – the next sessions are….

  • Goldsmiths library, 3pm-6pm Friday 8 November
  • Room 219, Whitehead Building, 5pm-7pm Monday 25 November