We had a great time at the Computer Science in Action event in London. After a scenic train journey and stroll through Westminster, we made it to the Emmanuel Center, and what a wonderful venue it was. It felt fitting to be learning about the future of technology in a place steeped in such rich history.
The topics of the lectures were varied but all immensely interesting. Yee Mun Lee’s talk on self-driving cars offered a new, pedestrian perspective on the problems of automated vehicles, while James Arthur’s lecture on the relationship between Computer Science and Mathematics fascinated us with their philosophical outlook on the existence of truth. Dr Miranda Mowbray then revealed how shockingly similar the election system of 13th century Venice was to algorithms used by machine learning software, a clear sign of how much we have to learn from the past.
After a whistle-stop tour of Westminster’s most iconic landmarks during our lunch break, we returned for some great exam top tips before continuing with the lectures. Professor Matthew Leeke engaged and slightly spooked us with his tales of how simple data from our smartphones can be used to fully map out our lives, inspiring us to be vigilant with our data. Finally Mark Jago’s talk on Alan Turing perplexed us with Turing’s early computation, and reminded us of just how far computer science has come in just 70 years.
It was an excellent trip, and we all learned so much from it about the past, present and future of computer science. We left inspired and excited by the advancements the future holds, and the parts we may yet play in making them happen.
Wilf Kieran (13Sherborne)