I’m trying out some gallery options for an artist, so thought I’d post some of my own paintings as a test. Here’s the default WordPress “Gallery” block – this is the least effort option:

Much of the Aberystwyth Contingent: Rebecca, Begum, Praboda, Me, Edel, Danniela, Abby, Joanna, Jasmine, Grace, Savannah and Tamzin (missing: Amanda and Anita)

On April 4th, we held the 17th BCSWomen Lovelace. I’ve been running or co-running this conference for longer than I’ve been running this blog… so it’s time for an event report. There’s a few missing in my event report sequence as I started this blog in 2009 (after the first Lovelace), I didn’t make it to #3 in Cardiff 2010 (I was working in France at the time), and it seems like 2021 Lovelace didn’t get an event report on this blog even though it definitely happened (online). A well-run conference involves more work in the run-up than anyone could possibly think, and the LovelaceRead More →

We (me, Clem Herman at the OU and Gillian Arnold of Tectre ltd) are running a short project on gendered microaggression in computing at University. We have run some focus groups and are now at the survey stage. SO! This post is to help advertise the survey, which you can fill in in English or in Welsh: https://openuniversity.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/gendered-microaggressions-survey https://aber.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/microymosodiadau-rhyweddol-mewn-adrannau-cyfrifiadura We’d like responses from students, as we’re interested in the current picture, but we’re also interested in the experiences of grads and staff. We ask about microaggressions you’ve experienced but also those you’ve witnessed. This means we want to capture responses from guys as well asRead More →

Bluebell wood

I do quite a lot of drawing and painting (check out my insta) and quite often do courses to keep me on my toes and introduce me to new things. In the last five years or so I’ve done some… Most recently I’ve done a course on Digital Drawing online with Sarah Bowe which I am just submitting the final piece for. This is the course, if anyone is interested: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/lifelong-learning/courses/course/details/CL109_XK15605/ The final piece (for me) looks like this and is a digital sketch of penglais woods in a sort of manga style. I’ve enjoyed the course on one level but I think I’ll stickRead More →

Children at work animating and planning their animations in the library

Aberystwyth University is 150 round about now and as part of the institution’s 150th birthday celebrations they’ve had a series of projects to help celebrate this. Tally Roberts (our faculty outreach wizard) and I got a small grant to run some storytelling and animation based coding workshops for kids, which finished at the weekend. We ran five workshops (two in the Town Library, two in the Arts Centre, and one in the Ceredigion Museum) to coincide with school holidays, and had about 45 kids attend overall. The aim was to do some programming in Scratch in a creative context, telling stories about Aberystwyth. They didn’tRead More →


Gosh. Where to start. The 16th BCSWomen Lovelace happened a few weeks ago, and I was the event chair. Again. After retaking the reins and leading some events in lockdown, it was time to go face-to-face with the best women undergrads in computing in the UK. Again. Should I start on the day, with my brain waking me at 4, then getting me up at 5, for a stroll around a lake to clear my head before facing all the people? Or should I start three weeks earlier, when I took delivery of a badge machine to make a load of pronoun badges so weRead More →

embroidery machine in action

Over the last couple of months I have been intermittently playing with code and with the embroidery machine, and there are a few things I’ve learned. Here’s a blow-by-blow account of creating an embroidered image from a photo: First I cut out the image I was interested in using GIMP, and then blurred it to reduce the amount of detail. With my blurred image, I then ran Watershed to segment it into coloured blocks or regions. This gave me something like this: This original attempt at a pattern was – with hindsight – too complex. However I didn’t know that at the time so IRead More →

a test of the stitching capabilities

We’ve got a new piece of kit in our university Makerspace! Thanks to Chris Price we’ve got a Brother Innovis NV880E embroidery machine https://www.brothermachines.com/sewing/2947/Innov-is_NV880E_Embroidery_Machine. This is a sewing machine with a robotic element – you put material in an embroidery frame, and the machine moves the embroidery frame around in order to sew in different directions with different stitches. This means that you can sew patterns! Combined with an online system called TurtleStitch you can program embroidery using a blocks-based language. The machine also has some inbuilt patterns and text but these are not as exciting as being able to program embroidery… My first testRead More →

Programmed Inequality by Mar Hicks is a history of early computing in the UK, starting right at the beginning. The book concentrates on the experiences and conditions for women in tech, and their changing status. Much like Recoding Gender by Janet Abbate (which I read recently but didn’t, for some reason, blog about) it looks at the way the computing profession is first invented and then changes over time, influenced by and influencing women’s position in tech. The simple tale is one that’s been told a few times… 1940s-50s – to begin with, computer was a word that referred to someone who computed, probably aRead More →