I recently finished Algorithms to Live by (the computer science of human decisions), by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. The book provides a fairly detailed popular science account of some major findings from computer science, relating computational algorithms to the way humans solve problems. As an example – how do we fit things in our busy lives? Let’s look at scheduling theory! Or, how should we organise our books and libraries and computer files? Let’s look at the theories behind Caching! As an interloper into computer science I found the book particularly interesting; I know about a lot of CS and algorithmic concepts through working
Usually we organise a couple of socials each term for the women students in our department. These involve meeting up for a coffee or some drinks, and provide an informal way to support women students as it can be a little odd being in a minority. As Wales went into a “firebreak” lockdown, a friend suggested we do some kind of online social to entertain the students. This is a difficult year for everyone in education but I think students must find it particularly hard – it is frustrating being locked down in a house, I can’t imagine being locked down in a student accommodation.
The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium was supposed to be in Stirling this year. As ever, we’d put a lot into it (visits, campus tours, looking around poster spaces and theatres, booking rooms, choosing lunches, block booking hotels, etc. etc.) but as the event grew nearer and the pandemic grew stronger we had to decide: cancel, or move online. Which is how we found ourselves organising the first virtual BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium with just 4 weeks’ notice. This was a big job and pulling it together took a lot of people. There are a few blog posts out there which deal with the conference as a whole