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Five go to Hay

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Five Department of Computer Science academics will be speaking at the Hay on Wye literary festival this year. Their topics range from algorithms and artificial intelligence to security in social media, covering a range of the research done at the department.

Ursula Martin will explore the earliest foundations of Computer Science, talking about Ada Lovelace, a pioneer of the past, while Peter Millican hopes to inspire computer science pioneers of the future with his children’s workshop on programming for beginners. Artificial intelligence is one of the more obvious topics that crosses over from the realities of scientific research into the distorted fantasies of science fiction. The news is full of stories about robots taking our jobs, but in his lecture Head of Department Mike Wooldridge will help us to see past this paranoia, explaining the reality of AI today: what makes AI work after half a century of effort, what is possible, and what the implications are for all of us. Jason Nurse’s talk ‘Social Media: The use of your online information for the good, the bad, and the ugly’ keys into the fear we all have about the negative potential of social media. Leslie Ann Goldberg will explain a little of what we know about the limitations of algorithms, and also the famous P vs NP problem (the most important open problem in computer science).

The development of computer science has an impact on so many aspects of our day to day lives, by taking part in the Hay on Wye festival, Computer Scientists at the cutting edge of research will have the opportunity to explain how things work today, and how they might work in the future. Read more about the five lectures and book your tickets here: https://goo.gl/JpvqVA

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Ursula Martin
(Professor of Computer Science, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh)