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Group Design Practical 2014 winners announced


Four £400 prizes awarded to students at the Second Year Group Design Practical Presentation Day.

The Group Design Practical, runs from January, and sees teams of 4-6 undergraduate students battling it out with their chosen project. Many of the challenges having been set, or sponsored by industry partners, which this year included Captial Management. The students’ work culminates in an exhibition and formal presentation, held in the Department on May 14th.

The judging panel consisted of one representative from each of the other sponsors - IBM, Bloomberg, Metaswitch, and Ensoft – plus the University of Oxford. Each industry partner awarded the teams a prize based upon their own criteria, of £400 per winner.

Eight different project challenges were on offer to the teams. Project topics are presented in the form of an outline design brief. Part of the work is to undertake a proper requirements analysis for the chosen project, working with the project mentor.


Team 9 were awarded the IBM prize for their Augmented Reality (AR) project. The challenge was to implement an AR prototype system that processed and displayed a range of information about the user’s current surroundings. The Team consisted of Angus Tayler, James Wallis, Joshua Clark, Matthew Sjodin and Stephen Heap, with Jason Nurse from Oxford University’s Cyber Security Centre as their mentor.

Team 2 won the Metaswitch prize with their Musical Fingers Project. Their task was to use a Leap Motion controller to turn a computer into a musical instrument – or even an orchestra.  Their team consisted of Alasdair Thorley, Andrew Wright, Ashok Menon, Gregory Auger, Oana Adascalitei and Thomas Lear. Computer Science Tutor Pete Jeavons was their mentor. Leap Motion kindly provided equipment for this challenge.

Team 8 was handed the Bloomberg Prize for their program on Technical Talent Spotting. This challenge was set in collaboration with Metaswitch, who wanted some web-based software developed, that could be used as part of the company’s internships application process, to help assess the quality of applicants. The team members were Alexander Newby, James Thompson, Joe Fowler, Joseph Pollard and Kamran Khan. College Lecturer Joe Pitt-Francis acted as mentor.

Team 3 with the  Instant Feedback project won the final prize, from Ensoft.  The challenge was to create a mobile app that would enable live feedback and interaction between a lecturer and their audience.   The team was made up of Amy Welch, Gabriel Asman, Jan Mikolajzak and Stephen Green.  The group’s mentor was University Lecturer Alessandro Abate.


All second year undergraduates reading Computer Science, Computer Science & Philosophy or Mathematics & Computer Science take part in the Group Design Practical. This area of work is designed to allow the students to practice their skills learnt previously on the course, and helps them develop and apply the theory learnt in the previous year and a half. It also helps develop team-working abilities, project and time management as well.

Companies interested in sponsoring projects in future years, or just wanting to learn more, please contact