Past workshops

Following are some of the talks (with slides) from past CS4HS workshops.

September 2016 workshop

Teaching technology

Speaker: Professor David Lowe

Slides (pdf)

Cyber security

Speaker: Dr Ralph Holz

Slides (pdf)

Speaker: Luke Anderson

Slides (pdf)

3D Printing

Speakers: Dr Lionel Ott and Phillippe Morere

Slides (pdf)

Building robots with Arduino

Speakers: Anthony Tompkins and Rafael Olivera

Slides (pdf)


October 2014 workshop

Online Teaching

Speaker: Professor David Lowe

Slides (powerpoint)

Slides (pdf)

A Simple Arduino Program

Speaker: Associate Professor Michael Charleston


Creating the future technology for lifelong learning, learning to collaborate and collaborating to learn

Speaker: Professor Judy Kay

Slides (pdf)

Distributed Computing

Speaker: Dr Vincent Gramoli

Slides (pdf)

Other workshops

Online teaching

Speaker: Professor David Lowe

The pace of innovation in online education has accelerated substantially in the last year, with the emergence of MOOCs - Massive Online Open Courses - as a significant factor in the education field. Amongst the rhetoric around online learning, the educational models it creates or breaks, and logistical changes it drives, the core focus of education - student learning - has often been overlooked.

Slides (powerpoint)

Slides (pdf)

Horizon report: Technology Outlook for STEM+ Education 2012-2017

Website for NMC Publications

More detailed information on the remote labs

P, NP, and Complexity

Speaker: Professor Peter Eades

Some computer programs are efficient, some are not. Some problems can be solved by computer, other problems cannot. In this talk we examine what computers can and cannot do.

Slides (Powerpoint)

Slides PDF

Pagerank ­Algorithms can change the world

Speaker: Professor Sanjay Chawla

Everyday we use search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Often we are still surprised by how these search engines can find highly relevant stuff as if they can “almost read our mind.” I will talk about the underlying mathematics of how search engines rank documents in response to a search query. The mathematics is spectacularly easy (solving simultaneous equations) but is clouded by a scary name: eigen¬≠decomposition of a random walk matrix.

Slides (Powerpoint)

Slides PDF

Parallel Computing

Speaker: Dr Bernhard Scholz

Moore’s law is still intact; the numbers of transistors on a chip is still doubling every two years. However, since 2005 we have observed that the performance of sequential CPUs is stagnating, even though the number of transistors has increased. To overcome this problem, computer architectures have become parallel; instead of having a single CPU, several CPUs are working in concert. Recent simulations have shown that the parallelisation of architectures cannot be increased arbitrarily. Hence, in the future, the only foreseeable way to obtain faster programs is to devise better algorithms.

Information and Knowledge Visualization

Speaker: Associate Professor Masa Takatsuka

This talk will present how Self-Organizing Maps (one of Artificial Neural Networks) help visualising complex information that is typically very difficult understand. In particular, the talk will introduce 1) the benefit of this computional process in improving Analytical Reasoning process, 2) analytic methods using SOM and other visualization/computer vision techniques, 3) examples of knowledge visualisation.

Visualisation software

Information Visualisation and Winner Takes All Algorithms (PDF)

Showing off your knowledge without giving it away

Speaker: Dr Julian Mestre

Suppose a friend of yours challenges you to solve a puzzle. After working hard on it, you manage solve it. Now you would like to show her that you know the answer, but without giving it away. This seemingly impossible task can actually be accomplished using an interactive protocol, a key concept in cryptography. In this lecture, we will see such a protocol in action for sudoku puzzles.

Slides PDF

Nothing evolves in isolation

Speaker: Associate Professor Michael Charleston

Parasites and pathogens evolve with their hosts, genes evolve within the organisms that house them, and languages even evolve with people. But there are complications. Parasites and pathogens switch hosts: it's been estimated that about 75% of emergent diseases in humans have come from other species (all the big ones: HIV, malaria, SARS, ebola and so on). Languages die out. Genes duplicate, possibly many times in a single species. Species hybridise. Figuring out what went on in the past between two groups of co-evolving species becomes a computationally very hard problem. In this talk I'll go through some of the ways we've come up with to tackle this fascinating and important problem.

The Nuts and Bolts of Algorithm Analysys

Speaker: Dr Julian Mestre

In Theoretical Computer Science we study what a computer can and cannot do. Rather than working with real computers we work with abstract computational models that allow us to make useful predictions about the real world. The main objective of this lecture is to give you flavor of what computational models look like, and how to design and analyze algorithms for them.

Slides (pdf)

Visual Programming and Context Free Grammars

Visual Programming and Context Free Grammars

Speaker: Dr Kaz Grace

This session will include teaching programming via drawing-with-code, with a brief introduction to Processing and how it can help students who might be more visual thinkers grasp basic concepts - plus motivate students to make visually pleasing designs. The session will also introduce ContextFree and the idea of visual grammars as a completely different way of thinking about code.

Handout / Lesson plan

Assorted Processing tutorials:
Processing: Trig
Processing: Drawing
Sample chapters of Processing

Maths, Physics and Computer Science

Speaker: Jim Mussared

Almost every area of high school mathematics and physics ends up being useful in some way as a programmer, from discrete maths to calculus to statistics to physics and electronics. We'll run through a few interesting examples of how high-school maths is used to solve interesting problems.

Maths and Physics in Computer Science

Make your own Box Robot with Arduino

Robox parts

We made robots from cardboard boxes ("Robox") using Arduino Unos and ultrasonic sensors.

For anyone curious, we bought parts in bulk, and used these suppliers (in no way a specific recommendation, just who we ended up getting the best prices from): Parts list for Robox

Instructions on how to make your own Robox

Slideshow - how to make Robox

A massive thank you to Gregory Kielian who designed the project.



Game in a Day! GPN Tutorials

Candy Game

This is a 'Game in a Day' workshop we run in conjuntion with using NCSS Challenge questions to test students' understanding of programming concepts we introduce. The tutorial itself is very detailed regarding the code needed to write the game. Two versions of the tutorial are available, - one with the 'NCSS Challenge 'checkpoints', and one without:
Game in a Day! (no checkpoints)
Game in a Day!

Resources are available here.

Teaching IT Concepts through Web Programming

Speaker: Dr Liviu Constantinescu

Web applications and the internet are ubiquitous among teenagers. This session will look at harnessing this interest for learning. There is an increasing need to understand programming concepts for Internet-literacy in the era of Rich Internet Applications, HTML5/CSS3 and the Cloud. We will present engaging, web-media-based explorations of programming concepts, and provide material on APIs and CMS systems that will allow students to achieve disproportionate results in terms of functionality, by applying only a basic level of programming know-how.

Teaching IT Concepts through Web Programming

Computation in the data stream model

Speaker: Julian Mestre

In the old days, problems were typically small and could be handled by a single program running on a single computer with limited memory. Nowadays, instances can be so massive that some times they cannot even fit in the external memory of very powerful computers. In this talk I will introduce the relatively new computational model of "data streams", which aims at dealing with such massive problem instances. We will investigate the strengths and limitation of this model when applied to the "majority problem".

Data Stream Model slides

Motif Discovery

Speaker: Associate Professor Michael Charleston

An important scientific discipline that brings together computer science, mathematics, statistics and modern biology, is bioinformatics. There are many many interesting and important problems in bioinformatics, and I will just be talking about one, which is motivated by the need to understand gene regulation: how the expression of one gene influences or controls the expression of another.

The problem is that of finding short strings called motifs, that are near genes. Most DNA is not genes, though we now think most of it does something. We're interested in finding these motifs because they can tell us whether a group of genes are involved in the same metabolic process, by being regulated together. We will look at a simple version of the motif discovery problem, and see if we can come up with a good way of solving it.

Bioinformatics and Motif Discovery slides

Motifs handout (PDF)

Science and Mathematics in and for Artificial Intelligence

Speaker: Associate Professor James Curran

Artificial intelligence is the stuff of fiction and fantasy (e.g. insert generationally appropriate movies here), yet the future is closer than many of us realise. I will present some examples from two Artificial Intelligence sub­fields that have made enormous progress in recent years, and brought us many powerful tools: Machine Learning (e.g. spam filtering, Facebook and iPhoto's face recognition) and Computational Linguistics (e.g. Google, Wolfram Alpha and Siri). These examples can encourage mathematical and scientific thinking inside and outside traditional domains.

Artificial Intelligence pdf