Category Archives: Announcements

Tutorial Exercises: Information Retrieval

The tutorials web page now has the latest set of tutorial exercises. The coursework assignment has also been running for a week now, and is due in on Thursday next week. The Information Retrieval tutorial work is fairly brief, which will allow you to spend time in the tutorial discussing any questions you have about the assignment. Please do take advantage of this: attempt every question in the assignment before your tutorial, and note down any concerns you have.

Links: Tutorial exercises; Coursework assignment

New LEGO Computer Scientist Minifig: Margaret Hamilton

Picture of LEGO set
LEGO Women of NASA
LEGO have today announced the latest model to come out of their Ideas fan-design programme. It’s the “Women of NASA” set which includes Margaret Hamilton: computer scientist, software engineer, and leader of the programming team for the Apollo and Skylab space missions.

This goes to complement LEGO’s existing computer programmer minifig. Sadly Lovelace and Babbage didn’t make it this time around.

Links: Announcement; Set design

Hamilton in Apollo Command Module Margaret Hamilton
Software Engineer

Director of Apollo Flight Computer Programming for the moon landings and other NASA missions. CEO, Hamilton Technologies.

Links: Work at NASA; Hamilton Technologies

Tutorial Exercises

Exercises for Tutorial 4 are on the tutorial page. These involve writing and executing SQL queries using the LibreOffice Base desktop application. This is installed on all DICE machines, and the tutorial includes detailed usage notes: using DICE is probably the simplest way to complete the tutorial. It is also possible to do the exercises on university open-access machines or your own computer, and there are some instructions to help with that.

This tutorial includes more substantial starred extension exercises to try out other ways to access the same database.

  1. Setting up queries using the LibreOffice Base graphical query designer.
  2. Connecting on the command-line to a remote PostgreSQL database server.
  3. Linking LibreOffice Base to the remote database server.

Festival of Creative Learning

As noted in Tuesday’s lecture, next week gives a break from all classes with the University’s Festival of Creative Learning. There’s a cascade of events at the calendar and blog; I’ve just picked out a few here that I liked.

Links: Festival home page; Event calendar; Blog

Picture of baked goods Mathematical Bake-Off
Monday 20 February

“Leading mathematicians from the School will explain their cutting-edge research using delicious pastries”

Links: Book event; More information

Workshop poster Data and Democracy
Monday 20 February

Data collection and digital footprint; workshops on mass surveillance, anonymity and advertising.

Links: Book event; More information

Escape with Fermat’s Lost Proof
Wednesday 22/Thursday 23 February

Find the missing proof and escape the locked room.

Links: Book Wednesday; Book Thursday; More information

Escher tesselation
Exploring Escher: Mathematical Printmaking
Wednesday 22 February

Create your own linocut prints.

Link: Book event

Tutorial Notes and Exercises

Tutor notes and solutions for Tutorial 2 are now on the tutorial page, together with next week’s exercises. Tutorial 3 is about formulating queries in tuple relational calculus and finding ways to compute them in relational algebra.

Have a look at the exercises now, and if you have questions about anything then ask on Piazza or after lectures.