For those unaware, a hackathon is known as a 12-24 hour long invention marathon. Participants work in teams, or on their own, to create awesome products from scratch, learn new skills and have some fun along the way! People from all backgrounds and education are welcome, and learning the requisite skills is half the fun.
This September PhD students from the Department of Informatics were invited to attend the 9th ACM womENcourage conference held in Larnaca, Cyprus. The conference aims to connect women from diverse STEM backgrounds and encourage them to pursue a career in computing. Anna, Elisavet, and Yazhuo from the Software systems, Distributed AI, and Human Centred Computing groups represented the department of Informatics in person for the first time after two years of the pandemic.
In summer 2019, right before my final year of undergraduate studies was about to start, I watched the judo world championships with my father. This was the year the International Judo Federation used a 4DREPLAY system for the first time. This system was used to replay the important moments in which players executed successful techniques, from every angle.
Dr Petr Slovak from KCL Informatics has paired up with Prof Katherine Isbister, the Commission for Children and Sproutel. Together they have come up with an entirely new way of supporting children’s emotion regulation in everyday life: a smart toy that helps kids to manage difficult feelings. The team has received numerous awards for their research, and the toy has sold more than 15,000 units so far. The impact was such that it landed their invention on the cover of Time Magazine last year.
The Human Centred Computing Group (HCC) had a strong presence at the ACM CHI conference. CHI is the leading venue to publish Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research, typically attended by about 3000 of the top human-computer interaction researchers and practitioners worldwide.
Helen Yannakoudakis from KCL Informatics is working on the next generation of machine learning models for natural language processing that can learn more effectively and with less training data. Along the way, she is also making existing approaches better from detecting hateful memes to supporting health diagnostics, the impact of her work is considerable.