Thursday, 4 May 2017

Sample of the month: Sileather

Sileather is a faux leather made of silicone and developed in China.  It is made by combining raw material silicon resin with various non-woven fabrics to make an extremely durable, stretchy environmentally friendly product.

Sileather has many applications as it is pliable and weatherproof and can be used in exteriors and interiors ranging from hospitality to marine furnishings and healthcare.  It is also soft to touch and easy to clean.


This sample can be found in the Samples Library housed in our Materials Room in the Basement of the Library.

Find out more about our Special Collections:

Monday, 24 April 2017

2017 Lovelace Lecture

2017 Lovelace Lecture by Professor Andrew Blake, Alan Turing Institute

"Machines that learn to see"

Monday 8 May 2017  6:00 – 9:30pm

The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


As part of the BCS 60th anniversary celebrations this Lovelace lecture is free of charge. 



Andrew Blake

Andrew Blake.jpg


Andrew Blake is an engineer whose innovative work on image analysis has helped make it possible for computers to react to the world around them, based on the visual data they receive. His research has focused particularly on the accurate tracking of motion and the reconstruction of visible surfaces.


Amongst his contributions to the field, he is perhaps best known for the development of the Condensation algorithm that allowed computers to interpret complex visual motion in real time. At Microsoft Research Cambridge, Andrew was also part of the team that put the machine intelligence into the company’s Kinect controller — a revolutionary gaming system capable of following instructions dictated by the body movements of its users. 


The recipient of the Silver Medal and the MacRobert Gold Medal of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Andrew also won the prestigious Mountbatten Medal from the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Society.




Machine vision works nowadays. Machines can: navigate using vision; separate object from background; recognise a wide variety of objects, and track their motion. These abilities are great spin-offs in their own right, but are also part of an extended adventure in understanding the nature of intelligence through visual perception One general question about intelligent systems is whether they will be dominated by "generative" models which explain data as a sequence of transformations, or by black-box machines that are trained on data at ever greater scale? In perception systems this boils down to the comparative roles of two paradigms: analysis-by-synthesis versus empirical recognisers. Each approach has strengths, and empirical recognisers especially have made great strides in performance in the last few years, through deep learning. Exciting progress that has already been made on integrating the two approaches. It is also fascinating to speculate what other new paradigms in learning might transform the speed at which artificial perception can develop.


Registration and coffee- 6pm to 6:30pm

Lecture- 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Drinks Reception- 8:30pm to 9:30pm


Opening address     


Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea FRSE

University of Edinburgh

Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea FRSE, Principal of the University of Edinburgh. A computer scientist, he is a graduate of the Universities of Sussex and Leeds. He became Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in 2002. Professor O'Shea was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's 2008 New Year's Honours List in recognition of his services to higher education. 


Chris Bishop, Laboratory Director at Microsoft Research Cambridge

Chris Bishop is also Professor of Computer Science at the University of Edinburgh and a fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge.

In 2004 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and in 2007 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Chris obtained a BA in Physics from Oxford, and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Edinburgh.



Friday, 7 April 2017

Sample of the month: Recycled Plastics

Recycled plastics can be made from a variety of products including yoghurt pots (HIPS –High Impact Polystyrene), plastic bottles and chopping boards. Once processed these plastics can produce a dense hard material that is scratch proof and waterproof and can be heat moulded or cut into shape. The material can be used in kitchens, bathrooms or for table or worktops, it can also be used in sculpture or jewellery.

These samples can be found in the Samples Library housed in our Materials Room in the Basement of the Library.

Find out more about our Special Collections:

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


The 35th Annual Conference organised by the UK chapter of the Eurographics Association, 14-15 September 2017, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
The annual EGUK conference is a meeting place for all those in the UK working in computer graphics and visual computing. It attracts researchers from across the country and from further afield.
The 2017 conference Computer Graphics & Visual Computing will be an overnight meeting (lunchtime to lunchtime). The conference wants to focus on increasing the dialogue between academic research groups, researchers in academic and in industrial developments. In order to facilitate such dialogue, we are seeking contributions mainly in the form of extended abstract and industrial demonstrations. However, we also welcome submissions of full papers.
Full papers - a paper of 4 to 8 pages describing completed research. Papers will be refereed by members of the EGUK programme committee. Authors of accepted papers will be expected to give a 20 minute presentation at the conference. Accepted papers will appear in the Eurographics digital library and will count as full paper publications.
Extended abstract - an abstract of up to 1000 words, plus figures and references. An extended abstract can describe work in progress, interim results, industrial work, or research presented more fully elsewhere. Extended abstracts will also be refereed by a panel drawn from the EGUK programme committee. All accepted extended abstracts will be presented as posters in a poster session and authors of selected submissions will also be expected to give a 15 minute presentation at the conference.
Industrial project abstracts – a technical abstract of 1 to 4 pages, demonstrating implementations and/or product development. Technical abstracts will be presented at the conference site as large format posters during a poster session.
Accepted abstracts will appear in the Eurographics digital library. An extended abstract and industrial project abstract will not be considered as a full paper publication, instead being similar to a SIGGRAPH onepage sketch or to a conference poster without an associated paper. As such, presenting an extended abstract at this conference has no effect on your ability to publish a fuller version of the same work in another venue. See full instruction at the conference website.
Topics include but are not limited to:
     Computer animation and image-based animation
     Computer-based arts and entertainment
     Vision-based techniques and image processing
     Acquisition and reconstruction techniques
     Graphics architectures and acceleration hardware
     Medical imaging
     Multimedia visualisation
      Computer Games
      Rendering techniques
      Scientific visualization and big data
      Information visualization and visual analytics
      Augmented reality and collaborative environments
     Mobile Apps and Interactive Devices
     Human computer interaction, robotics, and haptics
      Modelling methods
Important Dates:
Submission Deadline
Notification of Acceptance
Camera Ready
16 June 2017
14 July 2017
4 August 2017
14-15 September 2017
Conference co-chairs:  Dr Tao Ruan Wan, Bradford University, UK, Dr Franck Vidal, and Bangor University, UK. Contact:;
Local arrangement co-chair:  Dr N P Costen, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK;

Thursday, 9 March 2017

MDX Student Success Festival coming soon

Student Fair:  27th March, 11am-4pm

Workshops: 28th March – 7th April, various times


Studying, exams and assessment can be stressful for students, but we are here to help! This year, Middlesex University will be holding a two week Student Success Festival focusing on all aspects of learning and achievement, from study skills to healthy living.


Many different teams from across the university will be involved in this event, which this year is themed as an Adventure Island. Students will be encouraged to participate in games and activities that will be based around various learning, study and wellbeing skills in order help promote awareness of all that the university has to offer, and to encourage them to take independent ownership of their own learning adventures! Not only that, but there will be competitions and gifts, including the chance for students to win an iPad!


At the Festival on the 27th of March (in the Quad), there will be all sorts of excitement, including an interactive volcano, a wishing tree, a tropical bar offering free smoothies and healthy snacks, and - of course - support services on hand to connect students with the services that will most be beneficial to them.


Some of the teams involved are the LET, the SLAs, Employability, Progression & Support, Registry, Wellbeing, MDXSU, and the Library. We will also be hosting healthy eating activities, helping students to connect with Academic and Student Societies and generally consider how they can increase their academic potential.


After the fair, 28th March - 7th April, workshops will be offered covering a wide range of skills to help students achieve their goals.


Study skills, writing and exam practice will be covered, along with sessions looking at specific schools and assessments, provided by the SLAs who work on these programs. Additional workshops will be offered by Disability and Dyslexia, Counselling and Mental Health, the LET, MDXSU, and Progression & Support. Everything is free and can be booked via UniHub.

Also, students can access the SSF page and discover workshops, playlists, teasers, videos and more about the Fest!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Materials Room opening hours

Our Materials Room will be open at the following times next week (wb. 6th March):

Mon-Thurs 11am-4pm
Fri 12noon-4pm

Monday, 27 February 2017

A robot that eats pollution

Meet the "Row-bot," a robot that cleans up pollution and generates the electricity needed to power itself by swallowing dirty water. Roboticist Jonathan Rossiter explains how this special swimming machine, which uses a microbial fuel cell to neutralize algal blooms and oil slicks, could be a precursor to biodegradable, autonomous pollution-fighting robots


Friday, 24 February 2017

Webinar: Speaking Data

Register for March 17 Talk: "Speaking Data: Simple, Functional Programming with Clojure"
Register for the next free ACM Learning Webinar, "Speaking Data: Simple, Functional Programming with Clojure," presented on Friday, March 17 at 12 pm ET by Paul deGrandis, Lead Developer, Architect, and Director of the Research and Innovation Group at Cognitect. Erik Meijer, founder and CEO of Applied Duality, and member of the ACM Queue Editorial Board, moderates the questions and answers session.

(If you'd like to attend but can't make it to the virtual event, register now to receive a recording of the webinar when it becomes available.)
Developers today face an explosion of complexity—data in myriad forms pulled from many sources, complex dependency webs, and a need to maximize use of modern multi-core hardware in cloud based systems. Many such efforts devolve into cobbled together mismatched abstractions that involve seemingly endless transformations from one form to another.

While libraries and infrastructure adapt to meet feature-level needs, they largely fail to address the core issue: incidental complexity. The kind of complexity that hinders development, blows timelines, and undermines stability. The kind of complexity that distracts from delivering real, measurable value. Clojure is a language built to enable developers to attack incidental complexity in their systems, through its use of immutable data structures, pure function transformations, and the separation of state and identity.

Drawing from both expert design principles and real-world use cases, Paul deGrandis will illustrate the "value of values" and explore how Clojure's core principles of Simplicity, Power, and Focus enable developers to reduce complexity—both essential and incidental—to functional simplicity.
Duration: 60 minutes (including audience Q&A)
Paul deGrandis, Director of the Research and Innovation Group, Cognitect
Paul deGrandis is a lead developer, architect, and Director of the Research and Innovation Group at Cognitect, where he helps organizations envision and execute new technical strategies, centered around unlocking value with next-generation information systems. Paul has helped to produce some of the most successful companies, brands, and cutting edge research. He has worked on next-generation cable systems, autonomous internet infrastructure, distributed search and recommendation engines, massive online social game platforms, and more. Paul is a member of ACM and has volunteered his time with Code for America and as a mentor with the Portland Incubator Experiment, and also has many open source contributions to his name including Clojure, ClojureScript, Pedestal, PyPy and more.

Erik Meijer, Founder and CEO, Applied Duality; ACM Queue Editorial Board
Erik Meijer is a Dutch computer scientist and entrepreneur. From 2000 to 2013 he was a software architect for Microsoft where he headed the Cloud Programmability Team. His work at Microsoft included C#, Visual Basic, LINQ, Volta, and the Reactive programming framework (Reactive Extensions) for .NET. His research has included the areas of functional programming (particularly Haskell) compiler implementation, parsing, programming language design, XML, and foreign function interfaces. In 2011 Erik was appointed part-time professor of Cloud Programming within the Software Engineering Research Group at Delft University of Technology. Since 2013 he is also Honorary Professor of Programming Language Design at the School of Computer Science of the University of Nottingham, associated with the Functional Programming Laboratory.

Currently Erik is CEO of Applied Duality Inc., which he founded in 2013. Since then he has worked on the Hack language with Facebook, RxJava library with Netflix, and Dart language with Google. In the past, he was an associate professor at Utrecht University. He received his Ph.D from Nijmegen University. Erik is the recipient of the Microsoft Outstanding Technical Leadership Award (2009) and the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award as a member of the C# team (2007). In October 2015 Erik joined Facebook to support the goal of Bono and Mark Zuckerberg to unite the world by connecting it. He teaches the “Principles of Reactive Programming” course through Coursera, and “Introduction to Functional Programming” through edX. He is also a member of the ACM Queue Editorial Board.
Visit for our full archive of past webinars.