Tag Archives: Blogging

Best of 2015

Here are the most popular posts of 2015*; as always, a combination of research, education, policy and general ranting. Most of my visitors came from the UK, with the US and Germany not far behind (157 countries in total), with the majority of referrals coming from Twitter and Facebook. The busiest day of the year was 28 November, with lots of traffic to this post from 2013.

Top five posts (only 14 this year, 286 in total):

  1. The Art of Programming
  2. A set of books to read in 2015
  3. Paper submitted to CAV 2015: “Dear CAV, We Need to Talk About Reproducibility
  4. New paper: “Top Tips to Make Your Research Irreproducible”
  5. Digital Competencies in the new Curriculum for Wales

Nothing of particular interest in the search terms this year; however, I am delighted to be the fourth hit on Google for the wonderful phrase “eddies in the space time continuum”…

Thank you all for reading! See you back here in 2016.

*also see best of: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

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Best of 2014

Here are the most popular posts of 2014*; as always, a combination of research, CS education, programming, science policy and cathartic moaning. Most of my visitors came from the UK, with the US and Germany not far behind (168 countries in all). The busiest day of the year was 14 January, with lots of traffic to this post from last December.

Top five posts (71 this year, 272 overall):

  1. Five Programming Top Tips (from a seven year old)
  2. Paper submitted to Recomputability 2014: “Share and Enjoy”: Publishing Useful and Usable Scientific Models
  3. New A Levels in Computer Science from 2015
  4. FuckIt.py: The Python Error Steamroller
  5. What Superman III teaches us about programming

The most common search term was once again: “feynman algorithm”; the most bizarre: “big boobs gpg image” (most likely referring to this post from 2012).

Thank you all for reading! See you back here in 2015.

*also see best of: 2013, 2012, 2011

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Wales Blog Awards 2014

Wales Blog Awards

Computing: The Science of Nearly Everything has been shortlisted for Best Technology Blog in the 2014 Wales Blog Awards, organised by Media Wales and Warwick Emanuel PR. Over 300 entries were received for the competition from across the country this year (after a break in 2013), whittled down to a shortlist of 32 blogs. My blog was also shortlisted back in 2012, so thank you to everyone who has been reading and commenting on my blog for the past three years; if you want a taste of what I have been writing about here, have a look at its first birthday, as well as the best of 2012 and 2013.

All shortlisted blogs are also in the running for the People’s Choice Award, to let the public decide on their favourite blog; the judges will announce the winners of the eleven categories at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff on Thursday 15 May.

You can cast your vote here; voting for the People’s Choice Award will close at 5pm on Wednesday 30 April.

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Best of 2013

Here are the most popular posts of 2013*; most of my visitors came from the UK, with the US and India not far behind (163 countries in all). The busiest day of the year was 18 November, with lots of traffic to this post from the day before.

Top five posts (47 this year, 192 overall):

  1. A set of top Computer Science Education blogs
  2. The ICT Steering Group’s Report to the Welsh Government
  3. Grant applications, early 20th century style
  4. We’ve sold Computer Science, now we have to sell what it means to be a Computer Scientist…
  5. The Guardian Higher Education Network: Academic blogging — 10 top tips

The most common search term was “feynman problem solving algorithm”; the most bizarre: “isuseragoat”.

Thank you all for reading! See you back in 2014.

*also see best of: 2012, 2011

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A set of top Computer Science Education blogs

Further to my most-read blog post (from May 2012: A set of top Computer Science blogs, 80,000 hits and counting), here’s a follow-up: blogs on computer science education.

As before, instead of a list, it more closely resembles a set: the order is irrelevant and there are no duplicate elements; membership of this set of blogs satisfies all of the following conditions:

  1. they focus on computer science education (research, policy and practice);
  2. they are of consistently high quality;
  3. I regularly read them.
  • Computing Education Blog by Mark Guzdial (@guzdial)

    Mark is a professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology and a researcher in computing education. His blog is about how people come to understanding computing, and how to facilitate that understanding, cross-cutting research, policy, practice and wider societal issues. And while it is US-focused (as you would expect), it is an excellent venue for the discussion of key topics in computer science education.

  • Teach Computing by Alan O’Donohoe (@teknoteacher)

    Alan is a busy chap: as well as being principal teacher of Computing at Our Lady’s High School in Preston, he’s the founder of both Hack To The Future and Raspberry Jam, the global community of events for everyone to discover the wonders of the Raspberry Pi. His blog tracks his five-year computing journey: from improving classroom practice (listen to his Teach Computing podcasts), contributing back to the community as a CAS Master Teacher, to shaping the development of a new curriculum subject in England.

  • Miss Philbin’s Teaching and Learning Journal by Carrie Anne Philbin (@MissPhilbin)

    Carrie Anne is an award-winning secondary teacher at Robert Clack School in Essex and a passionate advocate for women in technology. She is the creator of Geek Gurl Diaries, a YouTube web series for teenagers who want to be makers and creators of technology (which recently won a Talk Talk Digital Hero Award) and vice-chair of the CAS initiative #include to address diversity issues in computing. Her blog also covers the gamut of classroom practice, the transition from ICT to computing, supporting the wider community, to shaping policy in England.

  • Academic Computing by Neil Brown (@twistedsq)

    Neil is a research associate in the Programming Languages and Systems Group at the University of Kent, working on the BlueJ and Greenfoot projects. He writes thought-provoking pieces on topics spanning computing (and more broadly, STEM) education, programming and socio-technical issues. He also has a second blog on learning and applying mathematics through computing: The Sinepost.

  • An Open Mind by Miles Berry (@mberry)

    Miles is a principal lecturer and the subject leader for Computing Education at the University of Roehampton. He sits on the boards of both CAS and Naace, with wide experience of curriculum development in the UK. His blog, a personal perspective on education, technology and culture, covers a range of interesting pieces on computer science and programming pedagogy, CPD and agile practice.

  • Computer Science Teacher by Alfred Thompson (@alfredtwo)

    Alfred is a high school computer science teacher in New Hampshire, having previously been the K-12 Computer Science Academic Relations Manager for Microsoft and a software developer for 18 years. He currently sits on the board of the Computer Science Teachers Association. His blog covers a wide range of topics, including computer science and programming pedagogy, curriculum development and US education policy.

  • Knowing and Doing: reflections of an academic and computer scientist by Eugene Wallingford (@wallingf)

    Eugene is an associate professor and head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Northern Iowa. He has been blogging since 2004 on topics across computing, software development, higher education, learning and teaching, as well as managing and leading.

  • Raspberry Pi Blog by the Raspberry Pi Foundation (@Raspberry_Pi)

    These guys need no introduction, especially after the two millionth Raspberry Pi was sold in October! With the huge success and penetration of the Raspberry Pi over the past two years, the platform now exists for the Foundation to fulfil its wider educational objectives. A diverse blog, ranging from technical posts, peripherals and resources, to superb examples of innovative uses of the Raspberry Pi.

  • CSTA Blog by the Computer Science Teachers Association (@csteachersa)

    The Computer Science Teachers Association is a membership organisation (free to join), supported by the ACM, that promotes and supports the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines in the US, providing opportunities for K–12 teachers and students to better understand the computing disciplines and to more successfully prepare themselves to teach and learn. Its blog covers a wide range of topics across computer science education, programming, curriculum design and education policy,

  • CAS Online by Computing At School (@CompAtSch)

    Computing At School is a membership organisation (also free to join), supported by the BCS, that promotes and supports the teaching of computer science in UK schools. Formed in 2008, it now has over 7000 members from across schools, colleges, universities, industry and government and is the subject association for computer science. Along with numerous high-quality articles in the quarterly CAS newsletter, Switched On, CAS Online provides the UK computer science education community with a wide range of forums, events, policy discussions, consultations and a veritable wealth of resources to support learning and teaching.

This set is most definitely incomplete — please post your computer science education blog recommendations in the comments below. You can also read some of my posts on computer science education.

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Best of 2012

Here are the most popular posts of 2012*; most of my visitors came from the US, with the UK and Canada not far behind (169 countries in all). The busiest day of the year was 8 May, with lots of traffic to the top post listed below.

Top five posts (73 this year, 139 overall):

  1. A set of top Computer Science blogs
  2. Programming is the start not the end: let’s develop computational thinking and problem solving skills
  3. Academia vs. Industry
  4. Microsoft’s 0xB16B00B5
  5. Strategic Information Pack: teaching Computer Science in schools in Wales

The most common search term was “0xB16B00B5”; the most bizarre: “recreational scolding“.

Thank you all for reading! See you back in 2013.

*also see best of: 2011

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Wales Blog Awards 2012

Wales Blog Awards

Computing: The Science of Nearly Everything has been shortlisted for Best Technology Blog in the 2012 Wales Blog Awards, organised by Media Wales and Warwick Emanuel PR. It’s great to be shortlisted for this award, especially as I have only been blogging since April 2011. The judges will announce the winners of the ten categories at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff on Thursday 20 September.

All shortlisted blogs are in the running for the People’s Choice Award, to let the public decide on their favourite blog. If you have enjoyed reading my blog over the past year or so, then please vote for me!

You can cast your vote here; voting for the People’s Choice Award will close at 5pm on Friday 14 September.

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A set of top Computer Science blogs

This started out as a list of top Computer Science blogs, but it more closely resembles a set: the order is irrelevant and there are no duplicate elements; membership of this set of blogs satisfies all of the following conditions:

  1. they are written by computer scientists and focus on computer science research;
  2. they are of consistently high quality;
  3. I regularly read them.

N.B. I have deliberately excluded blogs primarily focusing on computer science education (for another time).

  • The Endeavour by John D. Cook (@JohnDCook)

    John’s blog cuts across using computing, programming and mathematics to solve real-world problems, pulling in his wide expertise as a mathematics professor, programmer, consultant, manager and statistician. Some great posts across the technical and socio-technical spectrum. Also runs a number of useful Twitter tip accounts, including @CompSciFact, @UnixToolTip, @RegexTip and @TeXtip.

  • Serious Engineering by Anthony Finkelstein (@profserious)

    Anthony is Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at UCL, having previously been the Head of the UCL Computer Science. His regular blog posts are an insightful and thought-provoking journey across computer science, engineering, research and academia.

  • Computational Complexity by Lance Fortnow (@fortnow) and Bill Gasarch

    Since 2002, the first major theoretical computer science blog; computational complexity and other fun stuff in mathematics and computer science.

  • Daniel Lemire’s blog by Daniel Lemire (@lemire)

    Daniel Lemire is a professor in the Cognitive Computer Science research group at LICEF in Canada, with his popular blog covering topics across his research areas (databases, data warehousing, information retrieval and recommender systems), as well as programming, education, economics and open science.

  • Gödel’s Lost Letter and P=NP by Dick Lipton (@rjlipton) and Ken Regan

    This is a blog on \mathrm{P} = \mathrm{NP} and other questions in the theory of computing, named after the famous letter that Gödel wrote to von Neumann which essentially stated the \mathrm{P} = \mathrm{NP} question decades before Cook and Karp. Defined by the authors as a personal view of the theory of computation, it talks about the “who” as much as the “what”.

  • Editor’s Letters by Moshe Vardi (@vardi)

    Moshe Vardi, a distinguished and award-winning theoretical computer scientist, has served as Editor-in-Chief of Communications of the ACM since 2008, discussing a wide range of topics across computer science, research and technology. Certainly worth following on Twitter too.

  • Alan Winfield’s Web Log by Alan Winfield (@alan_winfield)

    Alan is the Hewlett-Packard Professor of Electronic Engineering at UWE and his blog is mostly, but not exclusively, about robots. It also touches upon artificial intelligence, artificial culture, ethics and biology, highlighting his definition of robotics as both engineering and experimental philosophy.

  • Lambda the Ultimate, the Programming Languages Weblog (@lambda_ultimate)

    This site deals with issues directly related to programming languages and programming language research, as well as forays to bordering issues such as programmability and language in general. This is a community, but not for specific programming problems in some language; unfounded generalisations about programming languages are usually frowned on.

  • BLOG@CACM by Communications of the ACM (@blogCACM)

    The Communications site publishes two types of blogs: the on-site BLOG@CACM expert blogs, as well as a blogroll of syndicated blogs, essentially covering the spectrum of computer science, research, education and technology. Something for everyone!

  • Google Research Blog by Google (@googleresearch)

    The latest news on Google research, focusing on some of their key areas of interest: e-commerce, algorithms, HCI, information retrieval, machine learning, data mining, NLP, multimedia, computer vision, statistics, security and privacy.

Clearly this set is incomplete — please post your computer science research blog recommendations in the comments below; I’d be particularly interested in blogs covering compilers, concurrency and computer architectures.

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Happy 1st Blog Birthday

On 11 April 2011 at 1:15 pm, I wrote the first Computing: The Science of Nearly Everything blog post: Hello, World! Rather inspiring, I’m sure you’ll agree.

As you’d expect from the blog title and its tagline, the majority of my posts have focused on computer science (education and research), science policy and science communication, interspersed with a bit of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Richard Feynman and the odd quote or two. I’ve been very pleased with the interest and interaction on the blog, averaging between one and two thousand hits a month. Thank you dear readers, long may it continue. FYI, my favourite search term to the blog was “recreational scolding“…

So, the first year’s top five blog posts (excluding the Home page and About) are as follows:

  1. Feynman, Bethe and the beauty of mathematics
  2. Will 2012 be the Year of Computer Science?
  3. Expert Panel report on the National Curriculum review
  4. Sense About Science: Report Dodgy Science
  5. “These aren’t the drives you’re looking for…”

Now I’m off to write a “proper” blog post.

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Hello, World!

I have finally decided to take the plunge and create a work-related blog for my random musings about computer science research, technology, science policy and education.

Let the record show that the blame lies entirely with Alice Bell.

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