School of Informatics


Student Wins Poster Competion for Jekyll and Hyde Inspired Research

Alexandra Kearney, a first year Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science student, received the ‘People’s Choice’ award, sponsored by Interface3, for best poster as voted for by the attendees.

alex and kate

The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium is a national one-day conference for women undergraduates in computing and related subjects. It is aimed at supporting female students and educating them about their career options.

The conference is in its 6th year and was held at the University of Nottingham, on the 4th April 2013. The day featured talks from industry and from academia, a panel session on careers, a poster session of student work and a social event.

Alexandra’s poster featured her research project, inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde:

alex poster

“The project sought to have two independent Reinforcement Learning agents learning from each other’s actions, taking turns controlling the actuators of a modified iRobot create with a light sensor. Similar to the fictional characters the agents had opposing policies; one was rewarded for greater values of light and the other darker, alternating control or the iRobot Create at for a set period.

The project concluded that while the actions of one agent may not necessarily be relevant to the other—given that they are learning about policies that are the antithesis of each other—they still provide the agents with more information of the world around them, leading to better understanding and more robust agents."

Alexandra says:

“The Lovelace Colloquium was a great opportunity to share some of the ideas I have been working on outside of classes, and to meet people from varying backgrounds in computer science. I look forward to next year's conference”

The ‘People’s Choice’ award was sponsored by Interface3, founded by Kate Ho, a graduate of the School of Informatics.

Interface3 was formed in 2009 and originally developed apps for interactive tables. Since then they have expanded into the delivery of multiuser apps, cross platform apps, augmented reality apps and custom game development. They have worked with some major global brands including Pearson Education, PBS KIDS and SMART Technologies.

The Lovelace Colloquium is a great opportunity for female students to exchange knowledge and network. Networking is all about establishing links and connections with other people in your industry. In my own personal experience I have had so many opportunities arise because of having a good network of people to turn to. Alexandra has done incredibly well to win the People’s Choice Award, particularly as she is only in her first year.

Kate HoManaging Director, Interface3

The School of Informatics has a number of networking organisations open to students. These include the female focus group Hoppers, founded by Kate Ho, the Computing Society, Compsoc, The Mobile Apps Group organised by Informatics Ventures and Tech Meetup.