School of Computer Science and Statistics Newsletter 2017/18

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2017/18 Computer Science & Statistics SCHOOL OF

WELCOME Welcome to the latest edition of the SCSS newsletter, where we highlight just some of our achievements over the past year. Holding our place as #1 in Ireland, top 25 in Europe and top 100 worldwide (QS subject rankings 2018) our School has grown to include 65 academics, 150 researchers and 1200 students. Our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes continue to be popular, in particular our new stranded MSc in Computer Science programme. Attracting over â‚Ź10m research funding annually, we also lead two of the four Science Foundation Ireland ICT research centres. To reflect our areas of academic focus, we have reconfigured our activities around the disciplines of Artificial Intelligence, Software Systems, Networks and Distributed Systems, Graphics and Vision, and Statistics and Information Systems, benchmarking ourselves against the top Computing and Data Science departments in the world. Thanks to a landmark philanthropic donation of â‚Ź25 million from the Naughton family together with government funding, students from SCSS, Engineering, and Natural Sciences will soon be located in a new building, the E3 Learning Foundry. This new interdisciplinary student focused learning space will be a launchpad for a new kind of education experience with a greater focus on collaborative and project work. As 2019 will mark 50 years since the Department of Computer Science was established as the first in Ireland, we will be celebrating our pioneering contribution to the discipline through a series of events and outreach activities with alumni, industry partners and the wider community. We warmly invite to you participate.

Professor Carol O'Sullivan Head of School

Newsletter 2017-18 2014 – 2015

Research at SCSS This year saw the launch of the SCSS Research brochure promoting our research expertise which can be found at: There were many significant research achievements in 2017/18 and only a sample can be mentioned here. Overall our ongoing research has contributed to the School being ranked number 1 in Ireland and in the top 25 in Europe in the subject area of Computer (QS Subject Ranking 2018). Some notable impacts of our research include: the virtual DBA (vDBA) concept developed in CONNECT (Ruffini) being incorporated in a Broadband Forum standard; SilverCloud Health spinout (Doherty) has now delivered treatment to over 160,000 patients; Slándáil Emergency Management System (Ahmad) integrating social media input (text, image and video) into disaster management control room software; ADAPT (Brennan) in collaboration with Ordnance Survey Ireland and the Central Statistics Office published the

findings from Ireland’s Census as open data. A significant number of excellent multidisciplinary research projects are underway. Examples include: Beyond 2020 (see later in eZine); ADAPT (Hederman, O’Sullivan), Discipline of Statistics (Houlding, Wyse), School of Medicine (Little) and Tallaght Hospital undertaking the first national research study for patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasm (ANCA) vasculitis. Several notable research collaborations were also initiated, including: SFI ENABLE on the Internet of Things (see later in eZine); ADAPT with Huawei (Wade); National Institute of Informatics Japan (Joeran Beel); NEC Research Europe (Leith, Iosifidis). Several best paper awards at top conferences were achieved: ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Doherty), European Conference on Visual Media Production (Smolic), IADIS International Conference on Information Systems (Tewari), IEEE International

Prof. Declan O’Sullivan

Conference on Cognitive Infocommunications (Vogel), IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (Iosifidis).

Learnovate The Learnovate Centre, one of Europe's leading research centres in learning technologies, is leading the evaluation and sustainability work package of ‘SkillsMatch’, a two-year, €1.25M co-funded EU project. The project aims to develop an online platform to help jobseekers assess and improve their transversal skills. Transversal skills are non-cognitive abilities such as teamwork, leadership and communication that are not specific to a particular occupation. These complex skills are increasingly important for today’s flexible and agile employees operating in a globalised world. SkillsMatch will help jobseekers assess and develop their transversal skills. The platform will recommend learning opportunities to bridge the gap between a jobseeker’s current skill level and the level required for a targeted occupation. Learnovate will investigate state-of-theart methods and tools for the assessment and measurement of transversal skills, as well as learning interventions to support the development of those skills.


The platform will link transversal skill development to Open Badges to recognise new learning and improved skills. Learnovate’s partners on the project include project co-ordinators Stockholm University, Fundacio Eurecat and University of Alcala in Spain, Fondazione Politecnico Di Milano in Italy and industry partners DMC Metrix in Ireland and Everis in Belgium. Learnovate is one of Europe’s leading research and

Skillsmatch team at Learnovate

innovation centres in learning technologies. An industry-led technology centre funded by Enterprise Ireland and hosted by Trinity College Dublin, Learnovate has a core of technology-enhanced learning expertise and a wealth of experience in learning design, product design, user interface design, software development and business innovation. Visit the website here:


Computer Science & Statistics

V-Sense The Long Room holds a very special place in the hearts of students, staff, alumni of Trinity College Dublin, and the wider Dublin community. There is no substitute for the genuine experience of being immersed in this great space. However, we were inspired to create an anecdotal visitor narrative and concept that would augment the visitor experience. The user is guided through the Long Room by a friendly vologram, a volumetric 3D video representation of the great Jonathan Swift. The Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) innovative prototypes enable an interactive narrative whereby a visitor can engage in an augmented tour of the Long Room with the use of this interactive digital media and which highlights the following distinctive features:

The interactive Virtual Reality (VR) prototype visualized the Long Room content and history where a user would be immersed in a world through VR simulation. The user could be located anywhere in the world, and by putting on the Head Mounted Display (HMD), they enter the magical virtual simulation of the Long Room. The user can explore this on PC (browser), iPad, iPhone or Android Phone/Tablet.

The Augmented Reality (AR) version takes place within the actual Library environment via the use of HoloLens or handheld which was developed in the second phase and only uses Dynamic content and did not ‘virtually’ reconstruct the internal spaces of the Long Room. This is a demonstration of novel tools and pipeline for AR/VR content creation. For more information visit:

• Content: Books, rare artefacts, sculptures, etc. • Environment: the building itself (UNESCO world heritage site) • Heritage: the history, the historical significance, the legacy • Technology: the project would be synergetic, technology would be developed around engaging content.

Jonathan Swift in Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality

CONNECT Centre The CONNECT Centre has joined forces with Dublin City Council to create the Smart Docklands initiative. Its objective is to unite multiple stakeholders in the capital’s docklands district in a collaborative effort to test Internet of Things solutions for a range of urban challenges. The Smart Docklands initiative will focus on five key themes: smart mobility; smart buildings; smart government; citizens and living; energy, waste and water. Residents, SMEs, local government officials and technology companies have already met to discuss solutions that will lead to improved quality of life for those living and working in the area.

Michael Guerin, CONNECT’s Smart Docklands programme manager, says: “This is the ideal location for a smart city testbed. Over 40,000 people work in the district and it is also home to 26,000 residents. Many of the world’s leading global technology companies are located in the area and they are eager to have a world-class testbed in their backyard. “Pervasive Nation, CONNECT’s nationwide IoT testbed, is a great support for innovation in this space. It enables us to use a lowpower wide-area network (LPWAN) to trial new ideas, in particular those with the potential to scale globally.

"A fundamental principle for Smart Docklands is the active and meaningful engagement of stakeholders and we have already run six workshops with over 130 participants. This allows us to listen to people’s ideas and concerns, and ensures stronger buyin for any solutions we propose.” Visit the connect website here and watch the Smart Docklands here https://smartdublin. ie/smart-docklands-launches/


Newsletter 2017-18 2014 – 2015

Beyond 2022 Beyond 2022 is a ground-breaking project to digitally recreate the building and contents of the Public Records Office of Ireland, destroyed by fire at Dublin’s Four Courts at the outset of the Irish Civil War. When Dublin’s Four Courts went up in flames on June 30th, 1922, seven centuries of Ireland’s historical and genealogical records, stored in a magnificent six-storey Victorian archive building known as the Record Treasury, were lost. In one afternoon, hundreds of thousands of government records, dating back to the 13th century, were destroyed—seemingly forever. Beyond 2022 will bring Ireland's Public Records Office back to life by creating a 3D virtual reality reconstruction of the destroyed building

and refilling its shelves with fully-searchable surviving documents and copies of the lost records, which have been identified by the teams in archives and libraries around the world. Beyond 2022 has the potential to have a significant impact on how people search for, interact with and consume information in virtual reality experiences. The project will bring millions of lost historical and genealogical facts to a global audience. Led by the ADAPT Centre in the School of Computer Science and Statistics and the School of Histories and Humanities, the project is a collaboration with The National Archives of Ireland, The National Archives (UK), The Public Record Office of Northern

Beyond 2022 Principal Investigators, Prof. Seamus Lawless and Prof. Peter Crooks

Ireland and The Irish Manuscripts Commission. The project is funded by the Irish Research Council. The completed project will be made available on the centenary of the destruction in 2022 –

ADAPT Researcher Awarded as Prestigious Fulbright Scholar An Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Simon Coveney TD, and Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ireland, Mr Reece Smyth, announced ADAPT and SCSS researcher Emer Gilmartin as an Fulbright Irish Awardee for 2018-2019. The Fulbright Programme in Ireland has been a key driver in cross-atlantic collaborative research for over 60 years. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, Emer Gilmartin, will visit Carnegie Mellon University to develop an automatic language tutor for refugees and migrants. Emer's work focusses on spoken dialogue technology. She has been involved in language provision to refugees since 2003. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar, she will work on the integration of spoken

language technology into an automatic language tutor for refugees and migrants. The system will use voice and text to deliver language activities relevant to life in a new country and include virtual interlocutors to provide spoken dialogue practice and tuition through automatic speech recognition and speech synthesis. The curriculum will be based on European Language Portfolios for Migrants Learning the Language of the Host Community created at Trinity College Dublin. The work will be carried out in collaboration with the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Visit the ADAPT website here:

SCSS Researcher Emer Gilmartin

Recruiting students to Computer Science

Lecture time for students


The School of Computer Science and Statistics is committed to engage proactively with prospective students through outreach activities which include school visits, visits by second level schools to the university, in-house seminars, shadowing days and transition year workshops. If you, or friends or acquaintances, would like to hear more about these please contact:

We, together with our national and global counterparts, continue to be challenged by the gender imbalance evident in the study of computer science and related disciplines. If you have any ideas about how we can get more girls interested in this study, get in touch with us at:


Computer Science & Statistics

Minister launched €14.5 million SFI research programme, ENABLE Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, T.D., launched ENABLE – a new €14.5 million Science Foundation Ireland research programme which will examine how the Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to improve quality of life for ordinary citizens living in urban environments. ENABLE is led by Professor Siobhán Clarke at Trinity College Dublin and includes 60 researchers in three existing Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres - CONNECT, Insight and Lero. ENABLE’s academic researchers work in partnership with over 25 companies including large multinationals such as Intel and Huawei, and SMEs such as Cork-based Accuflow.

“ENABLE will work with industry partners and via citizen engagement to address the challenges that currently limit the potential benefits of IoT for communities,” according to Prof. Clarke. “Our research aims to enable smarter buildings, more efficient transportation, better handling of environmental issues, and enhanced cyber security and data privacy. Welcoming the announcement, Trinity’s Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said: “The launch of ENABLE is a significant development for the IoT research landscape in Ireland. Its leadership by the CONNECT Centre at Trinity is testament to our team of exceptional researchers working in the fields of computer

science and telecommunications.” Visit the website here:

Minister John Halligan, Minister Heather Humphreys and Professor Siobhán Clarke, School of Computer Science and Statistics

One to One with Conor McEvoy, BA (Mod) and MCS Computer Science graduate 2013 What did you like most about being a Trinity Student? The best thing for me was having everything on my doorstep and being a part of a great network. In College I was in a great environment to learn and grow, located right in the middle of Dublin city centre. I got the opportunity to work with incredibly smart engineers from all over the world while also

Conor McEvoy

getting to take part in multiple societies and college events such as the Trinity Ball! Why did you choose to study Computer Science? From a young age I was fascinated with technology. I was greatly inspired by my grandad who was constantly updating his equipment and challenging me to work on the older parts to bring my own PC up to speed! Computer Science was the course for me as it provided the right combination of hardware and software development, while providing the fundamentals to working in the IT industry. The five year course provided me with the right balance of engineering and business acumen, a great degree to have as a core foundation in the IT industry opening the door for many future opportunities. Tell us about your career path. My first real IT job was as an intern in my 4th year at college working on banking software in the Citibank Innovation lab. After graduation, I joined SAP as a Graduate Software Developer where I focused on my coding and development skills, developing the latest and greatest dashboard analytics tools. Within two years I was promoted to Senior Software Engineer but noticed I started getting a passion for the management side of engineering and took up a role as a Scrum Master, and then a Product Owner.

Today I’m a Senior Product Manager working in the HubSpot European Offices. My job is to work across the company defining vision, strategy, and planning to develop the best software my team can deliver. I work closely with engineers, business and other product managers to define the future of HubSpot’s Customer Success software, providing the best possible customer experience that we can today. What are the key attributes that employers are looking for in our graduates today? To me, the most important attributes that a graduate can possess is a sense of curiosity and a real drive to learn and develop, to be adaptable and open minded to trying something new and tackle every problem to the best of your ability. Don’t be afraid to fail, or make a mistake, it happens more often than you think! Learn from each experience, and take that experience and design or develop something great. Help others when in need, go the extra mile and really prove you have a passion for what you do. The IT profession attracts more males than females. This is a concern as employers need greater diversity in gender, culture and nationality which brings perspective and in turn brings new ideas for greater innovation and product design.


Newsletter 2017-18 2014 – 2015

New MSc in Computer Science In 2017, the School launched a new one year MSc in Computer Science with specialisation offered in one of four strands: Data Science, Future Networked Systems, Augmented and Virtual Reality and Intelligent Systems. The number of quality students applying from all over the world has been exceptional. The School provides a dedicated new stateof-the-art learning space at South Leinster Street which facilitates next-gen teaching and learning opportunities to students on the course and within the individual strands.

specialisations" he said. "Our goal is to attract really high quality applicants from across the globe and deliver top-class graduates who are well versed in the latest technologies and have the capacity to be leaders in their chosen fields. The projects are really diverse and that speaks to the breadth of the course. There is a huge appetite in Irish and in global industry for highly skilled graduates like these.” Students complete their own detailed research-led dissertation and also choose a

range of taught modules that focus on topics of relevance for today’s developing industries, such as artificial intelligence, data mining and analytics, interactive 3D graphics and vision technologies for AR/VR, the Internet of Things, and Blockchain applications. The course is closely linked with the worldleading SFI funded ADAPT and CONNECT research centres, the Trinity Centre for Smart and Sustainable Cities, and the Trinity Centre for Creative Technologies.

Speaking at the opening of this new dedicated learning space, the Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast paid tribute to Professor John G Byrne “The new MSc builds on the great achievement of Professor John Byrne, who in 1963 established the country’s first Master's in Computer Applications. He was a visionary and a pioneer; we owe much to him and this School is his legacy". Prof. Donal O'Mahony, Course Director, has high expectations. "We know that there is a huge demand for graduates with these

The new learning space in South Leinster Street

Special student awards Congratulations to: • Yana Kulizhskaya who won the Professor John G Byrne prize. Yana is currently working as a Software Engineer at Google Zurich • Kumar Pranav, Jabez Sam John Samuel, Jude Joseph Arokia and Sujan Kumar Nag (Team Imbibe MSc ) who won the Dragon's Den final of Citi's upStart Student Entrepreneurship Programme • Alice O’Sullivan, this year’s winner of the Kenneth Mulkearns Memorial Medal. • MSISS students Jamie Boylan and Owen Cassidy who were jointly awarded the IBM DAVID DIER MEMORIAL PRIZE. • Emma Louise Ruane (MSISS) who was this year's winner of the research scholarship in memory of Franz Fasenfeld


Congratulations to our new Scholars • Shaun Jose: Computer Science • Michael McAndrew: Computer Science • Abraham Odukoya: Computer Science • Cătălina Rete: Computer Science • EdvinasTeiserskis: Computer Science • Neimhin Robinson Gunning: Computer Science and Language • Portia Healy O'Connor: Management Science and Information Systems Studies

Congratulations to our new Fellows • Marco Ruffini was elected to Fellowship and Aljoša Smolić was elected to Professorial Fellowship.

School signs collaboration Memo of Understanding with National Institute of Informatics NII, Japan This MoU originates from our longterm collaboration with the NII and outlines a partnership between TCD/SCSS/ADAPT and the NII. Successful completion of the MoU was facilitated through Prof. Joeran Beel who was recently appointed a Visiting Professor at NII, effective from April 2018.


Computer Science & Statistics

Celebrating 50 years of Statistics at TCD This special milestone was marked by a day of events on 14th November 2017. A short course on ‘Imprecise Probability’ took place in the morning. The course, sponsored by the Irish Statistical Association, was delivered by Dr. Cassio de Campos (Queen’s Belfast) and Dr. Alessandro Antonucci (Lugano, Switzerland). In the afternoon former staff and students of the Statistics Discipline gathered together as well as current members of the School and College. The aim of the gathering was to be both retrospective and prospective; looking at our history with the help of former staff and students and discussing our future. The afternoon began with a presentation by Michael Stuart, who compiled a booklet to coincide with the occasion, outlining the main historical junctures of the discipline over its five decades. This gave a rich perspective

on the origins of the discipline, beginning with the appointment of the first Chair of Statistics, Prof. Gordon Foster, in 1967, and particularly, how his strong leadership steered the research engagements and ideologies of the group in its infancy. The floor was then opened to people to recount any stories of their own experiences of Statistics at TCD. There were many fond memories shared, and much hearty laughter to be heard. Following this there was a panel discussion on the future of Statistics at Trinity, in Ireland and beyond. The panel comprised Prof. Adrian Raftery (Washington), Milton Martinez (Accenture), Chris Sibley (Central Statistics Office) and Prof. Nial Friel (Insight at UCD). The discussion touched on many issues; data privacy, the role played by Statistics in the Data Science era and the central role of Statisticians

in many areas of research and business. The panel also identified Statistics as a key strategic discipline on a societal level, playing an important role in many aspects of the modern Irish and global economy. The evening closed with a reception in the O’Reilly Institute.

Celebrating 50 years in Statistics

Professor John G Byrne Alumni, staff and friends gathered together at an end of term event in June to honour the late Professor John G Byrne, affectionately known as the ‘Father of Computing in Ireland’. The evening opened with a tribute to Professor Byrne by Professor Jane Grimson, Fellow Emeritus and Pro-Chancellor of the University, who aroused great interest with fact and good humour by capturing how John was fondly remembered.

Those who never knew Professor Byrne were fascinated by his pioneering work in introducing Computer Science as an academic discipline in Ireland and how he influenced so many world scholars and leaders. Professor Carol O’Sullivan addressed the audience in the second part of the evening, outlining the School’s activities and developments and looking at future plans for the School and ways in which Alumni can get involved in shaping that future.

Connecting with Alumni in the O’Reilly Institute

Afterwards all gathered at a reception in the foyer of the O’Reilly Institute. Good conversation and cheer abounded late into the evening. Many adjourned in groups to old haunts frequently visited during their time at Trinity. A lovely evening and a wonderful tribute to a great man. His legacy will undoubtedly stand the test of time. Access to both talks are available at: Computer Science Then and Now: Professor Jane Grimson In conversation at the Alumni event

Computer Science Then and Now: Professor Carol O’Sullivan


Remember. The power of a legacy to Trinity When you remember Trinity in your will, you join a tradition of giving that stretches back over 400 years – and reaches far into the future. You’re empowering ground-breaking research which will benefit people in Ireland and all over the world. You’re supporting students from all backgrounds to access a Trinity education. You’re helping preserve our unique campus and heritage for new generations.

For more information about leaving a Legacy to Trinity, please contact Gareth Crowe. T. +353 1 896 8994 E.

Trinity Alumni Online As a Trinity graduate, we'd like to help you make the most of being part of a community of over 115,000 Trinity graduates around the world. We know how important it is for our alumni to stay connected and how valuable networking and mentoring opportunities can be for career advancement. With this in mind,

we would like to invite you to join our new platform, Trinity Alumni Online. This platform will help you to connect with fellow alumni as well as current Trinity students, allowing you to give and receive career advice. It’s easy to use and a great way to stay connected to Trinity. To register go to

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Trinity has a long tradition of outreach and community engagement. To find out about the numerous ways you can get involved with Trinity both at home and abroad, please visit

Christmas Commons 5 and 12 December 2018

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Alumni & Friends Carol Service 6 December 2018 Homecoming 20 December 2018

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The School of Computer Science & Statistics O’Reilly Institute Trinity College Dublin Dublin 2, Ireland T. +353 (0)1 896 1765 E.