IT Services



OxTALENT 2012


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[ OxTALENT Homepage ]

Figure images/redcarpetbanner_2012.jpg [OxTALENT 2011 Motif]



2. OxTALENT Awards at the OUCS Red Carpet Event 2012

At OUCS on Thursday 21 June 2012, a red carpet reception will be held to celebrate Oxford's innovative use of IT in teaching and learning.

This event is invitation only. However, you can follow the proceedings online through twitter (@ltgoxford and #oxtalent2012 ) and via the event blog posts below.

If you would like to join in the event through Twitter, please use #oxtalent2012.



3. Twitter - #oxtalent2012



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4. OxTalent Awards 2012 Blog Posts

Speaker: Will Hutton

Mr Hutton is an economist and leading public intellectual whose career began in the City, but who is best known for his work in journalism.

He was editor-in-chief at The Observer from 1996 to 2000 (where he continues to write a column), when he joined The Work Foundation. His review ‘Fair Pay in the Public Sector’ has just been published, and he has conducted independent reviews into Britain’s education and training compared to EU countries, the BBC’s charter renewal, and the creative industries. He is currently chairing the Ownership Commission, an independent commission has been established to monitor the impact of increased university fees and the Big Innovation Centre.

Mr Hutton spoke to the OxTALENT audience and winners about transformative technology and openness of innovation. He presented the ecosystem of innovation, individual light bulb moments, networks and peers the drivers, funders and sponsors who provide spaces for innovation to grow, and the University as the crucible of innovation.
- Lets celebrate OxTALENT as a different story about what Oxford is. (Will Hutton)

Use of technology for outreach and impact

This is a favorite category which enables us to celebrate the wide range of ways in which colleagues make use of technology.

Colleagues from across the University make use of web technologies to reach new audiences, communicate in new ways to students and to disseminate their research. OxTALENT prizes are given to individuals who have taken a risk, gone a little bit further and used technologies in a range of exciting ways.

This years winners are:  Professor Elizabeth Eva Leach (Faculty of  Music and St Hughs College) for her blogging and tweeting; Dr Margaret Yee (Faculty of Theology and St Cross College) for her  ‘Ultimate Origin’  event featuring the Archbishop of Canterbury, Professor Richard Dawkins and Sir Anthony Kenny streamed live from the Sheldonian; and Dr  Cedric Tan (Green Templeton College) winner of the international ‘Dance your Ph.D’ competition.

Elizabeth Eva Leach is a music theorist and musicologist, with wide-ranging interests in everything from the minutiae of musical structures and manuscripts to the broadest cultural, historical, and philosophical contexts for music. She is also one of Oxford’s best  known bloggers and tweeters.

She blogs to support not only her current students but also students who might wish to apply to study Music at Oxford and students all over the world via her open online course of tutorials. her use of twitter enables students to  follow her and send direct messages . She considers questions that can be answered in 140 characters to be much better than getting open-ended time-consuming emails.

The advice posted on her blog to support student coming to interview at St Hughs and Exeter was considered to be unique by the LTG researchers compiling  the recent ‘Student Digital Experience ‘ report.

Dr Margaret Yee  a senior research fellow at St. Cross College organised a groundbreaking debate between the Archbishop of Canterbury and Professor Richard Dawkins chaired by the philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, entitled “The Nature of Human Beings and the Question of their Ultimate Origin”. Tickets sold quickly and in order to cope with demand not only was the debate filmed, but it was screened in the Physics department via a live video link and streamed live over the web to three parallel websites.  It gained coverage in all the national newspapers and media and during the debate the #dawkinsarchbishop hashtag was trending worldwide.  On the days after the event the recording of the debate was downloaded from Oxford on iTunes U thousands of times.

Dr Cedric Tan’s online video, ‘Smell mediated response to relatedness of potential mates’, won first prize in the Biology category of the international 2011 ‘Dance your Ph.D’ competition. Cedric says “It is  a creative competition that provides serious academics with an avenue for showcasing their research through dance. Not only does it inspire creativity, it allows non-academics and even kids to catch a glimpse of what scientists do. I have been choreographing dances on ecological and conservation themes for 6 years. Ever since I started my Ph.D, I have shifted the focus of my dance to disseminating research of fellow scientists and my research group.” winning the competition has brought a new audience to his work and this OxTALENT prize is in recognition of use of new media to disseminate research. For those interested, the closing date for the 2012 Dance your Ph.D Contest is October 1st.


Student IT innovation

The award for Student IT Innovation is advertised widely across the University and in the student press. In the past winners have been students who have developed various apps for mobile phones or to solve a technical problem they have encountered in their studies.  This year our winners again show creativity, originality, impact and sustainability. This year’s entries are judged by last years winners.

First prize went to Mihran Vardanyan (Department of Physics and Christ Church) for his development of the iCosmos cosmology calculator. This innovative web-application allows researchers, educators and learners to compute different cosmological quantities and visualise a graphical representation of these quantities with a selection of cosmological parameters. iCosmos is being actively used in Cosmology research all over the globe, and is referenced in many Masters and PhD thesis’ to crosscheck results and compute theoretical values. Using a combination of advanced web technologies, the web app provides an efficient and speedy user experience, an invaluable tool for those in the field of Astrophysics and Cosmology.

Two runners up have also been awarded in this category. LHSee, developed by Chris Boddy (Department of Physics and Brasenose College), is a Smart Phone App that visualises collisions from the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s biggest scientific experiment. Users of the app can find out about more about the Large Hadron Collider, learn how the ATLAS experiment works, view live 3D displays of collisions direct from CERN, and play the ‘Hunt the Higgs’ game. Making an astonishing and complex process accessible to everyone the App is a novel way of attracting people into the world of Partical Physics.

Joshua  Chauvin (Department of Experimental Psychology and New College) showed originality in his use of applied artificial neural networks to aid in the classification of children affected with Autism Spectrum disorders. ‘Neural Network Classification of Syndromic Facial Dysmorphology: Autism Spectrum Disorders’ collected image data from participants using a 3D photogammetric device to compile a facial image database of children unaffected with ASD. This was then compared with a facial image database of children diagnosed with ASD. The ANN exhibited strong predictive capabilities, suggestive of differences in facial morphologies. The success of this study provides evidence to support the hypothesis that there are differences in facial morphologies between children affected with ASD and children unaffected, and that ANNs are capable of recognizing these differences. Ongoing research is being carried out to further examine the potential clinical application of such computational models that has the potential to span philosophical, psychological, neurological, medical and social disciplines.


See other blog posts from OxTALENT 2012