CoVID: Milestones, Data Sources, Dashboards and Visualisations a Data Science World

CoVID Key Milestones

Date Milestone
08/07/2021 UK reaches 5,000,000+ Cases
05/07/2021 Global Deaths Reach 4,000,000+
28/04/2021 Global Cases exceed 150,000,000 (25/01/2021 100M, 07/11/2020 50M Cases recorded)
26/04/2021 Global Deaths Reach 3,120,000+ => 400 per 1M World Population
16/04/2021 Global Deaths Reach 3,000,000+
13/03/2021 USA reaches 30,000,000+ Cases, 20M+ 30/12/2020, 10M+ 06/11/2020)
24/02/2021 Global Deaths Reach 2,500,000+
26/01/2021 UK Deaths exceed 100,000
26/01/2021 Indonesia (first country to reach 1M+ in 2021) joins South Africa, Ukraine, Peru, Turkey, Iran, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Italy, UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (19 Countries now at 1M+ cases)
25/01/2021 Global Cases exceed 100,000,000
16/01/2021 Global Active Cases exceeds 25,000,000
15/01/2021 USA exceeds 400,000 Deaths
14/01/2021 Global Deaths Reach 2,000,000+
05/01/2021 India Reaches 150,000+ CoVID Deaths
05/01/2021 UK Daily Cases exceed 60,000 (60,916)
04/01/2021 Global Cases Reach 85.8M => 11K/1M => 1.1% world population
03/01/2021 Ireland Reaches 100,000+ Cases
03/01/2021 UK Reaches 75,000+ CoVID Deaths
01/01/2021 UK reaches 2,500,000+ Cases
31/12/2020 2020 End of Year Summary
Global Cases: 83,793,959, (10,750/1M)
Global Deaths: 1,824,915, (234.1/1M)
Global Active Cases: 22,648,237
Global Serious Critical Cases: 106,365   

101 Countries at 25K+ of which 90 at 50K+, 76 at 100K+, 48 at 200K+, 38 at 300K+, 34 at 400K+, 27 at 500K+, 24 at 600K+, 21 at 700K+, 18 at 1M+, 8 at 2M+, Russia at 3.1M, Brazil at 7.6M, India at 10.2M, USA at 20.4M

USA Cases: 20,445,654, Deaths: 354,215
India Cases: 10,286,329, Deaths: 149,018
Brazil Cases: 7,675,973, Deaths: 194,976
Russia Cases: 3,159,297, Deaths: 57,019
UK Cases: 3,159,297, Deaths: 57,019
Ireland Cases: 91,779, Deaths: 2,237
China Cases: 87,052, Deaths: 4,634

Greatest Daily Cases: 30/12/2020 at 744,664
Greatest Daily Deaths: 30/12/2020 at 15,124

30/12/2020 Global Daily Deaths exceed 15,000
30/12/2020 USA exceeds 350,000 Deaths
30/12/2020 USA reaches 20,000,000+ Cases, a 5M+ increase in just two dozen days (had reached 15M+ 06/12/2020, a 50% increase from 10M+ a month before 10M+ 06/11/2020)
29/12/2020 First person in Ireland receives vaccine (online)
29/12/2020 Cases in Ireland 88,439 (now in 80th position) exceed that of China 87,003 (81st).
Ireland population 4,964,891, China population 1,439,323,776 (~290 times greater).
Bahrain 79th position with 91,935 Cases and population of 1,730,072 therein China’s population is ~832 times greater.
29/12/2020 UK Daily Cases exceed 50,000 (53,135)
28/12/2020 UK Daily Cases exceed 40,000 (41,385)
28/12/2020 Brazil reaches 7,500,000+ Cases
27/12/2020 South Africa joins Ukraine, Peru, Turkey, Iran, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Italy, UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (18 Countries now at 1M+ cases)
25/12/2020 Global Cases Reach 80M
25/12/2020 Global Deaths Reach 1,750,000+
25/12/2020 UK Reaches 70,000+ CoVID Deaths
24/12/2020 Italy becomes 8th country to exceed 2,000,000+ Cases
24/12/2020 Ukraine joins Peru, Turkey, Iran, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Italy, UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (17 Countries now at 1M+ cases)
22/12/2020 Global Cases Reach 78.3M => 10K/1M => 1.0% world population
22/12/2020 Peru joins Turkey, Iran, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Italy, UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (16 Countries now at 1M+ cases)
19/12/2020 UK reaches 2,000,000+ Cases
18/12/2020 India reaches 10,000,000+ Cases
16/12/2020 USA exceeds 250,000 Daily Cases
16/12/2020 Global Daily Deaths exceed 13,500
13/12/2020 Global Active Cases exceeds 20,000,000
12/12/2020 Turkey joins Iran, Poland, Germany, Mexico, Italy, UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (15 Countries now at 1M+ cases) Turkey had been just below 1M, then suddenly changed to being over 1.75M (10/12/2020) on track for 1M+ 12/12/2020 at original rate of change
11/12/2020 USA exceeds 300,000 Deaths
11/12/2020 Global Daily Cases Reach 700K
10/12/2020 Global Cases Reach 70.4M => 9K/1M => 0.9% world population
10/12/2020 70 Countries now with 100,000+ Cases, of which 25 Countries are 500,000+
09/12/2020 Global Cases Reach 70M
09/12/2020 USA Exceeds 3000 Daily Deaths
08/12/2020 First person in the UK receives vaccine (online)
06/12/2020 USA reaches 15,000,000+ Cases (a 50% increase on the 10M+ cases just one month before 06/11/2020)
04/12/2020 40 Countries now with 200,000+ Cases of which 26 are 500,000+ and 14 are 1,000,000+
03/12/2020 Global Deaths Reach 1,500,000+
03/12/2020 Iran joins Poland, Germany, Mexico, Italy, UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (14 Countries now at 1M+ cases)
03/12/2020 UK Reaches 60,000+ CoVID Deaths
02/12/2020 Poland joins Germany, Mexico, Italy, UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (13 Countries now at 1M+ cases)
02/12/2020 Global Daily Deaths exceed 12,500
28/11/2020 Global Cases Reach 62.3M => 8K/1M => 0.8% world population
26/11/2020 Germany joins Mexico, Italy, UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (12 Countries now at 1M+ cases)
25/11/2020 Global Cases Reach 60M
21/11/2020 60 Countries now with 100,000+ Cases
20/11/2020 USA exceeds 200,000 Daily Cases
17/11/2020 Global Serious Critical Cases reach 100,000+
15/11/2020 Global Cases Reach 54.6M => 7K/1M => 0.7% world population
15/11/2020 Mexico joins Italy, UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (11 Countries now at 1M+ cases)
14/11/2020 USA exceeds 250,000 Deaths
14/11/2020 Global Active Cases exceeds 15,000,000
12/11/2020 20 Countries now with 500,000+ Cases, of which 10 Countries are 1,000,000+
11/11/2020 Global Daily Deaths exceed 10,000
11/11/2020 Italy joins UK, Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases (10 Countries now at 1M+ cases)
11/11/2020 UK Reaches 50,000+ CoVID Deaths
07/11/2020 Global Cases Reach 50M
06/11/2020 USA reaches 10,000,000+ Cases
05/11/2020 Global Daily Cases Reach 600K
05/11/2020 Global Serious Critical Cases reach 90,000+
04/11/2020 Global Active Cases exceeds 12,500,000
01/11/2020 Global Cases Reach 46.77M => 6K/1M => 0.6% world population
31/10/2020 50 Countries now with 100,000+ Cases of which 32 are 200,000+, 20 are 400,000+ and 9 are 1,000,000+
31/10/2020 UK joins Colombia, France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases
30/10/2020 USA Daily Cases Reach 100K, (Daily Cases Reach 573K)
30/10/2020 Global Cases Exceed 1,000,000,000 given current case numbers of 45.89M, computed by factoring up on WHO Estimates (05/10/2020) 10% of world population contracted CoVID (online) ~780M ~22x greater than recorded cases of 35.75M
28/10/2020 Global Daily Cases Reach 500K
28/10/2020 Global Serious Critical Cases reach 80,000+
24/10/2020 Colombia joins France, Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases
24/10/2020 Global Active Cases exceeds 10,000,000
23/10/2020 France joins Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases
19/10/2020 Argentina joins Spain, Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases
18/10/2020 Spain joins Russia, India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases
18/10/2020 Global Cases Reach 40M
16/10/2020 Global Daily Cases Reach 400K
15/10/2020 Global Cases Reach 39M => 5K/1M => 0.5% world population
14/10/2020 Global Serious Critical Cases reach 70,000+
05/10/2020 WHO Estimates 10% of world population contracted CoVID (online) ~780M ~22x greater than recorded cases of 35.75M
27/09/2020 Global Deaths Reach 1,000,000+
27/09/2020 Global Active Cases 7.5M
20/09/2020 Global Cases Reach 31.2M => 4K/1M => 0.4% world population
16/09/2020 Global Cases Reach 30M
15/09/2020 USA exceeds 200,000 Deaths
04/09/2020 Global Daily Cases Reach 300K
01/09/2020 Russia joins India, Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases
23/08/2020 Global Cases Reach 23.5M => 3K/1M => 0.3% world population
09/08/2020 Global Cases Reach 20M
18/07/2020 Global Active Cases 5M
23/07/2020 Global Cases Reach 15.6M => 2K/1M => 0.2% world population
16/07/2020 India joins Brazil and USA in having 1M+ Cases
02/07/2020 Global Daily Cases Reach 200K
27/06/2020 Global Cases Reach 10M => 1.28K/1M => 0.128% world population
19/06/2020 Brazil joins USA in having 1M+ Cases
13/06/2020 Global Cases Reach 7.795M => 1K/1M => 0.1% world population
22/05/2020 USA exceeds 100,000 Deaths
20/05/2020 Global Daily Cases Reach 100K
20/05/2020 Global Cases Reach 5M
16/05/2020 Global Active Cases 2.5M
27/04/2020 USA reaches 1M+ Cases
06/04/2020 Global Active Cases 1M
01/04/2020 Global Cases Reach 1M
24/03/2020 Global Cases Reach 500K
17/03/2020 Global Cases Reach 250K
04/03/2020 Global Cases Reach 100K
12/02/2020 Global Cases Reach 50K

Table data sourced from worldometers (online).

The following sources / links provide a selection of data and visualisations regarding the spread of the CoVID-19 virus. You may perhaps find it useful to bookmark them and look in from time to time to get some sense of the Coronavirus progression.

These graphs, visualisations, dashboards are a clear example of where Computer Science / Data Science can help distill and enhance ones understanding of a problem domain. Such systems will become all the more common as we move to a world of Smart Homes, Smart Cities, Smart Countries and a Smart Planet. The Internet of Things coupled with Cloud Computing Services, Data Analysis, improved communications throughput speeds and Mobile Computing will provide us with a far more integrated and real-time world than we know of today.

Global Level Sites

  • Worldometers, Detailed country by country tables, cases, deaths, population data, graphs (online)
  • Interactive World Map Visualisation Dashboard by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) (online)
  • John Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resouces Centre, World Map, US Map and Critical Trends (online)
  • World Health Organisation, situation reports [pdfs compiled each day] (online)
  • World Health Organisation, World Map Dashboard, with graphs by region / country (online)
  • ncov2016, Series of world and region level table summaries (online)
  • European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Dashboard, World Map and Graphs (online)
  • University of Virginia, Biocomplex Institute, Dashboard, Worldmap and Graphs (online)

Country Specific Sites

  • Ireland’s CoVID19 Data Hub (online)
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK (online)
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK (online)
  • Centre for Disease Control, United States Map (online)

Comments, Reply’s, Thoughts, Questions

  • If you know of any other interesting data sources or visualisations, then perhaps you can add a reply/comment to this post, and the list can be duly updated.
  • What are your thoughts on: The Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Data Analysis, improved communications throughput speeds, Mobile Computing and what will the SmartWorld of tomorrow be like?
  • Will Smart Clothes that can monitor our vitals become the norm?

Some Key CoVID Milestone Tweets

The following tweets capture some key milestones, such as reaching 1K cases per 1M population 13th June 2020, or reaching 10M cases just two weeks later on the 27th June 2020. At the time of publishing this post 6th July 2020 the number of cases have reached 0.15% of world population (online). Hence in a little over three weeks the number of global cases have increased 50%, i.e. moving from 1K/1M to 1.5K/1M. We have also seen several recent days where >200K new cases are reported each day.

Kainos AI Camp and Hackathon Birmingham 2019

As was the case last year, Kainos once again ran a two week AI Camp in Birmingham, taking place 9th – 21st September 2019, with around two dozen participants from across half a dozen Universities taking part. The AI Camp was again hosted at BCU Computing. One of the key highlights of the AI Camp occurred in the second week, that being the AWS Deep Racer (online) (online).

The camp was capped off with a Hackathon event at Kaino’s Office in Alpha Tower which required the participants to work in teams to develop and idea making use of AI, implement and present same to a panel of Judges with a number of prizes being awarded. The following tweets below should give you a good sense of what the event was like.

AI Camp 2019 Summary
Kainos AI Camp and Hackathon โ€“ Week 2 Summary (online)
Kainos AI Camp and Hackathon โ€“ Week 1 Summary (online)

AI Camp 2020 Registration
If you wish to participate in 2020 then you can register your interest (online).

A Visit to #HackTheMidlands Hackathon 2019

HackTheMidlands 4.0 took place Sat 26th Oct – Sun 27th Oct 2019 with around 250 participants taking part from across the UK. The event has grown year on year, the 2017 event for example had around 150 participants – A Visit to #HackTheMidlands Hackathon 2017 (online). The following Tweets should give you some idea of what the 2019 Hackathon was like. Who knows, perhaps the 2020 event v5.0 may have 300+ participants given the popularity of same.

Links
HackTheMidlands.com (online)
HackTheMidlands Twitter (online)
HackTheMidlands Discord (online)
HackTheMidlands Facebook (online)

Fundamentals of Success, Life and Academic Performance

The following videos outline some general rules of success and how one can ultimately change the world, through focus, dedication and commitment coupled with giving back to the world / community that has contributed along the way.

Arnold Schwarzenegger – In this video he outlines 5 key Rules of Success. A far more detailed and in-depth interview exploring Vision, Goals, Confidence and Time Management may be seen (online)

One of the key elements mentioned in the video above is to have a clear vision, a destination. Perhaps the following video from Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country, 1991 (IMDB) is a good example, as the Enterprise is asked by a Klingon outpost for its Destination – “What is your Destination, Over”. Even with a warp capable Starship like the Enterprise, without a Heading / Destination one will just drift through space without ever getting anywhere. Many star athletes “begin with the end in mind” to quote Stephen R. Covey and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, they visualise and see the ultimate goal the wish to achieve.

As with all journeys one must first have a direction of travel, in the case of Samwise and Frodo departing the Shire in The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001 (IMDB), their initial destination was the village of Bree. As with all journeys one must set off by putting one foot in front of the other and embrace the adventure that lies ahead.

Admiral William H. McRaven – highlights 10 key life lessons that are very much centered around how one can change the world by adhering to some basic principles. A more detailed account, along with a 20 minute video may be seen (online).

Many of the above Rules & Life Lessons can be readily applied to Academic study. As Schwarzenegger mentions one has to “work your butt off”. Putting in hard work and focus is essential, however perhaps even more importantly is to focus on working hard at doing the right things. The following video below highlights several key things that the top 10% of students do in stark contrast to the other 90%. Two of the key things that make all the difference is to develop a Schedule / Plan and also to put in the work doing Practice Exams / Homework.

An interesting article in which the speaker in the video above contributes, can be found (online) and is aptly named the “Science of Student Success”.

Just turning up to class for example, isn’t going to guarantee success in coursework / exams. One must put in the work. Its just like having a Gym membership, paying the membership fee, and going to the gym for just a few weeks or on the odd occasion will not produce any results. One must put in the work over and over again, moreover it is important to do the right thing, hence how one works out at the gym with the correct form is also crucial. The real key to building muscle mass is not stopping once you have done 10 reps just like everybody else, the real value comes at the very end by putting in that extra couple of reps. This extra bit of effort is what makes all the difference to making the most of the training session. This is something that Schwarzenegger mentions time and time again in many of his interviews.

Perhaps it is apt quote Colonel John Hannibal Smith from the A-Team – “I love it when a plan comes together”. The videos below depicts Hannibal (George Peppard) from both the TV Show and the more recent move (Liam Neeson) saying the well know line.

Commitment is also a key ingredient, as is well voiced by wise Jedi Master Yoda “Try not, Do or Do not, there is no try” – Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, 1980 (IMDB). Trying to do something half-heartily will not lead to success, if you are going to do something the commit to it 100%. Another very good example of this is from The Karate Kid, 1984 (IMDB), at the point where Mr. Miyagi ask Daniel if he is ready to begin his Karate training. Daniel responds by saying “Yeah, I guess so”. Mr Miyagi in turn outlines a short story about walking on a road, both the left and right sides are safe, but if one walks in the middle, then sooner or later you will get run over. Again it all comes down to Commitment, either you are going to do something and give it 100% or not.

Perhaps one of the most important thing at University, especially in Computing is to treat it like a Gym. Only by working out and learning to tackle new problems can one problem solving skills improve along with their programming ability.

Any other tips for success?
Do you know of any other good strategies useful on the road toward Academic Success?
Have you seen any interesting videos recently about how to focus, do the right thing and ultimately achieve the best results?
What interesting things have you learned from watching the videos above?
What are the most profound / useful things you can take away and action from the above videos?

Kainos AI Camp and Hackathon – Week 2 Summary

This post gives some idea of what the final week of the Kainos AI Camp and Hackathon was like. The start of the second week commenced on Monday morning by reviewing what was explored the following week. A number of people from Kainos also attended in order to capture some interviews and video of the AI Camp in action. Around the middle of the week Kainos’ CTO Tom Gray (online) visited to give a talk about the company followed up by a Q&A session. During the final two days of the week two further tutors took part to explore the world of computer vision.

A day long Hackathon took place on Saturday 15th with teams consisting of two to three people developing some really excellent and interesting ideas. The hackathon concluded with all teams presenting their work to a panel of Judges, with some really great and fun prizes available to the winning teams along with a number of individual prizes as well. The previous day – Friday 14th Sept, the participants spent much of the day thinking of the ideas for the hackathon, getting into teams, and exploring the possible data sets they could use. It was really great to see the amount of in-depth detailed discussion and enthusiasm that electrified the room with creativity. A huge shout out to all the tutors must be given particularly to Chloe (online) and Jake (online) who ran most of the two week event.

The tweets below should help to give you a good sense of what Week 02 was like along with the capstone Hackathon event.

Summary of Week 01 (online).

Social Media Feeds
Kainos (online)
Kainos Academy (online)
Kainos CTO – Tom Gray (online)
AI Camp Tutor – Chloe Thompson (online)
AI Camp Tutor – Jake Young (online)
AI Camp Tutor – Mary-Jane (online)
AI Camp Tutor – Liam Ferris (online)
AI Camp Co-ordination – Don Le (online)
Guest Speaker (Convolution Neural Networks) – Alan Dolhasz (online)
Guest Speaker (AI & the Media) – Kari Lawler (online), Youth4AI (online)
BCU Computing (online)
AI Camp Hashtag (online)

AI Camp Week 02 in Tweets
The following embedded tweets below should give you some sense of what the second week of the AI Camp was like along with the final Hackathon event that took places at Kainos’ Offices located at Alpha Tower (online), Birmingham.

Kainos AI Camp and Hackathon – Week 1 Summary

Over the first two weeks of September 2018 Kainos has been running a AI Camp and Hackathon event (online) hosted at BCU Computing. The AI Camp schedule runs from 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday over the two week period, with a final Hackathon taking place on Saturday 15th Sept at Kainos’ office located in Alpha Tower, Birmingham. Around twenty of those who signed up were selected to participate in the AI Camp and Hackathon. The group consisting mainly of Computer Science / Computer Science and AI undergrad students along with some from Physics as well, spans a number of university institutions across central England.

Just prior to this event another had been held in Belfast during the last two weeks of August with the final Hackathon taking place on Saturday 1st September. That left the tutors running the AI camp with just the Sunday to get packed and fly to Birmingham to get going again first thing on Monday morning with the second instance of the camp.

Social Media Feeds
Kainos (online)
Kainos Academy (online)
AI Camp Tutor – Chloe Thompson (online)
AI Camp Tutor – Jake Young (online)
AI Camp Co-ordination – Don Le (online)
Guest Speaker (Convolution Neural Networks) – Alan Dolhasz (online)
Guest Speaker (AI & the Media) – Kari Lawler (online), Youth4AI (online)
BCU Computing (online)
AI Camp Hashtag (online)

AI Camp Week 01 in Tweets
The following embedded tweets below should give you some sense of what the first week of the AI Camp was like.

Life Lessons and Leadership Principles

The video below is of Lt. General Hal Moore discussing Leadership, recorded at the 2007 American Veterans Conference in Washington D.C. He highlights a number of principles that has guided his life and also guided him on the battlefield.

1 In baseball, three strikes and youโ€™re out. In the game of life three strikes and you are not out, there is always one more thing you can do, to influence any situation in your favour. All you have to do is think, what else can I do, and after that thereโ€™s one more thing you can do. The more things you do the more opportunities that open up.

2 On the battlefield always try to be where the action is going on. A battlefield leader has to lead on the battlefield.

3 In any situation youโ€™ve got to think what am I doing that I should not be doing and what am I not doing that I should be doing, to influence the situation in my favour. Thereโ€™s always one more thing.

4 Trust your instincts. Your instincts are the product of your experience, your reading, your personality. Your instincts are your best resource. Your gut tells you one thing and your heart tells you another. Go with your gut.

5ย Life is not a bed of roses. You are going to be hit with adversity, now and again. When hit by adversity, youโ€™ve got to believe that you will prevail in the end.

The trailer below is of the 2002 film We Were Solders depicting the Vietnam War ย battle of la Drang in 1965. The film stars Mel Gibson as the then Lt Colonel (imdb).

Another interesting example of a speech revolving around life lessons was by Navy Admiral William H. McRaven during the University of Texas 2014 commencement. It can be summed in the following principles below.

1 If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

2 If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.

3ย If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.

4 If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.

5 If you want to change the world, donโ€™t be afraid of the circuses.

6 If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.

7ย If you want to change the world, donโ€™t back down from the sharks.

8 If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.

9ย If you want to change the world, start singing when youโ€™re up to your neck in mud.

10 If you want to change the world donโ€™t ever, ever ring the bell.

Many of these principles can be summed up as โ€œStart each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give upโ€.

Another key idea discussed is that by changing the lives of just a few people within a few generations this can impact the lives of everybody on the planet.

One can read the entire transcript of the speech (online) at the University of Texas website.

The video below is again of Admiral McRaven highlighting eight key leadership lessons.
1 Know your troops.
2 Communicate constantly.
3 Set the example.
4 Accountability matters.
5 Allow room to maneuver.
6 Own the problems.
7 Learn from failure and move on.
8 Be a servant leader.

Some other blog posts that may be worth reading:
Prof Randy Pausch Time Management & The Last Lecture (online)
Schwarzenegger Interview: Vision, Goals, Confidence and Time Management (online)

Do you know of any other interesting videos / articles discussing interesting life lessons or leadership principles?

 

University incoming Class Photos – (Examples in Video), an engaging Start?

It seems that quite a number of Universities start off the academic year by organising a class photo for all the new incoming students. A number of such examples can be seen in the videos below.

As can be seen in the video directly below, such group photographs arenโ€™t just limited to the University arena but also spans across the Universe, in particular with this example of the 10 year anniversary group photo of the Marvel Universe.

Marvel Universe 10 year Class Photo

1. Is this a good method of building a sense of community, pride and belonging right from the very start of the University experience?

2. Do many other Universities create incoming class photos?

3. Is it nice to receive a hardcopy print of the photo, or is it better & more environmentally friendly for it to be available online through the likes of Facebook so participants can be tagged, given we are nearing the end of the second decade of the 21st century?

4. Have you seen any institutions outside of the US taking on this form of welcome activity?

5. Have you seen any other interesting forms of welcome activity that generates a sense of community and excitement?

6. What is the smallest & largest gathering you have seen for a University class group photo, 3000, 5000, more?

7. Are such incoming class photos generally taken at the University level for all incoming students, or have you seen any that are at College/Faculty or School/Department level?

8. What was the most fun / interesting incoming class group photo you’ve seen?

Butler University โ€“ Class of 2021

Butler University โ€“ Class of 2020

Butler University โ€“ Class of 2019

Butler University โ€“ Class of 2018

Butler University โ€“ Class of 2017

University of Chicago โ€“ Class of 2019

University of Chicago โ€“ Class of 2018

University of Chicago โ€“ Class of 2016

University of Connecticutโ€“ Class of 2016

Cornell โ€“ Class of 2016

Duke University โ€“ Class of 2020

Duke University โ€“ Class of 2019

Duke University โ€“ Class of 2018

Duke University โ€“ Class of 2016 (Over 40 minutes duration)

Duke University โ€“ Class of 2013

Emory University โ€“ Class of 2021

Emory University โ€“ Class of 2016

Emory University โ€“ Class of 2014 (First ever class photo)

University of Iowa – Class of 2019

University of Iowa – Class of 2015

University of Massachusetts โ€“ Class of 2020

Michigan Technological University โ€“ Class of 2013

Michigan Technological University โ€“ Class of 2012

University of Minnesota – Class of 2020

MSOE โ€“ Class of 2018

University of North Texas โ€“ Class of 2019

Northwestern University โ€“ Class of 2021

Northwestern University โ€“ Class of 2020

Northwestern University โ€“ Class of 2018

University of Pennsylvania โ€“ Class of 2016

University of Pittsburgh โ€“ Class of 2021

University of Pittsburgh โ€“ Class of 2020

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) โ€“ Class of 2018

University of Southern Indiana – Class of 2018

SMU โ€“ Class of 2021

SMU โ€“ Class of 2020

SMU โ€“ Class of 2016

SMU โ€“ Class of 2015

University of Texas at Austin โ€“ Class of 2021

University of Texas at Austin โ€“ Class of 2020

University of Texas at Austin โ€“ Class of 2019

University of Texas at Austin โ€“ Class of 2018

University of Texas at Austin โ€“ Class of 2017

Wesleyan University โ€“ Class of 2018

West Point โ€“ Class of 2012

BCU Global Game Jam 2018 – Tweet Summary

The 2018 Global Game Jam event took place over the weekend of Friday 26th Jan to Sun 28th Jan. In the case of BCU registrations commenced around 17:00 on the 25th, with the opening ceremony starting at 18:00. The theme for the 2018 event was “Transmission” the previous year was “Waves”.

The event started to finish up around 13:00 on Sunday 28th Jan with the teams uploading their games (online). At 14:00 presentations kicked off, with a number of companies and organisers present to judge and give prizes. The Vice Chancellor also attended for most of this final presentation session along with half a dozen academics from the School of Computing and Digital Technology. After the handing out of a number of prizes, one being to visit Fish in a Bottle (online), the two day event wrapped up around 15:30.

In all over 70 people took part, from universities across the country along with a number of graduates out in industry as well.

The following tweets below, may give you some idea of what the event was like. One can also see a collection of tweets from last years event (online).

I also made a further post during the weekend of the Game Jam – highlighting a good few tweets that depict the use of Tents at these events and Hackathons in general (online). Some large hackathon events have been in tents that would have taken days to construct. Some teams bring tents with them and have in-tent coding going on during the event, while others take more a campfire approach. In the case of one hackathon held in a sports hall, a large portion of same was taken over with tents.

Bring your Tent: Global Game Jam & Hackathon Examples

Over the past couple of years one can see that Tents have been deployed during Game Jam and Hackathon events. You can see in the tweet directly below that a whole section of a sports hall was taken over with tents during the 2017 Global Game Jam.

Another tweet from Global Game Jam 2017 shows a tent and โ€œcampfireโ€ in operation. The theme for the 2017 event was โ€œWavesโ€.

Looks like one group are undertaking โ€œTent Projection Mappingโ€ for the 2018 Global Game Jam, therein incorporating the camping experience into their game idea. The theme for the 2018 event was โ€œTransmissionโ€.

Looks like a โ€œFortโ€ was constructed for the events below.

Here we have an entire team doing some in-tent game development.

This event from Sydney suggests brining your own tent to the Hackathon

These Hackathon events from 2017 takes the idea of a Tent to a whole other scale.

Hereโ€™s one from 2016 with a major Hackathon Tent under construction.

Here is the โ€œPeach Podโ€ Tent from a 2016 Hackathon event.

In Tent coding from 2016.

Looks like this 2015 Hackathon is at quite some scale, with quite a significant entrance way in place.

A Microsoft Hackathon from 2015.

A tent in place for a 2014 Hackathon Event

A slightly different style of โ€œTentโ€ than many of the examples above.

Hereโ€™s just a few other examples of Hackathon Tents.

The following tweets below, highlight some nice examples of Post-it note art on the walls adding a good splash of colour and fun to the environment. Post-its can be useful for many things and not just for planning out your Game / Hackathon idea. Here’s a previous post (online) highlighting some post-it note art on campus.

Having some mascots at Game Jams and Hackathons are always fun too.

Post-it Note Art on Campus

Following on from my previous Blog Post (online) highlighting a number of YouTube videos depicting Post-it note art, this post gives some idea of the Post-it Note murals that have materialised around the School of Computer Science and Digital Technology, Birmingham City University. As previously mentioned on a visit to the Google London offices over the summer, myself and a dozen other academics really enjoyed seeing the Post-it note art they had adorned their offices with.

To add a greater splash of colour around the School we purchased 15,300 3M Super Sticky Post-it Notes, this is sufficient to cover an area of around 88 square meters. The images below give some sense of the murals that have already been created, with many more likely to follow. These murals have been created by a number of placement students we have working here at the School. As can be expected they have all had a very distinctive Computing/Gaming theme to them.

What other Post-it Note murals do you think would be interesting to see?

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Post-it Note Art in Video

During the summer I spent some time at Google London along with around a dozen other academics from half a dozen universities. One thing in particular that caught everybody’s attention was the displays of Post-it Note Pixel Art adorning the interior windows. As you would expect, many of the mosaics were game characters. It seemed like a really good, fun and collaborative way of brightening up the offices spaces and bringing them to life.

It would seem that this use of Post-it note art has spread from Google London’s office to its Dublin Office as can be seen in the time-lapse videos directly below (posted less than two weeks ago – 15/09/2017), whereby Wonder Woman now adorns some of the windows of Google’s Dublin Office.

Some other offices have also made use of Post-it Notes to make the otherwise plain walls sparkle with excitement and colour. The videos below depict the creation of a murial of several characters such as Iron-man, Wonder Woman and Batman requiring a total of 8024 Post-it notes (online). The work of art was of a temporary nature as they were moving to another office within a few months. The manner in which they removed the artwork was quite unique employing a leaf-blower to prise the post-it’s from the walls.

The video below shows yet another office taking a Star Wars theme to the creation of their Post-it Note murials.

It would seem that this imaginative use of Post-it notes commenced with a simple “Hi” being posted on the window of an advertising agency, with another agency right across the street replying to same (around 2 years ago). This quickly escalated into an all out Post-it note battle (online) as can be seen from the news segments and videos below. The hashtags #postitwars and #canalnotes also began to be bounded around on twitter. If you do some further searching around you will find several other examples of Post-its being used for artistic purposes going back several years previous to this post-it war.

Quite a few other videos may also be found online with companies and individuals adorning their windows and walls with post-it notes.

From the time-lapse video below captured in a sports hall it would seem that post-it note art has been taken to a whole different level in terms of sheer scale.

The following website (online) has some useful tips for creation Post-it note art. From suggesting to use 3M Super Sticky Notes, to measuring your wall space and planning out a grid. On another Note – pun intended – you can find out more about the accidental invention of the glue and inception of the post-it back in the late 1970’s (online).

Overall this form of art seems like a really fun and simple way to liven up an office space or blank wall / window. It could be a really fun and collaborative way of turning whitewashed walls of university computer labs into something exciting, immersive and inspirational for instance.

Hackathon Examples Around Birmingham in Video

Hackathons are a great way to learn new skills and provides opportunities to work with other students in small groups / teams. Many Hackathons take place around Birmingham with the essence of some of these having been captured in video format. The selection of videos below from past Hackathons should help to give you some idea of what they are like and perhaps help to encourage you to attend such an event in the future if you haven’t been to one before.

Even if you have little to no programming experience you should still go along to a Hackathon. Sometimes you will find participants who have graduated several years before and others who may still be in secondary school depending on the format of the event. Some Hackathons are closed events – focused on a particular University institution, many are more open to all who are interested. Many of the larger more open Hackathons are helped by Major League Hacking (MLH) an organisation that can help you setup and run a Hackathon event.

Bull Hack 2017, Curzon Building

Hack The Midlands 2016, Millennium Point

Local Hack Day Birmingham 2016

Aston Hack 2015

Brum Hack 5.0

BrumHack 4 Final Presentation (2 Hour Video)

BrumHack 2014, Live Demos (~80 Minute Video)

BrumHack 3 (30 Hour Timelapse <5 Minute Video)

Game Jam 2014

Typically Hackathon events take place over a period of 24 Hours, though some can be shorter day long events, or longer 48 Hour events. Often these events have a theme or some suggested areas within which you should try to develop some form of novel / interesting software solution. At the terminus of the coding period, each team will then have the opportunity to give a short presentation / demo of the product. These presentations / demos are often judged by a panel whom award prizes at the end, before the final wrap up. Above all the most important part about a Hackathon is participation, as you never know what potential employers may be in attendance. They also serve as a very useful addition to ones CV and can help to make it stand out.

A Visit to #HackTheMidlands Hackathon 2017

On Saturday 23rd September 2017 a 24 hour Hackathon called “Hack The Midlands” kicked off at Millennium Point in Birmingham. Around 150 attendees turned up to share in the adventure of writing some code in teams. Quite a variety of participants took part including students from Birmingham City University, Aston University and the University of Birmingham. Other participants included a number pre-university and several whom had graduated several years before. It wasn’t just students of computing taking part either, but also had participants from disciplines such as Maths, Physics and Psychology. Some of the participants travelled quite a distance to take part in the Hackathon, with several coming from St Andrews up in Scotland and one all the way from Italy. Nine Workshops were also taking place during the event, covering things from web development and Node.js to VR (online).

It wasn’t all just about writing code either with many teams working of electronic based projects such as a 3D Printer, Arduino, Breadboards and the like. A good bit of soldering and de-soldering was also taking place. Was really great to see a diverse range of ideas and projects being brought to light. For some this was their first Hackathon, for others they had been to many before as some of the images below of laptops covered with Hackathon stickers can attest to. A few mascots were also to be found dotted around the desks such as “Otto the Octopus”.

Useful Links
Hack The Midlands Website (online)
HaCS Hackathon and Computing Society, Birmingham City University (online)
HaCS Twitter Feed (online)
Aston Computer Science Society, Aston University (online)
ACCS Twitter Feed (online)
Computer Science Society, University of Birmingham (online)
CSS Twitter Feed (online)

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Keeping Cool
The 3D Printer Project was really quite interesting on two fronts. Firstly for the seemingly random parts deposited in the base and secondly for the innovative use of soft drink cans to elevate the printer to help facilitate systems cooling.

Hack The Midlands 2017

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Day 1 Tweets
Below can be seen a selection of twitter posts from the first half of the Hackathon event.

Visit to the UK’s Biggest Gaming Event – EXG 2017

Last year during University Welcome Week, several bus loads of BCU Computing students along with a number of staff headed off on an adventure to visit Bletchley Park (online). This year The UK’s Biggest Gaming Event EXG 2017 happened to be taking place during welcome week, so several hundred students and staff ventured to the NEC to explore the world of computer games – past, present and future. The photos below should help to give some small sense of what the event was like.

One could find several hundred retro games available to be played – a detailed list available from the Retro Strand (online).

EXG 2017 is running from Thursday 21st to Sunday 24th Sept inclusive, so plenty of opportunities still exist to check out the event and play some games. The 2016 EGX event had over 75,000 people in attendance (online), will this year be even bigger?

Useful Links
EXG Website (online)
EGX Facebook Page (online)
EGX Twitter Feed (online)
EGX on YouTube (online)
EGX on Twitch (online)

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This EXG 2017 Trailer on YouTube may also help to give a good sense of the event.

The following embedded videos are of various talks that took place during the opening day – 21st Sept. These talks include Andy Serkis discussing Planet of the Apes, Xbox One X & the Future of Console Technology with Digital Foundry, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Designing The City of Kings, a MMORPG inspired board game with Frank West and How Firaxis saved XCOM from complete disaster with Jake Solomon.