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The latest from SuperMondays

SuperMondays – Sonic Pi and Minecraft

Eventbrite - SuperMondays - Sonic Pi and Minecraft

This month’s [Tuesday special because of the bank holiday] event is about fun ways to introduce people to programming.

We’re delighted to announce that Dr Sam Aaron will be here to talk about his recent work on Sonic Pi. Sam did his PhD in Newcastle a few years back, during which he founded the local Ruby group. Exploring the importance of creativity in programming is a key element in Sam’s work. A big part of this is “live coding”, as we’ll see in a musical performance.

Sonic Pi is a project supported by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, aiming to encourage programming via music on the Raspberry Pi. People can build up interesting compositions by mixing together blocks of code and effects. The project has also produced a programme of work so it’s ready for classroom use. It’s a great addition to the options for new programmers (and the less new!).

Then there’s Minecraft. Mention that word to most school-age children and you instantly get their attention. (Try it, now.) Minecraft is a game, but it’s much more than that. It’s a great way to get people of all ages thinking about design and mechanisms. In multi-player mode, it encourages communication and collaboration. And it also enables programmers to shape the game itself.

The free Raspberry Pi version allows remote control via a simple text API, allowing you to write programs in various languages (even in Scratch) to extend the gameplay. The desktop versions allow various 3rd party add-ons or “mods” which provide significant new functionality, including embedding of mini-languages for further extensions. So, plenty of ways for beginners to get their toes wet. Another Dr (Paul Callaghan) will give an overview of the options, give a demo or two, and talk about what it means for learning – and for getting his kids to do something useful over the holidays.

Eventbrite - SuperMondays - Sonic Pi and Minecraft

Privacy and Geocoding Videos

A big thank you to Doug, Peter and Andy for presenting this month, and as ever a big thnak for to Newcastle University in supporting us. Here are the videos of this moneth event. A copy of Doug’s slides are on Slide Share and Andy’s new service is Ask The Pigeon.

SuperMondays – Privacy and Geocoding

This month we have a varied event, with Doug Belshaw and Peter Shaw speaking about Privacy, and Andy Redfern taking us through geocoding the green vote!

Doug Belshaw educates you to educate others – on raising the next generation in the thorny subject of privacy. How do you get more than a ‘meh’ about creepy government surveillance? How do you get people to actually read those mammoth Terms of Service that everyone agrees to? And what are we actually doing with our kids’ data?

Peter Shaw will be telling tales from the trenches – lessons learned in developer security. Covering essential points such as not letting business leave security until the last minute, ways that tricksters will attempt to get private details from you, and warning signs that your app might be leaking data will all help you to be aware of the issues and combat them quickly.

Andy Redfern will be demonstrating ‘Green Geocoding’ and showing us how he helped Green voters connect with European Election Candidates in the last election. With more than 30 million pieces of data, a government database, you’ll see how clever custom algorithms assembled all that data to deliver it to tens of thousands of voters.

Please note that for the next few months we will be in the Bedson Teaching Centre off Queen Victoria Rd opposite the RVI. Entrance 21 on the map.

Eventbrite - SuperMondays - Privacy and Geocoding