Education

Use of Open Source in education


An introduction to software-defined radio with LimeSDR – London 24/3/2017

On the 24 March 2017, 09:00 – 17:00 at BCS London, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA, [map] (51.510812, -0.121733)

Please register to attend and share on Lanyrd.

A Software-Defined Radio (SDR) is a highly reconfigurable radio that can be used for many different radio applications through simply changing the software that links with it. An example of such a reconfigurable radio is the LimeSDR, which can both transmit and receive data and voice, using just about any wireless system.

The LimeSDR was launched by Lime Microsystems in May 2016 via a crowdfunding campaign, and is now shipping to over 3,500 customers worldwide. It is based on the Lime Microsystems LMS7002M Field Programmable RF (FPRF) 2×2 MIMO transceiver, which continuously covers frequencies from 100kHz to 3.8GHz. The LMS7002M has been successfully used in a wide range of digital radio applications, including 2G/4G Femtocell base stations, GNSS, DAB, DVBT receivers and RF test and measurement equipment. The LimeSDR also includes an FPGA and USB 3.0 to provide host connectivity.

Workshop scope

LimeSDRThe heart of the day is to provide a practical ‘hands-on’ afternoon session using the LimeSDR with the Lime Suite GUI and FFT Viewer. Then to use GNU Octave and Pothos to make some very simple digital radio examples.

To facilitate this, the morning will include introductory talks explaining the purpose of the various analogue and digital blocks included in the LMS7002M. It will also include tutorial material covering the key concepts required to understand modern digital radio transceivers, and how to use them, as well as practical issues associated with radio reception.

In addition the day will feature some advanced demonstrations showing the full capabilities of the LimeSDR and its LMS7002M transceiver, including 4G Femtocell, as well as educational examples such as a simple OFDM transceiver data link.

(more…)


Getting started with FPGAs and Verilog using project IceStorm and myStorm – London 1/12/2016

The BCS OSSG and the OSHUG are hosting a talk on educating the next generation.

The event will be held on Thursday 1st December at Prince Philip Room, The Royal Society of Arts, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ, [map] (51.5093963-0.1227355) from 9:00 to 17:00.

Please register to attend and share on Lanyrd.

A further meeting on Educating the next generation will then follow in the evening, but at a different venue.

Please note that if you intend to attend both the workshop and evening meeting, you must register separately for each of these!

Workshop details

In this workshop we will build some basic Verilog blocks and modules targeting low power, low cost FPGAs from the Lattice iCE40 series. The workshop will operate using a complete open source Verilog toolchain based around Yosys and Arachne-PNR, which can be run on Linux and OS X. We will cover basic sequential and combinational logic blocks. In addition we will show you how you can combine simple ARM microcontroller code running alongside and communicating with Verilog peripherals synthesised on a Lattice iCE40 FPGA, all running together on myStorm.

This workshop will give participants a real taste of FPGA development in an open source software environment, using open source hardware.

Ken Boak started his professional career at BBC Research Department in 1986 working on digital signal processing systems for HDTV and subsequently over 30 years, a mix of 10 other technology companies, both UK and US based, in the fields of instrumentation, automation, telemetry telecomms.

Ken has been interested in energy monitoring since the early 1990s, when he constructed a 4 seater electric car, and provided rudimentary energy analysis of the battery charge and discharge cycles. In 1998 he joined a South London company and designed a low power wireless, monitor device for automatic, remote gas and electricity meter reading.

In 2009 Ken worked on the Onzo Energy Monitoring Kit, a commercial device that was ultimately distributed to Southern Electric customers. Then in 2010 he produced a series of educational devices to teach engineering undergraduates the principles of photovoltaic energy systems.

Ken has continued his interests in energy monitoring, working collaboratively with Megni on the OpenEnergyMonitor project, the open Inverter Project and also for All Power Labs in Berkeley, California, where he was involved in power monitoring of wood gasifier generator sets. He tries to live a low impact lifestyle in a modest Edwardian house in Surrey, with a little help from modern electronics.

Alan Wood has been working with parallel distributed programming for several decades. His recent work includes smart grids, 3D printers, robotics, automation and biotec diagnostics. His current research is focused on machine learning for embedded applications using Motes on FPGA and emerging Asics. He is a long term advocate and moderator (aka Folknology) for xCORE and other opensource communities, as well as a founder of Surrey and Hampshire Makerspace.

What to bring

Participants must bring a laptop computer and ideally one that is running either Linux or OS X. If your laptop is running Windows, you should also bring along a Raspberry Pi or similar Linux SBC, that you can use to build the toolchain and program myStorm over USB.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 08:45 as the workshop will start at 09:00 prompt.


Educating the Next Generation (myStorm update, micro:bit, encouraging next generation) – London 1/12/2016

The BCS OSSG and the OSHUG are hosting a talk on educating the next generation.

The event will be held on Thursday 1st December at CSC, 3rd Floor, The Wallbrook Building, 25 Wallbrook, London, EC4N 8AQ,  [map] (51.5103063-0.0961973) from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 18:15 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

This event is free to attend for both BCS Members and non-members but booking is required. Places are limited; please book as soon as possible.

myStorm update

myStormmyStorm is an open hardware and software FPGA development platform that is based around a Lattice iCE40 FPGA, which uses the fully open source IceStorm/Yosys/Arache-pnr toolchain for development. It is low cost and aims to provide a gentle on-ramp for those who are new to RTL development and working with FPGAs. In this talk we will hear a report from the workshop which took place earlier in the day, together with a status update on the myStorm project.

(more…)


The future of Open Source: silicon chip design for the masses, musical instruments and algorithms as pictures – London 20/10/2016

This year’s BCS OSSG AGM will be held on Thursday 20th October at the BCS HQ, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA from 6:00pm to 8:45pm.

The AGM will be followed by four talks from our student prize winners and from the designers of MyStorm, an ultra-low cost FPGA board.

This event is free to attend for both BCS Members and non-members but?booking is required. Places are limited; please book as soon as possible.

Note: Please aim to arrive by 18:00 as the event will start at 18:15 prompt.

The timetable for the evening will be:

18:00 – Registration & refreshments
18:15 – BCS AGM and election of officers
18.45 – The Light Theremin Project
19:00 – The Next Generation of Open Source Engineers
19:15 – The use of Open Source projects to scaffold the development of new programmers
19:30 – The MyStorm project
20:00 – Sandwiches + networking
20:45 – Close

(more…)


Call for Open Source Project Contest Applications

Code

The BCS OSSG desires to support and encourage students and apprentices to use and develop open source software and hardware in their project work.

All students and apprenticesare invited to enter one of the project contests sponsored by the BCS Open Source Specialist Group. The project contests are as follows:

  • Best school projectfor students who are still at secondary school or sixth form college
  • Best first year projectfor students who are in their first year of study at a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI).
  • Best second year projectfor students in their second year of study at a UK HEI (also those on an industrial year or 3rd year of a 4 year degree – basically this is for students between their first and final years).
  • Best final year undergraduateprojectfor students in their final year of study for a BA, BSc, BEng, or in the penultimate year of an MEng (this will often be the 3rd year, but may be the fourth or fifth year, if the student has taken a year abroad, year in industry, or is studying for a 4 year Scottish degree).
  • Best apprentice projectcompleted by an apprentice working in a UK company on an approved apprenticeship scheme.

The winner in each category will be awarded a cash prize of 100;application must be submitted by 15thAugust 2016.

More information at http://ossg.bcs.org/student-project-2016.


Open for Business 2016 – Hebden Bridge 5/9/2016

Open for Business is an an annual one day conference hosted by the BCS Open Source Specialist Group and Open Source Consortium, that aims to explore key themes in open source software as they relate to service providers and consumers, across both the private and public sectors.

In 2016 the conference will build on the success of the inaugural event held the previous year — which took a look at some of the broader challenges and opportunities, with first-hand experiences — to dive deeper and consider best practices in driving effective open source adoption.

Once again we have some fantastic speakers line-up that bring many unique insights, including Mike Little, co-founder of WordPress, and Maarten Ectors, Vice President IoT at Canonical.

Open for Business is hosted by the BCS Open Source Specialist Group and the Open Source Consortium, and is being run as part of the Wuthering Bytes technology festival.

For further details please see the conference website.

Open for Business is sponsored by: BCS and Embecosm.


Malvern Raspberry Jam (Family & Adult Edition) – Malvern 21/10/2015

Raspberry PiInnovate Malvern in collaboration with The Pi Shop are organising an event for people to what they have done with their Raspberry Pis, or to attend and learn about the Pi hardware and software and perhaps get started on your own projects.

The event will be held on  Wednesday 21st October 2015 at Walwyn Road (near Fossil Bank), Upper Colwall, WR13 6PL, Malvern
between 7:30pm and 9:30pm.

Come to be inspired, make friends, and collaborate on new ideas. Also, if you have children attending the earlier Student Edition of the Malvern Raspberry Jam, then this is your chance to try and get ahead of them! After the session at about 9pm, people can head to either The Chase Inn or the Wyche Inn for a drink and chat.

There will be keyboards, display monitors, power, and wifi available for you to connect up your Pi. The event is free to attend, but because space is limited, we ask you to please register in advance.

(more…)


Supplementing teaching in schools by employing free to low-cost, and open educational resources – London 30/07/2015 1

Open Educational ResourceThe BCS e-Learning SG and the BCS OSSG are hosting a talk on low-cost and open educational resources.

The event will be held on Thursday 30th July at BCS HQ – 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA from 5:00pm (registration) to 7:30pm. The talks will start at 5:30pm.

This event is free to attend for both BCS Members and non-members but booking is required.

Synopsis

Schools’ potential for large-scale resource investment and  employing dedicated technical staff to support technology enhanced learning is being increasingly constrained under current economic conditions.

The speaker will discuss past experiences as an IT professional, in combining free, low cost and Open Source platforms as technology “mashups”.

About Speaker

Tara McBride has worked as an IT professional for over 15 years, in the private sector for companies as diverse as IBM and CarGiant car-supermarket, and in both the primary and tertiary education sectors.  Tara is currently lecturing within the Digital Technology and Computing Department at GSM London.

Areas of interest surrounds the interface between business and computing, in particular how to enact ethical computing, and how to remove fear barriers to technology adoption.  She is currently trying to make her Raspberry Pi make her Raspberry Pie.