Archives: Events


Lightning Talks and AGM

This is our annual lightning talk meeting, where members have the opportunity to speak for 10 minutes on their favorite topic.

We invite and welcome everyone that likes to speak during our meeting.
If you are interested, please contact Julian and drop a line about the tentative title and we’ll add your presentation to the agenda!

The meeting will start with the quick Annual General Meeting (AGM), which everyone is welcome to attend.

AGENDA
18:00 – Feel free to join the online meeting to chat with other participants
18:30 – AGM
18:50 – Lightning talks
20:00 – Closing discussion

This will be a hybrid meeting, with some people attending in person in London and others able to join via videoconference.  For those wishing to attend in person, registration is essential.  We anticipate numbers attending will still be restricted.

Registration link to follow….

For remote attendees, there is no requirement to register, you can just connect to the videoconference using BigBlueButton using this link.  Thank you to GWDG for providing hosting for this meeting.  We are also recording the talks for later posting on our YouTube channel.

The live stream link will be open from 18:00 for networking, and the event will start at 18:30 prompt. We’ll keep the link open afterward for discussion.

Not a BCS member? Don’t worry! Our monthly newsletter provides the latest news, information, and events in the world of IT. We’re here to keep you updated! Sign up today at campaign.bcs.org/bcs-supporter.  If you would just like to be added to the friends of the Open Source SG mailing list, then please send an email to ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk with subscribe in the subject.  You can unsubscribe at any time by emailing unsubscribe-ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Everyone is welcome to attend, but only BCS members may vote. We will have brief reports on the past year’s activities and then elect a new committee. Note: non-BCS members may stand for all committee posts except Chair, Treasurer, and Membership secretary. We are seeking nominations for the following posts.

  • Chair:
  • Treasurer:
  • Membership Secretary/Advocacy and outreach:
  • Inclusion officer:
  • Web supremo:
  • Events sub-committee:
  • Young Professional/Student representative:
  • Committee members:

Existing committee member standing for re-election

We depend on an active committee to put on all our events and drive our advocacy and outreach work. Please consider putting yourself forward.

Viewpoint Linux

Sevan Janiyan

Sevan will present the Viewpoint Linux distribution.

Sevan Janiyan supports numerous open-source projects, including OpenBSDNetBSDFreeBSD and CoovaChilli.

A high-angle laptop stand

Jeremy Bennett

I usually work using a large (32″) monitor, with my laptop alongside.  Almost all my work is on the main monitor, with the laptop having a browser window with tabs for all my various comms channels.  In order to avoid a stiff neck, I need the laptop screen to be aligned close to the top of the main monitor.  Something that can be achieved by opening up my laptop until it is nearly flat and then raising it around 70mm.  However, you can’t buy a laptop stand designed to hold a laptop in this position.

I will present my high-angle laptop stand, built almost entirely from wood reclaimed from pallets and packing cases.  The design is open source and has the flexibility for some components to be 3D printed if desired.  The talk will include a demonstration of the completed laptop stand.

Dr. Jeremy Bennett is Chief Executive of Embecosm, an international open-source software consultancy specializing in compiler development, processor modeling, embedded operating system bring-up, and AI.  Since 2017 he has served as Chair of the BCS Open Source Specialist Group.

Details of more talks to follow…


Open Source Intelligence

September’s meeting is looking at the use of open source in state of the art AI.

AGENDA
18:00 – Feel free to join the online meeting to chat with other participants (tea and coffee for physical attendees).
18:30 – Presentations
20:00 – Closing discussion

This will be a hybrid meeting, with some people attending in person in London and others able to join via videoconference.

Attending in person

For those wishing to attend in person, due to COVID-19 limits, REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL – without a ticket, you will not be able to get in.  Numbers attending will be restricted, and there will be a waiting list.

Register to attend in person

NOTE. If you register and then find you can’t attend, please be sure to cancel, so we can offer the place to someone on the waiting list.

Attending online

For remote attendees, there is no requirement to register, you can just connect to the videoconference using BigBlueButton using this link.

NOTE. The videoconference link has changed since this event was first published.

We are also recording the talks for later posting on our YouTube channel.

The livestream link will be open from 18:00 for networking, and the event will start at 18:30 prompt. We’ll keep the link open afterwards for discussion.

Not a BCS member? Don’t worry! Our monthly newsletter provides the latest news, information and events in the world of IT. We’re here to keep you updated! Sign up today at campaign.bcs.org/bcs-supporter.  If you would just like to be added to the friends of the Open Source SG mailing list, then please send an email to ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk with subscribe in the subject.  You can unsubscribe at any time by emailing unsubscribe-ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk.

An open-source framework for multimodal artificial intelligence

Adrian Hopgood, University of Portsmouth

A wide range of techniques has emerged from the field of AI including neural networks, deep learning, rules, frames, model-based reasoning, case-based reasoning, Bayesian updating, fuzzy logic, multiagent systems, swarm intelligence, and genetic algorithms. They are all ingenious and useful in narrow contexts. It will be argued in this presentation that a truly intelligent system needs to draw on a variety of these approaches within a hybrid system. An open-source multiagent software framework called DARBS (Distributed Algorithmic and Rule-based Blackboard System) is proposed for this purpose. Several practical examples will be presented, ranging from image interpretation to the control of specialised manufacturing processes.

Adrian Hopgood is Professor of Intelligent Systems at the University of Portsmouth, where he is Director of Future & Emerging Technologies and of the South Coast Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT), and a committee member for the BCS Specialist Group on Artificial Intelligence. He has worked at the level of Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor in four universities in the UK and overseas, and has enjoyed scientific roles with Systems Designers PLC and the Telstra Research Laboratories in Australia. His main research interests are in AI and its practical applications. He has supervised 19 PhD projects to completion and published more than 100 research articles. His text book “Intelligent Systems for Engineers and Scientists: A Practical Guide to Artificial Intelligence” is ranked as a bestseller and its fourth edition is due in December 2021.

Open-source tools in machine learning applied to medical imaging: research needs and regulatory perspective

Sara Lorio & Jo Hobbs, LifeHub Bayer UK

Today’s clinical routine generates a vast amount of radiology data that needs to be assessed by healthcare professionals. Artificial intelligence (AI) can leverage this data in order to help with the increasing workload and improve the extraction of quantitative knowledge from the rich information present in medical images. In order to develop reliable and robust AI algorithms, it is crucial to process the imaging data and to evaluate the performance of the algorithm on multiple data sources. In this talk, we will cover the necessary steps to prepare medical images for the development of AI algorithms and we will talk about the regulation of AI technologies for clinical practice.

Sara Lorio is the technical lead at LifeHub Bayer UK.  She leads research projects for algorithm development in digital diagnostics and medical imaging. She is very passionate about combining different imaging techniques with cutting-edge data analysis in order to improve disease diagnosis and therapy.

Prior to this role, Sara held research positions at the University College of London and King’s College London, UK in collaboration with London main research hospitals. She received her PhD from University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Her research interests are in Medical Physics, Medical Imaging, Machine Learning and Neurobiology.

Jo Hobbs is the project support manager for the LifeHub UK. In this role she is supporting on a range of AI related projects being carried out within the LifeHub. She has a strong interest in how we can use innovative new technology, combined with what we already know, to promote better health care for everyone.

Open Source Dynamic Causal Modelling of COVID-19

Will Jones, Embecosm

Dynamic Causal Modelling is a state of the art AI modelling technique that reverse engineers an observed time series into a set of causal components and relationships. DCM has historically been developed for and applied to problems in neuroscience and brain imaging, but the technique is a very general one that has more recently, for example, been applied to modelling the COVID-19 pandemic with excellent results.

The standard implementation of DCM is open source, but it’s current implementation is in MATLAB, a proprietary tool. In this talk I discuss my work on creating a standalone implementation of one particularly application of Dynamic Causal Modelling (that of COVID-19) compatible with the open source GNU Octave language.

Dr Will Jones is head of AI and Machine Learning for Embecosm.  He recently completed his PhD at the University of Kent, which can be simply summarized as attempting to create a rigorous mathematical framework for the definition of artificial consciousness.


Monthly OSSG Advocacy event

The OSSG advocacy team meets on a monthly basis to discuss our efforts.

Everyone is welcome to join the meeting which takes place before our monthly event.

NOTE. The videoconference link has changed since this event was first published.


An evening with the London RUST Group

We are delighted to announce that our August meeting is held jointly with the Rust London User Group.

Agenda
18:30 – Tea/coffee for physical participants, online chat for virtual participants
19:00 – Introduction: Julian Kunkel and Ernest Kissiedu
19:10 – Talks
20:40 – Closing discussion

This will be a hybrid meeting, with some people attending in person in London and others able to join via videoconference.  For those wishing to attend in person, REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL – without a ticket, you will not be able to get in.  We anticipate numbers attending will still be restricted, and there will be a waiting list.

Register to attend in person

For remote attendees, who wish to participate, you will need to register via Skills Matter.  Thank you to Skills Matter and the Rust London User Group for providing hosting for this meeting.

Register to participate remotely

If you do not wish to register, you can still view the talks livestreaming on this YouTube link (link to follow shortly).  As always, we are also recording the talks for later posting on our YouTube channel.

The Skills Matter videoconference and the livestream will be open from 18:30 for networking, and the event will start at 19:00 prompt. We’ll keep the link open afterwards for discussion.

Not a BCS member? Don’t worry! Our monthly newsletter provides the latest news, information and events in the world of IT. We’re here to keep you updated! Sign up today at campaign.bcs.org/bcs-supporter.  If you would just like to be added to the friends of the Open Source SG mailing list, then please send an email to ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk with subscribe in the subject.  You can unsubscribe at any time by emailing unsubscribe-ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk.

Want to join the Rust London User Group? Just to head to their Meetup page.

The OSSG is supporting various organizations and initiatives, check out our new support page.

Clippy: What It Is, How It Works, and Some Dogfood

Philipp Krones, Embecosm

Clippy is the official linter of the Rust language. Clippy helps you to write clean, idiomatic and most importantly correct code. In this talk, we first look at how Clippy is used. After that we look into the internals of Clippy and discover how it works. For that, we’ll also get a bit into the internals of rustc. In the end I’ll talk about why we at Clippy like dogfood so much.

Philipp is one of the maintainers of the Rust linter Clippy (better known under the handle @flip1995 on GitHub). Philipp graduated from the Karlruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in early 2020. Currently he’s working for Embecosm GmbH as a Software Tool Chain and AI Engineer.

Rust-GCC: a GCC front-end for Rust

Philip Herron, Embecosm

GCC Rust is a front-end project for the GNU toolchain, a work-in-progress alternative to the official Rustc compiler. Being part of GCC, the compiler benefits from the common compiler flags, available backend targets and provides insight into its distinct optimiser’s impact on a modern language. In this talk, I will introduce the compiler, demonstrate its current state and discuss the goals and motivations for the project.

Philip Herron has a background in GCC from Google Summer of Code, as well as completing custom backends for LLVM. He is the author of the Rust front-end project on GitHub and enjoys the challenge that compilers bring. Currently, he’s working for Embecosm as a Compiler Engineer.

Doctor Syn: Redefining libm

Andy Thomason, Atomic Increment Ltd

Doctor Syn is a computer algebra system with a focus on giving libm a more 21st century feel – mainly through autovectorisation and inlining. libm is the C standard maths library whch has many implementations but is only available for one language – C.

The companion project, libmgen generates the standard C maths libary for many languages and register formats including SIMD. We are able to generate polynomial approximations inline in Rust code which can then be translated using the syn Rust library to different formats.

Expected speedups are anything up to 30 times for single threaded and a thousand times for multi threaded operation.

The library generator allows varying levels of accuracy and edge-case handling for games, finance or mission critical applications.

Andy Thomason runs the extendr project, a Rust interface to the R programming language.

He has worked for many years in game development at the Psygnosis and Sony technology groups and has presented dozens of talks on game development for the BCS.

Andy wrote much of the PS3 and Vita compilers for Sony.

After several decades of promoting C++ in game development, Andy now teaches Rust with Ferrous Systems and develops open source Rust libraries.


July London Open Source Meetup for RISC-V

Our quarterly meetup for the London open source community, focusing on RISC-V and open source, hosted by the BCS Open Source Specialist Group and the UK Open Source Hardware User Group.  These meetings provide an opportunity to share the latest ideas around open source in the RISC-V ecosystem, combined with plenty of time for networking.

Due to COVID-19 this will again be a purely virtual meetup. We’ll be live streaming using BigBlueButton to provide a rich online experience for participants. As always the talks will be recorded for later upload to YouTube. You are invited to join and socialize from 18:00, talks will run from 18:30-20:00 with 30 minutes at the end for further discussion and socializing.

There is no requirement to register, you can just connect to the livestream using BigBlueButton using this link.  Thank you to GWDG for providing hosting for this meeting.  We are also recording the talks for later posting on our YouTube channel.

The livestream link will be open from 18:00 for networking, and the event will start at 18:30 prompt. We’ll keep the link open afterwards for discussion.

Not a BCS member? Don’t worry! Our monthly newsletter provides the latest news, information and events in the world of IT. We’re here to keep you updated! Sign up today at campaign.bcs.org/bcs-supporter.  If you would just like to be added to the friends of the Open Source SG mailing list, then please send an email to ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk with subscribe in the subject.  You can unsubscribe at any time by emailing unsubscribe-ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk.

CFU Playground: Model-specific Acceleration on FPGAs

Tim Callahan, Google

This talk describes the CFU Playground, an open-source framework that an engineer, intern, or student can use to design and evaluate enhancements to an FPGA-based soft RISC-V processor, specifically to increase the performance of machine learning (ML) tasks through the addition of custom function units (CFUs). The goal is to abstract away most infrastructure details so that the user can get up to speed quickly and focus solely on adding new processor functions, exploiting them in the computation, and measuring the results.

The presentation describes the process of identifying hot spots in the code during an inference using a specific model, constructing a CFU to support new custom instructions, modifying the TensorFlow Lite kernel library to use these new instructions, measuring the results, and iterating. The goal is not to design a general ML accelerator; the goal is to jointly specialize the processor and ML kernels just for the model of interest.

All IP and software used is open sourced and licensed permissively — the open RISC-V ISA that allows new custom instructions, the VexRiscv soft core implementation, the LiteX system-on-chip IP, the Symbiflow FPGA toolchain, Renode and Verilator simulators, and TensorFlow Lite kernel libraries. Thus, the combined CPU, CFU, and kernel libraries that the user develops are not tied to any particular FPGA vendor; there are no licensing restrictions or fees; and there is no dependence on any black box proprietary tools.

Tim Callahan works at Google with the open source FPGA toolchain (Symbiflow) team. His work is to help make FPGA development more accessible, fun, and rewarding.More generally, he enjoys anything that involves optimizing the hardware/software boundary, He has degrees from UC Berkeley, Cambridge University, and the University of Minnesota.

Pineapple One: an open-source discrete 32-bit RISC-V CPU

Filip Szkandera,

This talk will be about a 32-bit homemade RISC-V CPU, made only out of discrete logic components and memories. There are no FPGAs nor any microcontrollers used and the whole project can be found on GitHub as open-source. The goal of this project is to introduce more people to RISC-V with a CPU that can be build by anybody who can solder. The presentation will be supplemented by a live demo of the CPU as well as some plans for the upcoming version.

Filip Szkandera is a student of Higher School and Secondary School of Electrotechnical Engineering in Olomouc, Czech Republic. He is interested in electronics, especially in building his own CPU(s). He is 19 years old.

Q&A with Olof Kindgren, creator of SERV

Olof Kindgren, FOSSi Foundation

The award-winning SERV is the world’s smallest RISC-V CPU. But how does it work, what makes it so small and what is it good for? This is your chance to participate in a fully immersive multimedia edutainment experience to learn all the answers.

Olof Kindgren is a senior digital design engineer working for Qamcom Research & Technology. He became actively involved with free and open source silicon through the OpenRISC project in 2011 and has since then worked on many FOSSi projects with a special interest in tools and collaborations. Notable work include the FuseSoc IP core package manager; SERV, the award-winning RISC-V CPU and SweRVolf, a reference platform for the SweRV CPU family. In 2015, he also co-founded FOSSi Foundation, a vendor-independent organization with the mission to promote and assist Open Source Silicon in academia, the industry and for hobbyists alike.


London Open Source Meetup for RISC-V

Our quarterly meetup for the London open source community, focusing on RISC-V and open source, hosted by the BCS Open Source Specialist Group and the UK Open Source Hardware User Group.  These meetings provide an opportunity to share the latest ideas around open source in the RISC-V ecosystem, combined with plenty of time for networking.

This will be a hybrid meeting, with some people attending in person in London and others able to join via videoconference.  You are invited to join and socialize from 18:00, talks will run from 18:30-20:00 with 30 minutes at the end for further discussion and socializing.  For those wishing to attend in person, registration is essential.  We anticipate numbers attending will still be restricted.

Registration link to follow….

For remote attendees, there is no requirement to register, you can just connect to the videoconference using BigBlueButton using this link.  Thank you to GWDG for providing hosting for this meeting.  We are also recording the talks for later posting on our YouTube channel.

The livestream link will be open from 18:00 for networking, and the event will start at 18:30 prompt. We’ll keep the link open afterwards for discussion.

Not a BCS member? Don’t worry! Our monthly newsletter provides the latest news, information and events in the world of IT. We’re here to keep you updated! Sign up today at campaign.bcs.org/bcs-supporter.  If you would just like to be added to the friends of the Open Source SG mailing list, then please send an email to ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk with subscribe in the subject.  You can unsubscribe at any time by emailing unsubscribe-ossgnonmem@lists.bcs.uk.

Talk details to follow…