Archives: Events


Open Source in Automotive

More and more vendors and suppliers in the automotive sector utilize open-source software. On this thematic evening, we’ll look into various aspects of automotive.

AGENDA
18:20 – Feel free to join the online meeting to chat with other participants

18:30 – Short introduction (5 min) of the evening by Julian Kunkel and Daniel Broomhead

18:35 – Presentations

20:35 – Closing Discussion

We were live streaming via BigBlueButton and recording the talks for later posting on YouTube.

Note: Please aim to connect at the latest by 18:25 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Cross-platform open-source ECU diagnostic

With the ever increasing complexity and propriatary implementations of car diagnostic software, OpenVehicleDiag tries to provide a universal and open source tool for running car diagnostics, based upon the Passthru API, converting propriatary data formats into a common JSON schema. In the first part of this presentation, I will be discussing the process of creating an open source Rust based Passthru driver for Macchina’s M2 Under-the-dash ODB-II adapter, and the process of unoficially porting the API to UNIX systems. In the second half of the presentation, I will be discussing the process of creating OpenVehicleDiag using a Rust Passthru API backend and a JS Electron GUI, along with the process of converting Daimler CBF files into a common JSON format that can be applied universally to other OEM’s.

Ashcon Mohseninia is a computer science student at the University of Reading who has a passion for car hacking and open source software. Most noticeably known for installing a totally custom infotainment system on his Mercedes and reverse engineering its entire CANBUS network to achieve a ton of cool features that even modern cars lack. He got into open source car diagnostics after creating a custom Passthru API adapter from an Arduino in order to clear error codes from his car’s TCU after a simple mechanical fault rendered the car useless, and Mercedes attempted to charge a ludicrous amount of money to simply clear the error code stored on the TCU module. Visit his YouTube channel.

 

Automotive Penetration Testing with Open Source Software

In the recent years, automotive penetration testing became more and more important. We decided to contribute to an open source project to build a Swiss army knife for automotive penetration testing. This talk summarizes our journey in the world of automotive protocols and open source software development. We explain the automotive protocol stack, existing open source software solutions for different purposes and give some insights into the capabilities of our own tools. Finally, we discuss the importance for open tools for the security community as well as the benefits for OEMs and suppliers.

Nils Weiss is PhD students at the Laboratory for Safe and Secure Systems (las3.de) of the University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg. He is focusing on automotive security research since more than 4 years. After an internship at Tesla Motors, Nils decided to start with automotive security research. During his bachelor and master program, he started with penetration testing of entire vehicle. Besides penetration testing of automotive systems, he is contributing to open source penetration testing frameworks for automotive systems (Scapy).

 

Automotive Grade Linux: Driving Innovation and Collaboration

The Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) community consists of more than 150 companies across the automotive and tech industries who are working together to develop an open source software platform for all in-vehicle applications from infotainment to autonomous driving. Sharing a single software platform across the industry decreases development times so OEMs and suppliers can focus on rapid innovation and bringing products to market faster. Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux, will provide an overview of AGL, production use cases including Toyota and Subaru, the project roadmap, and how to get involved.

Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation

Dan Cauchy has over 22 years of experience spanning the automotive, telecom, networking, and mobile business verticals. Prior to his current position, he was the VP and GM of MontaVista’s Automotive Business Unit (acquired by Mentor). During this period, Cauchy served on the Board of Directors of the GENIVI Alliance and was responsible for the creation of the GENIVI Compliance Program, which he chaired for three years. Cauchy has also held senior management and engineering leadership positions at Cisco Systems, Newbridge Networks (acquired by Alcatel) and Nortel, and his startup startup experience includes Atrica (acquired by Nokia-Siemens Networks) and BlueLeaf Networks (now Picarro).

 


Open Source Video Games

By popular request, we provide a look at open source in video games. Two excellent talks one looking at the general area of opening up vidoegames, the second looking at cutting edge use of open source gaming to help children with ASD.

Once again, due to COVID-19 this will be a purely virtual meeting. We’ll be livestreaming 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.

In a change to our past practice there is no requirement to register, you can just connect to BigBlueButton on this link.

AGENDA
18:00 – Feel free to join the online meeting to chat with other participants

18:30 – Short introduction (5 min) of the evening by Mary Bennett

18:35 – Presentations

20:00 – Closing Discussion

We were live streaming via BigBlueButton and recording the talks for later posting on YouTube.

Note: Please aim to connect at the latest by 18:25 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Opening Up Videogames

Lex Roberts

The National Videogame Museum’s most important maxim is ‘videogames are for everyone’. Empowering our audiences to play, understand and make videogames is at the core of everything we do. This is a behind the scenes look at how the NVM is using open source software, open hardware and open data to achieve those goals through game development, game interpretation, and game preservation, as well as its ambitions for the future.

Lex is part of the curatorial and exhibition team at the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield. They are an avid programmer and maker of things, both digital and physical. Lex helped establish the London chapter of the Code Liberation Foundation, which fosters the creation of games and creative technologies by women and non-binary people. They now sit on OpenUK’s museum committee, a not for profit organisation committed to develop and sustain UK leadership in Open Technology.

Virtual Social Robot Interaction for Enhancing the Social Skills of Children with ASD

Maha Hatem

Social skills training (SST) programmes are extremely important to train and enhance the social skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). SST programmes are designed to provide learning experiences to teach children the necessary skills to interact successfully with their social environment. Although traditional SST interventions were proven to be beneficial for children with ASD by many previous studies, their accessibility is limited. Physical social robots and virtual environments have been popular training tools for children with ASD in recent years. Studies have been conducted to evaluate their effectiveness in enhancing the social skills of children with ASD. The research presented in this talk investigates the potential of combining virtual environments with social robots as a novel approach to address some of their limitations and train the social skills of children with high-functioning ASD. A non-immersive (desktop) virtual reality environment that employs a 3D robot has been designed. The developed environment aims to enhance the social skills of children with high-functioning ASD through a social skills training programme guided by a parent or a teacher. The motivation of this research is providing a tool that can be widely accessible, cheap and easily used by parents and teachers either at home or at school. The designed training programme is adapted and modified from successful work has been done with physical robots (NAO, Zeno, and Qtrobot) to train the social skills of children with ASD. The developed training programme targets three social skills: imitation skills, emotion recognition skills, and intransitive gestures skill. Due to the current circumstances (COVID-19) and the closure of the schools and centres for autism, the experimental studies have been conducted on-line and onsite. The proposed tool has been launched on a website to make it accessible to a wider group and enable data collection over time. Questionnaires and observation sheet have been designed for data collection pre and post-intervention sessions. Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the University of Greenwich Research Ethics (UREC).

A preliminary evaluation has been conducted to ensure that the gestures produced by the virtual robot can be recognised by the children with ASD. Eight typically developed children without ASD (6-12 years) have participated in this preliminary evaluation, they have been asked to identify the meaning of the gestures demonstrated by the virtual robot in one of the training scenarios. The findings show that all the gestures had a consistency rate of 75% or above. That is an indication that the animated gestures performed by the virtual robot are recognisable and have a common interpretation. The evaluation process is still in progress with seven children with ASD. The emotion recognition training programme has been finished, and the participants showed improvement between the pre and post-tests in all phases.

Maha Hatem is a PhD candidate at the University of Greenwich, London.  She is conducting research related to autism and how assistive technology can enhance their social skills.  This developed tool is a free desktop virtual reality tool for enhancing the social skills of children with ASD. The tool is still in the evaluation process, and the evaluation is part of her PhD.


London Open Source Meetup for RISC-V

We continue our quarterly meetup for the London open source community, focusing on RISC-V, 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.

Once again, due to COVID-19 it will be a purely virtual meetup. We’ll be livestreaming 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 18:30-20:30 with 30 minutes at the end for further discussion and socializing.

In a change to our past practice there is no requirement to register, you can just connect to BigBlueButton on this link.

Developing and testing TensorFlow Lite Micro edge AI algorithms on RISC-V and FPGAs

Michael Gielda, Antmicro

With the increasing demand for small and energy-efficient devices with AI capabilities, new tools and workflows are needed to develop so-called TinyML applications. In a project with Google’s TensorFlow Lite MCU team, Antmicro has been helping improve the CI infrastructure for one of the world’s most famous ML frameworks. TF Lite Micro users can now run their machine learning framework on virtual hardware for demonstration, CI and testing. Renode allows ML developers to repeatedly and reliably test various demos, models and scenarios on a variety of hardware, including a wide range of RISC-V platforms, both soft and ASIC implementation, e.g. the recently added Core-V MCU, while its co-simulation capability enables co-development with physical FPGAs, which can be used to build AI/ML accelerators. In collaboration with QuickLogic, Antmicro has also been enabling source FPGA tooling for the eFPGA found in the Core-V MCU, enabling users to kick-start flexible prototyping and pre-silicon development of ML-capable systems based on RISC-V + FPGA. Join the talk to learn more about the advantages of using Renode’s simulation, testing and CI capabilities for the development of machine learning applications.

Michael Gielda is VP Business Development and co-founder of Antmicro. With a background in both computer science and the humanities, he is an ardent believer in using open source to advance entire industries. Michael is vice-chair of Marketing in the RISC-V Foundation and Chair of Marketing and Outreach in CHIPS Alliance.

Expanding a RISC-V Processor with Vector Instructions for Accelerating Machine Learning

Pete Alexander, John Holden, Harry Cooper, Byron Theobald, Aaryaman Bhattacharya, Matthew Johns, University of Southampton

The open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture is gaining interest throughout industry and academia. One advantage of RISC-V is the ability to add custom instruction extensions to the processor targeting specific applications. This project has taken an existing core and designed an accelerator to handle vector instructions to speed up the inference of neural networks. As a benchmark, tinyMLperf has been used which has required vector instructions to be integrated into Tensorflow Lite for Microcontrollers. The goal is to show the benefits of custom instructions and stimulate similar work in the community.

This project has been completed by six fourth-year Electrical and Electronic Engineering students from the University of Southampton. This group project is required for the MEng degree and ran over 10 weeks in Autumn 2020. Each member of the team has different backgrounds, from digital design, to AI expertise, to compiler experience. The project has been supported by Embecosm.

Developing Diosix: An open-source RISC-V bare-metal hypervisor from scratch in Rust

Chris Williams, diodesign

Diosix bridges two interesting and emerging worlds of technology: Rust and RISC-V. As a bare-metal, type-1 hypervisor, Diosix strives to bring the security, reliability, and speed of Rust to the lowest levels of RISC-V systems. The result is the ability to run multiple guest operating systems, each secured within their own hardware-enforced virtualized environments, on a single RISC-V host.

This allows developers to build and test iterations of system and application software without having to reflash and reboot their in-development hardware, as well as run a mixture of isolated guests.

This presentation will walk through the architecture of Diosix, how it uses base RISC-V features to provide hardware-enforced virtualization, its progress in running guest operating systems such as Linux, and the project’s next steps. Source code and documentation can be found here.

Chris is a San Francisco-based technology journalist at The Register, a publication that covers enterprise IT, information security, and software development. He has worked in the media for the past 15 years as a writer and editor, and his background is in electronic engineering. To keep up with changes in the industry, Chris writes and shares open-source software in his spare time.


Rust Workshop

We are delighted to offer a free half day virtual workshop introducing programming in Rust.  The workshop is aimed at software engineers, who are already familiar with at least one other language.  The last part of the workshop is particularly aimed at those working with Embedded Systems and will use RISC-V as its reference platform.

The workshop is led by Philipp Krones, Team lead of the Rust linter, Clippy.

Numbers at this workshop are strictly limited, and registration is essential.  We expect heavy demand and will be maintaining a waitlist for those who do not get a ticket initially. If you register and subsequently find you can’t attend, please let us know, so we can release your place to someone else.

The workshop will use BigBlueButton as the videoconference technology.  Presentations will be recorded for the BCS Open Source SG YouTube Channel.

Agenda

  • 12:00-13:30 – (optional) Setup Session
  • 13:30-15:30 – Part 1 – Ecosystem, Basics, and your first Rust program
  • 15:30-16:00 – Break / Q&A Session
  • 16:00-18:00 – Part 2 – Advanced Rust Concepts, Embedded Rust (RISC-V)

Synopsis

“Rust – a language empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient
software” – https://rust-lang.org

Rust is a systems programming language focusing on performance, reliability and productivity. Rust achieves this by guaranteeing memory safety during compile time, without the need of any runtime or garbage collector. Its ecosystem provides modern features and tooling to make working with it as comfortable as possible.

Even though Rust has great documentation, like the Rust book, it still has a pretty steep learning curve. This workshop will help you to understand the
language and will give you a head start for your Rust journey.

In the first part of the workshop, we look at the tooling of Rust, discover the basics and write our first small Rust program. After that we go in a half hour
break, where you can relax and ask questions (you should do this also during the workshop, of course!). The second part will give you a sneak peek into advanced Rust concepts, empowering you to understand most of the code out there. We conclude the workshop by looking at embedded Rust by targeting a RISC-V platform with your second Rust program.

Preparation

Coming into the workshop 2 command line commands should work on your machine:

  • rustup --version, with the output rustup 1.23.1 (3df2264a9 2020-11-30) (or similar)
  • cargo --version, with the output cargo 1.48.0 (65cbdd2dc 2020-10-14) (or similar)

To get this set up, visit rustup.org and follow the steps on the website.

If you have trouble getting this set up, come and join the optional setup session at 12:00 and you will get help.

About the Speaker

Philipp Krones works for Embecosm in Nürnberg, specializing in the Rust tool chain and AI.  As a member of The Rust Programming Language organization, he leads the work on the Rust linter called Clippy. Rust is his favorite language and bringing the gift of Rust to other people is always a pleasure.


Open Source in Training and Education

Open source code is widely used in education and training events. On this thematic evening, we’ll look into various aspects.

AGENDA
18:15 – Join online meeting to chat with other participants

18:30 – Short introduction (5 min) of the evening by Julian Kunkel and Marry Bennett

18:35 – Presentations

20:35 – Closing Discussion

We were live streaming via BigBlueButton and recording the talks for later posting on YouTube.

 

The videos are available in the playlist here.

Digital freedom with youth and education

Video Presentation

The goals of the schul-frei project are to offer schools and other educational establishments free software. It shows the alternatives to proprietary educational solutions from big tech companies. We collect different single solutions which can take on their specific task and put them together, so that we can offer schools one single solution. It contains a learning management system (Moodle), an app for timetables (AlekSIS) or an operating system, specially made for educational usage (DebianEdu) and more.
The opportunities of free software are the independence of companies, the freedom to decide how the software is used in schools and transparent data protection. We also want to include the youth into developing software for their schools. Free software in schools allows students and teachers to develop together apps for their school, which can be integrated into the running system we present.
Benedict Suska, Kirill Schmidt and Domink George are members of Teckids, an association of which goals are to bring free software to youth and education.

Open Source in Teaching RISC-V

Video Presentation

RISC-V is an open instruction set architecture, attracting both open source and proprietary processor implementations. This makes it very attractive for education in computer organization and other courses. In this talk I will present our efforts to use and share open source implementations and tools for educational purposes.

Stefan Wallentowitz is Professor at Munich University of Applied Sciences, on the board of FOSSi Foundation and RISC-V.

 

Championing Open Source in Higher Education

Video Presentation

At the University of Edinburgh our Content Management System is based on Drupal and we try to support this by running code sprints, sponsoring events and giving venues space. However, we do find it hard to contribute code and are exploring ways to improve this. We also work with OpenUK and want to support running an event for UK University academics. This is a course aimed to help academics understand ‘open source participation and the curricular and pedagogical considerations of teaching open source’.

Bruce Darby is Product Owner for the University of Edinburgh’s Content Management System which is based on the Open Source CMS Drupal.

Open HPC Certification and Relationship to OSS

Video Presentation

The diversification of High-Performance Computing (HPC) practitioners challenges the traditional training approaches, which are not able to satisfy the specific needs of users, often coming from non-traditionally HPC disciplines and only interested in learning a particular set of skills. HPC practitioners are expected to have various HPC skills, however, those “skills” have not been well-defined until now. The ability to speak a common language – among HPC educators and users – is critical.

The HPCCF strives to identify this set of competencies for HPC users. It is our aim to thereby facilitate course offers across HPC sites and to provide a certification procedure for HPC practitioners. Ultimately, we aim for the certificates to be recognized and respected by the HPC community and industry. In the competence standard, we already have many open-source skills as open source fuels HPC systems. In this talk, technical details of how the certification uses open source software is presented.

Julian Kunkel is a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Reading. He manages several research projects revolving around high-performance computing (HPC) and particularly high-performance storage. He became interested in the topic of HPC storage in 2003, during his studies of computer science.  Julian serves as Membership Secretary and Advocacy and Outreach officer for the BCS Open Source SG. He is currently the chair for the HPC Certification Forum (HPC-CF).

 

 

Note: Please aim to connect at the latest by 18:25 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.


London Open Source Meetup for RISC-V

We are resuming our quarterly meetup for the London open source community, focusing on RISC-V, 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 time it will be a virtual meetup, and we’ll be livestreaming using BigBlueButton to provide a rich online experience for participants. As always the talks will be recorded for later upload to YouTube. When you register you’ll also get a link to a GoToWebinar session, which we will use as fallback if there is a problem with BigBlueButton, since we are still learning the technology.

Please register using the link above. For any with connection issues, we’ll also tweet the link on @BCSOSSG just before the meeting starts.

Porting Rust to 64-bit RISC-V GNU+Linux

Tom Eccles

This year several GNU+Linux distributions have released stable 64-bit RISC-V ports; which lead users and package maintainers to expect access to the Rust toolchain on RISC-V. I spent some time getting Rust’s 64-bit RISC-V target to the point that the project felt comfortable publishing official RISC-V builds. This talk explains how to port Rust to a new target and talks through some bugs fixed along the way.

Tom is interested in free software, cryptography and embedded systems. In 2017 he published a paper through MDPI. The paper suggests and evaluates the performance of a privacy preserving smart metering protocol. In 2018 Tom graduated with a masters degree in electronic engineering from the University of Southampton and started work as a software engineer at Codethink. At Codethink Tom helps clients align their embedded GNU+Linux systems more closely with upstream free software projects. Recently, Codethink sponsored Tom to improve support for RISC-V in the Rust ecosystem.

A Plan 9 C Compiler for RV32GC and RV64GC

The Plan 9 C compiler originated at Bell Labs alongside the Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems. It was part of the initial development toolchain for Go (before that language became self-compiling), and is a useful stand alone tool for building embedded software. A new RISC-V version of the Plan 9 C compiler, assembler and linker, targeting RV32IM cores such as PicoRV32, was announced by the author at ORCONF in 2018. The toolchain has now been expanded with floating point, compressed, and 64-bit instruction capability.

Richard Miller is a consulting engineer working in the borderland between software and hardware, on operating systems, programming language implementation, and digital logic design. His first C programming project was in 1977, adapting Dennis Ritchie’s original 16-bit PDP-11 C compiler to generate code for the 32-bit Interdata 7/32.

Porting the GNU CORE-V Toolchain

Mary Bennett
Pietra F T Madio, @7pietraferreira
Jessica Mills

Over recent years, RISC-V has taken off in both academia and industry. One RISC-V variant, CORE-V, developed by the Open Hardware Group, adds extensions which can improve performance and reduce code size. As part of this effort, the Open Hardware group have decided to build a robust set of GNU tools targeting CORE-V.

In the first part of this presentation, we will discuss adding support for hardware loop instructions to GNU binutils. This has involved making changes to the GNU assembler, gas, and the GNU linker, ld. We will explain in technical detail how we ported this custom extension to binutils as well how we tested the resulting CORE-V assembler and linker.

The second part of this presnetation will focus on adding hardware loops to GCC in three places; as built-in (intrinsic) funcions, as code-generation patterns for the compiler and within target specific optimization. We shall give special attention to memcpy, the function to copy blocks of memory, and which GCC uses every time a struct is assigned or returned as a result.

To encourage engagement with this project we have provided pre-built binaries, source code, scripts and test results for the comunity.  Additionally, patches are welcome as pull requests against the Open Hardware Group repositories for corev-binutils-gdb and corev-gcc on GitHub.

Mary Bennett is a tool chain engineer at Embecosm, developers of open source compilers, operating systems, models and AI.  She graduated from the University of Surrey with a degree in EEE and a love of Jui Jitsu and climbing.  Mary is best know for her work as Chair of the RISC-V Academia and Training group from 2018 to early 2020. She was winner of the UK Electronic Skills Foundation Scholar of the Year 2019.  Mary is a key engineer in the RISC-V CGEN project and CORE-V Binutils-GDB and GCC projects, and can be found on YouTube speaking on these subjects at numerous conferences over the past three years.

Pietra F. T. Madio moved to the UK from Brazil and has been working as a software engineer for Embecosm since November 2018. Pietra was previously undertaking research and implementation of neural networks using Keras and TensorFlow. She has also written a series of blog posts on implementing face recognition on the Google Coral development board. She currently is a key engineer at the CORE-V Binutils-GDB and GCC project, being the project manager for Binutils-GDB.  Pietra previously presented at the BCS as part of the 2019 Women in Open Source meeting and also spoke at the OSD Forum 2020 about her work on the Core-V Binutils-GDB project.

Jessica Mills is a Software Tool Chain Engineer at Embecosm, developers of open source compilers, operating systems, models and AI. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a masters degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering.  Jessica is a key engineer in both the CORE-V Binutils-GDB and GCC projects, being the project manager for GCC. She has previously presented this work at the OSD Forum 2020.


Lightning Talks and AGM

Join the session on BigBlueButton: https://test.vi4io.org/b/jul-uhk-iht-bvf

This is out annual lightning talk meeting, where members have the opportunity to speak for 10 minutes on their favourite topic.  The meeting will start with the AGM, which all are welcome to attend.

Please register using the link above for a free ticket.

In a first for the BCS, we shall be livestreaming using the open source platform BigBlueButton. We hope this will prove a much richer online experience, particularly for those joining from non-Windows platforms. We shall have a GoToMeeting link available as backup in case of teething problems.  We shall later be posting the videos on our YouTube channel for those who are unable to make it.

AGM

Everyone is welcome to attend, but only BCS members may vote. We will have the 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. So far we have the following nominations, but more are encouraged.

  • Chair: Jeremy Bennett
  • Treasurer: Richard Miller
  • Membership secretary/Advocacy and outreach: Julian Kunkel
  • Inclusion officer: Cornelia Boldyreff
  • Web supremo: Simon Worthington
  • Events sub-committee: Andy Bennett, Sevan Janyan
  • Young Professional/Student representative: Daniel Broomhead
  • Committee members:  Mary Bennett

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.

Adding an instruction to the GNU assembler

Mary Bennett
Pietra F T Madio, @7pietraferreira
Jessica Mills

Over the past couple of years, RISC-V has taken off in both academia and industry. One RISC-V variant, CORE-V, adds extensions which can greatly improve performance and reduce code size. The speakers are leading the project to develop a full GNU tool chain supporting these instruction extensions.

In this lightning talk, they will look at just one part of this project. How to add a new assembly code instruction to the GNU assembler. They’ll use CORE-V hardware loop as the example for this. You’ll learn which files to edit, how to build the new assembler and most importantly how to test it.

A fuller version of this talk will be given at the London RISC-V Meetup (also hosted by BCS Open Source SG) on Monday 19 October, which will look a the complete tool chain. More information can be found in the Open Hardware Group repositories for corev-binutils-gdb and corev-gcc on GitHub.

Mary Bennett is a tool chain engineer at Embecosm, developers of open source compilers, operating systems, models and AI.  She graduated from the University of Surrey with a degree in EEE and a love of Jui Jitsu and climbing.  Mary is best know for her work as Chair of the RISC-V Academia and Training group from 2018 to early 2020. She was winner of the UK Electronic Skills Foundation Scholar of the Year 2019.  Mary is a key engineer in the RISC-V CGEN project and CORE-V Binutils-GDB and GCC projects, and can be found on YouTube speaking on these subjects at numerous conferences over the past three years.

Pietra F. T. Madio moved to the UK from Brazil and has been working as a software engineer for Embecosm since November 2018. Pietra was previously undertaking research and implementation of neural networks using Keras and TensorFlow. She has also written a series of blog posts on implementing face recognition on the Google Coral development board. She currently is a key engineer at the CORE-V Binutils-GDB and GCC project, being the project manager for Binutils-GDB.  Pietra previously presented at the BCS as part of the 2019 Women in Open Source meeting and also spoke at the OSD Forum 2020 about her work on the Core-V Binutils-GDB project.

Jessica Mills is a Software Tool Chain Engineer at Embecosm, developers of open source compilers, operating systems, models and AI. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a masters degree in Electronics and Computer Engineering.  Jessica is a key engineer in both the CORE-V Binutils-GDB and GCC projects, being the project manager for GCC. She has previously presented this work at the OSD Forum 2020.

XO and Sugar on a stick

Professor Cornelia Boldyreff

Cornelia Boldyreff lives in Greenwich and is a part-time Professor at the University of Greenwich in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. She was previously the Associate Dean (Research and Enterprise) at the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering at the University of East London from 2009 – February 2013.

Cornelia gained her PhD in Software Engineering from the University of Durham where she worked from 1992; she was a Reader in the Computer Science Department when she left.
In 2004 she moved to the University of Lincoln to become the first Professor of Software Engineering at the university, where she co-founded and directed the Centre for Research in Open Source Software.

She has over 25 years’ experience in software engineering research and has published extensively on her research in the field. She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, and a founding committee member of the BCSWomen Specialist Group, a committee member of the BCS e-Learning Specialist Group, and since 2013 she has chaired the BCS Open Source Specialist Group. She has been actively campaigning for more women in STEM throughout her career.  Together with Miriam Joy Morris and Dr Yasmine Arafa, she founded the start-up, ebartex Ltd, and together they are developing a new digital bartering currency, ebarts.

The HPC Certification Forum: An Open and Free Certification for HPC – A Good Model for OSS?

Dr Julian Kunkel

The diversification of High-Performance Computing (HPC) practitioners challenges the traditional training approaches, which are not able to satisfy the specific needs of users, often coming from non-traditionally HPC disciplines and only interested in learning a particular set of skills. HPC practitioners are expected to have various HPC skills, however, those “skills” have not been well-defined until now. The ability to speak a common language – among HPC educators and users – is critical.

The HPCCF strives to identify this set of competencies for HPC users. It is our aim to thereby facilitate course offers across HPC sites and to provide a certification procedure for HPC practitioners. Ultimately, we aim for the certificates to be recognized and respected by the HPC community and industry. In the competence standard, we already have many open-source skills as open source fuels HPC sytems. We believe this model is scalable and could be applied more in the open-source environment.

Dr Kunkel is a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Reading. He manages several research projects revolving around high-performance computing (HPC) and particularly high-performance storage. He became interested in the topic of HPC storage in 2003, during his studies of computer science.  Julian serves as Membership Secretary and Advocacy and Outreach officer for the BCS Open Source SG.

An Insight into Open Source from a Student’s Perspective.

Daniel Broomhead

The introduction of open source to young people has always been a major downfall for the progression of open source, with young people wanting to get involved with software like Linux but never knowing where to start and how to get involved. Daniel Discusses the experience he had with open source and where he thinks the future need to be heading in order to incorporate the younger generations, reflecting on some of the complications of the past and some reasons why the younger generations struggle to get involved as early as they could have.

Daniel Broomhead is a final year Computer Science Student at the university of Reading. He is the current president of the University’s R. U. Hacking? Society which is a computer Science society with a focus around integrating with a tech and professional environment, including hosting, and running many events like Hackathons.

Daniel is curious about all different areas of computer science and always keen to learn more, however his current passion lies in the cyber security side of things, particularly offensive security, and while he is lacking the current experience and expertise, this is his main focus for the future, and his topic chosen for his final year project.

PCI bus hacking from home – how hard can it be?

Maxim Blinov

Digital protocols are the bread and butter of virtually every electronic engineer today. UART, SPI, I2C, USB, PCIe, the list goes on. But it’s very rarely that we get the opportunity to actually implement one such protocol ourselves.

This project was an excercise to take the role of implementing a protocol, given all the usual limited constraints of a hobbyist operating from home: Create a very simple (but functional) conventional (33MHz) PCI endpoint, visible from Linux, and capable of transferring data from internal FPGA LUTs to Linux Userspace.

The project touched on aspects of FPGA design, design verification, physical debugging approaches, and just a dash (and I really mean just a dash!) of linux kernel modification.

Maxim Blinov is a toolchain engineer working at Embecosm, supporting and customizing GCC toolchains for client-specific architectures and architecture extensions. His main open source work has been benchmarking and customizing the upcoming RISC-V bitmanip extension.

In his free time he dabbles in MCUs, FPGAs, softcore CPUs, and Windows driver development.

A Minimalist Network on Chip on an FPGA

Richard Miller

This is an ongoing project to implement an FPGA NoC (network on chip) which is “as simple as possible but no simpler”. Originally intended as a lightweight alternative to ethernet for linking a cluster of Raspberry Pi Zeroes, it can also serve as the internal communication fabric for a multicore SoC (system on chip).

Richard Miller is a consulting engineer specialising in systems software (operating systems and programming language implementation) and digital logic design. He serves as Treasurer of the BCS Open Source SG.

12 things everyone needs to know about data

Simon Worthington, @51M0NW

In this talk, Simon will give a “Papers We Love”–style walkthrough of a favourite scientific paper from the University of Southampton and the Open Data Institute. Much open data publishing is focused on the act of getting data out of the door safely and correctly, and not many people focus on actually helping others to find and evaluate their datasets. This paper examines the way people search for open data and suggests a 12-point checklist for what potential users need to know that everyone can implement.

Simon is a founder of Register Dynamics, a data consultancy on a mission to make data more useful for everyone, and the creators of Registers.app. As a technologist with years of experience applying cutting-edge data technology to meet real user needs, Simon gets that data is hard. Tell him your data problems on Twitter @RegDyn!

 


Open Source Facial Recognition

This month we have two talks on open source facial recognition.

AGENDA
18:15 – Online session starts

18:30 – Presentations with questions

20:00 – Close

We will be live streaming via GoToWebinar and recording the talks for later posting on YouTube. Details of registration and the livestream will follow shortly.

COVID-19: Contactless Biometrics and Related Technologies for Border Checks On-the-Go

Prof James Ferryman

With COVID-19 hygenic identity verification becomes a crucial issue yet has to be effective and meet travellers¹ and border guards¹ demands on reasonable processing times and privacy. This talk will first present the background in development and deployment of Automated Border Control (ABC), specifically ABC eGates at airports, based on face biometrics. The talk will then briefly present the outcomes of a 4-year EU project called FastPass which sought to develop a harmonised approach to eGates toward more seamless identity confirmation for all border crossing types. The talk will then proceed to propose a vision of the future of ABC whereby eGates are replaced with a no-stopping multimodal biometrics identification system fully taking into account privacy and security issues. In this context, the just-completed EC PROTECT project will be presented including the innovative use cases developed, an overview of the technical solutions, legal and ethical aspects, and outcomes of the demonstrations held.

Prof. Ferryman is a computer scientist and leads the Computational Vision Group within the Department of Computer Science, School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences (SMPCS), University of Reading. His current research interests include multimodal biometrics, automated video surveillance and benchmarking. He is the author of more than 100 scientific publications. He has participated in a wide range of UK and EU funded research programmes including, under border security, the EU EFFISEC project (FP7-217991) on efficient integrated security checkpoints, the EU IPATCH project (FP7-60756on automated surveillance and decision support system for detection and classification of piracy threats to shipping, and the EU FastPass project (FP7-312583) on development of a harmonised modular reference system for all European automated crossing points, the latter of which he led the largest technological workstream on traveller identification and monitoring. Prof. Ferryman coordinated the EU PROTECT project (H2020-700259, 2016-2019) on exploration of current and future use of biometrics in border security. Prof. Ferryman is a member of the British Computer Society and has acted as the Director of both the British Machine Vision Association and the Security Information Technology Consortium. Since 2000, he has been a Co-Chair of the IEEE International Workshop on Performance Evaluation of Tracking and Surveillance.

AI and Computer Vision

Dr William Jones and Pietra F T Madio

This talk will look at a research project Embecosm has been pursuing on applying facial recognition at the edge using Google’s EdgeTPU and Tensorflow.

William Jones has a research background in computational neuroscience, with a focus on artificial neural networks and machine learning techniques. He leads Embecosm’s AI team, working on applying these machine learning and AI techniques to the domains of compiler and code optimization.

Pietra F. T. Madio is part of Embecosm’s AI team. Recently she has focused on making Artificial Intelligence accessible to teenagers, focusing on Machine Learning and Deep Learning.